What Small Businesses Need to Know About Email Marketing

What Small Businesses Need to Know About Email Marketing

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Email marketing. We all know how frustrating it is when your inbox is crammed with sales emails that you don’t even remember signing up for.

 

This kind of experience and not knowing how to manage email marketing puts a lot of small businesses off the idea of trying it all together.

 

In fact email marketing can be a great opportunity for small businesses to stay connected to their customers, key influencers and stakeholders. It just needs to be done well.

 

So here are the top things you need to know about email marketing.

 

 

Email Marketing Systems Make it Easier

 

Small businesses often don’t have dedicated marketing resources or expertise, so it’s difficult to know where to start or find the time for email marketing.

 

An email marketing system makes it incredibly simple. They can automate most of the process for you and deliver professional looking content.

 

The key to email marketing systems is having a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system with an Auto Responder.

 

What’s a CRM?

 

A CRM is a system for managing a company’s interactions with current and future prospects, customers and stakeholders. It captures contact details, sales history and recent communication.

 

CRMs use technology or software to organise, automate, and synchronise sales, marketing, customer service and communication.

 

They can also capture and track tasks and integrate with book keeping and sales systems. Importantly a CRM can help you manage your email campaigns and target your email marketing based on customer actions, dates and other key milestones.

 

CRMs don’t have to be as complex as they sound or expensive. Many are free or low cost. Examples of CRMs include Capsule and Insightly.

 

What’s an Autoresponder?

 

A CRM is often used in conjunction with an email autoresponder to distribute your bulk and automated emails for you.

 

Many CRMs integrate with autoresponder programs so the email communication history will also be captured in the CRM.

 

Mailchimp is a popular autoresponder and has free options available. It includes sign-up forms, easy-to-use email newsletter templates, mailing list management, automated email and segmentation options.

 

Some small businesses may start off with an autoresponder such as Mailchimp before later adding a compatible CRM system.

 

Email Marketing is not Email Sales

 

Your ultimate goal of your email marketing may be to create more sales, but it shouldn’t be the focus of your content.

 

If you don’t like receiving dozens of sales emails, why would people want to receive your sales emails?

 

Focus on creating engaging content. That is, content that is interesting, useful, informative or entertaining. It doesn’t have to directly relate to your business. It’s better in some ways if it doesn’t. The content should be about the reader, not you.

 

So don’t focus on products or services in your content. Focus on content that will help your target audience. Focus on helpful content 80% of the time, so your target audience is more receptive when you do send a special offer or sales-type content.

 

Keep it simple

 

Your email content should be succinct and written in plain language. Subject lines also need to be brief and engaging – you need to give people a reason to open the email in the first place.

 

Monitor and measure

 

CRMs and autoresponders often have built-in analytics to show you subscribe/unsubscribes, bounce, click through and open rates.

 

Regularly check these to determine what kind of content has the best response. What day or time is best to send content? Test different images, templates, email subjects to see what works best.

 

You also need to be aware of your obligations when it comes to privacy and anti-spam.

 

NBC’s Cloud IT Gurus can provide advice on CRMs and auto-responders.

 

Contact us or call 07 3862 8777 for an obligation-free consultation.

 

Tanya Clonan
Tanya Clonan
Tanya manages the marketing and social media of NBC. She has Bachelor of Business, majoring in Marketing and Management degree at Queensland University of Technology.