email marketing for micro businesses

what is email marketing?

Email marketing is a form of online communication between your business and the chosen recipient. In most cases, the recipient is someone who has chosen to receive communication via email by giving you their email address in some way.

where to start with email marketing?

Building an email list is very important for micro businesses. There are a variety ways you can build up your email list and it doesn’t have to be done all online. If you host events or interact with your customers and target market in an offline setting, you could use this opportunity to ask for their email address (or business card). Alternatively, you can use pop ups, widgets and web forms on your website to encourage visitors to exchange their email address for a newsletter sign up or incentivise them with a promotion of some sort.

Social media is also another channel you can use to gather email addresses. A useful tip to increase your email list using social media is to take advantage of the ‘Pin Post’ function on Facebook and Twitter to promote your email newsletter.

Another popular method used by small businesses to build up an email list is to purchase third party data. This can have advantages by being able to send marketing messages to a large audience, but is also unsolicited and likely to lead to a lot of hate mail in return and unsubscribes. Third party data can be expensive and it’s much better to invest that money into improving your product or service than hoping for an effective pay and spray approach.

how can I apply email marketing to my business?

After building up an email list, follow these 4 steps to help you maximise your email marketing efforts:

1. Objectives

Start all marketing activities with objectives, email marketing is no different. When deciding on what you want to achieve, remember that email marketing is direct line to your customers and potential customers, make sure you respect their time and inbox!

A helpful way to start with email marketing objectives is to think about the benefits of having that direct line of communication. You can can stay connected through promoting new content, offers, events and start building a relationship that leads to customer loyalty and trust.

A great way to make your relationship two way is to ask your email list subscribers for their opinions and thoughts. If you can extract this valuable information from your customers, you can use this as market research for developing new products and services.

2. Design

Now it’s time to start designing your email templates. You find inspiration for email template designs from Really Good Emails and use an email marketing provider such as MailChimp for management.

As for copy, optimisng your headline will be key to your CTR (click through rate). There are many different types of headlines to choose from but be sure to make it fall into one of the following topics:

  • CTA (call to action)
  • Curiosity
  • Direct
  • Personalised
  • Playful
  • Scarcity

3. Send

When choosing who to send it to, it’s a good idea to segment your email database into different lists and audiences. If you have a big database then it’s recommended to look into drip marketing, this helps segment your lists and send auto response emails based on their behaviours. This is a key feature of marketing automation and can be very rewarding if done correctly. An example of how a drip marketing model works is below:

4. Analyse

The majority of email marketing providers will have analytics functionality built in, however, if you want to really dive deep into understanding the performance of your email marketing campaigns, you’ll want to integrate Google Analytics. This can be done with the majority of services available.

When analysing your email marketing campaigns the following key metrics are important to measure:

  • Open Rate - how many people have opened your emails
  • Bounce Rate - the number of people who haven’t received your email
  • Click Through Rate - how many people have clicked on link from your email
  • Unsubscribed - how many people have unsubscribed from your email list

where can I find out more about email marketing?