The best way to grow your small business is to build trust and develop fantastic customer relationships.
Building relationships requires regular contact with your customers.
Small business email marketing is one of the most powerful ways to help you build relationships and grow your business.
I’ve recently received several questions on the topic and decided to publish an entire series that will give you everything you need to get started.
What Is Small Business Email Marketing?
Email Marketing can be split into three stages:
- building a list of people who want to hear from you
- regularly sharing your knowledge and teaching your readers
- creating opportunities for your readers to become paying customers
As your list grows, the greater the return you’ll see in the third stage.
Here are 17 reasons you should use small business email marketing:
Reason #1: You Can Get Started Easily
You need three things to start with small business email marketing:
- an internet connection
- a computer
- an account with an email marketing provider such as MailChimp
You very likely have the first two and the third will only take a few moments to set up.
You need the account for the ease and added functionality rather than using your standard email client such as Outlook or GMail.
Reason #2: You Won’t Have To Sell The Ranch
MailChimp offer a free account until you have two thousand subscribers to your list.
I’ll be using MailChimp for examples throughout this series and will include detailed step by step videos on creating your account and getting started.
With a free account you only pay the price of your Internet connection to send your emails – regardless where your customer are based in the world. A large saving against direct mail, flyer distribution and other forms of marketing.
Reason #3: You Can Share Your Message Quickly
You can get started with small business email marketing quickly.
The same day you create your account you can start building your list.
When you send an email, it is received immediately, no delays for printing, postage and distribution.
Reason #4: People Want Your Emails
When talking about email marketing I am not talking about buying a list of email addresses and blasting out unwanted messages.
If you spam people with unwanted email you’ll get into trouble, not build trust and you won’t build customer relationships.
By building a list of people who sign up for emails you gain permission to send them your best content, share your knowledge and show them how good you are in your subject.
Reason #5: You Can Keep In Regular Contact
It can be hard to find time to visit or call every customer to keep in touch and share your knowledge.
But not doing it gives others the chance to steal your customers.
Regular emails help you stay connected with your customers, keep them involved in your business and ensure they continue to learn from you.
Reason #6: You Can Personalise
Depending on the information you gather when people sign up to your list your emails can be personalised.
However beware that the more information you request, the harder the person will think about signing up.
Reason #7: You Can Be Highly Targeted
You can have more than just one email marketing list.
You can have multiple lists, or allow people to sign up to a specific segment of you list.
An accountant might have a specific segment for subscribers particularly interested in accounting software tutorials, an artist for people who have shown an interest in watercolour painting and a book store for people who love murder mysteries.
Reason #8: You Can See An Instant Response
Every email should invite the reader to do something.
It shouldn’t always be to buy something.
It could be to leave a comment on your blog, to share the email with a colleague or even just to try the information that you’ve provided.
These responses can be instant.
Unlike traditional advertising and direct marketing you can see readers doing what you’ve asked minutes after you’ve sent the message.
Reason #9: You Can Trace Your Emails
Using the analytics provided by your email marketing provider you can check several factors including:
- # emails sent
- # received or bounced
- # opened
- # links within the emails clicked
and many others.
Unlike other forms of marketing you have very specific data on what people liked and didn’t like about your email.
Reason #10: You Can Adapt Your Message
Closely linked with #9, emails can be tweaked based on your detailed results.
Once you know which headlines get the best opening statistics, and which subjects get the most people clicking the links, you can adapt your future emails to give your readers more of what they want.
This is an incredibly powerful tool in growing your small business.
Reason #11: You Can Be Flexible With Your Content
Traditionally email was based on text but this is no longer the only option for email marketing.
Your emails can contain embedded videos, audio clips and images to attract the attention of the reader.
Analytics will show you which your subscribers prefer so you can provide more.
Reason #12: You Can Generate Traffic For Your Website
Small business email marketing is a great way to build traffic to your website.
Links within your emails will lead people back to your website and your entire library of useful information.
Reason #13: You Can Help Your Subscribers Share
Email Marketing gives your subscribers something regularly in their inbox that is easy to share.
Very few people will take the time to pass on a flyer or recount the message from a radio advert. But they will press a simple button in their inbox to send a colleague, customer or friend a relevant message from you that will not only help them but makes your subscriber look good for passing on the information.
This sharing helps you build your exposure and gain new subscribers for your list.
Reason #14: You Get More Than One Chance To Get It Right
Not every email you send will appeal to every reader.
However, as you send them regularly you will no doubt write enough over time that one of your emails will appeal to everyone on your list.
Unlike adverts, flyers, cold calling and other types of marketing, email marketing gives you multiple opportunities to connect with your readers and multiple opportunities to convert them into paying customers.
Reason #15: You Can Reach Your Subscribers Anywhere
How many of you check your emails on your smart phone or tablet device?
First thing in the morning or when just leaving a meeting?
Mobile email is very important and email marketing enables you to connect with your readers while they are mobile.
There are very few forms of marketing where your audience can actually carry around your relevant marketing and view it whenever it’s convenient for them.
Reason #16: You Can Level The Playing Field
It doesn’t matter how big or how small your business is, email marketing “levels the playing field”.
If you build a list of people who want the knowledge that you have, and write to them in a relevant and engaging way, you can succeed in email marketing.
Reason #17: Doesn’t Take Time Off
Email marketing doesn’t take days off, doesn’t get sick and won’t moan it is has too much work.
Emails can be written in advance and scheduled for sending, blog posts and articles can be sent automatically, a whole series of emails can be scheduled in an auto-responder so your reader gets the very best of your content in the order you design.
If you’re a busy small business owner email marketing can quickly become a very, very good friend.
What are you waiting for?
Small business email marketing is the centre of many businesses success.
Are you already using it to grow your small business?
If you’re not, be sure to sign up for my email updates below as I’m going to show you what you need to do to get started and make it a success.
I’ll show you:
- How to create an email marketing account
- How to grow your permission based email marketing list
- How often to email your list
- The various types of content to use
- How to build an email auto responder
- How to write compelling headlines to get your email opened
- How and when to introduce products and services
If you’re already using email marketing, or have questions about it, please leave a comment below.