If your small business hasn’t embraced email marketing then you’re really missing out on some important opportunities. I know this view isn’t universally shared. Every now and then someone likes to write up a blog post that says that email marketing is dead.
They’ll cite statistics that open rates for emails are at an all-time low. They’ll talk about how we all get too much spam and as a result it’s increasingly harder and harder to get your message to stand out. While there may be some truth to what the naysayers say, email marketing is still effective and critical for small business owners and here’s why…
The ROI is Insane
The Direct Marketing Association reports that businesses make an average of $40 for every $1 spent on email marketing. That’s a ROI of 4000%. You just won’t get that kind of ROI from your other marketing efforts.
You also won’t have to spend very much on email marketing. The average email list management program starts at about $20 per month.
These services typically charge you more for a high number of subscribers, but your average small business won’t generally exceed the number of subscribers covered in a typical $20/month plan.
If you do exceed the entry-level threshold of subscribers, which is usually around 500 subscribers, the amount of return you should be getting for that list will more than pay for the slight price increase.
Services include Aweber, MailChimp, Constant Contact, Benchmark email, and many others. Most of them share the same basic features. The differences come in the prices, look, feel, and user-friendliness of the interface.
It’s Easy to Get Started
It’s very easy to get started with email marketing once you pick your service. Everything is point, click, cut, and paste.
You may want to consider an offer or giveaway to entice people to subscribe to your list. Here are a few suggestions:
- A chiropractor might give away an exclusive discount to first-time subscribers.
- An interior designer might give away a 20 page ebook with easy home decorating suggestions.
- A 15% off coupon on your next plumber’s visit.
- A lawyer could give away a packet of the most commonly used forms and letters for his branch of law.
The email list program will take you through a step-by-step point-and-click process for creating a sign-up form for your website. It will also show you how to attach your offer to the “thank you” page. That is, the customer won’t be able to download the coupon or the forms until they’re all signed up.
You can then simply copy and paste the code for the sign-up form into your website. Use your list provider’s pre-generated templates to create an attractive email newsletter.
You can even automate the process by using the auto-responder feature. You can schedule a month’s worth of emails in a single sitting.
Email Marketing Lets You Nurture Your Leads
Content marketing and social media bring customers, but they don’t necessarily keep them. Email marketing lets you make multiple points of contact with your visitors.
In addition, if you can find a way to do it in a useful, engaging way, people are far more tolerant of marketing via email than they are of marketing via social media. People even expect to see marketing messages via email.
When the customer signs up or takes advantage of your offer they’re basically telling you that they are interested. They’re giving you permission to market to them.
Put another way, content marketing and social media marketing fill up the top of a massive sales funnel. Email marketing represents the middle of that funnel. The buyers are at the bottom.
It often takes 7 points of contact with a customer to get him or her to buy. Email marketing provides you with a reliable way to make that contact.
Email marketing also gives you a reliable way to convert first-time customers to repeat customers by building a relationship. As you know, most of your money will always be in repeat customers!
Today’s Action Items:
- Choose an e-mail service.
- Add a sign-up form and sign-up incentive to your website.