Email Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

Email marketing is one of the most important tools a small business can have. Every day, we consume endless amounts of content across dozens of platforms, saturated with advertisements. With an email list, you’re able to form a community of your most dedicated customers and speak directly to them.

It’s essential to strike a balance between providing value in the form of information-packed content while also marketing to the consumer in your email campaigns. This is where many small businesses struggle and miss the mark. If you flood your subscriber’s inbox with useless sales pitches, they will ignore, delete, or worse… unsubscribe.


View Every Subscriber as a Valuable Asset

Whether you have 1 subscriber or 100,000 subscribers on your email list, it is absolutely essential to see each of these subscribers as a human being, not just a cold sales lead.

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Now more than ever, people are seeking connection and community through online spaces. As a small business, it is highly recommended that you share the personal side of your business with your subscribers. This does not mean airing out your dirty laundry for the world to see. This means sharing the inspiration behind the company and new products, showing behind the scenes photos and videos, and giving your subscribers fun tidbits about you and your business.

Consider featuring a book of the month to show what you’ve been reading. Provide a charity that you have teamed up with to donate a portion of company proceeds. Share a playlist you listen to when packing up customer orders.

These things all may seem to have nothing to do with your business, but as a small business owner, you ARE the business. You have something special to offer the world, and the more you pull back the curtain on what motivates you to be an entrepreneur, the more people will flock to you and your email list.

Create Valuable Content To Keep Your Subscribers Engaged

Sales heavy email blasts can quickly become digital noise to your valuable subscribers. Once you have turned off a potential customer, it is nearly impossible to get them back.

As a small business, eventually you will need to send a sales heavy email blast. Send these as sparingly as possible. If you send content heavy emails 90% of the time, when you have a sale or product launch, it will catch your subscriber’s attention.

What exactly is valuable content? You can write a blog post about something that pertains to your business. For example, if you are a laptop refurbishing company, you can write about how buying refurbished electronics secondhand saves tons of waste from sitting in landfills. Back up your writing with research and insight. Prove to your customers that you care about your company values.

Humans are information oriented, especially in the digital age. If there is a scientific reason you chose a specific ingredient for a product, write about it! If your small business is partnering with a local community volunteer project, document it and share it!

Imagine your subscribers are busy and their daily inbox is already flooded with work related emails, stressful news about current events, and tons of marketing emails. What will you put in your email campaign that will make them want to open that email?

Creative and informational emails provide value to your subscribers as well as more dimension to your brand story. It will keep them engaged and subscribed, so when you do send out that rare sales blast, they will be listening.

Oversending Overwhelms and Causes Customers to Unsubscribe

One of the most important aspects of email marketing for small businesses is to space out the emails you send to avoid overwhelming your customers.

Remember to value each and every one of your email subscribers. Put yourself in their shoes. They are already inundated with marketing in their inbox daily, along with ads on instagram, facebook, youtube, and every web page they visit. If you’re flooding their inbox with useless marketing email, not only will they unsubscribe to your list, it might also turn them off from your brand altogether.

Many small businesses feel it necessary to send out an email every week or even more. If there isn’t something important to say to your email subscribers, don’t send the email. It’s best to send out valuable emails packed with interesting content than sending many emails that are just sales and marketing based.

Many small businesses opt for a monthly newsletter with brand updates, new releases, blog posts, and more. They may send out the occasional additional email to announce a big sale or new product launch, but they’re seldom. These are the small businesses that do the best with their email marketing campaigns.

Use Multiple Lists to Avoid Overwhelming Your Most Valuable Customers

Having multiple lists is the key to successful email marketing campaigns. This will keep the emails you send to your subscribers as targeted as possible, which will keep them engaged and subscribed.

And don't forget to verify emails before adding to any of the list. It's very essential if you want to keep sending emails without any trouble.

How do you categorize your lists? It depends on your small business!

If you sell products, categorize your lists based on customers who have purchased a specific product. Send out an email to those customers to ask how they’re enjoying the product and open the door for them to ask any questions. This feels personal and will establish brand loyalty.

You can also create lists based on customers who have subscribed to your list but haven’t converted to paying customers yet. This is an opportunity to run what is called a drip campaign. Little by little, engage these subscribers in a funnel of emails to get them more and more engaged. Space the emails out just enough to keep their interest but not so much that you overwhelm them. This will help you convert some of those subscribers into valuable customers. If they signed up for your list in the first place, they are interested in your brand. Don’t let that opportunity slip through your fingers!

Add An Element of Exclusivity

A great way to keep your subscribers interested is to add perks that only email subscribers get to experience. Possibly, you can announce a “secret sale” with discounts for only those on your email list. You can also share behind the scenes information or even new product sneak peeks to those who are on your list.

Not only will this exclusivity keep your current subscribers interested, but it will also help you gather new subscribers. See your email subscription as a barter or exchange. In exchange for the user’s subscription, you provide interesting content that is of value to the user. If a potential email subscriber asked you “why should I subscribe to your list”, you should be able to answer.

Hopefully, these tips helped you on your journey to scaling your small business through email marketing. Remember to always stay genuine and authentic in your emails.

Published on 18 Feb 2021
Author: Olivia Pasquarelli

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