EmailÂ marketing was already old before social media marketing came of age. It’s a testimony to the efficacy of this mode that this continues to be an important channel for millions of small businesses. Email marketing lists are considered priceless and businesses go to great lengths to develop and maintain them for two reasons: sales and more sales.
Here are seven small business email-marketing ideas that will drive qualified, in-the-mood-to-buy traffic to a company’s website.
1. Make the sign-up process easy.Â Place a sign-up box high on the company’s website and add a link to the email-marketing signup page on the organization’s social media profiles. This can serve to drip feed a steady list of new prospects.
2.Â Grab the readerâ€™s attention from the subject line.Â Start with a compelling proposition: a teaser, giveaway or discount. Try to hook readers from the beginning so they’ll read till the end.Â Oh, and do this so the email isn’t snagged by the spam filters.
3. Stay compliant.Â Stay on the right side of the email service providers. Do not violate theÂ Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing ActÂ of 2003. Email service providers offer tools and learning resources; use them. Know the difference between a â€œhard bounceâ€ (the message won’t be delivered because of a problem with the email address) and a â€œsoft bounce (the message hasn’t been delivered yet but might be later on).
4. Develop the audience.Â What sources are generating the most responsive audience members, the kind who open, read and click on the links of newsletter? Work further on those sources to build the company’s email newsletter list. Try a double opt-in process since it ensures that the subscriber truly wants to read the content and the newsletter will go to a working email address.
5. Use best practices.Â The most effective calls-to-action go above “the fold,” the area of the message that shows up on a computer screen, without a user needing to scroll down. Also emails without a lot of images generate a higher return on investment.
6. Be brief.Â Test and tweak until arriving at a satisfactory combination of format, structure and tone. Brevity is valuable; learn to say more with fewer words.Â Look up Elmore Leonardâ€™sÂ 10 Rules of WritingÂ about how to create crisp content.Â Readers might just scan an email newsletter. Pack in words with special meaning and useÂ subheadings.
7.Â Keep the communication going. Judiciously use automated replies. Auto-replies are time-savers, providing useful information, nudging readers toward downloads, reminding them about freebies — all while generating information on subscriber behavior. Service providers range fromÂ MailChimpÂ andÂ aWeberÂ to the more advanced and feature rich such asÂ 1ShoppingCartÂ andÂ Infusionsoft. I personally use 1ShoppingCart for its all-in-one customer-relationship-management, email and ecommerce solution provided with ample customer support.
Brett Relander is a thought leader and power influencer in the social media and mobile marketing space. He is a valued digital marketing consultant and speaker and founder ofÂ Launch & Hustle. He has more than 89,000 followers onÂ Twitter, which ranks him among the top digital marketing professionals online. His upcoming bookÂ Imperative â€“ How any business can quickly and easily leverage mobile marketing for radical success, is scheduled for release later this summer.