In our humble opinion, email marketing is absolutely one of the most effective means of increasing revenue and facilitating growth for virtually all companies of any size in any industry. Yet, small businesses tend to not take advantage of this marketing method. I’m sure you’ve seen the television commercials of the landscaper or interior designer sending their promotional email and bracing for a flood of customer activity. They are panicking that one of two things will happen. First, they will receive no clicks at all and feel defeated that their efforts were for nothing. Second, and this is where the good type of stress comes in, their inbox is flooded with orders! The latter can (and should) be you.
To run a successful email marketing program, you must look at it in two parts: Email Collection and Email Execution. A beautifully crafted HTML message that is only seen by you and your closest friends might as well be a tree falling in the forest. Building your database of subscribers needs to be an ongoing priority. The larger the list, the bigger the result.
Always encourage customers to sign up in-store and visitors to your website to join online. Offer incentives for subscribing, such as exclusive offers, special event invites, discounts, etc.
Don’t send emails too often or your open rate and unsubscribe rate will suffer. Try to keep your lists segmented by what product or service the individual purchased to ensure future emails are relevant to them. Utilize an email marketing platform, such as MailChimp, Constant Contact or MadMimi, for storing your database, sending campaigns and monitoring results. Be sure to watch your analytics to gain perspective on which emails performed best and what your customers are most interested in.
Along with the collection of your email list with valuable contacts, if you have access to physical addresses, we’ve seen direct mail pieces go out and turn into five times the return on investment. A small sample size sent out to businesses or consumers in the area can go a long way. Increasing your visibility, creating opportunities and potentially gaining new clients, you’d be surprised!
Bottomline is to gather those emails! Because email marketing can provide higher conversion rates than most other marketing tactics, you never know how valuable they can be until you use them.
Look for our final Local Marketing Series blog, where we’ll explore the tried-and-true tactic, print advertising.