Company News

Rheena Stirm Posted by Rheena Stirm on August 30, 2012

Email Marketing Best Practices for Small Businesses

Email marketing is an intimate, powerful, and cost-effective method for small businesses to communicate with their target markets. Email marketing can help you generate more leads and convert more prospects into buyers.

There are still plenty of people who aren’t on Twitter or Facebook and who don’t own a smartphone – email marketing is a great way to reach them. But not all email marketing campaigns are effective. If you have an email inbox, you’ve surely experienced that for yourself. There are some email newsletters you look forward to receiving, and then there are others that make you want to click the “unsubscribe” button immediately. So, why are some email marketing campaigns successful and why do others fail miserably?

Email is an Opportunity to Forge a Personal Relationship – Use It

If you’re using email marketing to blast sales messages, you’ve got it all wrong. The power of email marketing lies in its intimacy. If someone has given you their email address, it means that they trust you and want to hear from you. Don’t ruin it by sending them impersonal messages hawking your wares. Talk to your email newsletter subscribers as if they were your friends. Give them access to exclusive deals and let them in on sales before the general public knows about them. Tell them the story of your business. Use email marketing to connect with your customers on a more personal level.

When to Send

Timing is everything in email marketing because you have to send your emails out when people are most likely to open and read them. The best time to send emails will vary depending on your industry. For example, if you’re targeting office workers, you shouldn’t send emails out on Friday at 5pm. If you’re targeting parents, sending an email on a Sunday afternoon when families are typically relaxing at home might be a good choice.

To determine which sending times will get you more readers and click-throughs, perform tests. Once you determine the best days and times, be consistent about sending emails so people will know when to expect your emails to hit their inboxes.

Make It Easy to Unsubscribe

Don’t make your customers jump through hoops to unsubscribe from your emails. Eventually, someone’s going to unsubscribe, no matter how fantastic your email newsletters are. According to Exact Target, 54% of email subscribers say that they unsubscribe when they feel that emails are coming too frequently. That’s why it’s important to tell your customers upfront exactly how often they’ll receive updates from you. You might even want to consider offering your subscribers various email frequency options because for your newest prospects, even a weekly update might be too much.

Be Specific

Encourage your customers to opt into your email newsletters by letting them know exactly what they’ll get and what the benefits are. For example, if you plan to send your email subscribers promotions and deals, emphasize that to entice people to sign up for your list. If you merely say, “Sign up for our newsletter,” you’ll fail to engage them. Customers love good deals, so do not hesitate to make deals a central component of your email marketing initiatives.

Need Help with Email Marketing?

efelle designs and develops small business websites that come equipped with FusionCMS, which features a newsletter module called efelleNews. efelleNews boasts a dynamic list management system that automatically handles opt-ins, opt-outs, and bounces. What’s more, efelleNews provides you with a branded email template that you can use to send emails to subscribers. To learn more about how efelleNews’s newsletter module can set your small business’s email marketing campaigns up for success, give us a call at 206.384.4909 or fill out our online contact form.