What do you think is the leading driver of sales for small businesses? Is it local advertisements? Cold calling? Is it social media or your business blog? While all of those things are absolutely beneficial, when it comes to increasing leads and sales, there may be no better tool than the email.
You may have read articles by entrepreneurs who share that they’ve made hundreds of thousands using primarily email marketing. How are they doing this? Email is a fairly simple tool but the email list is a bit baffling. Today, let’s break it down and find out if an email list truly is a must have for a business looking to grow.
The Undeniable Value of Email Marketing
Not sold on email marketing? Statistics might change your mind. Email marketing creates more conversions than any other marketing channel, including social media and search engines. When you’re after new customers, email marketing is shown to be 40 times more effective than both Facebook and Twitter. And with nearly 4.3 billion email accounts registered across the globe, you really can’t miss out on this major opportunity to reach your audience.
And not only are these numbers impressive, but email marketing by its very nature is a valuable way to connect with your customers. Unlike social media posts, which may not even get seen by your followers, emails go directly to their inbox. This means that your information is securely delivered to its intended recipient, and ideally, arrives without distracting clutter that is social media. For so many marketers and small businesses, email is clearly a winner.
Who’s On Your List?
The efficacy of email marketing may be due in part to the origins of your list. Who is on it? Organically obtained email addresses are the right choice. Purchasing emails is a huge no-no, and a method that has a very high chance of failure. Why? You’re not approaching your targeted audience of warm leads.
Your current customers should be on your mailing list, and newcomers should have an option to be added. Your website can play a huge role in this, asking users to subscribe when visiting your site or reading a blog post (another good reason to keep churning out awesome, fresh content). With the right strategy, a large number of users will “opt-in” and give you their email address.
Not seeing enough sign-ups? Consider offering a free gift in exchange for registering for your newsletter/email list. A free bonus that gives value to your customers is always a great move that delivers results.
A Smart Email Marketing Strategy
In truth, email marketing can fall flat without the right strategy. You need a solid plan for how your email list figures into your sales funnel. Triggered emails can be a smart method within your strategy. These type of emails are sent automatically when triggered by a particular user action. For instance, a customer who has made a purchase from your business in the last 3 months might receive a follow-up email suggesting related products or asking for a review of the product. For service-based businesses, triggered emails might remind a customer when it’s time to get a repair or a tune-up. This not only provides genuine value to your audience, but these types of emails are an opportunity to bring repeat customers back to your website or back into your shop.
Email Marketing Gone Wrong
Successful email marketing requires constant testing and adjustment. You need to use data to understand if your strategies are working or falling flat. A/B testing can allow you to sample various copy, email formats, and click through rates. While email marketing strategies differ amongst businesses, there are a few major faux pas for all list builders.
● Never spam your list. When they opt-in, be sure to let them know how often they can expect to receive an email. Daily emails are usually too much, but for the right business, they can work wonders.
● Never sell emails. The surest way to break customer trust is by selling their email addresses to other organisations. This generally results in excess spam, too.
● Keep offering value. Don’t let your email marketing devolve into a constant barrage of pushy advertisements and sales demands. That’s a quick route to the customer clicking “unsubscribe.” Instead, offer true value to your customers; something interesting or entertaining or an offer that would benefit them. This will ensure your emails keep bringing you sales.
● Make unsubscribing easy. Don’t ever force your customers to stick around. Be sure the option to unsubscribe is fairly easy to find. It never hurts to remind customers why they are receiving an email either. Something as simple as “you opted into this list when you received our free ebook” should suffice.
For more information on email marketing and building excellent email lists, check out these resources:
Has email marketing worked for your business? Share your wins and discoveries in the comments.