Email marketing is a very powerful tool, but if you don’t use it properly you might as well not have it in your toolbox at all. The feedback I get from many small business owners is that email marketing is intimidating. Will it take too long? Will anyone read it? What should I say in the email? Is it even worth my time?
The answer is a resounding YES.
A recent study concluded that Email marketing is nearly 40% more likely to help you acquire new customers than Facebook and Twitter. Combined with the low cost of most email marketing platforms (some are even FREE), it’s no surprise that 60% of marketers say that email marketing produces a return on investment for their organization.
So, are you doing everything you can to maximize the potential of your email marketing?
Here are a few tips you should keep in mind (or print and tape above your computer screen!):
1. Take advantage of every opportunity to build your list.
Don’t just sit back and wait for people to come find you and subscribe, go out and get them. Set up your website and your business processes to help capture email addresses and gain new subscribers. This could be as simple as requiring customers to register on your website in order to make a purchase. How about creating a contest or a giveaway that requires an email address to enter? The most popular method is to offer a special discount or offer to your subscribers.
If you participate in trade shows or conferences, you should ALWAYS capture email addresses from prospects. Try a giveaway that requires entrants to drop their business card in a fish bowl for a drawing! People love to hand out business cards…that’s why they have them!
2. Offer value or education to your subscribers.
Instead of constantly sending advertisements to your list, try sending some knowledge! If you’re a plumber, send tips on preventing pipes from freezing in cold weather. If you’re restaurateur, send a recipe for one of your famous dishes. Educate and give value to your subscribers to build a relationship with them on a personal level.
3. Take advantage of transactional emails!
We all know about bulk emails. That’s typically how we communicate and advertise to subscribers…but there’s another method that we often overlook. Transactional emails like shipping confirmations, welcome emails, and other account related emails are great ways to reach out to people on a more individual level. You could use these emails to make personalized recommendations for your products or services. Even encourage the recipient to follow you on your social media accounts! Don’t forget to ask for reviews from current customers…it all helps!
4. Timing is key.
Send your emails out at the right time, when they’re more likely to be opened. The highest open rates for bulk emails are in the evening around 8pm, once people are finished with work and have eaten a good meal. They’re more likely to read the email you send as opposed to quickly deleting it if they’re busy at work. Think of your target customer, and determine when they are most likely to read your email. Maybe they’ll have time on their lunch break? Of course, there’s only one surefire way to find out when your customers are most likely to open your emails…which brings me to my last tip:
5. Analyze your Data!
All major email marketing platforms offer some method of tracking email opens, and you should use it! Typically, they embed a tiny image in the email that is invisible to the recipient. When the email is opened, that image loads, and that’s how the open is tracked. It doesn’t work for all recipients, but it’s still a very reliable way to gauge your email effectiveness. You should keep an eye on the results of your campaigns, track your open rates, and see when people respond the most to your emails. You can also track link clicks to see if people are engaging and visiting your website as a result of your campaign.
Of course, these are merely a few of the things that you should keep in mind when sending emails. What are your must-know tips for email marketing? Let me know in the comments!