Email marketing can be intimidating for small businesses. But rather than ignore what could be a simple way to attract customers and engage with your target audience, let’s explore simple steps you can take to incorporate email marketing into your marketing strategy.

What is email marketing?

Email marketing is a powerful direct marketing tool capable of being utilised by freelancers, SMEs and corporations. Compared to other marketing strategies, it has a high return-on-investment and a pretty healthy conversion rate. Plus, unlike social media, it can be personalised to suit the needs of you and your target market.

In simple terms, email marketing allows you to market your products and services to people who have specifically given their email address with the purpose of being contacted about special offers and company news. They may have offered their email addresses via a subscription box on your website, in order to receive a free gift, or from a link on a social media post. Think of it as the modern equivalent of a company newsletter or a flyer through your letterbox.

Unlike social media marketing, email marketing offers you the freedom to build brand awareness without restriction, and with over 4 billion global email users, you have the opportunity to reach lots of potential new followers.

As well as promoting products and services, email marketing can be used to direct people to your website, blogs and social media.

How to get started.

Draw up a strategy

Before you dive into email marketing, we advise you to develop a strategy first. It doesn’t have to be particularly detailed, as long as it offers some basic goals for at least a 6-month period.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do I want my email marketing campaign to achieve?
  • Do I have the resources to carry a campaign through to completion?
  • How can I build my email list?
  • What email marketing platform should I use?
  • How can I measure my success rate

After carrying out your research, pull together a rough plan of how often you’re going to send out marketing emails, who you’re going to send them to, what you want your marketing emails to achieve, and how you’re going to design them.

Choose your Email Marketing Platform

You might be tempted to send out emails using your Internet Service Provider (ISP), but be warned, ISPs aren’t fans of mass emails and will likely flag them as spam.

Email Marketing Platforms like Mailchimp, Mailerlite, Dotdigital and Active Campaign offer excellent email marketing templates and simple ways to measure campaign success. Depending on your budget and requirements, choose a package that best meets the needs of your marketing goals.

Build your email list

Before we go any further, a friendly reminder that people on your email list must give their express permission to be contacted by you. They should also be given the option to opt out of receiving email marketing.

Subscription option

Your chosen Email Marketing Platform should offer an option to embed a subscription form on your website; we recommend adding one to your home page, blog section or contact page. Your form should be very clear about the kind of content subscribers will receive so don’t abuse trust by veering wildly off course and sending multiple daily emails. That’s how you lose subscribers and find your content being marked as spam.

Lead Magnet

Come up with a Lead Magnet. What’s a lead magnet? It’s that one thing that encourages people to subscribe in the first place; it could be a freebie like a PDF cheat sheet, report or ebook, or a special discount off their first order.

First Impressions Count

When a person first subscribes you’ll want to impress them from the get go with a compelling automated welcome message. Use this opportunity to introduce new subscribers to your brand by offering ‘new subscribers only’ special offers, linking them to interesting content on your site and presenting other useful information. This will help them form a fully rounded picture of your brand and what it can do for them.

Always have a content goal in mind

When someone opens your email, you’ll want to have something to say. Browsers are a fickle busy bunch and won’t finish reading an email that has nothing to offer.

Make your email pop with engaging content that’s focused on one person only: your ideal customer. Write as if you’re having a conversation with them and tell a story.

To optimise your newsletter start with an attention grabbing email subject line no longer than 50 characters that includes a brief outline of your main offer. Your email preheader, or preview text, is that little bit of text you see in your inbox that offers a snippet of what’s inside. It can have a dramatic effect on your open rate so we can’t stress enough how important it is that you don’t leave it blank.

The main body of your email should include plenty of white space, images, subheadings and bullet points, all designed to draw the eye and retain the reader’s attention.

Get in touch

If you want a fully bespoke email marketing service that meets your business needs and budget, with great communication and reporting, then get in touch with us for a chat about our beautifully designed email campaigns that not only look great, but also engage and convert. With full tracking and reporting you can measure the success and see the true return on your investment.