Email marketing is a field that all levels and sectors of business can benefit from, but of course the approaches, strategies, and methods vary at least slightly from one industry to another. Small businesses often find themselves ensnared in a mess when they first make the attempt to go about email marketing efforts on their own; they want the rewards that come with the channel, but there is a lot to know about the process, about strategies, and more--and small business owners often can’t take the time to go through an intensive email marketing course. At Site Impact, we love to help people learn more about the intriguing field; we’re passionate about the industry, and the more informed brands are, the better choices they can make. So today we’re going to look at some basics of email marketing for small business.
For newcomers to email marketing, the best practices start well before the first email is ever designed or deployed. There are important conventions throughout the industry, but for small businesses, making sure to adhere to those practices is even more important: while major corporations can occasionally flub things like signups or segmentation and still have plenty of profit coming in, the budget for email marketing represents a much bigger investment for a small business, and throwing that money away--through making a faux pas--can really hurt. So to begin, there are a few things to arm yourself with: a solid objective for your first campaign, an easy method for subscribing and unsubscribing, and an initial incentive. Set your first campaign objective in terms of creating a journey for your customer to go on; this can be as simple as getting a conversion on a particular item. When it comes to subscribing and unsubscribing, this is a vital area in which you want to adhere to industry standards: early missteps, making it difficult for people to subscribe--or to cease getting your emails--can not only make your first campaign lose money rather than earn it, but can have long-term impacts on your digital reputation, making future campaigns an uphill battle. Your signup form on your site should be as easy as possible, and you should include a very, very simple unsubscribe function in every email--ideally, making it so that a person can stop receiving emails with no more than three to five clicks.
Once you have that framework in place, you can start working on the emails themselves. For small business, you can take some risks that larger companies just can’t; you can be more personal (while keeping in mind that your list members aren’t your penpals), and you can reach out with more inventive ideas. In fact, as a small business, cultivating a personal touch with your client base is the best strategy you have available to you: while huge brands can be impersonal, as a small business, connecting with your customers is a vital part of what builds up consumer confidence. Make sure your emails are consistent; this can be accomplished by making an editorial calendar, and setting reminders to make sure that emails are deployed to your lists at the rate you think is going to get the best benefit (weekly, monthly, etc). Missing those deadlines can mean that you lose your audience--which means you have to put more effort down the line to regain them.
Of course, email marketing is a big industry, and for small businesses that can seem intimidating; it can be a very smart move indeed to partner with an agency that knows the ins and outs of email right from the beginning, to learn from the experts without having to risk the trial-and-error costs to your business. Contact Site Impact today to find out how we can make email marketing easy.