With so many affordable online marketing options available to small businesses today, you may wonder which online business promotion tool can offer the biggest bang for your bucks. The answer is simple: email marketing.
Why Email Marketing Is the Most Effective Online Promotional Tool for Small Business
According to a survey done by MailMunch, roughly 60% of the internet marketers asked said email marketing out performs social media marketing, with automated emails that are personalized having the highest click-through rates.
The fact that email marketing is superior is further supported by this other survey we found QuickSprout. Here you can easily see how effective email marketing outweighs other marketing efforts.
Why Email Marketing is So Effective
There are a number of reasons why email marketing is such an effective marketing tool for small businesses.
The first is because of their potential reach. Even though email usage has declined in recent years, 91% of Americans still check their emails once a day. So if you have something credible to say, chances are your email will get opened. Here are some interesting statistics on email campaign open rates depending on the industry and company size.
Another reason that email marketing is so successful is that the audience you are reaching isn’t ‘cold’. Everyone on your list chose to subscribe and receive information from you. This means that they see value in what you have to offer and they trust you. So, while this equates to a more attentive audience, you have to remember to treat these people with care or you can quickly lose them. Our next tips on successful email marketing will help with this.
Recipe for Successful Email Marketing
Before you dive headstrong into email marketing, you need to ensure that you have two crucial ingredients in place.
1. A Relevant Email Marketing Base
Part of creating a successful email marketing campaign lies in your ’email base’, or email list. Building a list of genuine customers and prospects takes time and there are many effective ways to start, including:
- Encourage visitors to your website to subscribe to your blog or newsletter
- Allow in-store visitors an option to quickly opt-in
- Offer coupons and discounts exclusively to customers who are part of your email base
- Use every opportunity to promote your website via business cards, marketing assets, and even your email signature (check out this video below!).
The key to building a great list is to ensure it’s full of people who find value in what you have to offer and are engaging (meaning they open and click on the emails you send). A list is not all about the number of subscribers, but the quality of those subscribers.
2. Get the Email Right
An effective email is one where the content is simple to read, with a clear benefit for the reader and a call to action.
Here are some tips for writing engaging content for your next email campaign:
- Start with a compelling subject line. If your subject line sucks, they aren’t going to open the email.
- Identify your target audience before you write the email copy. If you have more than one target segment, then draft a different creative for each that speaks directly to them.
- Convey one distinct message in your email.
- Convey the message in blocks of easy to read information. And since mobile phones are the most common device used to read emails, keep it short – between 50 – 125 words.
- Give readers the option to read the email in text or HTML format.
- Aim for a singular call to action. For instance, should customers who read the email call your helpline, register on your website, or refer the email to a friend? Including a deadline is a great way to encourage your readers to take action.
And if you really want to boost your click-through and open rates, here are a few stats on tricks you’ll wanna try:
- Marketers who use personalization in their email subject lines see 26% more opens.
- Emails with social sharing buttons increase click through rates by 158%
- Adding video to an email can increase click rates by 300%
I have one book that sits on my desk at all times as a resource for creating effective emails – Invisible Selling Machine by Ryan Deiss, CEO and Founder of DigitaMarketer.com. I highly suggest it to anyone looking for help creating truly effective emails.
Finding the Right Email Marketing Software
Now that you know how to create the perfect email marketing campaign, you just need a simple and effective way to get the message out to your subscribers! Here are VirTasktic, we work with over a dozen different email marketing tools. Here are a few of our favorites based on ease of use, cost, and overall functionality.
MailChimp is one of the more popular email marketing software’s available for small business, mainly because of its price and ease of use. You can send 12,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers for free; no contracts and no credit card required. As your subscriber base grows incrementally, so will the cost of sending the emails.
Another easy to use email marketing software, AWeber offers beautiful email templates and has a drag-and-drop editor that allows you to easily customize your email templates. They also offer automated campaigns, custom forms, and tagging so you can segment your list.
Their pricing starts at $19.00 per month for up to 500 contacts.
Built exclusively for small businesses, Infusionsoft covers all aspects of lifecycle marketing – lead generation tools to attract visitors to the website, CRM functionality to improve lead conversion, and e-commerce tools to automate sales fulfillment. While Infusionsoft is a more than just an email marketing tool, we find it’s worth mentioning because of the sheer power it brings to small businesses. The base pricing plan starts at $199 for 2500 contacts and 12500 emails a month.
The base pricing plan starts at $199 for 2500 contacts and 12500 emails a month. While this is significantly more than the other two programs we mentioned, you have to consider that beyond email marketing it also provides you eCommerce, CRM and strong marketing campaign and automation functionality. It’s essentially 3-4 tools wrapped in one!
While email marketing is the most effective promotion tool you can use in your business, it will only be successful if you do it right. This includes using the right technology, following proven tips and strategies, and analyzing each and every campaign for effectiveness and then regrouping if necessary.
Have questions or want to share your email marketing successes? Use the comments below!