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Archive for the ‘Email Marketing’ Category

The Hidden Mystery Behind Email Marketing for Small Business

Email marketing for small business is one of the original digital marketing channels, and it’s still one of the most effective ways to reach, nurture, and convert leads into customers.

Many other digital marketing strategies have come and gone. But you can’t beat landing in someone’s inbox and talking to them directly on a 1-to-1 basis. To back this up, according to Hubspot, email generates $38 for every $1 spent. It’s also incredibly easy once you know what you’re doing.

Here’s everything you need to know about why email marketing is so important, and how you could be using it to grow your business.

What Is Email Marketing?

In a nutshell, email marketing is a digital marketing strategy that involves sending emails to customers and prospects to make sales or increase your brand awareness.

Individuals and businesses use email marketing to nurture their subscribers, build trust, and ultimately convert prospects into paying customers and fans of their products.

Effective email marketing campaigns are one of the most lucrative digital marketing channels. It’s relatively inexpensive to do, you have direct contact with targeted customers, and it’s scalable.

Why Is Email Marketing Important?

Email marketing is an essential part of any digital marketing campaign. For some companies, it plays a crucial role that they couldn’t operate without. Whatever your marketing goals are, below are some of the reasons why email marketing is critical.

You Own Your List

A lot of internet marketers cultivate their communities online using social media platforms such as Facebook groups, forums, blogs, etc. The benefit of doing this is that you have the infrastructure to place to nurture an audience, the costs are minimal, and people are familiar with the platforms.

The downside, however, and it’s a considerable downside, is that your audience could disappear overnight.

The platform or administrators own your audience if you’re using their platform – not you. This is why it’s important to turn those people into email subscribers.

Once they’re on your list, you own them. You can talk to them directly when you want, as often as you want, and you don’t need the foundation of a third-party platform to host your conversations.

It’s the Most Direct Form of Communication

Generally speaking, people are busy. It’s also hard to reach someone directly, especially people who spend a lot of time connected to the online world.

Landing in their inbox is the most direct way to reach someone. A study published on the Harvard Business Review showed that, on average, professionals check their email 15 times per day.

This may be less than the number of times someone checks their social media. But there is a lot less clutter to sort through in an inbox, and people are more engaged with email.

Email Converts Well

As an internet marketer, you should always be looking for ways to improve the ROI on your time and money spent marketing to your audience. So, you’ll be interested to hear that email is one of the highest converting marketing channels.

The key metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversions vary from industry to industry. It’s hard to put a number on what kind of success you can expect. However, as an industry-wide benchmark, the average open rate for emails is 21.80%, with a click-through rate of 2.78% (source).

You can’t get those kinds of numbers through social media and organic reach. Not without spending a good amount on either building your online presence or using paid ads.

Ways You Can Use Email Marketing

There are loads of ways to use email marketing and various types of emails you can send. For the most part, you’ll need to find a strategy that suits your audience.

Some methods are industry-specific, some suit the senders better than others, and some have become a staple for email marketing best practices. With that said, here are a few of the most common ways companies utilize email marketing to grow their business:

Welcome or Onboarding Series

When someone signs up for a mailing list they made a deliberate action to hand over their email address. Welcome emails have a much higher open rate than other mails, at around 57%. This is one of the best opportunities you’ll have to introduce yourself and your business and let your readers know what’s in store down the line.

Off the back of this mail, you should have an auto-responder series already written up and scheduled to send out automated emails over the coming days and weeks.

Where you take the visitor is up to you. For most responder series, the goal is to build trust across a few emails by offering free content and providing social proof and ultimately leading to a paid offer.

Promoting New Products

Email marketing is the best way to promote new products. You can give your list the feeling of exclusivity and being part of something that hasn’t been released to the public yet.

Typically, people on an email list are warm prospects. This means they’ve shown an interest in you and your products. They are more likely to buy from you than cold prospects on a social media blast, for example.

Building Trust for Brand Awareness

You don’t have to sell to your email list. Some businesses use their emails to build trust by offering free content, doing giveaways, keeping in constant contact, and so on. This builds brand awareness and trust, which in turn produces a larger audience and will lead to more sales organically.

Generating Blog Traffic

At its most basic level, online marketers use their mailing list to notify their audience when they’ve published a new blog post. Sending direct traffic to a website is much quicker than waiting for organic search, plus it has a positive SEO benefit.

