There’s an old saying in online marketing: “The best time to start an email list was two years ago; the second best time to start is now.” Email, SEO and blogs continuously outperform their social media counterparts. According to several studies, about 58% of consumers check their email first thing in the morning…64% of small businesses use email marketing to reach customers. Studies also show email marketing delivers better results than social media and online advertising. With an average return of $38 for every dollar spent, investing in email marketing can have some fabulous payoffs. If you want your marketing to directly translate into money, building an email list is one of the best strategies you should take.
Using an email list is a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to set up a newsletter or email campaign. Use it to showcase products/services and bring people to your website. Email marketing allows targeting of specific customer groups based on your analytics data to improve your ROI and lower your customer acquisition cost (CAC). Email helps to move a transactional customer experience into a relationship which leads to a greater lifetime customer value for the small business.
Building an email list isn’t hard. It doesn’t take much time or any special skills to do, and once it’s done it saves you a lot of time in the future. Here are a few thoughts for using cold email to market a small business:
- Start by creating a list of potential customers.
- The Data & Marketing Association discovered that segmented email campaigns delivered a 76% increase in revenue for marketers.
- By segmenting subscribers, readers or buyers, you can hone in on their demographics and sort them according to criteria. For example, if 10 subscribers open emails about optimizing SEO keywords, you can assign them a special category. This category means they will receive only SEO-related emails, specifically tailored for them, while the other segmented subscribers receive a different set of emails.
- Targeting your list with specific promos and offers related to the segment in the email lists is important. Gone are the days where a wide net could be cast and know that at least 10 out of 100 people would bite the bait.
- Research the companies to target and find out who are he decision-makers.
- Draft a personalized email that introduces the company and explains why they would be a good fit for the product/service.
- Send the email and follow up with phone calls if necessary.
- Keep track of the results and adjust the strategy as needed.
- Without testing the messages, subject lines or any other aspect of the emails, you won’t know what works and what doesn’t.
- Studying these metrics is called A/B testing, and it’s an invaluable tool every email marketer should know. Be sure to test which subject lines get the emails opened. It is important to test everything.
- Analyzing the numbers for inbox rates, open rates, bounce rates, reply rates and un-subscription rates can help make email campaigns more effective.
- When Experian Marketing Services compared generic, cookie-cutter promotional mailings to personalized ones, they found that personalized emails have 29% higher unique open rates and 41% higher click rates per person. What’s more, according to Harvard Business Review, personalization can deliver five to eight times the ROI on marketing spend and boosted sales by upwards of 10%. People don’t want to feel like nameless faces in a sea of customers; they want to be respected.
Email marketing can catch customers’ attention and keep them engaged with the company brand. Here are some thoughts to consider when using email marketing as part of a small business marketing strategy:
- Offer something valuable (usually free) like a white paper, eBook, free webinar or coupon code for joining the mailing list;
- Make people fell like part of the company brand by asking them to complete opt-in forms on the website to receive exclusive original content and updates via email (be sure to give people more than one way to opt-out of receiving the emails);
- Use email marketing to promote special events;
- Start a newsletter to build relationships with customers;
- Use social media to post about about launching your new products/services and share where to sign up for them using links to the sign-up form;
- Always followup with customers.
Remember, make sure your email marketing efforts align closely with your business goals. This means that if you don’t have a way to measure how effective your campaign is, then there’s no point in sending out emails.
For more thoughts on email marketing, view the micro-thought free video “Marketing For Business Owners Session 1”.
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