When in the process of setting up a small business and marketing it for more sales, it’s important to look into all avenues of marketing to ensure you don’t miss out on any potential customers. One marketing method that’s used by many small businesses is email marketing. Email marketing is not only a cost effective strategy to use but has the potential to build a stronger relationship with your future customers. So how do you create a powerful email marketing campaign? This expert guide will give you the top techniques you can use to create a solid email marketing campaign.
Best Practices For A Great Email Marketing Strategy
Identify Your Target Audience
Identifying your target audience is the first thing you need to consider when creating a powerful marketing strategy. The idea of audience identification is so you don’t market your business to the wrong people who aren’t interested in what you have to offer. This just wastes your time and theirs. So how do you identify your target audience? The answer is audience segmentation. Audience segmentation is the process of breaking down your potential customer base and working out specific content that is targeted for them. You can start this break down process by placing your audience into selected categories. These categories include:
The question of whether online marketing trumps offline strategies is often treated as a hypothetical one – most marketers have tossed offline by the wayside and placed 100% of their focus on newer (and more successful) online methods.
But is online marketing always the best match for a small business? Let’s first take a look at how online marketing can benefit your business. I’ll also consider the question of whether offline marketing really is antiquated and not worth doing, or if there’s something left in the tank of old school methods.
Deep Dive Analytics
Online marketing can give you an excellent overview of the performance of each and every dollar you spend. Free inbuilt tools on Google Analytics, for example, allow you to set goals and track the flow of your traffic. You can analyse where your audience is exiting your site, which landing pages perform best – and that’s just the start.
Analytical tools allow you to deep dive on the specifics of your business performance, allowing you to tweak and adapt in real time. You can respond to market shifts quickly by viewing the results of complex calculations with just a few clicks.
It’s often hard to allocate resources in marketing, especially for small businesses. Spending a large portion of your marketing budget on a large campaign might lead to an expanded customer base, tons of new sales leads and increased brand awareness. Or it might not. Calculating return on investment is tough.
If you need to promote a new product, a webinar, event, or website, and you can find a way to boost your project on the cheap (or even for free!), then you’ll be ahead of the game. Email signatures are an often overlooked way to convey your marketing messages. Here are a few email signature tips and tricks you can use to do email marketing on a shoestring budget:
1. Include a link to the landing page
Hopefully you’ve set up a landing page for your project. If you haven’t, go and do that now! Landing pages are a great way to describe your project and gather email addresses for participants. If you include the link to your landing page as part of a well-designed banner in your signature, you can really you’re your reader’s attention. This way, even if you’re not emailing someone specifically about the new project, they can still access the necessary information if the banner sparks their interest.
What if you can use the power of email broadcasting in every email you send out rather than in just one campaign?
Well now you can and it’s called branded emails.
Branded emails can be designed like the emails and e-newsletters you send out in your email marketing campaigns. They’ll be branded in your logo and colours, and contain high-impact graphics, images and links to your website and social media pages.
It’s easy to do. You don’t have to download any new software or install a new application. You send a branded email just like you would a regular email, using your normal email programs such as Outlook, Macmail, Gmail and so forth.
Why you need branded emails :
Your brand is a powerful asset. It represents who you are and what you do, and reflects the personality of your business.
A staggering 69.7% of Internet users state email to be the preferred method of communication from businesses (eMarketer, 2015). It’s clear that email is where your customers want to be reached. And the customer is always right.
Email marketing is one of the most direct ways of contacting customers, and building and sustaining strong relationships with them. Despite the overwhelming argument for email, small business owners still tend to shy away from the channel in favour of simpler, more familiar methods of communication such as Social Media and their website.
With 4,300% ROI – for ever $1 spent on email, businesses receive $4300 in return (ExactTarget, 2014) – email is significantly more effective than SEO, Direct Marketing and Social Marketing.
If you’re starting out with email, follow our easy steps to email success.
Step 1: Do Your Research
Define Your Strategy
Before you embark on this new marketing initiative, take a step back and work out what you’re trying to achieve from it. Are you looking for leads? Sales? Regular communication with your customers? Once you’ve got a clear direction in mind, you can use it to inform your overall email strategy.
What’s In it For Customers?
You’re going to get in touch with your customers more regularly, which can only be positive for your business. But what’s in it for them? Why should they hand over their personal details to you? It’s important to define this right from the beginning. If you don’t have anything valuable to offer, who’s going to bother to read it, let alone sign up.
Do you know what online marketing technique has the highest return on investment?
Since you have already read the title, you have probably guessed its email marketing.
Email marketing produces an average ROI of 4,300%, more than PPC advertising, social media marketing, direct marketing, or content marketing. It delivers the best performance when it comes to driving sales and it costs a lot less to implement than other strategies.
If you too want to use this direct and highly-effective marketing channel and get the most from it, you’ll need to do it the right way. This means providing value through your emails and gradually cultivating in your subscribers the desire to buy your product, as well as keeping up with the latest email marketing trends. Here’s our checklist:
1. Mobile optimisation
Optimising your website and email messages for mobile devices are a no-brainer – most people check email on their smartphones, and Australians spend an average of 2 hours on their smartphones every day. The transition of email from desktop to mobile devices won’t stop, and the emergence of wearable devices is yet another proof of this evolution.
On the other hand, mobile devices change subscriber behaviour, and marketers are having a harder time delivering messages that people open and read. Email browsers are becoming increasingly supersized and many experts are advising marketers to keep their subject lines under 35 characters so they are fully captured by mobile browsers.
Most business owners I talk to would like to use email more effectively to support their business. But with all the things a small business owner has to balance, time is always the biggest challenge when it comes to getting these things in motion.
- Time to learn a new technology
- Time to write the emails
- Time to design them
There are great companies who will take care of most of this for you, but without understanding the real return on investment of email in your circumstance, it’s sometimes difficult to justify paying someone.
This double edge sword creates a hesitation in getting started and as a long time user of email marketing it’s a real shame. To help change that I’m going to share with you some tips to bootstrap getting your email marketing campaigns underway.
It’s time to roll up the sleeves and get it done.
Where do you get the pictures you use online?
Like most people, do you simply do a Google Search to find something that matches what you’re looking for? Another really common practice is to just use clipart.
Unfortunately, just because you can find it online doesn’t mean it’s free to use.
There is a growing trend for artists and image copyright holders to send out letters of demand to people using their images. If you read forums you’ll find that there are people who think this is a scam and unfair. To give you some context, if artists gave away all of their work for free, they would starve and there would be a lot less high quality images for you to use. Copyright law came about for the purpose of protecting the livelihood of creative people and to make it worthwhile for them to continue to produce creative works for the rest of us to use or appreciate and enjoy.
Claims for payment for use of copyright images are not often scams.
When a copyright owner starts to lose income from their work, they have the right to chase up people who are breaching their rights. Copyright is a bundle of rights rather than just one thing and can be breached in a variety of ways. Copying, distributing, republishing, changing, adapting and translating can all be breaches of copyright. If you are in breach, there is a chance that you will receive a letter of demand.
Letters of demand vary depending upon whether they are a form letter, such as those sent out by Dun & Bradstreet on behalf of Getty’s images, or a letter specifically sent out by a legal firm on behalf of their client. We’ve worked with all sorts.
A letter of demand for breach of copyright will usually cover the following:
· it has been found that you are using the image on your website “for online promotional purposes”
· the writer is the artist or is authorised to represent the artist or distributor
· the artist or distributor holds copyright in the work
· the writer has been unable to verify that you have permission or are licenced to use the image
· you are requested to immediately remove the image
· you are asked to pay a licence fee
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