Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
If you think email marketing is outdated and does not benefit small businesses, think again. Email is the third most influential source of information for B2B and B2C audiences, and six in ten small businesses in the United States have included it in their marketing plans. Additionally, a nationwide survey conducted by an online marketing research company reveals that 75% of Americans prefer to receive promotional messages via email.
A well-executed email campaign can generate leads, increase sales, build brand awareness, and drive repeat business when done right. In addition, it can help reduce your marketing costs because email is less expensive than other digital marketing strategies. Balboa Capital put together a list of three email marketing tips for businesses that you might find helpful.
1. Create contact lists. Do not buy them.
The number one goal with your email marketing efforts is to attract paying customers, which starts by having people open the emails you send. Unfortunately, suppose you purchase an email list. In that case, you will be contacting people you have not interacted with or who might be the wrong target audience, which can result in a poor-performing email campaign. In addition, many lists contain incomplete or outdated contact information, which means you will be wasting your time and effort.
If you end up buying a list, make sure it is from a safe and reputable provider. Some email list providers illegally harvest people’s information without their consent, which violates the CAN-SPAM Act. So, how can you create an email contact list? You can add an email subscription signup box on your website for starters. Other options include having a signup sheet in your business, running “email only” specials or limited-time deals, and inviting people to receive special discounts on holidays, birthdays, etc. Just make sure your web designer includes an unsubscribe link to every email so that your business adheres to CAN-SPAM laws.
2. Craft emails for high engagement.
In terms of email marketing effectiveness, the numbers are pretty impressive. A leading digital marketing firm reports the average email open rate for all industries is 24%, and the average click-through rate (CTR) is 3.8%. Restaurants top the list with a 36% email open rate, followed by arts and entertainment companies (34%) and pet/animal services (33%). The top three industries with the highest CTR are restaurant/specialty food (7.8%), retail (7.7%), and arts and entertainment (6.5%).
To achieve a high open rate, write a clear and concise subject line between 30 and 60 characters (including spaces). Good subject lines provide a benefit or a sense of urgency. Once your recipients open your email, it is time to get them to act by clicking on something inside the email, which is called a click-through. Best practices for achieving this include writing conversationally and avoiding overly “salesy” messaging. Keep your paragraphs short and provide readers with benefits and reasons to act, such as a limited-time offer.
3. Promote a good call to action.
You have your email list. You have taken the time to develop an email marketing strategy and write the perfect email. However, once you send your email and the recipients start opening it, you need to guide them through the buying journey and prevent them from leaving or deleting your email. An enticing call-to-action (CTA) can help make this happen and keep your sales pipeline flowing.
When deciding on a call-to-action, ensure it works with your overall email strategy. For example, you would not want to send an email that promotes a holiday sale and have a CTA that asks recipients to view one of your blog posts. Instead, your CTA needs to take people to a dedicated landing page on your website with the holiday sale offer(s). You can add a CTA to a button or make it a hyperlink in one of your paragraphs. A button is preferred because it stands out more in your email.
Close to 300 million people in the United States use email, and 75% of all email accounts are personal (consumer). This presents your small business with a great way to reach new customers and upsell existing customers.
With a minimal investment and a little bit of time and effort, your small business can reap the rewards afforded by email marketing.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.