How does email help a small business grow?
Are you collecting the email addresses of your customers or clients? Are you offering something of value on your website in exchange for an email address? Are you using email to maintain a relationship with past, present, and future customers? If not, why not? Email is a powerful marketing channel for small businesses, and it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Everyone has an email address
Email is one of the most popular forms of communication, and everyone has an email address. In fact, it’s so useful that you might even have more than one.
If you want to reach as many people as possible with your message—and if you want it to be easy for them to act on it—email is the way to go.
Email also has a much higher open rate than other methods like SMS or social media messaging tools like Facebook Messenger or Twitter DMs (Direct Messages). This means that those who get your message are more likely to see what you sent them in their inboxes rather than having them miss out on important information due to being signed out or otherwise not receiving notifications from your platform.
Email is your personal connection
Email is a personal mode of communication. It’s a direct line of communication to your customers, and one that allows you to send out personalized messages, newsletters and other updates. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram own the contact information of your followers, not you. But you own your email list.
You always want your emails to add value with great content that matters to your list. Email can also be used to send special offers and promotions—messages that are more likely to be opened than those sent via social media or other platforms. The fact that most people check their email several times a day also means that you have more opportunities for exposure than with any other channel.
You control the audience
Email marketing allows you to collect email addresses in person or online, and then control the message, frequency and timing of your messages. This can be a powerful tool in building relationships with customers by reaching them at moments when they’re more likely to engage (i.e., not while they’re on their phones while walking down the street). When done right, you can do A/B testing on emails so that each message is tailored toward its audience—the result is better engagement rates. Email also gives you more opportunities to segment your customer base into groups based on similar interests; this makes it easier for you to send targeted promotions and offers relevant to each group without spending money targeting everyone at once.
You can (and should) keep it simple
People LOVE short, valuable emails. A short email is around 250-1000 words max. Write something that adds value to your customer’s lives. Put your headers in bold print (these are called “handles” because many people only read those as they scroll). Write the headers as an outline someone can read and get the gist of your email. Add some valuable links, quotes, or resources. You don’t want to write a novel, keep it short and sweet. At the bottom of every email, include your call to action. Every fourth or fifth email can be about your product or service directly, but make sure at least 75% of your emails are “free content” that adds value to your prospects and customers.
You can test and measure results
Email marketing is a great way to test different subject lines and send times to see what works best for your audience. You can also A/B test different email designs and content to see what resonates best with your subscribers. If you’re using a good email marketing platform, there are analytics tools that will allow you to track open rates and click-through rates on the emails themselves so that you can measure their effectiveness over time.
Email is helpful for small business marketing because of its positive return on investment, low cost, and the ability to control and test results.
Email marketing is a great, low-cost way to reach your audience. By using email to connect with customers, you can help build loyalty and increase sales. Email is also a great way to learn more about your customers and how they interact with your brand or products. What’s not to love?
By Greg Goebel
Greg is a member of Cornerstone and the founder of Greg Goebel Media, a marketing and copywriting business. He has worked as a senior copywriter and social media coordinator for three marketing agencies, and served as a communications director for a regional nonprofit organization. He also founded a multi-author website that has published over one hundred writers with more than two million post views. He has provided website content development, social media, and communications strategy for small to medium-sized businesses, as well as small to large nonprofit organizations.