Small Business Tips: Getting Started in Email Marketing

By Jamillah Warner

 

Orangedude Small Business Tips: Getting Started in Email MarketingYou’ve decided to follow our small business tips and invest in email marketing in order to connect with your customers. In a do-it-yourself environment, you’re going to need email marketing software that’s easy to use, and that includes training materials and a support team to help you get started. After all, email marketing isn’t your specialty — your clients are.

Marketing software and services (such as the software provided by Infusionsoft) can help you handle the logistics of creating your sign-up form, promoting newsletters on your website, building a “welcome” page for subscribers, and tracking your response and click-through rates.

But once you’ve chosen the best tool for your company, then it’s your job to focus on building a stronger relationship with your clients and prospects. How? Here are a few guidelines to get you started as the third part in our series on small business email marketing.

How Often Should You Send Emails?

In the Copyblogger article “When’s the Best Time to Send Email to Your List?” Linda Formichelli writes, “The fact is, your industry, your business, and your audience have unique demands and desires. You’ve got to test (and test, and test) what works in your world, and then test some more.”

Although Formichelli is referring specifically to what day of the week and time to send your email, the same advice holds true for how often you should send it.

Get that first email out immediately — within seven days of implementing your email software. If it takes six months for you to write subscribers, they’ll forget they signed up in the first place. And that long delayed message may feel more like an abrupt interruption, instead of a welcome and continued conversation.

Once you make first contact, then write when you have something important to say. Pay attention to how many times your emails are read or ignored, and then adjust accordingly. Some communities will need weekly communication, while for others, monthly works just fine.

What Should You Talk About? 

The more you understand your clients, the easier it is to communicate with them. Put yourself in their shoes. What kind of information do they want and need? Coupons and deals? Reminders? Step-by-step guides? The latest trends or industry research — and your insights about it? Your company’s new developments and how they can impact your customers?

Speak their language by providing the relevant information that they need and want to know. Remember, clients don’t care as much about your products as they care about their own lives. It’s your job to show them how the product on the shelf can change their personal experience.

Who’s Responsible For the Campaign?

You are.

Before you delegate the task to a team member, establish a communication strategy (frequency, content, etc) and understand the tools of the trade.

You want an email marketing campaign that looks and feels like your company. You also want a campaign that doesn’t get hijacked by an employee who no longer works for you. Take the time to become familiar with your email marketing software, so that your campaigns can continue even if your employees change.

Once you understand how it works, then you can delegate and make sure that your email marketing campaign runs as smoothly — and as personally — as it would if you were talking to the customers yourself.

How did you get your email marketing campaign off the ground?

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