So you have taken the leap to try your hand at your small business start-up idea and you need to know how to find funding for it – see here for some advice on funding – as well as how to build up the brand through marketing techniques. Of course there are many marketing efforts, including content marketing, social networking, building partnerships, and just about everything in between. However, there is one method that still produces incredible results, is cost effective, is not labor intensive, and is perhaps the least used method that small business owners should be tapping into: email marketing.
Step 1: Engage
First things first, you need to create a marketing plan in general, one which includes increasing your email list, and then design a specific email marketing campaign to reach your target demographic. One of the best ways for you to grow your email list is to provide multiple opportunities or prompts on your site to encourage browsers to sign up. By implementing a lightbox pop up, you can grab the attention of a browser who is about to leave your site, or by implementing a prompt at the end of reading through some post or content can also be very effective, since they have already engaged with your content and might be receptive to subscribing to know more.
Step 2: Execute
As you build your email list, it is time to execute your campaign. First, you need to invest in reliable and easy-to-use email marketing software such as www.newsletter2go.com – which will assist in reaching more people and keeping the content as relevant as possible. Once you have that, then you can begin to design newsletters with compelling content that reflects your brand and encourages the reader to re-visit your site.
It is usually a good practice to try to hook the reader right from the subject line of the email, increasing the chances that they will click on and read the email in the first place. Your target audience will want to be able to get all of the necessary information quickly, otherwise you will lose their attention. Keep it detailed, clear, and communicate value without being long-winded.
Part of a good execution is regularity and timing. First and foremost, you will want to set up a calendar to keep to a regular posting schedule for your general newsletters. With these, along with time sensitive and specific promotional emails, you will want to time their distribution perfectly as well. The right time to send is incredibly vital too. According to statistics from 2016, Millennials are most likely to check their email from bed (70%), the bathroom (57%), or while driving (27%). So early morning emails are evidently the best time to reach someone. What’s more, it’s also shown that 65% of users prefer emails to contain a lot of images, compared to 35% who prefer more text.
Step 3: Evaluate
It’s extremely important in any marketing campaign to evaluate how successful your campaign is. Otherwise you won’t see improvement, will keep on making the same mistakes, and will just end up wasting time and money. There clearly is success to be seen, as email marketing was the largest driver of transactions from the most recent Black Friday, with around 25% of sales coming from this marketing method.
So, ask questions and ask for feedback; this is also a great opportunity to open a personal dialogue and also encourage people to engage with your brand by offering them an incentive to respond and comment on your brand. Most importantly, track all of your data and analytics in order to evaluate and analyze it. As with any marketing tactic, this is all trial and error. Try some A/B testing methods, like switching up your subject lines to see which attention grabbers work the best, as well as tweaking the first line of the email to see which combinations are more effective. Analyze, refine, repeat.