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Small Business Marketing Tips & Advice

Email Marketing for Small Businesses

E-mail marketing is a fantastic tool to help gain new clientele as well as providing new services and products for existing customers that you’ve already obtained. When in the process of growing your small business, one must utilize all opportunities that are available for this purpose.

E-mail marketing is a solid, steady technique that is very effective and extremely cost efficient. It can help build and enhance existing relationships, while creating customer loyalty and repeat business.

How to build your email list:

First, the most popular form of email marketing as of right now is an email newsletter, which is also known as permission-based e-mail marketing. This type of marketing includes special e-mail promotions, individual blasts, advertising, follow ups, and e-mail courses. You also have the opportunity to hire e-mail marketing company to do all the hard work for you e.g. Mailchimp.

  • Create an e-mail sign-up box on your web site that gives away free reports or “how-to” articles, this is a great incentive for potential clients to subscribe to your mailing list.
  • Permission-based e-mail marketing not only builds trust and earns respect from potential customers it also helps you to not break the law. Gaining and using potential customer e-mails without their permission (unsolicited emailing) is against the law and there’s a good chance that you’d just end up in their spam folder.
  • Collect email addresses of people that drop-off at your cart page after entering their email address. You can then entice them by sending them a follow up email offering a discount to complete their sale
  • Every e-mail address submission you receive becomes an opt-in subscriber. You can send emails that will offer information, free reports, and advice. Potential customers will be more likely to purchase your products and services when they feel you are recommending opportunities verses trying to just sell them.

Why E-mail Marketing is so valuable for your small business:

  • Email marketing allows you to keep track of sales and to recognize what products and services your clients are gravitating to that are fitting their specific needs.
  • E-mail marketing provides fast, same day delivery for an e-mail message verses through traditional, snail mail. (1-3 days)
  • E-mail marketing can help increase brand recognition by getting your brand name and logo in front of a variety of diverse audiences. Customers being consistently exposed to your brand will create optimal brand recognition for the future.
  • Email marketing allows you to send prime information to a wide range audience of potential and existing customers at a much lower cost rate than direct mail or an advertisement in printed newsletters.
  • E-mail marketing can build “Green” credibility with clientele due to it being both digital and paper-free.
  • E-mail marketing can help you create an additional source of income once you’ve built a large enough e-mail list by “renting” your list to 3rdparty marketing firms.

As a small business your main objective is to have the opportunity to build and grow with existing and potential clientele. Using e-mail marketing can be an excellent game changer to create and execute new clientele quotas. 

Other types of email marketing

There are other types of email marketing beyond the newsletter that can be beneficial to a small business.

  • Promotional campaigns can be used to inform customers of upcoming events such as sales or special events. They can be sent just a few days ahead of an event or outset of a sale.
  • Invitation emails inform and invite clients to events. They are generally sent a few weeks before a scheduled event.
  • Catalogue emails highlight a specific product or service. There should be only one focus of a catalogue email.
  • Lead-nurturing emails function to keep a brand in the mind of the consumer. They are sent to prospective customers in hopes of gaining their business. When done well, these emails can be extremely beneficial for small businesses.
  • Survey emails are meant for businesses to learn more about their clientele. They can be used to help tailor events, sales, and products to client need.
  • Transactional emails are sent after a customer transaction. They can be used to confirm the transaction and to thank a customer for the business.

Positive results from email marketing campaigns

Small businesses that actively utilize email marketing can expect to see many positive results.

  • Increases in sales conversions can occur with email marketing campaigns. Effective sales depend a lot on repetition. According to emarketingjournal.com, an average shopper generally visits a site nine time before they make a final decision about making a purchase. An active email campaign provides the repetition that is needed for a potential customer to continue visiting the site and ultimately making a purchase.
  • Generating repeat sales is difficult and time-consuming. However they are crucial to the sustenance of a business, especially a small business. Keeping in contact with customers via email is a simple yet effective way for a small business to be continually in front of a customer. Then, the next time that customer needs to make a purchase, the choice will be easy!
  • Up-selling and cross-selling products is another great benefit of email marketing. It is fairly easy for a small business owner to use email marketing strategies to prompt additional sales that stem from an initial sale. Over time, the simple technique can greatly increase sales and the overall bottom line for the business.
  • Feedback provides businesses with invaluable information. By evaluating feedback that comes from an email campaign, small businesses can learn who to target and how to do it. They can also determine things they are doing well and things they need to alter.
  • Email campaigns can also drive web users to make purchases offline. Research has shown that once a potential customer has received an email from a business, they have gone to the physical location and made a purchase. There are several reasons for this. Sometimes a customer doesn’t want to pay for shipping or doesn’t have the time required to wait for a product to be shipped. Sometimes the product might require a demonstration before purchase, or sometimes a customer just wants to physically see the product before it is purchased. Whatever the reason, the emails were the catalyst for the customer entering the store and leaving having spent money.

Email marketing services that work for small businesses

Despite the popularity of social media and mobile marketing, studies continually show that email marketing still has merit and value to small businesses.  Businessnewsdaily.com reports that it is still the best way to reach out to customers and actually make the business grow. But, businesses need to know how to use mail marketing smartly and effectively. There are several services that have been tried and true throughout time, so small businesses who are looking for someplace to start will likely have good luck and success with them.

  • Vertical response is an email marketing service that is great for small businesses because it generally offers a “pay-as-you-go” option. So, small businesses only have to pay for what they need when they need it. So, if a small business only send occasional emails, they don’t get socked with a big bill at the end of the month like they might with email subscription services.
  • CakeMail is a web-based email app that is a one-stop-shop for small businesses. The app allows users to create, send, and track emails. You can also choose from ready-made templates or design your own to suit your specific needs. It’s also user-friendly and available for both iPhone and Android users. 
  • Mad Mimi is a service that makes it easy for small business to send emails that will get noticed by both current and potential customers. Businesses can create customized and detailed emails that are design-centric but don’t require design knowledge. There is a nominal fee of $10.00 per month for unlimited emails.
  • Aweber is a service that focuses mostly on newsletters. It offers a plethora of HTML templates.
  • MailChimp offers lots of options for creating an email campaign. It offers built-in image editing and a drag-and-drop email creator to make making emails even simpler and more streamlined. They also offer some more advanced tools for more highly-targeted email campaigns.
  • Benchmark is an all-in-one email marketing solution for small businesses. It allows you to add logos, photos and videos to your emails so it’s great for businesses who want to increase their brand recognition.
  • Constant contact is a service that was created especially for small businesses. It features customizable templates and social media promotions.
  • ActiveCampaign is a service that allows small businesses to automate their email campaign. It’s customizable and users are able to embed specific product information into emails.
  • GetResponse is a great service because it integrates email marketing with other business tools. It allows users to create response email newsletters that allows businesses to save time and energy.
  • StreamSend combines email marketing and social media, it even includes a tool bar to get the user to social media pages, making it simple to share emails via tweeting or sharing.