Small Business Advice

Email marketing tips for small businesses

Charlotte Harwood

Creating a successful email marketing campaign is easier than you might think...

As a small business or start-up, it’s essential that you market your business to get it out there and on the public radar. But what if you don’t have the necessary expertise to do it, let alone the budget?

Contrary to popular belief, marketing is easier (and cheaper) than you might think. If you’ve got grand ambitions but you’re on a shoestring, there are still ways that you can successfully set up and manage a marketing campaign, and one method is probably already staring you in the face: email.

Why email marketing?

Email marketing is a popular choice for businesses of all shapes and sizes. It’s a cost-effective and practically instantaneous way of grabbing the attention of customers and potential customers alike, and of making their pathway to your business that much easier. It’s also a way of creating a relationship with your customers, giving them the chance to be among the first to hear about your latest offers, new promotions, and even just to stay informed about developments within your business.

But email marketing isn’t just a convenient way for your customers to stay in the loop; it’s also a budget-friendly marketing method that makes great business sense for start-ups and SMEs. Think about it: using email to send out customer communications rather than physical printed handouts will save you a huge chunk of money over the course of the year, not to mention the fact that increasing numbers of people simply prefer online to off.

There is, however, a fine line between building a successful email marketing campaign and one that will instantly be sent to the junk folder. So how do you make sure your emails land firmly in the inbox?

Personalise emails to your customers

We’ll get straight to the point: addressing someone by their name is much more meaningful than sending out a generic ‘Dear customer’ email. Aside from the fact that people simply like being called by their names, sending emails addressed to each individual customer makes them feel like your business values their custom. And if they feel valued, they’re more likely to feel connected to your business – see where this is going?

Don’t just stop at the customer’s name, though. Rather than signing off a marketing email with your business name, use your own name or one of your employee’s to make it more personal. Little things like this actually go a long way towards building vital connections between your business and your customers.

Identify different targets

If your business offers a range of different products or services, it’s logical to assume that not everyone in your mailing list will be interested in the same one. With that in mind, it makes sense to research your customers to find out what they’re most interested in, what they’ve bought from you before, and what other products or services they might benefit from. When you’ve got that information, you can split your mailing list into several groups, and target each with different offers.

Don’t forget a call to action

Never underestimate the importance of a strong, clear call to action. It’s your way of telling the customer what they should do next, whether that’s call, sign up, or even buy something. Missing out this vital component will result in your email being closed and discarded, which means no sale.

A good call to action doesn’t have to be anything extraordinary. A simple line at the end of an email along with a link or phone number is the most effective, and as long as it’s clear what you’re asking customers to do then there’s no reason why it shouldn’t work.

Email marketing can be effective and successful when done well, but the key point to remember is to keep it simple and relevant – otherwise your hard work will end up in the spam folder. For more tips on growing your customer base, check out our article on Building customer loyalty