Email marketing should be a top five priority in your digital marketing initiatives for the year ahead. Look at the statistics. A study released earlier this year by management consulting giants McKinsey & Co suggests that email marketing is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter. Further, Experian has reported that for each dollar invested in email marketing, the return can be as high as $44.25. What steps can a small business take to build their email marketing campaigns to capture some of these benefits?
Create a quality opt-in
Customers need a reason to give you their email information and invite you to market to them in their inboxes on a regular basis. Businesses are finding easy ways to make that conversion. One popular way to do this is to offer a small discount or coupon that can be used on the customer’s next purchase. This has the advantage of increasing the chances that your new subscribers will buy something from you in the near future. Another approach is to develop a high quality report or short eBook. Many customers will share their email addresses in exchange for valuable information. Going this route also helps position you as a thought leader in your space and exposes prospective customers to your expertise.
Collect email addresses
It goes without saying that in order to run an email campaign you need an easy way to collect emails. You may already have a customer email list that’s being underutilized. But if you haven’t collected customer information up to now, it’s important to look at whether you have the infrastructure to do so. Add an opt-in box or banner to your website. Ideally, this should be highly visible with a clear call to action while fitting in with your overall website design.
Create a template
Email marketing is done using one of today’s common mail marketing programs such as iContact, Constant Contact, or MailChimp. There are hundreds of options on the market. Choose a company that’s easy to use and allows you to either use a professionally created template that harmonizes with your brand colors or to upload a custom template that you’ve designed. Your email template should use a similar feel to your website and feature your logo, tagline, and contact information.
Use email best practices
From nearly two decades of email marketing, a number of best practices have emerged. The points above all draw from that collective wisdom. In terms of the emails themselves, personalization is key. The Experian 2013 Email Market Study highlights the fact that 70% of companies surveyed don’t personalize their newsletters – yet taking this simple step increases both open rates and click throughs on links. Another important factor is crafting headlines that capture readers’ attention. CopyBlogger reports that 8 out 10 readers will view your headlines, but only 2 will read on. Writing great headlines, structuring your content well, and working on timing are all an essential piece of a successful email marketing strategy.
Deliver high-value content with a clear call to action
As you put together content for your newsletter, it’s important to think about what content creates value for your readers. For example, customers will be interested in articles that help them solve problems, interviews with experts related to your field, and product discounts that could save them money. On the whole, they’re less excited about company news unless it directly affects their experience.
Are you a business owner that’s ready to dial up your digital marketing efforts? Contact us at Be Locally today to learn more about how our online marketing experts can assist with every aspect of your promotional efforts, from blogging to email marketing to SEO.