Email Marketing: Hero of the Small Business

Newspaper ads, television commercials, social media campaigns, and mass text messaging – these are just a few of the marketing methods that businesses can use to increase the visibility of their brand. Email Marketing: Hero of the Small BusinessThese options also tend to be costly and far too broad in scope.  Fortunately, there is a simple, targeted, and highly effective marketing technique that is currently used by millions of businesses to facilitate growth – email marketing.

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is the direct marketing of your business to consumers via email.  Most of the time, this type of marketing is used for sending general advertisements, offering discounts, soliciting donations, and most importantly, providing valuable information to your customers.  Clearly, this is effective – approximately 44% of consumers receiving emails last year made a purchase based on email marketing and 27% believe their favorite companies should invest more in email.

Benefits of Using Email Marketing for Your Business

Control Costs

No matter how hard you try to cut the costs of direct mail and similar campaigns, nothing comes even close to challenging email marketing in terms of cost effectiveness. It allows you to reach a large number of consumers with very little expense.

Track Your Campaign Success

Once an email campaign is put into motion, you can easily track the success of your efforts.  You can see how many people received your email, opened it, clicked on the links, went to the landing page, or unsubscribed.  This tracking data can inform your future marketing decisions.

Protect the Environment

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than 50% of all direct mail is thrown away without even being opened – a sobering statistic when you consider that nearly 100 million trees are destroyed every year to generate that mail. You can do your part in protecting the environment and demonstrate to customers that your business is socially responsible by using email marketing. This is not only an environment-friendly alternative; it also helps you maximize the number of customers you reach in a short time period, making it is good for the environment, and it is good for business.

Elements of a Successful Email Campaign

To have a truly successful email marketing campaign it’s not enough to simply send out emails in bulk – those emails must actually be read by the consumer.  Although open rates for emails tend to vary greatly between industries, the average hovers around 20-40% – that means you need to convince consumers that your email is worth reading.

First of all, the subject and from fields, need to be as detailed and creative as possible.  Roughly, 33% of consumers open an email based on subject line alone and subjects consisting of less than 10 characters have a 58% open rate. That means you have to concisely provide customers with incentive to click on your emails.

When writing emails, white space is your friend. You should avoid making readers wade through a crushing amount of text before reaching the main idea or offer in your email.  The trick is to be concise while providing valuable content.

Most emails should end with a clear call-to-action.  This call-to-action should reflect what you hope to gain from the email such as signups for a company catalog or purchases directly from your site. Whatever your overarching message may be, make it clear and compelling.

How to Avoid Being Flagged as Junk Mail

Getting customers to opt-in to emails will provide you with a steady flow of targeted individuals who genuinely want to learn more about your products and services.  Also, as a general rule you should avoid using words like guaranteed winner, affordable, buy, clearance, extra income, hurry, congratulations, and free in subject lines or persistently throughout an email.  Filters are smart – it’s not just about what you put in the subject line, but also about what you put into the body of the email.

When to Use an Affiliate Network or Agency

For some businesses, it is enough to simply create an opt-in newsletter to advertise promotions and provide valuable content for customers while other companies seek more comprehensive email marketing strategies. If you want to see your business experience rapid and sustainable growth, you can benefit from collaborating with affiliate marketing networks.

About A.Edwards

A. Edwards works and writes for Madrivo an email driven industry leader in the pay per performance network arena.