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Email marketing for small business

If you’re a small business owner — regardless of industry — email marketing can help you foster better customer relationships build a stronger brand to help you keep growing.

Small business owners often assume that small business email marketing isn’t effective — and that email is just for the big guys.

But they’re wrong!

Email marketing is frequently cited as the most lucrative form of online marketing boasting an ROI of 4400%. And the good news is that this massive ROI isn’t just reserved for the big players. Even little guys on small budgets can profit substantially from email marketing!

While larger companies are able to test out different strategies and spend money on a variety of tactics, most small businesses have more limited budgets. This means that they have to focus on what works and what will provide the greatest return on investment.

One of the greatest benefits of email marketing is that it’s cost effective. Whether you are handling your own email marketing campaigns or hiring an email marketing agency to help you, email is one of the most affordable ways to reach the largest number of customers.

The affordability of email marketing helps small business maximize their marketing budget and get more for their spend by bringing in more qualified leads for less.

Yet another important benefit of email marketing for small business is its effectiveness. It’s important for small businesses to use their time, money, and resources wisely.

Since email marketing allows businesses to target specific audiences with their strategic content and messaging, it improves their chances of bringing in qualified leads who are likely to be interested in their products or services.

Thus, the success of effective email marketing campaigns helps small businesses maximize their time and resources while boosting their return on investment.

Due to its affordability and effectiveness, email marketing offers one of the highest ROIs of any marketing tactic.

Small Business Email Marketing Best Practices

Knowing how email marketing works is just the first step in creating effective email marketing campaigns. You will also want to stay up-to-date with the latest best practices to ensure that your campaigns are being received well by your audience.

The best practices below will help you improve deliverability and open rates as well as encourage engagement from your subscribers:

1. Define your email marketing goals.

Before you start developing and implementing marketing emails, you’ll want to start with some measurable goals. What do you hope to achieve from your email marketing campaigns?

Based on your answer to this question, you can start to develop key performance indicators (KPIs) to help you track and measure goal progress along the way.

Not sure where to start with your email marketing goals? Here are a few email marketing ROI goals and measurements you might start with:

  • Improve Sales Conversions – Every business wants to improve their conversions. But how can you measure if your email marketing is helping? There are a few different metrics that you can track to determine how effective your email marketing lead nurturing is, including engagement, lead acceleration and impact on revenue.

  • Increase Website Traffic – This is another common goal for small business email marketing. If you want to improve awareness and grow your brand, you need to get visitors to your site so that they can see what your company has to offer. The best way to track this metric is by looking at click-through rates.

  • Increase Revenue – This is a goal for most businesses. But how does this pertain to your email marketing strategy? Well, once a person becomes a customer, you should be able to see how email marketing may have contributed to their conversion. For instance, if they clicked on a link to make a purchase, then you will be able to see just how much revenue increased due to your marketing emails.

2. Segment your email lists into relevant groups.

Email list segmentation is another best practice that will help you improve the results of your campaigns. According to DMA, 77% of email marketing ROI comes from email lists that are segmented and targeted.

This is because email list segmentation helps your business provide more relevant content to your subscribers.

This chart shows the many benefits of segmenting your email lists.

List segmentation involves separating your email contact list into different groups based on similar characteristics. There are a few different ways that you can segment your email list for best results:

  • Geography – If you know where your contacts live, you can use this information to segment your email list and deliver content that is geographically relevant. For example, if your business is a clothing company that offers products that may be dependent on terrain or weather, you can use the geographic data to factor this into the promotions or content that you send through your email marketing.

  • Customer Personas – Every small business should create buyer personas, which are basically just generalized profiles of your ideal buyers. Once you create these personas, you can then segment your list based on which persona each individual fits into. This allows you to tailor the content to the needs and behaviors of each unique customer type.

  • Company Info – B2B businesses can use information like job title, industry, or company size to segment their email marketing lists. For example, companies from a certain industry will have different concerns or applications of your product or service. By separating your lists into like groups, you can be sure to serve the right content to the right readers.

There are a number of other ways that you can segment your email lists such as interests, buying frequency, past purchases, or engagement levels.

Choose the segmentation strategy that makes sense for your business based on the information that you’ve gathered from your email subscribers.

3. Take advantage of automated email workflows.

Once you start developing an email marketing strategy, you’ll want to make sure you know how email marketing works when it comes to automation.

Email marketing automation not only saves you time by automating the email process, but it often also results in higher conversions as it allows you to increase relevancy.

Before you start creating workflows, think about the path that your customers typically take during their buyer’s journey. For example, many of your blog readers may download a whitepaper or e-book before contacting your sales team. This is an example of a process that you could create a workflow for.

In this case, you might send an automated message to the individual after they subscribe to your blog. This message might thank them for subscribing and point them in the direction of some other places that they can find helpful resources on your site.

Based on the content that this individual reads on your blog, you could put them into a segmented list based on their interests so that they get updates on the topics they are interested in.

Your workflow will also map out and automate the next messages that this individual will receive based on their blog behavior. For instance, you could them an automated message with additional suggested content based on their interests.

A week later, you might send a follow-up message with a CTA that leads them to contact a sales person.

In this example, you are taking the information that you already know about your customer journey and using it to speed up the sales cycle with your email marketing.

By building automated workflows to deliver the right message and content at the right time, your business is able to nurture leads without manually sending messages.

Here’s a visual example of what an email marketing workflow might look like.

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