Many people believe that email marketing is dead. That it’s been left to the spammers. They fear becoming spammers themselves or that their lack of time and technical skills just doesn’t make it worthwhile.
But here’s the real deal: email marketing is actually still one of the best kept secrets in small business. Emails still cost pennies to send and with the proper techniques you can make email marketing one of the most effective ways of keeping track of your prospects, leads and customers.
There’s really no reason to fear email marketing. There are plenty of Email Service Providers out there that have simplified the entire process for you. Mailchimp for example will help you gather emails, manage lists and campaigns, segment lists for more targeted emails, and it even comes with ready-to-go templates. They will also notify you if you’re pushing the envelope regarding spamming laws.
So how do we get started? What are the secrets to a great email strategy? We can tell you that although the formula isn’t glamorous, by following these 5 fundamentals you’ll be sure to give your business a competitive edge:
1. Be Consistent
Content marketing is about consistency and email most definitely falls into that. For most small businesses, scheduling a simple email digest once per month to each group of subscribers allows them to keep engaging content fresh in the minds of their personas. This is usually just a summary of what’s been happening on the website this month like recent blog posts, major news and a simple call to action. From there you can start building reminders, specific offers or promotions and other engaging messages.
2. Segmenting Email Lists
Since you will always have people interacting with your business at different points of the sales cycle, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to feed the exact same content to leads and paying customers. This is where proper segmentation lets you schedule and send the right targeted emails to the right people. You can segment lists by any number of ways including prospects, leads, customers, referral source, based on an activity they’ve performed, etc. You’ll need to define what parameters will best benefit your business when segmenting email lists.
3. Targeting Messages
The great thing about email marketing – done properly – is that you have the ability to send personalized and targeted content. By segmenting your email lists you can make sure that the right people receive the right content and at the optimal times.
4. Engaging Customers
The end goal for you email marketing shouldn’t be to just have your message sit in an inbox and marked and unread. You want to get some interaction out of those emails. Make sure there are some engaging calls to actions within your message to encourage further action. These could be a reminder to sign up for an event, special downloadable content, or even a purchase based CTA.
5. Analyze and Improve
As you begin gaining subscribers to your email lists and as you begin sending out your first targeted messages, make sure to evaluate the performance in order to continuously develop new and optimal ideas that with keep improving your results.
These 5 secrets to success with email marketing are essentially the fundamentals. They certainly aren’t groundbreaking by any means, but for a small business that is just getting its feet wet with online marketing will find that by implementing these fundamentals into their email strategy, you’ll begin to see the benefits of email marketing as you capitalize on lead generation, sales and client retention.