Email Marketing For Small Businesses- 5 Things You Can Do To Swim With the Big Boys
Small businesses find it hard to get a foothold when it comes to almost everything there is to run a business. Be it staffing, sales, revenue, leads, everything is a herculean task when it’s a small business. The truth of the matter is all the big names in business have started as garage and dorm room start ups. What they did was take a brilliant idea and run with it. Value creation is what helps a business grow and prosper. Today, the economy is growing; it’s opening up and creating opportunities everywhere. It is up to you to find these opportunities and connect with the end user.
Email and small businesses
2016 has seen a dramatic increase in revenues for small business owners in the US. This sentiment is echoed globally. India has the highest number of start ups in the world today. All these are pointers to the immense business opportunities of the open economy. With more money in hand to spend, people are looking for places to invest and purchase. Another key indicator is the manner in which internet penetration has expanded worldwide, especially in the developing countries. Apps have become increasingly popular and people are using their mobiles a lot more than desktops to use the internet. Email has migrated into the mobile platform thanks to Android. People are making purchase decisions based on highly targeted emails they receive on their phones.
Small businesses should be actively participating in this uptick in email usage. One of the significant processes that any new business has to set up is the marketing. This isn’t easy when the market is saturated and highly competitive. The avenues to approach a potential customer have increased exponentially. This means you need to make sure you reach them, in the right manner, at the right time. Email has always been one of the most successful marketing tools ever and its power can never be underestimated. For small business too, email marketing should be taken seriously. One super advantage that small businesses have is the element of freshness. It has been noticed that people are willing to give new players a chance when they have been using older bigger brands for a long time.
Email tunnel vision
A big issue with email marketing is the sheer volume of the business. I am sure you would have heard about the billions that are sent out daily. This creates a sort of tunnel vision for the receiver. Email saturation happens a lot more commonly today with many choosing not to look at emails altogether. That doesn’t mean you do not do it! Why do you think the billion plus emails go out every day in the first place? Because it works!
Strategy is everything. Investing in an email program can be seen from 2 perspectives. One is spam away to glory or dig in deep and pack up for the long haul. Most email marketers choose the easy way out, and the industry is such that is allows medium rewards for this type of behavior. As a small business owner, if you truly want to see your establishment flourish and have a troop of loyal customers, get into it for the long haul. Trust us; it gives you benefits far outweighing the fast track process.
What you can do as a small business with email marketing
As a small business owner, you will be faced with quite a few obstacles while building your email marketing program. These are issues that can be dealt with if you know how. As a matter of fact, these issues are faced by everyone getting into email marketing. Some aspects maybe easier if you have a big brand backing you up, but most are common. Here are five of these issues and how you as a small business can tackle them.
- Finding your voice
Are you looking to sell, engage your prospects or is it a brand building exercise. This is of prime importance while planning your email campaign structure. Hardly anyone will notice you if you want to sell directly and aggressively. A million are already trying to do that! It is important to note that the digital consumer has lots of options today, they know exactly what they want and if you feed them sales pitches, they are gonna walk off. Understanding what they need is crucial to creating the lynch pin for your email endeavors. Problem solvers are rewarded well in the digital landscape today. Set the tone of your emails by mapping the way you want to be seen in the market.
We aren’t saying sales pitches are bad, but you have to keep in mind the position of your prospect in the buying cycle. A new prospect doesn’t know what you do; they need to understand what your business is all about. Only then can you pitch to them.
- You don’t have a ready to use email list
This doesn’t mean the end of the story. Most businesses build their email lists from scratch, and history has enough evidence to prove that these are the best lists. But then, if you have not a single email in your list, then it is not bad to purchase or rent one. We know it is tricky and all that, but purchasing a small seed list to start from is not a bad idea- only if it is done right. We have a blog that details the process of efficient list building. Go through it to understand the various aspects of list building. It can come of immense help when you start your email marketing campaign.
- Content or the lack of it
This is where most email marketers fail. Good content is the gold that people are looking for. Your email marketing campaigns are worth nothing if your content is not engaging. For small businesses, it is difficult to source good content as we all know anything good is costly. That doesn’t mean you let that aspect go. You can always start from scratch, write your own emails, and have your employees write them for you. What this does is that it brings in a brand of personalization that is hard to find today. The issue with us is that we tend to think that excellent grammar and sophisticated words make for good content. That is so far from the truth. We are emotional beings and writing a genuine piece of content that comes from the heart connects a lot more than jargon that makes you look pretentious.
- Consistency trumps volume
Out of sight is well and truly out of mind. That doesn’t mean you keep showing up in the inbox every single hour. Understand that consistent email marketers have found the right timing and placement. It is somewhere in between a TV ad that repeats 3 times, consecutively, and a flower that blooms once in 12 years. Only the diehard flower fanatic will remember the blossom and the TV ad will make you hate the product with a passion. So, find the right timing and make sure your emails go out at the same time, every time.
- Don’t fall for common email marketing issues
Knowledge is power. Know the ins and outs of email marketing well before you start your campaigns. There are various issues, both technical and non technical that can severely affect your email programs and they can have an adverse effect on your brand too. It is important to understand spam laws, unsubscribe options, rules of the land you are marketing too, sensitive issues and many such things. It is also important to know about the technicalities of email marketing since they can be a tough thing to handle, crippling your campaigns. Have a check list and cross it out each time your send out an email campaign. Issues are not entirely avoidable so know what to do, if they do crop up.
Small businesses can benefit immensely from email marketing. You can reach prospects that are willing to give you a chance. You can get your brand to enhance its image exponentially with good email marketing campaigns. People remember brands that remember them. This is the essence of the digital marketing world and email marketing gives you the power to do it.