The Small Business Guide to Successful Email Marketing

Written by Francesca Hill
05 March 18 | read

The Small Business Guide to Successful Email Marketing

You’ve got mail! It may no longer be a chime people love, but people still love getting good emails. The keyword here is good. Like everything in marketing, your email marketing strategy should be drafted for your audience’s benefit.

Email marketing is often the forgotten relationship tool in the modern age. With so many new methods like the onset of social media, live videos and instant chats, email gets tossed to the wayside. Establishing a solid email marketing strategy though is establishing a direct line to your consumer. Unlike social media and wide-spread marketing campaigns, email can be personalised to every individual subscriber. That’s a powerful connection.

Since your decisions are based on the experience of your subscribers, try to make your email marketing campaigns as personalised as possible. This because people always enjoy a tailored experience more than a general one.

Here are our top 5 tips for ways to establish a good email marketing strategy.

Content

Content is king is true not just in content marketing but across marketing strategies. No one cares about your emails if the content of them is rubbish.

The body of the emails should offer something to your subscriber.

  • Are you providing them with tips/tricks and insights?
  • Information about products they want to purchase?
  • A discount code?
  • The subscriber is at the centre of your email world.

To have active subscribers, who open and click on your emails, don’t start spamming them with the same content every other day and be surprised when the campaign is not a success.

Build tailored content based on their interests and needs.

Subject Lines

Meticulously draft your subject lines. It’s your opening line. If your match on a dating app sends you an overused line, are you interested? Probably not. The subject line informs the subscriber about the unique offerings of the email and immediately clarifies why they should take the time to read it.

Some things to keep in mind:

Length

Most email clients (Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook) have a character limit on the preview message. Majority of email opens take place on mobile now, so ensure the subject line is seen well on a desktop but also on mobile. 50 characters or less help your subscriber be able to read the entire subject line.

What’s inside?

The subject line should entice and can create curiosity to open the email, but should always give the subscriber an idea of the contents of the email. If your subject line refers to deals for flights but the email has information about packaged holiday deals only, your subscribers will be frustrated and take a nose dive.

Personalisation

Don’t get creepy stalker on your subscribers but personalisation lets them know you’re paying attention and helps build loyalty. Adding their name or location to the subject line makes the email even more about them.

The right subject line is dependent on the audience and the contents of the email. Test, test, test. Sending A/B tests for emails can help determine what aspects of the emails are working and what areas need improvement. This isn’t only true for subject lines but for your overall campaigns.

Don’t ever set it and forget it – you can forget having an upward trajectory then.

Lists

Email marketing lists are your best friend when setting up your campaigns. Your subscribers have told you exactly what they are interested in and what content they would like more of. Many marketers get worried about the size of their email list and want to create a more general, overall one. While reaching more people sounds better, having the right subscribers is key – quality over quantity. By segmenting your email marketing, and engaging with a specific set of people, you’re building an audience that is more likely to convert.

A small list that wants exactly what you’re offering is better than a bigger list that isn’t committed.

Ramsay Leimenstoll

Timing

If you’re a gym offering discounted classes early in the morning, does sending your emails at 6 am, lunchtime or the night before draw better results? We may have our assumptions, but testing the email send times and analysing the results ensures you aren’t missing out on sales or conversions.

We’ve heard it a million times, and probably repeat it in our sleep at this point, data doesn’t lie.

Automation

Ah, the ease of using robots. Your whole email process shouldn’t be automated, but there is definitely a time and place for it. Automation lets you set up “rules” such as, if this happens, then this is the reaction. When you order an item and get an email confirmation, that is automation at work.

Not only does email automation allow you to interact with customers at every touchpoint (such as abandoned carts, browsing history, checkout) but you can also use automation for when people interact or don’t interact with your previous emails. Let’s say you have a discount code but the person hasn’t opened the email with it. You can send another one in two weeks reminding them it is expiring. The subscriber is happy with the deal and you’re happy with another purchase.

Automation is another way to ensure you always have an engaged, active list. If you have a subscriber who hasn’t opened your emails in a while, a win-back email will either re-engage them or remove them from your list. Either way, you’ll have a better-quality subscriber base.

Integration

Email should be tied to overall marketing goals and other campaigns as well as to your marketing data tools. If your systems are tied together, this means:

  • Your CRM connects with your emails,
  • And your emails connect to your shopping cart,
  • And Google Analytics reports on the conversion rate from emails.

Why is this important? So you’re armed with better quality data and can make informed decisions. Your marketing tools should not function separately. When you begin your email marketing strategy, plan how you can integrate tools your company is already using.

Emails, the often overlooked and forgotten communication tool, can be a pivotal, more personal conversation with your subscribers. Email marketing is another touchpoint with your customer, reminding them of your brand. Plus, emails are free – another small business win.

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