Email marketing has become a crucial aspect of the overall marketing strategy for small business owners. It is a cost-effective method of reaching out to customers and prospects with relevant information about products, services, promotions, and events. But if you are just starting, I’m sure you have many questions. In this blog post, I will answer the most common questions I get on this topic, including:
- What is email marketing?
- What email marketing platform should I choose?
- How do I build my list?
- What types of email marketing campaigns are there?
- How do I make my email marketing more effective?
I’ll answer all of these top email marketing questions below, and if you’re interested in going deeper with me, join my 6-week course, The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing!
Let’s dive in!
What is email marketing?
Email marketing is a digital marketing strategy that involves sending email messages to customers and prospects. Doing so allows small businesses to develop relationships and boost sales. Statistics show that:
- 81% of small businesses use email marketing to acquire new customers.
- 80% use it for retaining existing customers.
Email marketing has many benefits, including cost-effectiveness, the ability to reach a large audience, and the opportunity to track results. It is also an excellent way to build brand loyalty and establish relationships.
Email marketing begins with collecting email addresses and then strategically sending emails that will further your business goals. We’ll cover some of these topics below.
What email marketing platform should I choose?
Now that we’ve answered the question of ‘what is email marketing,’ you probably wonder what email marketing platform you should choose. After all, you’ll need a place to store the email addresses you collect and send emails to subscribers. Here are some factors to consider when selecting an email service provider:
- Features: Look for an email service provider that offers the features you need, such as email automation, segmentation, and A/B testing.
- Ease of Use: Choose an email service provider that is easy to use and navigate. This will depend on your knowledge of and experience in email marketing. Fortunately, most providers offer a free trial to test it out.
- Pricing: Email marketing platforms typically offer several pricing plans that vary based on the number of subscribers you have, the number of emails you send per month, and the features included in each plan.
- Support: Look for an email service provider that offers excellent support, including help databases, tutorials, and customer support via phone, email, and chat.
Some popular email service providers include Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and AWeber. You can also check out Forbes’s recent article ranking the best email marketing services of 2023. After researching, test out your top two or three favorites with a free trial before making a selection.
How do I build my email list?
Building an email list is one of the most crucial aspects of email marketing. So how do you build an email list of prospects and customers who want to hear from you? Here are some tips:
- Offer a Lead Magnet: Offer an incentive to entice customers and prospects to sign up for your email list. Lead magnets can take many forms, such as a discount on their next purchase, a free eBook, or a chance to win a prize.
- Create a Landing Page: Create a customized landing page to send people to sign up for your list. You’ll want to combine great copy with a visually appealing design.
- Add a Sign-up Form to Your Website: You can also put sign-up forms on other places on your website, such as the footer of your home page, your contact page, and in blog posts.
- Use Social Media: Promote your email list and/or lead magnets on social media platforms. Make it a regular part of your social media content calendar.
- Attend Events: Collect email addresses at events by setting up a booth and offering a giveaway.
- Ask for Referrals: Ask existing subscribers to refer their friends and family to your email list.
For more detailed info, you’ll want to check out week 2 of my Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing course, which is about building a powerful and effective email list.
What types of email marketing campaigns are there?
Now that you know how to start building your email list, it’s time to consider the type of email marketing campaigns you may use. As it turns out, small business owners can use various kinds of email marketing campaigns to communicate with their subscribers and drive engagement. Here are some of the most common types:
- Welcome Series: A welcome series is a sequence of emails sent to new subscribers to introduce them to your business and build a relationship. Welcome emails can include a thank-you message, an introduction to your brand, and an offer or incentive to encourage subscribers to purchase.
- Promotional Campaigns: Promotional campaigns are designed to drive sales and revenue for your business. They can include seasonal promotions, flash sales, or limited-time offers to encourage subscribers to take advantage of the deal.
- Newsletter: Newsletters are regular emails sent to your subscribers weekly or monthly. They can include company news, industry insights, product updates, and other valuable information that keeps subscribers engaged and informed.
- Abandoned Cart Emails: Abandoned cart emails are sent to subscribers who add items to their cart but leave the website before purchasing. These emails can remind subscribers about their abandoned cart and encourage them to complete the purchase.
- Re-engagement Campaigns: Re-engagement campaigns are designed to win back subscribers who haven’t engaged with your emails in a while. These emails can include a special offer, a survey to gather feedback, or a request to update their email preferences.
- Milestone Campaigns: Milestone campaigns are sent to celebrate significant milestones, such as a subscriber’s birthday or the anniversary of their first purchase. These emails can include a special offer or personalized message to make subscribers feel valued and appreciated.
As you get going with email marketing, you will likely run several campaigns simultaneously. Using automation, you can set various campaigns up beforehand, and they will run automatically in the background when a triggering event occurs. For example, when a prospect abandons their cart, the Abandoned Cart campaign will trigger and the email will be sent automatically.
How do I make my email marketing more effective?
After you’ve selected your campaign, it’s time to write emails and send them out. While you’ll learn what works best for your small business through trial and error, here are some of my favorite tips.
- Craft Compelling Subject Lines: Your subject line is the first thing subscribers see in their inbox. Make sure it is compelling enough to encourage them to open your email.
- Personalize Your Emails: Personalization is crucial in email marketing. Use subscribers’ names and other personal information to create personalized emails related to their interests and needs.
- Segment Your Email List: Segmenting your email list allows you to send targeted emails to specific groups of subscribers based on their interests, preferences, and behavior.
- Use Eye-Catching Design: Use a clean, eye-catching design that is easily read and visually appealing. Use branded elements such as your business colors, font, logo, etc., so readers immediately recognize your business.
- Include a Clear Call-to-Action: Make sure your email includes a clear call-to-action that encourages subscribers to take action, such as making a purchase or visiting your website.
- Test and Optimize Your Emails: Test different email elements, such as subject lines, design, and content, to see what works best for your audience. Then use analytics to optimize your emails for better results.
Want to learn more?
From ‘what is email marketing’ to ‘how do I make my email marketing more effective,’ we’ve covered the most common questions I get from small business owners looking to explore email marketing. Let’s be honest – there is a lot to learn! So if you want to dive even deeper with me, I invite you to my online course, The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing.
I created this course to give small business owners practical tools, tips, and proven email marketing techniques that lead to sales. It’s a course I wish I had been able to take when I started running my small business! And I know it will help you grow your list, build your sales funnels, and create an email marketing strategy to grow your unique small business.
I hope to see you in my course soon! And stay tuned because email marketing is my theme for March, so I’ll share other helpful blog posts in the weeks ahead.