Email marketing is vital to small businesses for several reasons. Firstly, it allows direct communication with customers, enabling personalized and targeted messaging. This helps build relationships, increase brand loyalty, and drive customer engagement. Secondly, email marketing is cost-effective compared to traditional marketing methods, making it accessible for small businesses with limited budgets. Additionally, it provides measurable results, allowing businesses to track open rates, click-through rates, and conversions, enabling them to refine their strategies. Lastly, email marketing offers a high return on investment (ROI), generating revenue by promoting products, services, and special offers. Overall, email marketing is a powerful tool for small businesses to reach and connect with their audience effectively.
Here is a quick checklist for how to start and maintain your small business email marketing program.
- Build an email list: Start by collecting email addresses from your customers, website visitors, and social media followers. You can offer incentives like discounts or exclusive content to encourage people to sign up.
- Choose an email marketing platform: Select a reliable email marketing platform that suits your needs. Popular options include Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and ConvertKit. I strongly suggest using a program that attaches to the back of your own website, though, so that you don’t end up sharing your email list with your competitors (which is how the above-referenced email platforms can afford to offer “free” levels of service.)
- Create engaging content: Craft compelling and relevant content for your emails. Provide value to your subscribers by sharing useful information, promotions, updates, or exclusive offers.
- Design visually appealing emails: Use eye-catching templates and include images, videos, or graphics to make your emails visually appealing. Ensure that your emails are mobile-friendly and easy to read.
- Personalize your emails: Address your subscribers by their names and segment your email list based on their interests or preferences. This allows you to send targeted and personalized content, increasing engagement and conversions. Your meat-eating restaurant patrons don’t want to see tofu.
- Craft compelling subject lines: Write attention-grabbing subject lines that entice recipients to open your emails. Keep them concise, clear, and compelling… but don’t make them click-baity. “You’ll never believe what we’re doing this week!”. That ends up evoking a “You’re right. I won’t.”, and your email will get trashed.
- Test and optimize: Experiment with different email formats, subject lines, and content to see what resonates best with your audience. Analyze open rates, click-through rates, and conversions to optimize your email marketing strategy. This stuff is SUPER easy to view and understand. And you will also know what is working and not working, just based on who walks in your front door to buy stuff.
- Comply with regulations: Familiarize yourself with email marketing regulations, such as the CAN-SPAM Act in the United States. Ensure that you include an unsubscribe link in your emails and honor unsubscribe requests promptly.Remember, email marketing is most effective when you provide value to your subscribers and build a relationship of trust. They get on your list because they WANT to hear from you. You aren’t offending anyone by sending at least one email a week, so long as it includes meaningful, useful content.