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Email Marketing and Why it’s Critical for Small Businesses

Perhaps you have been told of the wonders of email marketing and how it can be a rather useful tool for your business. However, as is with any skeptical person when encountering something new, you’d be wondering this:

Why should I even bother with that?

It’s not that you find the whole thing to be sketchy, just to be clear. It’s just that you’d rather know what you are truly getting yourself into before, well, jumping in head first. Without a doubt, email marketing is a fairly effective tool that your business can rely on. However, what you might not have known is that it’s presence in your arsenal of marketing tools is not only welcome but also truly crucial for your business’s survival in the online market. And here is why.

Buyers actually Like Email

As a small business, the first hurdle that you have to clear when it comes to online marketing is your budget. To be frank, your business won’t have a lot so things like video advertisements and banner ads are still out of the equation.

So your next best bet is Social Media and indeed some businesses have thrived with doing their marketing through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Here is the thing, though: Social Media, as good as it is, does not still have an optimum level of generating the organic reach that brands are looking for. That means that all those Likes, Shares, and Re-Tweets do not necessarily convert to an increase in walk-in customers and, of course, sales.

Your next best bet, then, is Email marketing which makes for a more direct and professional-looking channel to reach out to your leads and make them convert into paying customers. This could work to your advantage since people actually prefer using their email in communicating, as surprising as that sounds.

In fact, there is roughly 34% of the entire world’s population that still uses email for everything that they do online. That translates to 2.5 billion people as of now.

The secret to all of this is the rather permissive nature of email. It’s basically content that the person has willfully and knowingly allow in to their daily online interactions. In practice, people get signed up on email lists because they want to. They get emails from you because they are interact with you and have given their permission for you to engage with them.

From a marketer’s perspective, this means that you are already interacting with people who have more or less shown interest for your brand. This would mean that you’d have an easier time converting them into paying customers than you would with a complete stranger to your brand.

Here are a few more reasons why consumers would prefer email over any other marketing channel.

  • It’s Actually Convenient

Since email is easier to access through the phone than on the computer, it is the more preferred method of communication for a lot of consumers today. Also, email allows a brand to uniquely interact with consumers by giving away tangible digital rewards such as coupons and special links in every mail that they send out. For the consumer, it is an easy communication channel. For the brand, it is a platform where many unique interactions can happen; at the same time to boot.

  • It’s Personal

A lot of modern-day consumers actually do not like conventional advertisements over the tone that they use. It’s either too general or too vague to the point that the brand may be sending a message but they are actually not talking to each audience member on a more personal, intimate level.

This is where email has the advantage as you can easily segment your emails to respond to different specific actions made by a person. If a person subscribes, they get an email. If they buy something, they get an email. If they bailed on their cart, reached an anniversary, or are celebrating a special date, they get an email. The number of touchpoints along the journey and its variations amongst different niches means the number of options are practically endless.

The importance of personalizing your emails is that they become relevant to the consumer depending on what they were doing or intending to perform. And when a message is relevant, the chances of it being rejected are reduced. The way that relevance can also be improved is through the compelling offer that you give through each email that you send out.

  • It’s Quick

Responding in real time is the key to keeping that relationship you have with your customers alive and active. This means that they must be notified that you know about something beneficial they did for the business and offer them a reward for it.

This is where emails are advantageous as you can give compelling and relevant offers to your customers. And the best part is that you can give unique offers to multiple people in your email list simultaneously. This depends on how well you set up your automated email system but it does not remove the fact that you can create multiple unique interactions occurring within seconds from each other all over the world through email.

Mobile Reach

There is the fact that the population of mobile users have tremendously increased in the past decade. Whether it is shopping or watching videos or consuming other content, there is always a person using their mobile device to access the internet for one reason or another. And all of these actions will be closely tied to their emails.

As a matter of fact, checking one’s email is one of the most popular online activities among mobile users today, beating out browsing the web, games, and even social media by 78%. This only goes to show that email still plays a crucial role in online activities either in a personal computer or a mobile device.

And email marketing does offer one unique advantage for businesses wanting to reach out to mobile users: everything is already set up for them. Unlike in SMS marketing or website optimization, a small business does not have to invest in new technology for email marketing save for an automation system which is rather easy to master.

So, how optimized are emails for the mobile platform? As of now, 48% of emails sent worldwide are opened on mobile devices. However, only 11% of those are optimized for mobile devices. As a result, 69% of users tend to delete emails that are not mobile optimized but this also means that 64% users tend to make crucial decisions when they read email on their mobile devices.

