IPT Ltd recently released some survey results that proved very interesting reading. They asked the public what they considered to be the most effective marketing medium. There were no surprises to see that TV came first with 37%, but a surprising second was email, which came in at 32%! Which approach do you think will generate the best return for a small business? Yes, small business email marketing!
Obviously, you will need the contact details of your customers as well as any new prospects, for your small business email marketing plan to succeed.
There are two ways that you can get people visiting your business to give you their contact details. Get them to fill out a form on the premises for you to manually upload later or, (the best option), direct them to your website where they can fill in a opt in form.
To ensure that people actually want to give you their details, you’ll need to offer them some kind of incentive. Buy One Get One Free offers, competitions, and even valuable free information do a good job. Every person who fills in the opt in form becomes a member of your email “club”, people you’ll be able to contact time after time.
There is a well known business maxim that goes “people only do business with people they like” and if we add ‘know and trust’ then there you have the goal of online email marketing. Each email you send will build up trust and the likelihood that the email prospect will buy from you when the time is right.
Email marketing for small businesses is a really good business-building decision for all small businesses. As well as being a extremely cost effective, emails build trust, credibility and enable you to send messages to your customers or clients at a time when they are ready to purchase, whether that is the 3rd email you send, 14th or 154th!
A good small business email marketing approach to take is to describe a problem that your target market has, and suggest your product or service as a solution. As you show understanding of the problem, on a subconscious level your email recipient will know that you can solve it. Another way is to provide useful tips people can use, as this demonstrates knowledge and expertise. Also sending an email with a coupon that can be printed out and used as a discount is good business email marketing approach as well.
The same research completed by IPT also shows that most influential aspect of an email communication is discounts or money off at 27%, second comes general interest about product or service at 24% and joint third place at 20% is prize draw and brand familiarity. These statistics should help in your decisions as to what to include in your own small business email marketing campaign.
One example in the ‘real’ world small business email marketing success I can think of is a dog breeder who started a monthly newsletter with photos of the dogs they had available. This meant that if a person came by and didn’t want any of the dogs on that particular day, they could sign up for the email newsletter and get photos of new dogs sent to them each month, without having to visit the breeder’s home. Now these dogs were selling for about $1300 a pop, so this was a brilliant way to keep in touch with potential dog buyers.
You just need to look to the Fortune Global 500 corporations to see more examples of email marketing success. They recognize that staying in touch with clients and customers through email can actually cut your advertising costs and get you more sales. With small business email marketing you can easily get to the stage where an email blast is more successful than a £2,000 for a full page newspaper ad.
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get you started then…