The coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on how we work and live, with many of us now stuck at home. One of the advantages of this is that people are glued to their screens right now, so use this as an opportunity to get in front of your audience. People are overloaded with news and negativity so share great content aimed to inspire, entertain and uplift. Harness the power of email marketing to continue to build relationships with your customers and to nurture existing leads through newsletters. Keep your brand relevant and top of mind for your customers. If you continue with your marketing efforts you will ensure you set your business up for success post coronavirus.
Why is email marketing important for small businesses?
“Email has an ability many channels don’t: creating valuable, personal touches – at scale.”
Email marketing is a great asset to any business looking to achieve success online. It’s a winning strategy for creating powerful experiences for your audience, tapping into their emotions and inspiring them to take action. The internet has revolutionised the way we do business and it offers people a unique opportunity to tell the story of their brand in a human way, to inspire one another. Email marketing is an easy, effective and inexpensive way to reach large numbers of existing and potential customers and to build meaningful relationships with your audience.
Email marketing is a winning formula for budget-conscious businesses eager to grow, it builds confidence in your audience, it creates brand awareness, it drives traffic, it helps to strengthen bonds with your customers and generates leads. A consistent email marketing strategy increases your visibility, nurtures relationships, builds trust and ensures you are top of mind for your target market. Remember, people do business with people they know, like and trust.
In my blog post “10 Amazing Benefits of Email Marketing for Small Businesses”, I discuss the power of email as an online marketing strategy. Here are five top benefits of email marketing for small businesses:
1. It helps to develop stronger relationships with your audience. It shows your readers that you care and want to keep them informed.
2. It’s cost effective and enables you to bring in more qualified leads for less.
3. It enables you to reach your audience quickly. You don’t have to call, email or send letters to them one by one, you can reach them all with one click! Yet the message is still personalised and crafted with their interests and needs in mind.
4. It helps you to build credibility. By sharing relevant, helpful, informative and engaging content with your audience on a regular basis, you build trust.
5. It leads to higher conversion rates because you are targeting a warm audience who have already opted in to receive your content and expressed an interest in your services.
How to build an email list
One of the most effective ways to build an email list is to create a valuable resource and offer it for free on your website in exchange for email addresses. In doing so you are soliciting a potential customer’s permission to send them promotional and other types of content, and to continue to build a relationship with them. Ensure your offer is value-packed and appealing enough to convince your visitor to hit the sign-up button. It should target and provide a tailored solution to a specific problem your audience is experiencing, alleviate one of their frustrations or fulfil a particular desire. It needs to be easily digestible, bite-sized and lightweight, and consistent with your message.
Opt-in content ideas to successfully build an email list:
Free discovery call
Email series course
Collection of your most popular blog posts or podcasts
Access to your membership site, training webinar or PowerPoint
Interview with an expert
Top success tips
Video training series
Use your lead magnet to demonstrate your expertise and give people a taste of what it would be like to work with you.
Tips for optimising your email marketing strategy and gaining initial traction:
• To optimise engagement and success with email marketing steer towards quality over quantity, so instead of pushing out a newsletter a week for example lean towards monthly or bi-weekly newsletters and ensure that the content you are sending out is value-packed and aims to educate, entertain, engage, inspire and convince subscribers to take action.
• Know your audience, break down the demographics and psychographics of your ideal client to determine the types of content that will appeal to them the most. Consider the types of content your audience are engaging with online and factor this into your campaigns.
• Build trust and maximise your open rates by personalising your emails, use merge tags to address your customers by their first names.
• Get creative with your email content! You could include blog posts, podcasts, event promotions, expert advice, helpful tips, testimonials, polls, company updates, details of new products or services, theme related messages, questions and case studies.
• Heighten your conversion rates, increase engagement, customer satisfaction and retention by sending targeted campaigns to segmented lists, ensuring you are sending relevant, high quality content to the right people.
• Make your emails customer centric and increase interactivity in the form or quizzes, polls, reviews, grabbing free event seats on a first come first serve basis and asking for feedback.
• Brand your newsletters and keep the design and voice consistent across all mediums, use the same visual language in your emails, website, social media platforms and blogs. Do your emails portray a unique look and feel, a powerful and succinct brand message and a compelling brand voice? A powerful brand is a key differentiating factor that helps you stand out from the competition.
• Choose a compelling, catchy and clear subject line that will ensure your email gets noticed. Tell them what to expect, convince them of the benefits of opening the email and ensure the subject line creates an immediate emotion such as excitement or curiosity.
• Always include a call to action! Encourage your readers to take action beyond reading the material. You could ask them to click on a link to a blog post, landing page, podcast or event page, to make a purchase, sign up for an event, take advantage of a promotion, take part in a survey, leave you feedback or share the content with their connections.
• Create a publishing schedule for your email campaigns and stick to it. Send out your newsletters on the same day and time each month, ensuring you are sending them out at optimum viewing times. Consistency is key for building momentum.
• To power up your email marketing strategy and generate results more quickly, take a comprehensive approach. Combine it with number of other tactics such as social media, blogging and event marketing.
Evolving your email marketing strategy over time
Once you’re more experienced in and knowledgeable of email marketing, you can start to take a strategic approach with a stronger emphasis on engagement, interactivity and quality. Having tested different approaches you’ll be better positioned to focus on what works, what generates the most engagement and the best return on investment. To improve deliverability set measurable email marketing goals. Consider the objective of each campaign, what outcome are you trying to achieve? Set KPI’s to help you track and monitor the progress of your campaigns.
On a final note, don’t get disheartened if you don’t see the results you want straight away, seeing an impact from email marketing takes time. It’s unlikely that your campaigns will produce immediate results, so be patient and continue to experiment to establish what works best.
If you’d like some support kick-starting your email marketing campaign get in touch for a free consultation.