Are you a start-up SME that is struggling to keep up with costly marketing expenditure or the ever-changing pace of the digital age? “By 2040 it is thought 95% of purchases will be facilitated by ecommerce.”
This is worrying for some small businesses, whom may find it difficult to compete with costly marketing schemes that are being curtailed by stubborn algorithms. And arduous to meet the technological demands – due to a lack of resources – that consumers are now requiring and receiving from akin brands.
As online user activity continues to rocket, now more than ever is it paramount for businesses to connect and resonate with the right consumers in order to sell their services. Yet we understand that for many firms who’re just starting out, this may not be a realistic goal.
Alas, we’ve just the solution; email marketing. Having seen a complete resurgence early this year, email campaigns are now starting to be the preferred advertising solution for many. And with its behemoth advantages – they’re immediate, flexible and affordable, we can see why many are withdrawing from sponsored campaigns, and adopting inexpensive solutions that exhibit a less forceful approach.
See below for the advantages of email campaigns for small businesses, tips on how to build up a relevant database list, and things to consider throughout.
Advantages of email campaigns for SMEs
• Your consumer base will grow: “email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter”.
• You’ll convert more! Email campaigns provide a platform for businesses to deliver consistency, of which influences consumer trust and results in sales. Studies show that “email marketing has a much higher ROI than telemarketing and other outreach strategies.”
• You’ll see less inactivity / rejection. You can prevent consumers from going elsewhere or becoming idle by distributing reactive e-blasts which are tailored to their behaviour.
• Consumers will become loyal to you. By analysing the type of content that your consumers respond and react to, you can continue to deliver value to your subscribers. This keeps them coming back for more.
• You can grow your social media following at the same time! Through email campaigns you can divert traffic to your social channels – according to QuickSprout “Email subscribers are 3 times more likely to share your content via social media than visitors from other sources.”
• And also use your email list to create more concise advertising campaigns across social platforms. Businesses can also tap into new (but similar) audiences by creating ‘lookalike’ audiences.
• You can connect with consumers instantaneously. This is advantageous if you’ve a time sensitive promotion, as through social media platforms, your promotion could expire before it reaches your intended audience.
• They’re simple to create! All levels of computer user are able to construct and deliver an engaging newsletter.
• Lastly, you can grasp a firm understanding of your target audience, by establishing what similarities your subscribers have in common with each other. You can expand on this further, by tailoring email campaigns and analysing the feedback to understand what works best.
Simple technological solutions for firms to extend their email database
By creating an email database list, your business can reach out to customers directly and connect with them on their terms. This makes email marketing effective, with statistics from digital analysts McKinsey confirming “Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter.” See below for ways your business can gain new email sign ups.
Work the room at events
Organise an event and market it to as many potential subscribers as possible via online and offline communications. During the event, you can approach consumers and business people alike who’re in attendance and collect email sign ups. And if attendees need a bit or coercing, offer a 10% discount code for online use, as an incentive.
QR code – instant sign ups
Set up a QR code and apply it to business cards, leaflets or banner adverts. A QR code can be generated and customised so that a consumer can fulfil an action by simply scanning a code using their smartphone. This means you can enable a consumer to sign up your email list, by zapping with their mobile. This is a great marketing tactic, as it influences consumers to engage with your services and makes it easy for them to do so. Consumers will be more likely to sign up to your newsletter, if minimal effort is required on their part.
Host an online giveaway
Push out a competition or online giveaway across social media, and encourage consumers to enter, by signing up to your newsletter and sharing it across their newsfeeds. This will encourage your existing followers to sign up to your e-blasts if they haven’t already, and also attract large amounts of new followers
to your business too.
Optimise your website for opt ins
Adapt your website for email subscribes, by creating a website sign up form. Then using social networking platforms, divert consumers to your website, where consumers can sign up to receive your newsletters. Having a form on your website, enables consumers to sign up after they’ve shopped your services. It also encourages new consumers who may have happened upon your site incidentally, to sign up too, so they can keep your brand on their radar.
Social media – ‘sign up to newsletter’ button
Run customised sponsored advertisements – via Facebook or Instagram – which feature a call to action, such as a ‘sign up button’. Sponsored campaigns via social networks provide flexible reach, so that you can connect with the masses, or target a concise audience, it’s entirely up to you.
Blog posts – call to action
Attract new consumers and appeal to your current clientele by creating and publishing engaging blog content. Blogs can be customised around popular keywords, and can bring in large volumes of online traffic. Thus it is important for your business to make the most out of an opportunity to convert consumers. Do so, by concluding blogs with a call to action such as ‘sign up to our newsletter for more great news from us.’
This can encourage users who have enjoyed reading your content to subscribe, as they want to hear more from you. Organic subscribes as such, are likely to turn into sales, as you’ve provided consumers with value.
Things to consider:
• Time and date of email campaigns – some campaigns may be time dependent. And your audience may be more active at a specific time than other periods of the day. Do you research to see which day or time is most effective for your e-blast to take off.
• Amount of e-blasts going out per week / per month – try not to over-saturate content or bombard with information overload.
• How to get new subscribers organically – see some of our tips above.
• Be responsive with your design – adapt email campaigns to tailor to mobile – stats founded by email marketing software Adestra claim “half of e-blasts are opened via mobile.”
• Segment groups – ensure you’re not emailing the same call to action out to the same users. This can engender unsubscribes or worse, can lead to you being blacklisted.
• GDPR – have the consumers who are receiving your content given their consent?
If you’re a small business or start-up and are currently using email campaigns to help engage with consumers, let us know what you think of them. Comment below, or join in the conversation with us via our social media platforms.