Despite the onslaught of social media, pay-per-click and other digital-marketing methods, email marketing is still one of the most popular – and effective – for small business. Here are six essentials that can help make your email-marketing campaign a success:
• Avoid email isolation. Email marketing works best for businesses that carefully integrate it with a broader marketing strategy. Trying to use email marketing in isolation – or as a one-shot experience – generally comes up short of expectations.
• Focus on your list first: The quality of your list is everything, so that’s where you need to pay a great deal of attention upfront. If you already have a list, it must be constantly honed, refreshed and optimized. If you are building one from scratch, populate it only with people who are true prospects for your business, and who’ve opted in to receive your messages and offers.
• Track results religiously. It is critical that you use some kind of marketing analytics to measure the results of your email marketing. The services listed above will all provide some basic metrics reporting, but you will also want to take it further to calculate how many of the people who clicked or otherwise responded actually made a purchase. Compare your email results to conversions from other marketing campaigns.
• Remember mobile. It might surprise you that nearly 20 percent of all emails are now opened on a mobile device. And depending on the type of business you operate, the number could be even higher for your particular audience. So if your message doesn’t take mobile users into account, you could be losing one fifth or more of your audience before you even start. Test all email templates for how they appear on mobile. And send both plain text and HTML versions.
• Learn segmentation secrets. Segmenting your list is a great way to target your messages more precisely and improve your results. For example, you might segment geographically (by state, region, etc.); by recipients’ special interests that you have gathered information on; or by how often they’ve purchased from you in the past. If you sell business-to-business, you could segment by industry or recipient’s title. Gather intelligence each time you send an email to help inform you about how to segment the list the next time.
• Nurture your leads. The leads you generate via email won’t benefit your business unless they convert to sales. Prepare a lead-nurturing plan that begins the moment you get a lead and details each step you will take to shepherd your prospects down the path to conversion in a consistent, logical fashion. Remember that speed is important. Most lead conversions go to the business that responds fastest. •
Daniel Kehrer can be reached at