When you think about email marketing, you probably think of those emails you receive from big companies like Whoolies, McDonald's, or Target. If you own or are the head of an SME, you might think email marketing only works for larger companies. Well, if it works for them, it will work for you. You could be missing out on an opportunity to drastically grow your business by investing even a small amount of your marketing budget into email. This guide covers everything you should consider as you move your company into email marketing.
Start by analyzing the purpose and focus of your email marketing.
Email marketing works best when it is focused. That focus usually depends on who you are targeting in your emails. Are you sending promotions? Re-targeting customers who abandoned their cart in your online store? Or do you want to send an email newsletter updating your customers? These functions are beneficial when it comes to email marketing. Building your marketing emails ideally would encompass all these functions. To use email marketing most effectively, you should first analyse where it can generate the greatest impact. For SMEs, casting a specific net produces better results when utilising email marketing.
Building a subscriber list should be your first step towards successful email marketing
Your website is the perfect tool to build a subscriber list. The recipients are collected organically either through a voluntary sign-up or collecting an email upon purchase. Some companies created sneaky ways to acquire emails. For example, many customers want paperless receipts, so if you set up your POS system to ask for an email to send the receipt to, you are organically creating your email subscriber list. But, be careful! Australia has anti SPAM laws, protecting consumers from unsolicited email marketing, always ensure you are doing the right thing!
How you create your subscriber list should reflect the purpose of your email marketing. For example, if you want to target people who abandoned carts in your online store, you should set up your website tracking to segregate those emails. You can then email those customers later telling them they forgot to finish checking out. Choosing how you want to use email marketing should guide how you build your subscriber list. Below are some of the ways you could use it to grow your business.
Promotions could be a critical aspect of your business. Whether you are an only online store or have a physical storefront, using email to send your promotions can be highly effective. When choosing to use emails to send promotions, you will want to build your subscriber list from people who visit your website or from people who complete purchases in your online store or physical storefront. Getting people to sign up with an email is your best way of building your subscriber list. For example, you could add a pop-up message on your website offering 10% off their next purchase. To receive their discount, they will have to put in their email. Now you have their email to send them more promotions in the future.
Using email marketing to chase abandoned carts
If your online store has a login feature for repeat customers, you can chase abandoned carts using email marketing. Conversions are critical to growing a business, so you should take any opportunity to increase them. Chasing abandoned carts with emails is a proven strategy to do so. Abandoned carts are what they sound like. When a customer puts items in their cart in your online store, then exits the site before checking out, it is an abandoned cart. You can set your website tracking to segregate these customers and their emails. Then you can build a subscriber list.
These abandoned cart emails are used best in a sequence of two. The first message should hit their inbox a couple of days after the customer leaves the site before completing the purchase. It should contain a copy that emphasises and reminds them of the items in their cart. You should pair the second email with a promotion like 10% off or free shipping, should they log back in and complete their order. This is an effective strategy to chase and confirm those customers that were almost converted. It is useful for both first time and repeat customers.
Sending an email newsletter
Another common application of email marketing is sending a newsletter. These emails contain general information about your company. It can include new promotions, showcase new products, updates on existing projects, and anything you want your customers to know. These are powerful tools if your company is more service-based. If you do not regularly offer physical products, these newsletters are useful to update your existing client base and keep top of mind. These are also beneficial for companies with physical product lines, especially when you pair them with another one of the suggestions listed above.
When building a subscriber list for this type of email marketing, you can cast a wide net. Many companies, big and small, send these email newsletters to all emails addresses they have on their subscriber list. However, keep in mind that these are less targeted, so their success metrics can also be less than favourable. These general newsletters often contain a lot of information for your customers, so they do not always produce a conversion or sale. It is important to remember that it’s okay not to lead to a conversion. These emails are more aimed at keeping your brand fresh in the minds of your customer base.
Your business goals will help pick out the best email marketing strategy.
Ideally, you would use a combination of all these different functions of email marketing. However, realistically, you might not have the marketing budget to do so. When picking among all of these, you should analyse which will generate the most significant impact for your business. For example, are you losing a lot of abandoned carts? If so, you should set up a marketing sequence that targets those customers. Or are your sales/promotional campaigns not generating the desired revenue? Consider advertising your next campaign through email marketing. Examining your business goals will point you towards the best use of email marketing for your business. Building your campaign is relatively easy after this stage. Below are some general tips when you start building your campaign.
General Tips For Email Marketing
- Focus your subscriber list to produce the best success metrics. When you know your business goals, you can identify the best use of email marketing campaigns. When your lists become more focused, you can also better track campaign success rates.
- Even if you do not know how you want to use email marketing, start collecting emails early. The worst thing to happen is you could have a fantastic idea to promote a sale for your company through email but not have the subscriber list to support a successful campaign.
- Utilise programs like Mailchimp, Sendinblue, and Hubspot to build your marketing emails. Many of these platforms have templates and pre-made designs. You just add in your messaging. Some will even tell you when you have a bad email and automatically remove them from future marketing campaigns. Best of all, these offer different plans depending on your email marketing needs. It is easy to find a customized and affordable option for your SME.
- Less is more in email marketing. You must remember when building your campaigns that the recipients are receiving hundreds of emails a day. You don’t want your customers feeling like you are responsible for their cluttered inbox. So, when building your campaigns focus on emails that leave an impact, not on quantity.
- Choose a subject line that stands out. You want to create a message that stands out in a crowded inbox. Don’t simply list the promotion or title of the email. Craft a message that is going to catch your customers’ attention and get them to open the email.
- Set up tracking metrics on your email marketing campaigns. They are crucial to understanding what is working and what isn’t.
- When someone unsubscribes, leave them unsubscribed. Don’t focus on a losing horse, focus on the customers that haven’t unsubscribed from your emails.
Email marketing is a powerful tool all companies can benefit from using. If your SME is not currently utilising it, it is time you consider how you can start using it to grow your business. While you are trying to figure that out, you should definitely at least start collecting customer emails ASAP. Don’t continue to think that email marketing is a tool only the biggest of companies can access.
Your SME can build an email marketing campaign tomorrow with the help of all the tips and tricks in this guide. If you have decided to give email marketing a try and you are looking for the perfect tool, have a look at Mailchimp and check out Active Campaign.