Turn Your Small Business Into A Big Business With Email Marketing

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Hey You There, Small Business! Are You Email Marketing?

Email marketing is without a doubt, the best way to stay in touch with old customers and to connect with new ones. Whether you are aiming at your core customers, new ones or both, email marketing is unquestionably the best route of marketing for all forms of business. For small businesses, even those that are just starting out, it may be beneficial to keep in mind that it is much more expensive to find new customers than it is to keep old ones. Starting a new publicity campaign, be it virtually or physically, can be stressful, time consuming and costly. Although this may be an essential part of a companies start up, the benefits of email marketing should not be overlooked in terms of long term investment. According to the Direct Marketing Association for every $1 that is spent on email advertising, at least $40 is gained in ROI. Tempting isn’t it?

It is claimed that 66% of internet users and shoppers have purchased a product as a direct result of an email. This is an exciting and intriguing statistic and I’m sure many of you are wanting to jump on the ‘band wagon’, but are being held back by the thought of where and how to begin. For a small business, the only option here is to use an email service provider.

An email service provider will help you in a number of ways, they will help you:

  • Keep track of the type of content you should be using and creating and then divide your audience into relevant groups get into your audiences inbox safely (in compliance with all the applicable laws and regulations)
  • Outline the type of content your customers are interested in and want to see (this content can then be categorised and used at a later date throughout all your other marketing techniques)

Another thing that may be playing on your mind is how you are going to build up your mailing list. You may find the thought of building up a mailing list daunting and impossible. But, everything is possible when you know how!

How Do You Convince People To Sign Up For Your Emails?

The first hurdle in creating your mail list is figuring out the best way in which to collect customer details and addresses. We all know the old saying: ‘you don’t get something for nothing’. People will only willingly offer you their details when you have something they want. This may be in the form of a coupon or information, dependent on the type of service you offer. If you are responding to a transactional process that has just taken place, the only option may be to send a promotional offer or coupon.

But don’t be too hasty, do your homework first. In co-operation with your service provider, check out the buying patterns and interests of your customers. You must send them something, but it must also be relevant. Do you want to grab the opportunity and create a life long partnership? If so, then you must cater for all.

When sending out a promotion, think about it first. Lets say, a student just purchased a sale item from your virtual store. Their recent birthday left them with a few spare pounds in their pocket. If you send them a coupon that has to be used within the next 7 days, do you think they will use it? On the other hand, we have the stressed out business woman who can’t stop wearing holes in her high heels. She needs a new pair of stilettos every 2 weeks. After purchasing three full priced shoes for the first time from your site, she receives a promotional offer that must be used within the next two days, plus a link to your blog on what best to wear with her new ‘beauties’. What do you think, will she click through? Don’t generalise… be as subjective as possible!

It’s Not About The Size, It’s What You Do With It That Counts!

Now, if you’re a small business you probably have a small mailing list, but don’t fear, don’t let this put you off. It’s not about how big your list is, it’s about the quality of your audience and your content. What you are really looking for here, are people you can connect with and who will share your content through other forms of media such as social media sites. If you can relate to your customers and relate them to your product or service, you will stand a much better chance of increasing your ROI and the success of your campaign! What’s the point in sending 10,000 emails when only 500 will be opened and then, only 10 actually click through to your site?

Oldies But Goldies

Are you a small business with a small but strong customer base? It is imperative here that you begin with these loyal and dependable followers, don’t get too carried away and forget where you came from. If you have collected a list from old customers, be it through a transactional process or otherwise and those customers are still connected to you at this precise moment, by all means start there. If on the other hand, these customers have not heard from you or been in contact with you over the past 18 months, forget it. Most people after 18 months will have forgotten why, when and how you got their details.

The Big No, No!

Do not under any circumstances resort to purchasing lists. Your email service provider (if it’s a good one!) will definitely advise you against such action. You should be aware from the start that this will only lead to a long path of torment. You will end up tormenting poor, unsuspected users who have no idea who and what you are. It is also highly likely that you will have nothing of interest to offer them. As I mentioned before, quality over quantity, this is a golden rule. Buying lists is a waste of time and money, it is much more advantageous to slowly build up a healthy, interactive and organic list over time.

So, if your a small business wanting to take that step into email marketing, go ahead! There is nothing to lose if you take your time and pay enough attention. Just remember, your campaign will only be successful when you start filling inboxes… don’t get spammed!

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