If blog traffic isn’t essential, you can paste the whole blog post into the email. Effectively using your mails as a form of content marketing.

The Importance of List Segmentation

Segmenting an email list is the process of breaking up a list of email addresses into smaller groups based on specific criteria. This allows you to better target subscribers with information that is more relevant to them.

Most people get more than enough emails. So, anything you can do as a sender to make sure they’re getting emails that benefit them, the better it is for both parties.

In fact, according to Optinmonster, segmenting an email list has the following benefits:

  • Decreases unsubscribe rates
  • Boost click-through rates
  • Increases email open rates

That’s a positive effect on the three key metrics you want to track when using email marketing.

Depending on the software you’re using, you’ll be able to “tag” subscribers or use different opt-in lead magnets to understand what they’re interested in.

From there, you can group your contacts into smaller email lists and send each group emails based on their interests, needs, and wants.

3 of the Best Email Platforms

There are a lot of email platforms and email marketing software to choose from on the market. Here is a brief review of three of the best email marketing service providers:

MailChimp

Mailchimp Logo - small business email marketing platform
What first struck me about MailChimp was how well designed and user-friendly their interface is.

If you’re using email software for the first time, MailChimp is a great choice. They have detailed video tutorials, their platform is easy to navigate, and best of all, they have a generous free plan.

Here’s a brief look at the pros and cons:

Pros:

  • The free plan allows you to send up to 10,000 emails per month and maintain a list of up to 2,000 subscribers.
  • They have some excellent reporting features.
  • There is a wide range of email newsletter templates and sign up forms that are easy to tweak for your use.

Cons:

  • Their paid plans are more expensive than some other providers.

AWeber

Aweber Logo - small business email marketing platform
AWeber is one of the longest-established email marketing companies. They’ve been in business for around 20 years, so they’ve been doing a lot of things right. This software is on the higher end of the pricing spectrum, but you have all the tools you’ll need to manage your email outreach.

Here’s a brief look at the pros and cons:

Pros:

  • They make it easy to tag and segment your subscribers and have some useful tools for working with your different lists.
  • There is an extensive database of helpful tools, FAQs, and tutorials to help you get to grips with their software.

Cons:

  • They only offer a 1-month free trial, followed by steep pricing brackets.

Active Campaign

active campaign logo - small business email marketing platform
If you intend to take email marketing seriously and want to get off on the right foot, you can’t go wrong with Active Campaign. Used by small business owners to large corporations, Active Campaign is one of, if not the best email marketing providers.

This email marketing tool and software has some powerful tools to help you create and deliver your email outreach.

Pros:

  • They have some powerful marketing automation tools to make managing a large list easier and efficient.
  • With thorough reporting tools, you can analyze the success of your campaigns and make changes based on real data.
  • Competitive pricing.

Cons:

  • The only real downside is that you may feel overwhelmed or never use a lot of their advanced features.

Sender Score and Trust

Spam is a huge issue, and it’s been an ongoing battle since the inception of emails. Before you start blasting thousands of emails out, you need to be aware that all of the major email providers, Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, etc., have spam filters in place to block what they perceive as “spam.”

Marketing software also has some procedures in place to limit or stop spammy activity from their side. Anyone sending a large volume of emails will have a “sender score” and “email reputation.”

These are two metrics email providers use to determine if they should let the sender’s emails through to the recipient’s inbox. It’s a complicated metric based on a lot of factors. In short, email providers monitor how many emails you send, your open rate, and whether or not people are complaining that you’re sending them spam.

For this reason, it’s crucial you always act responsibly and don’t spam your email list. You should still work to improve your open rate too.

Tips to Help Improve Your Open Rate

The higher your open rate, the higher your conversions will be. It’s worth putting in the time and effort to try and improve your open rate continually.

Here are some tips to help:

  • Segment your audience – I touched on this earlier. The more relevant your emails are to the recipient, the more likely they are to open the email.
  • Ask to be “whitelisted” – Spam filters can be overprotective at times. In your welcome email, ask to be whitelisted or added to their address book.
  • Think about timing – This is going to be very industry or niche-specific, but you should try and find out the day and time your audience is most likely to open their emails.
  • Work on your subject line – The subject line can sink or swim when it comes to open rates. Work on your copy and use subject lines that appeal to your audience.
  • Be personable – If you’ve made it into someone’s email box, you’re almost friends. The more personable and friendly you are, the more they’ll trust you and your emails.
  • Deliver value – If you are going to increase open rates over time, you need to deliver content your audience appreciates consistently.

