There are plenty of ways to market a small business – from social ads to SEO. But one tool in your armoury that shouldn’t necessarily be overlooked is email marketing. How should you market through email and what are the benefits? Our small business guide to email marketing may reveal more.
What is email marketing?
As the name suggests, email marketing refers to the messages you email to existing and would-be customers. There can be various reasons for marketing by email; for example, to sell a product, keep customers engaged, build loyalty, or provide necessary updates.
The benefits of email marketing for small businesses
In a world where we’re often glued to our screens, email marketing is arguably a great way to connect with existing customers and reach new ones. Here are some reasons why business owners may wish to embrace email marketing:
Grow an audience. There are more than 4 billion email users worldwide, and this is set to rise to 4.6 billion by 2026, according to Statista. If you’re looking to reach new customers, email marketing fans will tell you there are plenty of fish in the sea!
Build a rapport. Emails offer an opportunity to communicate directly with your customers. You can send tailored messages to mark special occasions like birthdays, provided you meet your GDPR obligations in holding personal data for legitimate purposes.
Product launches. One benefit of email marketing is the opportunity to announce new products (and special offers) if you’re looking to freshen up your inventory.
Events. If you’re keen to fill seats at an event, emails offer a quick route to inviting your subscribers and monitoring who’s a yes, no or maybe.
Expectation management. Not everything goes swimmingly all the time, but if you need to send an important message – from an apology to crisis comms – the lengthy format of an email gives you more words to play with. In fact, carefully worded emails have helped businesses manage customer expectations during the COVID-19 pandemic and post-Brexit supply chain challenges.
Email marketing solutions for small businesses
While the ‘best’ email marketing solution is purely subjective, you might find that rather than sending emails manually, your business could benefit from using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. CRM tools such as Salesforce and Mailchimp can help you manage and send a whole suite of communications to your mailing lists, which you can regularly update and assess through analytics. CRM communications can include email marketing, but other messages too, like customer service updates and internal memos.
How to market through email
Once you’ve decided you’d like to promote your business through email campaigns, what next? Here, we’ve broken down what a small business email marketing strategy looks like in three simple steps.
Step one – grow your list
If you’re going to become an email marketing guru, you’ll need a core readership. A simple opt-in form on your website or e-commerce checkout gives anyone browsing your site the chance to sign-up. Remember, in order to lawfully market through email, you’ll also need to allow recipients to opt-out through an ‘unsubscribe’ feature, and you must not conceal your identity. As you grow your list, you could also encourage new subscribers at events, in-store if you have a premises, or whenever you’re out and about.
Step two – create your content
Getting the design and copy right is the next important step in creating an email marketing campaign. For the text, consider a short newsletter-style message, a clear call-to-action, and of course, no rogue typos. For the visuals, you might want to ensure the design is mobile-friendly and in keeping with your branding elsewhere. There are email design templates available on platforms like Sendinblue, Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor.
Step three – monitor performance
Once you’ve started sending out your emails, you can begin tracking the performance of your campaigns. You can assess the open rates, which refers to the percentage of subscribers who open each email, and the click-through rate, which indicates what percentage of emails resulted in one click or more. According to Campaign Monitor, the average email open rate is between 12 and 25%, and the average click-through rate is 2 to 5%.
More from Tyl Talks
Over at Tyl Talks we’ve got plenty more articles and guides to help you market your business. Looking for some inspiration? Try some of these for size.
This has been prepared by Tyl by NatWest for informational purposes only and should not be treated as advice or a recommendation. There may be other considerations relevant to you and your business so you should undertake your own independent research.
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