E-mail marketing for small businesses – Punch Newspapers


Anna Okon

When starting a small business online, one of your biggest challenges could be how to do marketing and sales in the most cost-effective way.

Besides the modern tactics that are always recommended to help grow traffic and acquire customers quickly (social media and Search Engine Optimisation), e-mail marketing for small business has never been forgotten. Probably the most low-cost channel to advertise to mass audience, e-mail marketing has proved never to die but to thrive when the business grows bigger.

Below are some tips from https://ng.oberlo.com  to help you:

Build and grow a massive list

The biggest concern for e-Commerce entrepreneurs is getting traffic. No traffic means no customers and no revenue.

Get traffic with a massive e-mail list and keep it growing everyday using the following method:

  • Create opt-in popups to target new visitors who enter your store for the first time. Ask them to subscribe to your list to get a coupon for their first order and receive exclusive offers.
  • Use exit intent technology to grab e-mails of leaving customers, give them incentives to finish their order such as offering extra discounts or free-shipping.
  • Ask for account sign-up in checkout process. Letting customers check out anonymously keeps checkout process simple, as recommended. However, don’t forget to give them an optional choice: sign up at checkout for an instant discount and better deals later.
  • Incentivise your customers to refer you to their friends.
  • Add a live-chat widget that collects e-mails when your agents are away.
  • Host a viral contest or give-away on social channels and collect e-mails from participants.
  • If your brand is popular on Facebook and your Facebook page is growing largely, add ‘Sign-up’ button on Facebook page to collect subscribers there. Stick a post on the top of the page that calls followers to subscribe.
  • Ask your social followers to subscribe for special deals for social followers only
  • Write captivating blog posts and make part of the content gated. When customers read up to the locked content, ask for their email so you can send full content to their inbox.
  • Use loyalty programmes to reward points for subscribing email or signing up an account with you.
  • People feel more motivated to join a list if they know it will bring them some benefits. Offer e-mail-only deals to encourage your customers to join your email list. Promote your e-mail-only offers widely on homepage banner, header bar, or social media.
  • Make your e-mail support widely known. When customers need support, they can easily get in touch with you via email.

  Map out the customer journey

E-mail marketing for small business serves as a communication channel between you and your customers, and not a very advertising channel like television or radio like in old times. In order to build back-and-forth communication and long-term mutual relationship with customers via e-mail marketing, you need to communicate with them in a personal and detailed level.

How can you deliver the relevant messages based on customer’s actions, if you don’t understand what they do and don’t do?

Put yourself in customer’s shoes and try to answer questions like:

  • Where do my customers come from?
  • What do they normally view, search for when they enter the homepage?
  • How many product pages do they browse through before leaving?
  • Where do they normally abandon orders?
  • What type of products do most customers buy?
  • How many days later will customers come back after the first purchase?

 Develop e-mail marketing flow

After drawing up the customer journey, your next step is to plan what kind of e-mails to send to customers when they take a specific action and enter a group. Personalised e-mail content strategy happens here: you tailor e-mail content so that it is relevant, personal and conveys helpful messages a customer really needs.

The ultimate starting point is to define the conversion goal you want to achieve for a customer group, so that you can customise the exact content to target them. For example, the goal of targeting customers who add items to cart but do not finish payment is getting them back to the site to complete their abandoned carts.

What type of e-mail content can possibly help you to achieve this goal? Think of sending the items left in the cart with a discount offer if they finish purchase within 24 hours, or create scarcity by sending an e-mail to remind them that there are only two items left in stock.

 Choose the right service provider to run e-mail marketing for your business

Using the right tool to implement e-mail marketing for your business saves you costs, time, and many efforts.

Look out for the following criteria when you search for the suitable e-mail service provider:

  • List segmenting: You had better finish mapping out customer journey when you come to this step. Choose an ESP that enables you to segment your customer list easily and to the most detailed level possible.
  • Easy content builder, both in text and in HTML formats: Do you prefer the drag-and-drop HTML format of Mailchimp, or do you just want to make it simple like writing a text e-mail in G-mail? Choose the one that gives you the flexibility of both because in different situations, HTML or text e-mails can do better job than the other.
  • CAN-SPAM compliance: CAN-SPAM Act is a law that sets rules for commercial e-mail and commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have the business to stop e-mailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations. Choose an ESP that requires compliance with the CAN SPAM Act (for example, the ESP requires you to include unsubscribe button in every newsletter you create).
  • Detailed reporting dashboard: Tracking email marketing statistics is of paramount importance in improving the performance of your campaigns. Choose the tools that provide comprehensive reports on metrics of your newsletters.
  • Schedule by time zone: You should be able to schedule to send newsletters by different time zones or even by each recipient’s time zone in order to maximise open rates.
  • Deliverability of high amount of emails: Many e-mail service tools provide free e-mail marketing for very low amount of e-mails sent. Test your options and consider pricing plans to choose the economic option regarding volume of e-mails sent.

 Make decision based on statistics

In marketing and sales generally, and e-mail marketing particularly, it is strongly advised to be data-driven, or in other words, make decisions based on statistical outcome.

How can you decide if a newsletter campaign succeeds or not? You will have to look at its open rate, click through rate, unsubscribe rate, bounce rate, number of orders converted and generated revenue in a specific period. You also have to count in all related costs to set up the campaign and maintain the procedure, such as cost per e-mail sent, fixed cost for your e-mail service provider, coupon code offered, human resources and other costs to figure out the final return on investment of the campaign.

Even so, seeing stand-alone numbers, can you tell that your campaign is actually a success? You need to define the benchmark of both historical numbers and industry-specific numbers to compare the performance of your campaigns.

Search Engine Optimisation

This is the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results – often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results.

In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page) and more frequently a website appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. These visitors can then be converted into customers.

The SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, video search, academic search, news search, and industry-specific vertical search engines.

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