7 Email Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

Email marketing is like every other marketing channel. It needs to be optimized for your small business to see the value. 

22% of marketers reported lack of tools to optimize or personalize email as an email marketing challenge in 2020. Despite this hurdle, we asked marketing professionals and small business owners for their best tips to thrive in email marketing.

From focusing on action items to leveraging automation, check out these seven email marketing tips for small businesses.

1. Focus on Action Items Over Exposition

Small businesses should curate email marketing content to keep messages short and focused on time-bound actionable items. For example, announcing an event or special sale or encouraging recipients to order limited-time items, vs writing more generally about happenings in the business. 

Stick to short descriptions with clear calls to action, and save the exposition for your website “about me” or face-to-face interactions. This approach will make your campaign’s success easier to track and achieve your intended goals.

—Michael Alexis, TeamBuilding

2. Remove Inactive Subscribers to Increase CTR

Scrubbing your contact list ensures you’re sending out emails to people who want to read them. Lower open rates and click-throughs may be a sign that you’re sending emails to people who aren’t interested in what you have to say, have already purchased your product, or went to your competitor. For these reasons, it’s a good idea to clean out your email list regularly.

Remove those who have unsubscribed and any recipients who haven’t engaged with your emails within the last 3 months. Focusing your efforts on active subscribers increases your open and improves click-through rates, providing more effective data when measuring the success of your email marketing.

—Chris Gadek, AdQuick

3. Add Image of the Owner in the Signature

Some small businesses have the advantage of being owner-run. This makes it a lot easier for consumers to identify a person/people with the brand. Small businesses should absolutely leverage this advantage, especially when conducting email marketing campaigns. 

An image of the owner right at the bottom makes the email more personable and it increases the trust level from a consumer perspective. Improving the likelihood of more sales and actions within the email campaign.

—Mogale Modisane, Power Tools Blog

4. Split Test Your Content for Effectiveness Ahead of Time

Our top tip is for small businesses to split-test their email content for effectiveness before implementing campaigns. If the goal is to increase open rates, companies need to A/B test potential subject lines to optimize campaign results.

We recently split tested our email photo content for a Black Friday campaign that resulted in 8% more click-throughs and over 12% improvement in conversions.

If businesses don’t test their content, they won’t be able to predict or understand why their marketing strategy doesn’t hit their goals. Audiences respond differently to various forms and styles of branded content, so businesses need to see what works before investing money in marketing campaigns that gamble with results.

—Zach Goldstein, Public Rec

5. Leverage Social Proof to Attract & Capture Leads

Find creative ways to integrate social proof into your email marketing strategy. Users respond to reviews, testimonials, and proven track records better on average than other forms of content.

Share what results, clients, or positive reviews you have garnered for your business to attract leads to browse or purchase your products and services. The easier you make it for consumers to believe in your product’s value via third-party recommendations, the more credible and profitable your business will be.

Social proof grabs users’ attention and helps convince them to give your business another look. Capitalize on this phenomenon to drive home your product’s value after you have grabbed their attention.

Kevin Miller, CEO & Co-Founder

6. Segment Your Email List

Small businesses often don’t have the time and resources to invest in complex email marketing campaigns. Your customers expect to get personalized or, at least, relevant messages in their inbox. If they don’t, they’ll delete your emails or unsubscribe.

Start simple. Segment based on what they signed up for or what they purchased in the past. This is an indicator of their interests and will allow you to send relevant emails without too much effort.

—Daniel Ndukwu, UsefulPDF

7. Leverage Automation & Email Scripts

Email isn’t just a means to promote upcoming sales. It can be used to thank customers after a purchase with a reminder of accessories that compliment the purchase. And thirty days later, an invitation for a tune-up. 

Depending on your POS system, you may be able to automate these actions with pre-written scripts. In fact, you can create a variety of automated email scripts to send to various customers and prospects. This is the foundation of customer relationship management, and how you can be more efficient running your business with a higher return. 

—Joshua Chin, Chronos

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