Related Articles:

Contact Elevare to learn more about leveraging small business email marketing to increase you sales and expose your brand.

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How to Make Being Unsubscribed to Work For You

You may look at your unsubscribe rate and frown, but it’s not as bad as it seems. There are ways you can make being unsubscribed work for you, as I’ll explain in this article.

You can use those unsubscribes to learn valuable lessons to push your business forward in a better way. Email marketing is more than just gaining more subscriptions; sometimes it’s good to narrow down to know who is really listening so you can better understand this audience and talk more specifically to them.

A dwindling list can also, at first glance, be truly a bad thing. However, there is always something about your current branding and marketing that can be learned so that you can step up your game. This applies not only for Email marketing but for all of your marketing and messaging.

Your Email list at first glance isn’t a good indicator of how your business is doing. You need to dig deeper to see where the engagement is and why people unsubscribe.

Narrow Down Who Is Actually Interested

With a fat list of subscriptions, sometimes it can be hard to see who is actually interested in your business.

There might be a lot of people who hardly skim your Email before deleting, and there may be others who don’t bother to skim at all. We all get those Emails that we don’t think twice about before deleting.

These subscribers that aren’t actually interested can greatly affect your metrics so that you can’t zero-in on those actually engaging with your content.

If people are unsubscribing, that helps you narrow down your list to those who want to see more about your business. This will allow you to see your target audience better and learn more about them.

With a better idea of who you are talking to, you can improve your messaging on all platforms, not just Email.

Helps Guide Your Growth

So, you’re losing subscribers. We did just mention how some of those people really needed to leave so you could see what’s-what, but what about the ones you could have had interested if your marketing was better? Time to be honest with yourself and analyze how you are doing.

Take a good look at how well you are segmenting your audience. No one likes an Email that is clearly a blast created for everyone. Segment so you can be more personable to the different facets of your audience. Make sure to send different Emails to these segments.

How is your messaging? People don’t want to see the same thing every week or be constantly bombarded by hard-sell messaging. Read your Emails through and see if you are really bringing all that you can to the table.

Email marketing takes effort and constructive criticism for it to work and for you to improve your skills.

Allow For More Subscription Options

Allow For More Subscription Options

Yes, unsubscriptions are an opportunity in disguise from which we can learn a lot. However, we want to make sure we are providing enough options to our subscribers. Some people may feel that unsubscribing completely is their only choice.

If you allow your audience to choose for themselves how often they see your emails, this is an opportunity to work with what they want. You can also provide a button or drop-down menu in your Emails that allow viewers to “take a break”.

This way they will only get the monthly newsletter, or only get a certain type of content. Subscribers who are burnt-out on certain aspects of your content now have a way to tailor it for themselves. This can also give you a better view of what is actually working for you in your email marketing campaigns.

Don’t Be Pushy

When someone is unsubscribing to your Emails, don’t be pushy. No one wants to be asked over and over if they actually want to unsubscribe. If they truly value your content and business, they can always find you again.

If you are too pushy about letting people unsubscribe, it is bad for future business. The more you annoy your currently bored viewer, the less likely they are to ever buy from your business ever again.

Also, make sure to follow through with the unsubscription as soon as possible. Don’t leave it at “processing” or think, “I’ll do that later.” If they keep on receiving emails they will be annoyed. They’ll probably mark your emails as spam, and you will be doing something illegal. Nobody wants that.

People remember feelings more than anything. If you annoy them enough, they will remember that feeling whenever they see your logo. It’s easier to let these subscribers go when you remember that it can help your business. Take a deep breath, and keep unsubscribing simple and easy.

Keep the Button Visible

We talked about being pushy. Now let’s talk about being confusing. Keep your unsubscription link button visible and make the unsubscribe process as clear as possible. Remember, if they want to unsubscribe, it’s just better for your understanding of your branding and marketing.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that if it’s hard for them to leave, they eventually won’t want to. Making it hard to unsubscribe by taking them to another page, not offering a clear button, or making them log in can feel like you don’t respect your audience.

