New marketing trends tilt toward social media platforms. Such as, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. But the tried-and-true email marketing campaign is still a useful tool for educating prospects and customers.
Also, researchers predict email marketing promotions can boost customer acquisition by 7 percent a year and increase sales. Additionally, email marketing campaigns are almost as effective as organic searches for driving audiences to brands. Companies can optimise their small business email marketing campaigns by heeding the following five strategies.
Create multiple opportunities to gather email addresses
Because an unresponsive email list is not worth the effort of your best email, marketing campaigns always look for more ways to grow your list. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to persuade current customers and prospects to turn over their email addresses:
- Require visitors to the company website or store to register for every action. Whether it’s a saving in the shopping cart, buying a purchase or just establishing an account.
- Create contests and giveaways for which visitors must fill out a short form.
- Post free downloads on the site in exchange for email addresses.
- Offer free seminars where attendees register with their email address.
- Offer enrollment in reward clubs or coupon clubs.
- Have a members forum.
- Allow comments on the blog section of your website and require an email confirmation before posting the comment.
- Encourage people to email reviews, questions or suggestions.
- Have a Newsletter sign-up box.
Use both bulk email marketing promotions & transactional email marketing promotions
Bulk emails, while useful, often go unopened. Or, straight to the spam folder. Small businesses are having success supplementing bulk mail campaigns that appeal to general audiences with transactional emails. These, offer one-on-one pitching and custom promotions based on past customer behaviour. When sending emails like:
- welcome notices,
- account approval
- and shipping confirmations,
Small businesses should seize these follow-up opportunities to recommend goods and services and encourage participation in polls or social media.
Test and assess your email marketing campaigns
Testing can provide crucial information at every level of the email marketing campaign. Before finalising the email prototype, use focus groups or surveys to:
- test the appeal of the design
- the subject line
- the arrangement of branding elements
- the configuration of ads, the strength of the promotion
- and the overall tone of the message.
Before broadcasting the emails. First, send them to employees and executives. Then, have them open the messages using different email clients and different devices. And, test whether or not all the features show up in various browsers and email programs. After the send, use apps to gather metrics on the open rates and conversion rates. Make improvement based on the data collected.
Educate the recipients
List subscribers often get ad fatigue. They can become so accustomed to being sold something that they ignore emails. Avoid this by switching up the content; don’t always promote the company’s offerings. Instead, provide advice and link to a longer related company blog, or share details about community partnerships or the company’s social activism. This act will humanise the business and helps to build relationships.
Send out your email marketing campaigns at the most opportune time
Research by Experian reveals that not all times are good times to send an email broadcast. Open rates vary by industry. But, in general, the highest opening rate for bulk mail – 22 percent — occurs in the evening. After people have left work and had dinner. Such as, between 8 p.m. and midnight. Such times also had better conversion rates. Transactional emails get opened at any time of the day.
If your small business lacks the staff to execute these tips, consider contracting with an email marketing service to save time or using an advanced email marketing & sales CRM software like Infusionsoft, an all-in-one sales and marketing automation software for small businesses.
A more detailed approach to strategic email marketing is explained in depth in this earlier post “What is Lifecycle Marketing AND How Can I Make it Work for Me“.
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