If you own a business and want to retain customers, you need to employ effective small business email marketing. Consumers want to be empowered to choose how they will interact with businesses that interest them and that they find to be worthwhile. Email marketing can be used to gain and retain loyalty amongst your customers.
It’s important to start an email marketing campaign ethically and responsibly, however. Instead of paying for consumer information (such as names and emails), your business needs to entice customers to sign up for your newsletter. You need coax them to sign up while they are at the checkout line or on your website through a well-crafted proposition for what they will receive: valuable rewards on a consistent basis.
But what counts as valuable rewards? How often should you engage in your small business email marketing efforts? And how do you effectively shape your messages so that they successfully reach your subscribers?
Small Business Email Marketing Tip #1: Provide Valuable Rewards
People who subcribe to your email newsletter expect to be rewarded for doing so. Rewards can take a number of different forms: coupons, discounts, free downloads, etc. You can offer the same rewards to subscribers that you offer through avenues outside of email marketing (such as mail advertisements, radio advertisements and the like). But you should also offer rewards that are exclusive to subscribers (such as special offers, free items, or exclusive content) to encourage their participation, and to foster their long term engagement with your business.
Small Business Email Marketing Tip #2: Be Reliable
To inspire subscriber loyalty, your business must show you are reliable. In your promotion of your newsletter, you need to foreshadow the type of content you will provide to subscribers and how often (daily, weekly, or monthly) they will receive that content from your business. Then you need todeliver what you promised. To achieve this, you need to generate original content for your email marketing campaign and need to make rewarding your customers a priority.
Most of your communication through your email marketing campaign will be one-to-many (i.e., from your business to your subscribers). However, your subscribers will also want the option to communicate with your business (about accessing rewards, clarification about content on your emails, etc.). Even if you have an auto-response that immediately gives them confirmation that you received their message, you want to make sure you respond to subscribers within 24 hours. Through every communication, show your subscribers that your business cares about their needs.
Small Business Email Marketing Tip #3: Make Your Messages Easty to Digest
Even though you have successfully converted potential customers and customers into subscribers, don’t make the mistake of assuming that you no longer have to compete for their attention. Assume that all of your subscribers have crowded inboxes and full, busy lives. Assume that they are scanning email subjects and selecting ones that catch their attention. Assume that they are making quick judgements about whether or not to read content, click on links and buttons, or move the email to their trash.
Use words sparingly. Use few images or graphics. Minimize the amount of effort that subscribers need to spend scrolling or reading. Provide links to permanent pages on your website with more detailed information. And make it easy on yourself: use email marketing services (such as MailChimp) that provide templates that look good and are easy to read.
You also don’t want to assume that your email newsletter will look the same on all devices. Your subscribers will be using different devices to access your content (iPhones, Android smartphones, PCs, tablets, etc.), differnt email providers, and different browsers. Before sending your message, preview it in a few different devices, email providers, and browsers. Finally, be sure to thank subscribers for their feedback if anyone contacts you with any issues, such as content they aren’t able to access, and incorporate that feedback into the design of your future email communications with them.