Just like with being pushy, this annoyed feeling will stay with them and they’ll be less likely to buy from you ever again. Just because they are almost forced to keep receiving your emails, this does not mean that they will turn around and start becoming an engaged member of your brand community.

They will just be annoyed and continue deleting your emails as they come in. It doesn’t harm to add an unsubscribe confirmation too, this will help them feel like they’ve been noticed.

Keep Social Media Outlets Open

Maybe your unsubscribers just have a full inbox or they need to keep it focused on work. For this reason, it’s a good idea to link your social media in the footer of your emails.

Some people simply prefer social media for their entertainment and engaging with brands. You may have lost them on the Email platform, but you don’t have to lose them for good.

Social media allows the audience to view your kind of content on their terms instead of when they are working. Simple as that. Welcome the change and move on.

Ready To Improve Your Unsubscribe Rate?

If you would like some more tips on Email marketing, or any online marketing, fill out the form below and get a free consultation from our online marketing team!

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Why Email Marketing Works for Restoration Companies

Social media gets the majority of the press these days in marketing, but email marketing is still quietly carrying on in the background. With more than 3.2 billion email accounts used around the globe according to Exact Target, it isn’t going away anytime soon. Then when you consider a $38 to $1 return-on-investment for email marketing, it can be a very beneficial marketing tool for any company, even restoration.

Types of Email Styles for A Restoration Company

Regardless of size or industry, email offers companies the opportunity to stay connected with current and potential customers. The type of emails used are frequently direct emails, used to promote your restoration business and services directly to a consumer. Another style are retention emails which focus on providing a value to a reader. The value can range from providing information to entertaining or providing a benefit. How you shape these emails depends only on how deep you want to dive into the knowledge of the restoration industry or your company itself.

However, keep in mind that the focus in email marketing should be on giving, not asking of someone.

Email Campaigns for A Restoration Company

Creating a campaign or two is great for spreading the word or words about your restoration business. Having predetermined content on hand and emails created beforehand takes the headache and hassle out of sending emails to customers. Maybe seasonal weather changes that make flooding a possibility are coming up soon. This would be an excellent time to create a campaign to educate and remind your customers about helpful tips and information for the season.

When Should I Send Out Automated Emails?

The only thing you’ll need to do after that is determine what intervals for sending out the emails. Sending out the right information at the right time is the key to email marketing for any business. Having emails arrive one after another can seem pushy and turn off customers. The flipside is spacing the emails too much can leave a customer wondering when they signed up in the first place.

Email Personalization

Personalization is always a good idea, and what better way than in your email blasts. As a small business, you strive for a personal touch with your customers. By using their first name, after making sure the information you have on file is accurate, it is a small touch that goes a long way. But how can you build up your email list in the first place? Sign-up areas on your website, on the side of your company blog, and calls-to-action through your social media networks are some of the more common ways to build the list.

Behavioral Response Emails

The right time can be specified depending on the action the subscriber took. Did they sign up to receive alerts each time a new blog is published? Or did they schedule an appointment with your business? One of the emails you previously created can be sent out within minutes of an action being taken.

Restoration Information Emails

Bimonthly or quarterly newsletters are a great way to keep your customers informed and educated. Through these you can share company news, highlights, or behind-the-scenes information about your company. This action keeps your company in the minds of customers and increases your chances of picking up referrals or another job with a current customer. If you live in areas susceptible to flooding and other sources of water damage, such as hurricanes, having a pre-made newsletter or content for what to do before, during, and after a storm will be viable information for customers for many years.

Get Better Results Through Analysis

The results of any email marketing are measurable nearly immediately. Through the data and other metrics that quickly amass, these analytics let you know what is working for your campaign and what isn’t, allowing for further customization. Plus, when you consider that email has lower costs to produce than traditional marketing means, the higher monetary return-on-investment (ROI) has even more of a value.

Elevare Provides Email Marketing

From creating a customized email template, building a customer email list or helping you craft a compelling email campaign, Elevare’s team knows email marketing. Whether you’re looking to get started with marketing in your business’s communication routine or need an extra hand to get your information to your customers, we can help. Contact us and let’s get started.

 

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