As such, there are a few things that you could do to optimize your emails and make them reach out to mobile users.

  • Keep Things Simple – The template that you are going to use must be something that is easy to see and use on a mobile screen. Something that can be easily navigated through regardless of the native screen size and has a cleaner layout tends to do the trick here.
  • Limit on the Images – Images are a strong form of content but they are not native to the email content type. They take longer to load which breaks the immersion and some may just prove to be a hassle to scroll through on smaller screens.
  • Optimize Text – If possible, the reader has to get the core of your message without having to scroll more than 3 times. Use short sentences and paragraphs and get to the point as soon as you can.
  • Use the Call to Action prompts – In mobile devices, a CTA button will prove to be more engaging than a link. This is so that the option to click through remains within the control of the reader and they don’t accidentally click on something when they are still reading your message. It also goes without saying that your button should be big enough so users with large fingers can click on them easily.

The essence here is that the population of mobile users are growing every year. Catering to their specific content needs while optimizing your email’s design is one way to reach out to this new breed of Internet user which hopefully translates to more conversions.

Versatility

As of now, Social Media remains one of the top marketing tools for small businesses. But that is not to say that it hasn’t got any limitations depending on the platform. For example, there may be text and character limits for each post which can affect how you can convey messages. Also, as far as traditional ads are concerned in this platform, they are always separated and can be seen as intrusive.

With email, however, there is a wide range of options to make your emails personalized and interactive. An email automation system can allow to craft messages in direct response to any specific action that a person makes regarding your business. Yes, two or more persons will get the same message but the relevance of what such message contains is quite considerable that whatever you are trying to say does not feel forced or robotic.

Aside from automation, there is actually quite a lot that you can add or say in your message that is going to make your message all the more personalized and engaging. Adding links to digital coupons in your message tends to encourage buyers to buy more from your online shop or a link to a preview to new content makes them want to convert more.

The point is that email gives you tons of options that will keep interest for your brand alive for your email list. It’s up to your diligence and creativity to discover what you can do to spruce things up for your emails.

Cost

As was previously stated, your marketing budget as a small business is not exactly on par with what bigger companies have. So, a few of the more effective and conventional marketing campaigns are still a bit beyond your reach for now.

This is where email marketing has an added advantage as the asking price to set up one is relatively low even for small businesses. All you need is a subscription to an email marketing platform, your email list, and a plan on what content to put out and when.

And in as much as it is inexpensive to start with, maintaining an email marketing campaign is equally cost-effective. The act of updating your emails or renewing subscriptions for the tools you use for your campaigns is not hard nor will it cost you a lot in the long run.

This is a stark contrast to some forms of online marketing that can cost thousands of dollars every year to maintain. With email marketing, you would be paying by the penny for every recipient which is comparatively not much.

But, of course, money is not the sole issue here. What about the manpower? Would it eventually be demanding to maintain an email marketing campaign if you need people to do it for you? The answer is “Not Really”.

There is the option to hire the services of an outsourcing email agency to do the job for you – We could do that for you. Yes, there is an up-front investment that comes with this kind of arrangement but their work will ultimately help you save money in the long run.

With somebody else doing the email marketing for you, your team now has enough room to focus on other tasks. And since this email marketing team is experienced with their field, they can produce better results than you. All it takes is for you to get help from the right kind of agency.

ROI

Perhaps the biggest advantage that email marketing has is its ability to produce a sizeable return of investment relative to your investment on it. The value it brings to your business can be categorized in 4 fields which are:

  • An increase in company revenue
  • Increase in traffic to your website and walk-in customers to your physical store
  • Improved sales conversions
  • Better brand awareness
  • Ease of integration to all your existing marketing campaigns, doubling their results as well.

There are quite a lot more benefits that email marketing can do for your business, depending on the situation. However, the core appeal of the tool can be simplified into one phrase: double the results at a fraction of the cost.

With a good email marketing system set up, you can establish your foothold in the online market, increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your sites, and improve on customer conversions which tends to results in better sales. And best of all is that such a system can be set up in no time and for practically low costs.

Regardless of how long you have been in business, you can have an email marketing system set up easily on your own or, preferably, with the help of an agency. Once done, the system will do the rest in managing your email interactions while your team focuses on other core aspects of the business.