Email marketing for a small business and why it is necessary. All businesses should email every day without exception and we tell you how.
Why email customers anyway?
It has long been true that your customers thrive on touch, and without constant contact they will drift away. In fact you should use at least 7 different types of touch to maintain your customer base. Email can be some of them, throw in social media and a few physical forms and you are on the way.
Do you have a customer list?
While spamming is not allowed list gathering is legal.
Every business will have some form of a customer list however fragmented it may be. It can be stored in a simple excel spread sheet or a proper CRM format but certainly needs to be recorded somewhere.
Details can be collected from all sorts of sources and scrambled together to be used in many ways.
You must understand that this list represents a saleable asset that can increase the value of your business two fold, it is that powerful.
Used properly everyone on the list may return you $5 in value every month of the year and that's a lot of money.
My general advise is not to buy commercial lists offered for money, they are generally very low yield and will adversely affect your efforts in the long term.
Online business can gather lists by offering free products or from those seeking further communications.
At one time I employed some overseas telemarketers to ring and gain email addresses. They would ask along the lines of “Would you be interested in a support office service” “Great give me your email and name and I shall send you a bit of information”
They would then email the introduction and attach a product description.
Next they go into an autoresponder for a sales series that we will send daily for two weeks.
Finally we ring them and force the opportunity or hard close them. It was very successful.
Everyone that contacts me by email is put on my list and dealt with in some way.
What types of email are there?
You will be surprised at the reach of email and the overall effectiveness. I will list a few for you and go through each one further down.
|Basic Introduction||The start of any campaign|
|Thank you||The all important courtesy|
|Invitation||To all sorts of activities|
|Selling email||Using an autoresponder|
|New product||Launch email|
|Transaction email||Detailing the sale|
|Newsletter||A vey important item|
|Internal Update||Staffing changes etc|
|Co-Marketing||Joining with others|
|Special deals for customer||20% price drop|
|Providing a link to further reading||Maybe to an E.book or similar|
Does email marketing still work?
Everyday you will receive a bundle of emails and most you wont open because they don't apply to you at this moment. One of the many skills is getting people to read them and this is achieved in two very important ways. Without this you stand very little chance of being read or worse simply trashed, gone for ever.
Let's look at some stats to help strengthen your resolve.
- There are 3.9 billion daily emails
- 5.6 billion email accounts. (Statista)
- 46% of emails go to a mobile (HubSpot)
- 35 % of businesses send 3-5 emails a week
- Newsletters for B2B are proffered by 87% of marketers
The growth of email marketing is consistent and increasing every year so if you are not doing it we may presume that perhaps you are missing out on business.
How do you get your emails read?
There are two important issues that you must achieve to get the readers near your content.
Yes content is very important but if you get dissed before that it is a waste of time, and what's more it is mostly a customer gone for ever.
First of all you must be known. Sending random mail is not only illegal but it is first in the junk box every time. Think about your own activities and how you trash random mail that does not interest you at all.
Bought lists generally have a 1% open rate and a much lower click rate so it is a waste of your time and burning potential customers in the process.
Being known does not guarantee an opening but it does provide a window of opportunity. In fact you might only get opened when the second issue is covered. That is one reason for the introduction email, this is not a selling tool but a handshake act of friendship. Secondly is the subject line, what the email is about. I may know you and like you but what you have does not interest me at this time unless the subject line is scintillating.
You will understand that only a percentage of people will open any email and that will depend on what it contains and the interest to the reader.
A great example
Now I know Brian but this was the first mail in many months. He was the owner of Warrior+ and left to go into politics and now back on a new venture.
So if anyone knows the rules Brian certainly does, Yes I opened the email because I trust him and his new venture was really of interest, but did I buy?
Remember that not everyone will read your emails, they have a life that may not coincide with yours. We are working on percentages that can be worked to find improvement,
Moving on to content
Your content is important whether it be any type of email, sales, newsletter, offer etc.
However the content must match the desire of the reader and generally answer some questions.
It can be short content or long however you must keep the readers attention and get them to commit to an action.
I like to use short form and have a link to a Post on my website where there is more information.
I have a friend in the tyre business that does long form about all boy things, Cars, driving, tyre types, off road tips all the stuff for rev heads. It works well for him.
The successful business outlets are the ones that send newsletters, do they do it to become successful or because they are, a question I can't answer however they all believe in touch.
Again remember to include full contact details with a reason to sign your way.
The closing action
There is a golden rule in marketing that you are always closing however the closing changes with the action you want them to take.
To start with personalise the email as much as possible. Use names to get a far greater open rate. Next remember that you are writing to a mobile phone screen so test your mail to make sure it can be read. Don't put links close together they will merge on the screen and look really bad.
First of all give them contact details so if they want to leap they can, even in an introduction letter. Secondly feed them information so they come to a decision on their own. Next offer an incentive to move the process, and finally if they have no interest in you or your product delete them from the list.
Email marketing for a small business and choosing a supplier.
Email marketing for a small business and sending emails
How do you send emails?
Of course there are many ways to do this depending on the volume. A single email is straight from your day file however you must then record a follow up.
Thank you emails are powerful and should be sent every time a new potential customer contacts you.
Auto responder emails are in a series that build to a buying cresendo.
Newsletters are for everyone on the list and should be every two weeks or monthly at the least.
I have tried all the email carriers and have settled on Constant Contact as my preferred supplier.
They are not the cheapest however everything is easy and they have never let me down. If your emails work it is about performance not a small monthly cost as you build your list.
This is probably the cheapest and easies form of marketing that almost guarantees a return.
Maintaining customer contact over the long haul is a business must and emails allow you to do this.
It is not all hard work, once an email autoresponder is set up it just keeps working. You just put names in at the top and pull sales out at the bottom. When that is done you move them on to a separate list for either a new product or a newsletter to retain the loop.
Writing a newsletter is also easy with a nice template that maintains your brand in a consistent manner so it is easily recognized.
You can go hard or slow however you must be consistent and maintain a regular presence.
Email marketing for a small business by Peter Hanley
If you read emails then someone else must.