“Email has an ability many channels don’t: creating valuable, personal touches that scale.” We all want to get the message about our small business out to the world. As a small business marketing consultant, I believe that email is one of the best marketing channels to increase sales and distribute your message. Email is great because the return on investment is high, it is personal, it can be tested and measured, it is optimized for mobile, and it will drive traffic to your website. Let’s look at a couple reasons to use email marketing for your small business.
Return on Investment
Email is a great low-cost marketing tool that helps drive your overall return on investment. In a 2013 Email Marketing Benchmark Report, 60% of marketers believe that they see a positive return on investment from email marketing and 32% said they will see positive returns in the future. There are many email service providers that are free to start; MailChimp, for example, is a great service that is free to get started. Email can help drive sales at a low overall cost.
You can send the same message to thousands of people and still message the email like it was crafted only for the recipient. You can add first name, last name, or any other piece of information that you have in your database to make the message personal. Further, if you begin to segment your email list, you can take personalization to a whole new level with custom graphics or text. This helps you target your customers with messages that drive results. In the age of #selfies, personalization is the only way to get your message across to your customers.
Testing and Measurement
We all want to know what is working and what is not working. Email gives you the ability test different versions of the same message and uses data to determine the success, in real time. For example, you can set up two different subject lines and measure the open rate to see which version performed the best. You can take the learning from the test and apply them to other emails in the future. Email gives you the ability to know what is working so you can improve your strategy.
The smartphone has revolutionized the way we communicate, personally and professionally. It gives a marketing channel that fits in the pocket of every customer. In fact, over 50% of emails are opened on a mobile device, and this is growing year after year. Most email service providers have mobile-friendly templates you can use right out of the box. Make sure your messages are getting through on the device of your customer, not the device you choose.
Drive Website Traffic
Your email is a direct communication with your customers. This gives you the ability to include links to your blog, product pages, videos, and other marketing material you have created. One piece of advice, make sure that your content is valuable to the end customer or they will stop reading your messages. Remember the 80/20 rule when promoting your content. 80% of your messages should be value based and 20% should be promotional. Promote your marketing material by sending targeted messages to your customer base and drive more web traffic.
One bonus tip: Never buy an email list.