Your small business may be thinking about creating an email marketing campaign but just not 100 percent positive. Whether your business goal is promote a product or service, educate the public or clients or perhaps a combination of both, e-marketing can help you achieve all of these.
Here are just a few reasons how E-marketing can help your small business
- Your customers can receive messages wherever they are . . .home, office or vacation.
- You can use E-newsletters to create a regular link between brand and customer.
- Many customers spend a majority of their time at a computer where the message is delivered.
- If you create an E-newsletter, it can supplement other marketing channels and add value to current campaigns.
- You can customize e-mail marketing. For instance, customized offers and messaging lets your prospects and customers feel special.
- Regular communications keeps your customers and prospects interested and loyal.
- E-newsletters enable your customers to get educational information – making your company a teacher and a valuable source or unsolicited information.
E-marketing is not going away. Small business can use this strategy, which is low-cost, to maximize their efforts to promote their business.
For small businesses, email marketing may be a marketing strategy you use. But, did you know that there are “golden rules” to follow. In fact, for a small business, forgetting any of these rules can lead to an obvious decrease in the effectiveness of your social media marketing campaign, which is something you don’t want to happen.
Like any strategy that relies on writing, the top rule is pretty basic: Keep your email marketing messages interesting to your readers. It definitely isn’t your intention or in your overall plan to send out boring emails, but it happens. Many small businesses that use email marketing get “stuck in a rut.” They write information that may seem interesting to them but is (yawn) boring to their readers who could be potential clients. Just because you think something is exciting, doesn’t mean that everyone else will agree.
So, the question is, how do you know if your email marketing messages are appealing? Here are a few ways.
- Ask them. Pretty simple strategy. You can survey readers and ask them the questions you are wondering about: what they want and need. For best results, keep the number of questions low and to the point. Your readers are busy and do not have the time to answer a long list of questions. Also, kill two birds with one stone: the survey results can be used in product and service development.
- Have a “special” content area. The surveys will give you a good idea of what your readers are interested in. Why not provide it to them in a special content area. When email list members know that in addition to your social media marketing you provide information that is usable in their life, your open rates will soar. Your company also becomes a dependable and reliable source for information that matters to them.
- Answer your readers' questions in print: Submit some questions on your email campaigns. Think about Dear Abby and other columns that became a success simply by answering questions that readers can relate to. By encouraging your readers to submit questions, you also get more information about what your readers want and need.
- Feature a customer or client in a story. Highlight a client that has used your service or bought your product. Do a short story about them. Your client will appreciate the extra attention (and publicity), and this will make your business credible. Especially if you are small business, this simple strategy fosters a sense of community involvement and interaction.
- Have your clients interact with your small business: How? When you send out an email campaign, ask yourself if it prompt your reader to take action. If there is nothing, then you may want to rethink your angle or story. If after they read your write up, they want to buy, exercise, work, eat, create, design, shop – something – then you have succeeded in your efforts.
All great strategies have guidelines to follow. Email marketing can be a great tool for a small business, but it also can backfire and be a waste of time and money if not conducted properly.
In the old days, direct marketers could tell you which day of the week was the best day to send a direct mail piece out on. Then there was e-mail marketing. Studies show that you should send your e-mail marketing message out on Thursday because you'll get more opens and click-throughs on that day. But what about blogging?
Blogging is a little different. Unlike e-mail or direct mail marketing, with a blog you can achieve high search engine rankings. The more you do it the better your chances of seeing your content rank in the top 3 positions on Google and Bing.
With that in mind, then, every day of the week is the best day to blog. In fact, you could say it's better to blog three or four times a day every day of the week. After all, not only is quality important, but quantity can get you there as well. Ideally, you'll focus your content on quality and quantity. But let's face reality. You do have a budget.
So when should you blog? How often and when? You should blog as often as you are able to and as often as your budget will allow. When you blog, focus on your efforts on delivering high quality content that talks to your target market in terms they can understand. Otherwise, what's the point?
If you thought direct mail advertising
was dead, think again. A survey
by Constant Contact and HubSpot reveals that 47% of businesses still promote events through direct mail. The same survey reveals that 76% of businesses promote events through e-mail and 40% do so through social media.
These numbers are not really surprising, but they are telling. E-mail marketing has become a staple of online promotions. Companies not currently using e-mail marketing for event promotion, or any kind of promotion, are missing great opportunities.
Social media is still a little bit complex. While Facebook is the most trafficked website online, not everyone is using it - particularly in Adams County, Pa.
I say use the media that are better suited toward your audience. If you have a product or service that appeals to a younger audience - say, the under-30 crowd - even in Adams County, then you might try promoting it through social media. E-mail promotions will work on any audience. Older people, those above the 50-year-old mark, will probably respond better to direct mailings.
Of course, the most savvy marketers will use all the channels at their disposal. The remember the Rule of 7. Your prospects will have to see your offer 7 times before they respond. If they see it in all available channels, including e-mail, direct mail
, and social media, then you'll be a thousand times more effective.
Here in Adams County, there are still small business owners who think that Internet marketing
doesn't apply to them. But there are a growing number of small business owners who are taking an interest in online marketing. And they're starting to ask questions.Which is more important - blogs, e-mail marketing, or social media?
That's a good question, but the answer isn't so simple. All three have their places and to what degree you engage through each channel depends on your own marketing goals, the type of business you own, and where your audience is. In many cases, a good mix of all three is the best approach.
E-mail marketing is a mainstay of online marketing. It was an early channel and is still strong. I highly recommend an e-mail strategy for most businesses - especially retail businesses.
Blogs are good marketing tools
for a number of reasons. First, the search engine optimization benefits are incredible. Secondly, there are the huge branding opportunities available for serious business bloggers. Then there are the social benefits involved in having a blog that is highly trafficked and elicits a lot of direct reader feedback.
Finally, social media is good for building relationships and driving traffic back to your own Web properties.
Which of these tools is right for you? Maybe we should talk about it. Give me a call and I'll consult with you on a strategy that makes sense for your business.
What's the most effective kind of marketing today? You can bet it's not the Yellow Pages
. How about billboards? Newspaper ads? Television? Radio? The answer No, nope, nada, and nil.
The most effective marketing for a small business today is e-mail marketing. And there are several reasons why e-mail marketing takes the prize.
- First, e-mail is inexpensive. Twenty years ago, effective marketers swore by direct mail. Now, the best direct mail marketers are using e-mail. It's less expensive than snail mail and more effective. You can send out an e-mail blast to 10,000 recipients for about the same price that you can send one out to 1,000 recipients.
- You have permission. Unlike snail mail, you need some kind of permission to send out e-mail communications to people. Once you get permission, they expect to receive e-mail from you.
- Higher response rates. Some e-mail marketers report a 50% response rate, or more. That's not to say that they sell to 50% of the people who receive their e-mails. What it means is they can sell to 50% of the people who respond to a link within their e-mails. If you send out 1,000 e-mails, get a 10% click-through rate, and sell to 50 people, would you do it?
- Everyone has an e-mail address. Almost. More than 90% of the people today have e-mail. In 10 years, that number will be almost 100%.
E-mail marketing is the most cost-effective marketing on the planet. Find out why you should have an e-mail newsletter