As a small business owner, you probably know you need to include email in your marketing strategy. You might even realize that there’s all kinds of potential there for building rapport and getting repeat customers. But chances are you don’t have the time, resources, or knowledge about where to start. Trust us, though. If you put in the effort, breaking it down into manageable pieces, you will see the benefits.
We’ve said before that email campaigns can bring in as much as $42 for every $1 spent. That’s according to Campaign Monitor. How do you get that kind of return on investment? You invest a little time and money in getting an email service like Active Campaign, Campaign Monitor, or Mailchimp. You get to know your audience. And then you dive into ways to do successful email marketing from the get-go, like these:
Do Drip Campaigns
Can you think of any actions one of your customers might take for which there’s an obvious next step? For instance, say you met some people at a trade show or professional event where your Private Label Chocolates were a big hit! They gave you their business cards or emails. Now what do you do? You send them a follow-up email mentioning the event and explaining more of what your company does. You ask them what their needs are. With an automated drip campaign, you can pre-program a variety of algorithmic responses. If they respond, maybe you set things up so that they get an automatic “thank you. I’ll call you soon to talk about it!” If they don’t respond, you set things up so they get another similar conversation-continuing email in a few days.
Put yourself in your potential customers’ shoes to hone in on the kinds of next steps around which you can put together successful email drip campaigns.
Add Value to the Recipients
This speaks to the cornerstone of any good email campaign, automated or not. Your potential customers get “salesy” emails all the time. Stand out from the crowd by actually offering helpful information. Give them value so you can receive value. More openings of your emails and click-throughs to your website means—potentially and ultimately—more conversions to valued, long-term customers. Finding out what they’re interested in might require a bit of snooping around in LinkedIn groups or direct asking if you can.
You might think that you can’t do much with just an email other than send them emails and hope they respond. And, to a certain extent, that’s true. But you can do a surprising amount more than you think. The goal is to send them emails that speak more directly to their needs. You probably have their company name too, at least. From there, you can probably ascertain their industry.
Now, say, for instance, that you have a pretty balanced share of industries represented in your prospect pool. Could you send emails to those in the retail industry with specific ideas about how your products or services can help them? Same for each of the other industries represented?
To do that, you’d need to start with research, at least to find out their industry, if not also their social media channels. Websites and Google searches are great places to go for that information. LinkedIn can provide information on the specific contacts you have.
Then, personalize your emails, at least with your contacts’ names. People are more likely to open an email addressed to them. If you’ve got their industry information and are providing industry-specific information, mention their industry! This is where segmentation comes in.
Most handy email services allow you to set up campaigns where you designate certain emails to go to certain segments of people. For example, you can essentially say “send this email about how our products can help people in the tech industry to contacts I’ve specified as being in the tech industry.” Then, “send this other, similar email about how our products help people in the automotive industry to contacts I’ve specified as being in the automotive industry.”
In the end, you might think that this sounds like a lot of work for what might not seem like any kind of direct, immediate gain. It can take an investment of time, and, often, the path from email to product purchase is less direct or immediate than you might want. But one thing’s for sure: email marketing is still an effective and profitable way to grow your business!