With all of the forward thinking hype surrounding social media marketing, its older brother, the email campaign, is often seen as something of a relic of a past. But for small businesses, email campaigns are still an important part of any marketing toolbox and may even drive more sales than social media campaigns.
Consider the following if you’re contemplating launching a new small business email marketing campaign.
Email Marketing and Social Media
A recent study of online marketing techniques found that email marketing generated new customers for online retailers at a rate of roughly 7%, while social media had a conversion rate for new buyers of less than 1%. That’s a huge finding and it’s a little bit surprising to everyone who’s been saying email is old news and social media is the way of the future.
I’m by no means saying that you should deactivate your Facebook account and pledge to never post another photo to Instagram again. There’s no one way to market online that will cover all your bases. Those forms of online marketing that rely on social networks do work, and they’re a great way to build a brand image and interact with customers even if they don’t always directly translate into immediate conversions.
That said, social media should be thought of as more of a long game, big picture strategy, with email working to gain more short-term conversions.
Tips for Small Business Email Marketing
Of course, like any online marketing, you need to have a strategy for your email campaign. Throwing together some text and sending it out willy-nilly is not the way to get that 7% conversion rate.
Try some of the following tactics to grow your subscriber list and send out high-quality emails that will actually be read:
Subscription Calls to Action
Post subscription calls to action on your blog, at the end of website pages and even on your social media pages. It’s no use sending out awesome written content if it’s not going to land in any inboxes.
Content That’s in Demand
Send the content subscribers want. Upon sign-up, allow subscribers to choose whether they want deals, business updates or tips about products. This ensures that subscribers will stay subscribers, and it gives you an idea of what kind of content is most popular.
Create an editorial calendar. Know well in advance what you’re going to send out so you don’t find yourself scrambling to produce something.
Keep it brief. Make sure that readers can quickly scan your content and get all the major information. Ideally, they’ll be interested enough to read the whole thing, but no one is going to commit to reading a big block of text without some idea of whether or not it’s relevant.
Check Spam Regulations
Don’t land in spam folders. Before you send anything out, make sure that it complies with all of the major spam regulations so it doesn’t get automatically funneled away from inboxes.
If you’re looking for more tips for getting an email campaign off the ground, Forbes’s offers a guide to email marketing for small businesses.
Email Photo via Shutterstock