Being the owner of a small business is tough. You’re flat out managing staff, customers and admin, plus doing whatever you can to increase sales. Every day (and often some of the nights and weekends) is taken up with doing hundreds of things to keep the business afloat and growing.
Remember, the giants of today were the startups of yesterday, and they faced the same issues you’re facing now.
The way you leverage your time and focus will really help. Now’s the time to cut out those activities that aren’t getting you the results you need, and pay attention to those that will.
This is where email marketing comes into play.
Why Do You Need Email Marketing?
The reason your business needs email marketing is simple: it’s one of the most effective and efficient ways for building a relationship with prospects and customers.
It’s much easier and faster than ringing every customer every time you have something to tell them.
So, when you’re planning your small business marketing strategies, keep email marketing at the top of your to-do list. Email marketing is an effective marketing tool that, if done correctly, can yield fantastic results.
What gives Email Marketing the Edge?
It’s fabulous for customer retention
One of the most common mistakes that most businesses make is spending most of their marketing budget and time on attracting new business, when the potential for repeat and referral business from their existing customers is enormous. We reckon you should spend 80% of your focus on the people who’ve already voted for you with their wallets. If you continue to be super helpful and informative long after your initial sale – they’ll keep on rewarding you. They certainly won’t forget you.
The key to effective email marketing is to send out personalised one-on-one messages that do not look like mass emails. To do this, you need an email marketing system. Not Outlook or Gmail or Hotmail. These are not designed for mass marketing, so don’t even consider it. There are numerous email service providers that offer email marketing systems to suit every type of budget, from totally free to several hundred dollars a month, depending on how big your list is and how many CRM style features you need.
It’s a great way to keep your brand top of mind
Emailing your prospect and customer lists on a regular basis, using a custom designed email or newsletter template is a very effective way to keep your brand top of mind and build your reputation as a professional company. Not everyone is ready to buy as soon as they contact you. They may not be ready for another week or 12 months – but if you stay in contact and provide valuable help and useful information, it’s your company they’ll remember.
There are ready-to-use templates offered by email service providers, or our talented designers will create a branded email or newsletter template for you and get your automated email campaign up and running in no time.
The Art of Email Marketing
Email marketing can either be difficult and time consuming, or easy and revenue generating.
Here’s a few simple guidelines to make it easier.
Plan every email as follows:
Audience:– Who will it go to – customers, prospects or both? What’s their general age, gender, location and interests? If you have a variety, maybe it’s worth crafting a couple of different versions for specific segments. Vary the language and the offer to suit.
Objective: What’s the overall result you’re hoping for ? 6 reviews on Linkedin? 50 sales of your new book? 10 phone calls to book an appointment? The more specific you can be about your objective – the better, because then you have KPIs for measurement. But be realistic here too. We’d all like 100% conversion of everything we do – but it’s not going to happen. Once you start measuring your results you’ll get a better idea of realistic goals.
Call to Action: What do you want recipients to do when they’ve read your email? Click a link, pick up the phone, reply to you? Always work with the end in mind. You can’t craft the body of the email until you’ve decided on the offer or call to action. And you should not confuse people by having more than one call to action. Keep it simple and repeat it a couple of times.
The body: Your email should not be too long as very few will read it all the way through. You may consider a short sharp email – like it’s a one off you’ve created from scratch – so it looks like something you composed quickly in your normal email system (eg: gmail). Alternatively you may do something a bit longer with a few really interesting sub headings to keep people engaged. Whatever format you use, it should be a compelling story that makes people really want to take the action you want them to take. But don’t be too salesy or the delete button – or worse – the unsubscribe button – will very quickly be engaged.
5 Tips for Successful Email Marketing
1. Send a Consistent Message
Every email you send should be written in the same “voice”. Determine your company voice and be consistent with your writing style every time – whether that be formal, chatty, funny – it doesn’t matter, as long as you’re always consistent and the information is easy to understand.
2. Provide Great Value
Avoid the trash folder. Give your readers real value. Each email you send out should contain some tidbit of great value – something useful that will enhance their knowledge or lives and show you as being a generous expert in your field.
3. Brand your Emails
The appearance of your marketing emails should reflect the appearance of your website. Keep the design simple, and stay with your brand’s colours and styling.
4. Include a call to action
Include only one call to action in each email, and repeat it two or three times. Insert one in the middle of the text, and one at the end, even one more as a PS.
5. Never Stop Communicating
Email regularly and often to build a long term relationship. We don’t advocate bombarding them with daily messages – but we do advocate being regular and consistent. If you suddenly decide sell your new product or service to your customers by email and they haven’t heard from you for 6 months or longer – you’ll probably get a large number of unsubscribes. Treat your customers like good friends, not enemies.
There’s plenty to consider when it comes to good email marketing, so don’t worry, we’re not going to stop here. Stay tuned for Part 2 of email marketing series, coming shortly.
Get Help with Your Email Marketing
We understand that not everyone has the time or skills to create effective email marketing campaigns. If that’s you, and you’re keen to try out email marketing, get in contact on 1300 554 495, or send us an email.