Email Marketing: Why It Works for Small Business
If you're a small business owner or a start-up just give me just a few minutes of your time because I'd like to explain why email marketing is so important and why you need to make it a priority.
Before I do, though, I'd just like to refute some suggestions that email is 'dead'.
In fact, it's very much alive and well.
According to statistics from the Direct Marketing Association email is growing year on year and it is estimated that there will be over 2.9 billion email users worldwide by the end of 2019.
The problem is we’re bombarded every day with articles from marketers who want to persuade us that we ‘should be’ using the latest bright new stars of the social media and marketing world.
"You must try it; everyone is using it!", they say.
I must admit it’s great fun taking selfies, adding filters and posting the resulting photos onto Snapchat and Instagram Stories. Visual content of any kind is the perfect way to generate engagement on social media and create a buzz around your brand.
But these trends come and go.
The little 6-second Vine videos on Twitter have disappeared off the scene, as has the live-streaming app, Blab, which created such a storm a few years ago but then died a very sudden death. Even Google's own social media network, Google Plus, has been downgraded somewhat since I first started using it four years ago.
As well as being quite transient in nature, I'm unsure how effective these new digital marketing trends are in generating sales for business.
Email is quite a veteran when it comes to digital marketing; it might seem a bit staid and 'corporate' and it doesn't come with any funky filters. But the fact that email has been around since the early 1970s and an increasing number of users are opening email accounts is testament to the fact that email works. Period!
Here are six reasons why email marketing works and why it is so important for small business.
1. Email Marketing Is (Almost) Free
Email Service Providers ("ESPs") like MailChimp offer a ‘forever free’ plan which, as the name suggests, is 100% free to use. This gives start-ups and small businesses the perfect opportunity to start using email marketing totally risk-free.
Other ESPs either offer a generous trial period or an affordable starter package, the most expensive of which is $29 per month.
(Carry on reading because I'll give you more help and guidance with choosing the right ESP towards the end of this blog.)
2. Anyone Can Do It!
One question I’m often asked is “When can I start using email marketing?"
The answer is ‘any time’.
Even my 10 year-old niece sends me email, although getting my 75 year-old mother to use it is proving to be more of a challenge.
As a business owner, however, the sooner you start building up a List of prospective customers the sooner you can start sending them targeted emails until they’re ready to make a purchase from you.
From now until Christmas think of one strategy per month and implement it to start attracting new subscribers to your List.
➣ How can you use Halloween to attract prospective customers?
➣ What crazy offer can you make for Black Friday?
➣ Perhaps you’re involved in Small Business Saturday? If so, why not hold an event or create a special discounted offer.
➣ If you live in the States, can you think of a series of emails you can send to prospects to help them celebrate Thanksgiving?
3. Email is Everywhere
Consumers are increasingly using mobile devices to access content on the go; email is perfectly suited for desktop as well as tablets, smartphones and even smart watches.
According to UK’s Ofcom, 81% of smartphone users say that email is the most popular activity they use their phone for.
4. Email is Personal
Once a prospect gives you access to their Inbox you can start talking to them on a more personal level.
Sign-up forms provided by your ESP are free and offer the perfect opportunity to gather vital information about each new lead so you can start to build a more detailed profile. The most crucial information you'll need in the first instance is a subscriber's email address, of course, and their first name.
Simply addressing a prospect by their name will make a huge difference to the way they engage with your emails.
You can continue to build up a lead's profile by adding information you can glean from social media networks. For example find out -
➣ Where a prospect works
➣ What is their job title?
➣ What kind of information do they post or share?
➣ Are they looking for guidance on a particular subject and, if so, can you help?
By taking a little time to do some detective work will help you send the most relevant and informative emails which will, in turn, help to generate trust between you and your prospect.
❗️ Remember: customers only buy from people they know, like and trust.
5. Slicing and Dicing your Email List
ESPs will allow you to divide an email list into specific groups or ‘segments’ so that you can start organising prospects according to their likes, dislikes, or the way they’ve interacted with you.
For example, if a prospect subscribed to attend a webinar you would add them to a specific segment, or if a customer downloaded some free content from your website you would add them to another segment. Segmenting your lists allows you to create and send emails to subscribers which they'll likely find interesting.
As well as organising new leads into segments, ensure you group together existing customers. According to Invep existing customers are 50% more likely to make a purchase from you than new leads so ensure you keep them updated with relevant information. Tempt them with discounted offers or rewards.
What you don’t want to do is send all your prospects one generic email campaign as it’s unlikely to interest all of them. All this will do is make you look rather amateurish and may lead to an increase in unsubscribers.
6. You Can’t Argue with Hard Data
Whichever ESP you subscribe to, you will be able to check the results of your email marketing campaigns using detailed reports and analytics.
Detailed data is what makes email marketing so powerful.
By checking your email analytics you can find out -
➣ Who is opening your emails
➣ Who is clicking on links
➣ Who is taking your desired course of action, e.g. subscribing to a webinar, downloading a PDF, registering for a consultation, etc.
This information will help you to further segment your lists.
Over time you’ll also discover what kind of email campaigns resonate most with your audience so that you can then create more of the same kind of content. On the flip side you can see what isn’t popular so that you don’t waste your time creating any more.
I'll be honest with you, I didn’t truly understand the power of email marketing until the end of last year.
I was seemingly doing all the right things in terms of creating fresh content for my blog, building up my YouTube channel, consistently posting content to my social media networks. I was even attracting new leads and growing my email list but I wasn't doing anything to nurture them. I didn't know how.
I ended up feeling frustrated after all my efforts because I still wasn't generating a consistent stream of income from my business.
So this summer I took a risk; I scaled back my usual work so I could study with HubSpot. Having taken the exam I’m proud to say I’m now an accredited HubSpot Email Marketer.
I followed up by doing a bit of research because I wanted to find out why small businesses weren’t using email marketing as much as they should.
The biggest problems appeared to be that business owners -
➣ Didn’t fully understand the benefits of email marketing
➣ Didn't understand how to get started
➣ Were overwhelmed by jargon such as ‘automated email sequences’, ‘trigger emails’, ‘email segmentation’.
Does this sound familiar to you?
If so I’d really like the opportunity to share with you what I’ve learnt this year. Let me help you make better use of your time and effort so that you can increase sales for your business.
Email marketing has transformed the way my own business runs and I’d like to help you do the same.
There's no 'magic' or 'secret sauce' involved; it's just a question of learning systematically, step-by-step, until you've mastered all the main techniques.
So why not start off by registering to receive my FREE “10 Days of Email Marketing” tips, tricks and strategies direct to your Inbox?
What You’ll Learn
Over the course of 10 days I'll send you expert tips about -
➣ Why email marketing is so powerful and which ESP you should choose for your business
➣ How to attract new leads using the free tools provided by your ESP.
➣ How to start gathering the right information about leads so you can segment your lists.
➣ Getting personal with email
➣ Email marketing for mobile devices *.
➣ Which e-commerce tools you can use to streamline sales via email
➣ Email analytics
I also have something very special and exclusive to share with you which is only available for a short period of time, so don’t delay!
If you're ready to start learning more about email marketing for your small business click the button below and register ⬇︎
How do you feel about email marketing?
✣ Do you feel overwhelmed or confused by all the jargon?
✣ Maybe you don't know where to start?
Let me know in the Comments box below!