While social media and smartphone apps may grab the attention of business owners wishing to market their businesses, email marketing still holds the number one spot in terms of ROI. 80% of retail professionals indicate that email marketing is their greatest driver of customer retention, while social and mobile apps lag behind. If you are wondering where to spend your marketing dollars, there are few options that are more cost-effective than email marketing.
Response rates are easily tracked once you’ve used an email marketing tool to actually reach inboxes. When customers sign-up for your emails, they expect to hear from you. What’s more, you are reaching out to customers in their inboxes, which is where they spend lots of time each day. Thus, it’s hard to be missed, but you must provide high value to keep their interest.
Email is a great way to share special deals, customize messages, and collect further metrics that will build better experiences for customers and more loyalty for your business. Below we’ve gathered some advice for you to use and make the most of your email marketing.
Personalize Your Emails
Building a strong customer list to send your marketing message to a wide audience is the first step of any email marketing campaign. Fortunately, there are a number of ways in which you can do this. This includes high tech mobile app options to low-tech sign-up cards reminding customers to complete their details to receive special offers periodically.
The best lists are the ones that give you enough data to personalize emails for each customer. Birthdays, special anniversaries, and favorite hobbies will give you multiple options to personalize your messages. It also gives you greater opportunity to invite them to events or send coupons you know they will be interested in.
An initial welcome email asking customers what they want from your email contact is another great way to add information to your email lists. Not everyone will be interested in the same deals. Segment your list to make sure you are offering customers the right perks at the right time. Your goal is to make them feel as though they have a special relationship with your business. These personalized deals should be exclusive to customers on your email list and not distributed on Facebook or other social channels.
Keep Your Message Clear
Emailing customers without a clear goal in mind is a waste of time for both parties. It can also result in customers unsubscribing from your list. Whether it is to invite customers to a special event, offer a VIP sale or fundraise for a charity, a personalized greeting is best. Goal-specific emails will garner you the best results.
Establishments that are part of a franchise should consider using a mix of both franchise-wide and local deals sent via email from headquarters accounts and local business accounts. Each type should work to attract customers to your business and support the customer journey from occasional shopper to regular customer.
Automate Where Possible
As a business owner you may struggle to find the time to invest in email marketing. Automated systems can ease the load and help you to create effective marketing emails with minimal effort or marketing knowledge.
If you are part of a franchise, consider requesting email templates to ensure brand adherence is maintained and to make creating your marketing emails easier.
Segmented email lists based on common factors such as age or leisure interests can also help you to create a variety of emails for specific groups quickly. Additionally, it helps you reach out effectively without having to laboriously email people individually or copy and paste content numerous times.
Marketing via social media and using apps that increase customer engagement still have their place in a robust marketing strategy for small businesses. However, an email campaign that supports these methods will help you build customer loyalty, further engage with your audience, and provide a higher return on your investment than any other marketing method out there.
By following the steps above, paying attention to your customers, and sending relevant, personalized emails, you will be able to get more bang for your buck. Doing so will also elevate your business to new heights.
About the Author
Rae Steinbach is a graduate of Tufts University. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content on email marketing.