For a small business, email marketing is one of the most affordable and effective ways to communicate with existing clients and garner new prospects.
With the present financial crisis, all businesses have found themselves staring at huge budget cuts. The hardest hit is small business owners that are already operating with a tight budget. Under such circumstances, how are you supposed to reduce your expenditure even more?
You cannot cut back on operating costs. Those are essential expenses. The only expendable expense really is the budget allocated towards marketing.
However, the problem is the only way to survive in tough financial times is by generating new business and you can only do this through marketing, so cutting back on your marketing budget is not really a viable solution.
This can really put you between a rock and a hard place.
In such a scenario, when you do not have the money to spare, how do you go about generating much needed business?
Small business email marketing can be one solution to this dilemma.
Don’t worry. It’s not complex at all. All of us today keep in touch with family and friends through email and everybody is familiar with this medium of communication.
Email marketing is really nothing more than just using email as a means of communicating and staying in touch with your clients. It’s really as simple as that.
In fact email marketing has a lot of advantages over traditional marketing strategies but most businesses tended to overlook it because they had the money to spend and they loved having their name splashed everywhere through massive marketing campaigns.
It was a classic case of, the bigger your name was splashed around, the more highly you were thought of.
Email marketing is more subtle and so it was just ignored. The current recession has really helped small businesses to realize the full merits of email marketing.
It’s Low Cost: As we all know, sending emails cost us very little. Sometimes even nothing. You do not have to spend money on printing thousands of letterheads and envelopes. You do not pay postage. So you have your very first benefit right there. Email marketing is a cheaper alternative to other regular marketing avenues.
Highest Return On Investment: Studies that were done to determine the effectiveness of email marketing shows that it offers the highest return on investment. In the study, for every $1 spent on email marketing campaigns, a return of approximately $20 was achieved.
Less Time Consuming: You spend less time with email marketing as compared to the amount of time you would spend with direct mail campaigns. You do not even have to send out individual emails to all of your prospects.
All it takes is one click and you can send out your email to hundreds of recipients who are on your mailing list, and they can even be personalized with the recipients information so that it feels more personable and less of a mass mailing.
Lets You Reach Out To Your Clients Directly: Even if you have a high profile website, you still have to wait for your clients to visit the site in order to know what’s happening.
With email marketing, you can deliver your message to everybody when you want so you can keep them in the loop whenever you have a new product or are launching a new service or offering special incentives.
I would advise you to first spend some time reading about the basic do’s and don’ts of small business email marketing before using this as a way to promote your business.
The main thing: keep it interesting and
informative for your ideal customers/prospects, and make
sure it continuously advances the objective of getting your prospects one more step closer to accepting your offer.
There are several guidelines that you need to pay heed to, especially with regards to how to get people on to your mailing list so you are only sending your emails to people who have agreed to receive them.
Without this specific
permission, your business could very well be blacklisted for spamming
and that’s the last thing you need.
Basically, if people subscribe via your website, they gave you permission in that act of subscription, so you’re good there. The “high road” standard is to have what’s called a double opt-in feature.
This is basically where whenever
anyone signs up on your website, the email program automatically sends
an email that the customer/prospect must then open and click the link
inside to “double” ensure that nobody else was trying to subscribe them.
people subscribe by filling out a form offline, then this again counts
as their method of approval. You can either enter their info directly
into your email list, and be good to go, or you can have the email
software still send the “confirm subscription” email described above.
Doing this will lower the number of sign-ups, sometimes drastically. Regardless of how you decide to proceed, just make sure that you ALWAYS leave a method of unsubscribing available to the subscribers in each email you send.
That way, if they are tired of your emails or were errantly subscribed, they can just quickly remove themselves instead of getting mad at you.
I hope you found this information on small business email marketing helpful, if you need further advice, advice or would like us to help you get started, please contact us