If you are a small business owner and you’re not using email marketing within your marketing mix, you’re almost certainly missing a trick. Here’s 10 ways that email marketing can help you within your small business.
At SME Needs we recommend Mailchimp (we are a Mailchimp Partner) as our preferred tool, but our clients use a range of other email marketing platforms. All of them can help you in these ways; its just that we prefer the functionality and intuitiveness of Mailchimp.
1. Email marketing is one to many
Perhaps the most obvious way an email marketing tool helps you is by giving you the ability to communicate with many people at once. Having a mailing list gives you the ability to not only send lots of emails at once, but also personalise them with merge fields (first name, company name and much more). The rest of these are more about the why than the function…
2. A great way of maintaining relationships
You know 100s of people. Your customers, prospects and your network can easily add up to a lot of people. Maintaining relationships with that many people without email marketing is going to be difficult. Imagine the number of calls you’d have to make or the time it would take to write individual emails to them.
But it is vital that you maintain these relationships. The last thing you want is for people to forget about you just before they identify a need for what you sell.
3. Helping you sell more to your current customers
Whether you’re an e-commerce business or a B2B services provider, email marketing is a great tool for helping you sell more to your current customers.
As a B2B services provider, you will have very few customers who are buying ever service you offer. Email marketing, using segmentation to ensure you send campaigns to the right people, is a great way to promote other services they can benefit from.
For e-commerce businesses, there are huge numbers of ways email can be used:
- Abandoned baskets (see more below)
- Regular reminders
- Associated products
- Tips to use what your customer has bought (improves brand satisfaction)
- And many more…
You can see more about how we help e-commerce businesses here.
4. Superb for nurturing your pipeline
Not everyone who subscribes to your mailing list is yet ready to buy. Most will be researching, looking for information. But once they subscribe, you want to help them into, and through, your sales funnel. A series of nurturing emails will help people to understand how you can help, provide things for them to think about, and share evidence that you can deliver on your promises.
5. You should only be sending relevant content to people
The people in your mailing list will vary. Some will be customers and some prospects. Some will have bought from you and some have not yet bought. Even those who have bought will have bought different things. If you want to promote a particular product, you don’t want to send that campaign to people who have already bought it (unless it is something that is used regularly). Being able to use the data stored against each contact allows you to segment your audience and only send campaigns to relevant people.
The more relevant your email’s content is to the reader, the more likely they are to react how you want them to.
6. Are you collecting reviews and testimonials?
People will frequently look for reviews of your products or your business when considering buying from you. The more review you have, generally, the better. Once someone has bought from you, setting up an automated email marketing campaign to ask for reviews and testimonials.
Particularly suitable for e-commerce businesses, you can easily set a campaign to go out X days after a purchase. One small business client of ours is adding a couple of reviews a week because of the automated campaign we set up for them.
7. How are you recovering abandoned basket sales?
30% of the total retail market in the UK is now online. People add items to e-commerce baskets every day, but they may not be yet ready to buy. 69% of baskets are abandoned. Setting up abandoned basket campaigns that go out a little while later can remind people so they return and buy from you. Combined with remarketing PPC ads, these emails can make a significant difference to your sales.
8. You are following up events, aren’t you?
You invest time and money putting on events and attending trade shows. So you need to maximise the value you get from these events. Far too many companies fail to follow up with the people who attend events or that they talk to at a trade show. You can see more about how to follow up on a trade show here.
Sending an email out to people the day after the event to thank them for attending is a great way to build your brand and to start getting them to do something you want them to do. That may simply be to arrange a time to talk; it may be to buy something. Setting up a series of emails, particularly to people that weren’t previously on your mailing list will start getting them into your sales funnel and encourage them to buy from you.
9. Do you know when someone has engaged with your email campaign?
Once you’ve sent your email campaign, particularly sales campaigns, you’ll want to follow up on the phone. If you use Outlook (or similar), you have no knowledge of who did what with your email. When you follow up, you want to do so to the people most likely to engage/buy. Tools such as Mailchimp give you a list of:
- Who opened your email campaign.
- Who clicked, and what they clicked on.
- A rating on how they have engaged with other email campaigns recently.
The time saved using the data provided can be huge. It also means that you can have relevant conversations because you know what they are looking at.
10. What are they doing after that first click?
Moving slightly away from the email marketing tool, there are other digital tools that help you follow up even more effectively. At SME Needs we recommend CANDDi as we believe it provides great data, good value and really helpful people.
Once someone clicks on your email campaign, they land on your site, but what do they do next? If your follow-up conversation relates to the pages they looked at on your site, imagine how much more effective that conversation will be? Once CANDDi knows about their first visit, they can also notify you when that person (on the same device) returns to your site. You can find more about CANDDi here.
If have already have an email marketing account set up, you’re probably doing at least some of these. If you want to know how to do more of these, or simply want someone to review how effective your email marketing is, either click here or simply give us a call on 020 8634 5911.