In my opinion, email marketing is one of the most effective, yet so often overlooked, ways small businesses can cost-effectively communicate with potential customers and existing clients. It’s important however to get your email message right so your emails aren’t thought of as SPAM and overlooked, or worse, deleted.
What is email marketing (e-marketing)?
Email marketing is the use of email (electronic mail) to promote your products and/or services to email addresses. Email addresses are usually stored in a database so delivery is quick and simple.
Where formerly businesses would use direct marketing such as posting letters or using letterbox drop campaigns. This is expensive. Email marketing uses the same concepts however the marketing message is delivered via email It is a much cheaper way to distribute your message to a large number of people.
Email marketing is an important element of the small business marketing mix. In my experience, it’s one of the best ways that small businesses can build and maintain relationships with potential customers and existing clients.
How email marketing can benefit small business
Email marketing is a targeted, shareable, credible, measurable, and cost-effective tool overlooked by many businesses. As someone who has been using email marketing for many years, I can vouch for the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of this powerful marketing medium. With a strategic approach, proper guidance and a strong message, your business is sure to benefit from email marketing.
- Email marketing is more affordable than print marketing and not as rigid.
- A simple way for businesses on a limited budget to increase brand awareness.
- Is an easy way to engage your customers and prompt action (sales, feedback).
- Fast to disseminate and immediately received by the recipient.
- Your message can be personalised with the use of database tags.
- Through database segmentation, you tailor your message to different customers.
- Recipients can easily forward your message to others or share via social networking.
- Reporting allows you to track open and click-through rates and adapt your message accordingly.
- No restriction on location – can be sent to customers anywhere in the world instantly.
- Offers a great return on investment when done correctly.
How you can make sure people read your email marketing messages
Unfortunately, spammers also favour email marketing as a way to deliver their message to billions of people every day. SPAM now clutters up our inboxes making it harder for legitimate businesses to ensure their message is being read.
One way to overcome this is to ensure you send to legitimate email addresses, i.e. people who have dealt directly with your business or given you permission to contact them. Don’t become part of the problem and buy an email list. It’s one way to ruin your reputation rather than build it.
Every time you use email marketing make sure you only disseminate quality content. If your message is helpful and speaks directly to the customer, they will be more inclined to open your email and, in time (hopefully) look forward to receiving communication from you.
The email marketing campaigns I create on behalf of my clients are always thoughtful in their creation and content. I consider who will be receiving the message and curate content with them in mind. This drastically increases open rates and reduces unsubscribes. It may take a little longer but it’s certainly worth it.
Examples of cheap email marketing programs
I have been using Constant Contact for 15+ years. It’s cost-effective and easy to use, yet very powerful. There is a huge range of mobile-friendly email templates available. I often create a custom template for clients very specific to their requirements and brand.
A powerful feature of Constant Contact is the “set and forget” autoresponder function. Emails are automatically sent to contact on trigger dates such as birthdays, anniversaries, etc, keeping contacts engaged without much effort.
Constant Contact integrates with social media and provides detailed reports including open rates and click-through rates.
Contact me direct for assistance with Constant Contact setup and my email marketing services.
Constant Contact pricing: From $20 per month. 60-day trial available.
MailChimp is one of the world’s most popular email marketing programs sending out billions of emails every day.
MailChimp offers a large library of email templates and themes, or I can create a unique template just for you. Mail Chimp integrates with social media and provides detailed reports including open rates and click-through rates.
MailChimp pricing: Free for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. Or, from $20 per month to send unlimited emails. Pay-per-email plans also available. Note: these prices are liable to change without notice. Visit the MailChimp website for up to date pricing.
Need help creating email marketing campaigns that work?
I can assist with everything you need to start communicating with your customer database through email marketing. Whether you already have a database or need assistance setting one up (i.e. Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, etc), I can help devise techniques that will attract and build subscriber numbers. I create affordable, effective digital and email marketing campaigns that will help you connect regularly with customers and increase awareness of your brand.
I can design eye-catching email campaigns and e-newsletters that increase open rates and encourage click-throughs to your website. I can even assist with writing the content for you.