Email marketing is one of the most effective methods available – it’s cheap, fast and easy to use. But how does email marketing work? What are the advantages and disadvantages to email marketing for small business? What about spam laws? This article will answer these common questions and help you get started with this powerful online marketing method.
What is email marketing?
The way small businesses communicate with customers has dramatically changed in the past 20 years. The advent of the Internet allows businesses to use email marketing services, social media, web forums and many other avenues to communicate directly with their customers. As you may already be aware, email marketing is the act of sending marketing communications directly to customers via email. A number of types of marketing communications are often sent via email, including:
- Promotional materials for one-off sales and special offers – Alerting customers about special offers, discounted postage or storewide discounts is a very effective form of email marketing.
- Email advertisements – This involves placing a simple advertisement for your business in an email. In many cases, the advertisement is included in someone else’s email newsletter to gain exposure to new customers.
- Customer engagement newsletters – These email newsletters are filled with valuable content and news stories that your customers may find useful. They are sent to increase customer engagement, to illustrate your industry experience and to build brand awareness.
How to grow your email list
An important part of marketing email management is to continually gather an audience for your emails. There are many ways to obtain customer emails, including:
- Website signups – Prominently feature an email signup form on your website. Some websites use popup windows to gain your attention.
- Prizes and other incentives – Offer prizes on your website, which email newsletter subscribers are eligible to win.
- Impress subscribers with high quality content – Produce a high-quality and informative weekly newsletter that people will want to read, and hopefully share.
- Signups in the checkout process – Have optional email signups in the checkout process of your ecommerce website.
- Offline signups – Use offline signups and incorporate email signups with any membership schemes you have.
- Work with other related businesses – Partner with complimentary businesses and have signup forms in each other’s newsletters.
- Real world signups – Have newsletter signups on display at trade shows and other promotional events.
It may also be worth considering outsourcing parts of your marketing email management process for optimal gain. The best email marketing services will offer email list management to help you administer the contact information of your email subscribers. Some of these services can even obtain new customers who are willing to receive your email marketing material. It’s a fast and easy way to access potential customers who have confirmed they are interested in what you are selling.
Sending marketing emails and measuring success
The first step to running a successful email marketing campaign is crafting the perfect marketing email. For small businesses that don’t have much experience writing promotional marketing materials, this can be difficult. They often use email marketing services to craft the email on their behalf, ensuring it is effectively worded and well designed.
These services can also send the emails on your behalf, ensuring that they are formatted correctly and compatible with user’s email applications.
One of the key advantages of email marketing is that emails can be easily tracked and analysed. Email marketing programs are capable of recording statistics like how many people opened the email, how many clicked a portion of the email, which link or advertisement they clicked, and so on.
This information can help you understand which types of marketing materials are most effective, and which graphics attract the most clicks. It can also help you track the effectiveness of special offers and gauge the popularity of specific products. This advanced tracking data allows you to create more effective email marketing materials and increase your overall sales.
Spam and getting permission for sending email marketing materials
One reason why some small businesses are hesitant about using email marketing is a concern about “spamming” their customers. Spam refers to unsolicited emails that customers did not want to receive – it is the only real downside to email marketing.
There are tough anti-spam laws in many countries that can result in fines for your business if you don’t follow the rules. To avoid being labeled a spammer, it is crucial to obtain permission from a user before sending them email marketing materials. The best email marketing services will encourage you to use a double opt-in, to ensure that a customer only ends up on your list if they definitely want to be there.
In addition, all emails should have an opt-out method, which allows users to easily take themselves off of the email subscription database. Using an email list management service gives you some certainty that the subscribe and unsubscribe methods are working correctly, which will ensure your business isn’t accused of spamming.
Email newsletters are a fantastic tool for informing customers about your products and services. They can help a small business gain more exposure, interact with customers and promote their products or services. What better time to get started than right now?
We hope you enjoyed reading “How Does Email Marketing Work” and that it gave some useful pointers. If you would like to know more about our marketing email service or any of our other virtual marketing assistant services feel free to call us on 0800 994 9016 or use our contact form in the menu above.