10 Email Marketing Tips for Your Local Business

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In case you haven’t noticed, social media has gained momentum at astonishing rates over the past few years. While a lot of businesses are scrambling to catch up and ride the social media bandwagon, they are ignoring another powerful form of marketing that is proven to generate results; email marketing.

Despite all the hype about social media, email marketing is still one of the most effective and affordable forms of marketing for small businesses. If you run a local business, hopefully, you are capturing your customers’ – and even potential customers’ – email addresses.

Most consumers don’t mind getting emails from businesses as long as the information is valuable and will benefit them in some way.  Email marketing is permission-based so once your contacts opt-in to your list, you have permission to start sending them both promotional and informational emails.

If you are already using email marketing, but are not getting any results, there is a problem somewhere in your marketing funnel. When developing an email marketing campaign, there are several steps businesses must take in order to build and maintain a solid, targeted list. Also, the way you engage with your list is another important factor in how well email marketing will work for you.

Marketing can sometimes seem like a puzzle – especially online marketing. However, there are some simple steps you can take to really make email marketing work to bring in more customers, sales, and profits.

Here are 10 tips that can help you run a targeted, effective email marketing campaign that will get results:

1. Build a List of Targeted Contacts – Building a list that is “targeted” to the type of product or service you want to sell is the first step in starting an email marketing campaign. One way to start is by asking your current customers to join your email list. Also, be sure to add a call-to-action telling people to join your email list on all of your marketing materials such as flyers, business cards, and especially your website. Make sure your website has an opt-in form on every page where visitors can join your email list right on the spot.

2. Don’t Spam and Avoid Being Too Salesy – Email marketing can be a little tricky because although your overall goal is to turn those emails into sales, you cannot send sales-oriented emails all the time. Also avoid sending too many emails to your list as this is an instant turn-off, which will result in unsubscribes. It is also important that your campaign is a nice mixture of promotional offers, entertainment, and information-sharing. Do not send sales and promotional messages all the time as this will also cause people to opt-out of your list.

3. Be Personal in Your Emails – Email is your chance to connect on a personal level with your subscribers. Make them feel special by speaking to “one” person instead of many people. Email is a great two-way communication tool, so be sure to answer any replies from your subscribers to show them that you care.

4. Decide on the Best Time to Send Your Emails – Depending on the type of business you have, there certain days and times that would generate a better response from your email subscribers than others. However, testing and tracking is the only way to figure out what days and times work best for your business.

5. Pay Special Attention to Your Subject Lines – They may not seem all that important, but the fact is that they are the most important factor in your entire email. The subject line is the first thing your subscribers will see when you email them, so it has to be enticing enough for them to open the email to see what’s inside. A catchy, professional subject line always wins while a dull or spammy subject line can ruin your campaign.

6. Integrate Emails With Other Marketing – Email works great by itself, but it’s even more powerful when you combine it with your other online properties such as your social media profiles and your online videos. Always direct your followers to your email opt-in form. Vice versa, whenever you send out emails to your subscribers, always ask them to “Like” you on Facebook or “Follow” you on Twitter.

7. Make it Easy for Them to Unsubscribe – I know this may sound backwards, but it’s actually a good thing. If people have problems unsubscribing from your list, they could flag your email as spam, which could cause problems for you.  Make sure the unsubscribe link is easy to find in every email you send out. Most email autoresponder services automatically include this option at the end of all emails.

8. Keep Your Emails Short and Simple – People today do not have a lot of time, which means they do not want to sit and read really long emails. To ensure that your message is fully received, you will need to keep your email short and to-the-point. Less is considered “more” when it comes to email marketing messages. Highlight the important points and use trigger words related to your audience for the best results.

9. Always Send Test Emails First – Prior to sending your emails to your list, send a test email to yourself first. This will give you an opportunity to view the email from your subscribers’ point of view. If there are any errors or formatting issues, you will have a chance to catch them and fix them before sending out the final email to your list.

10. Measure and Track Results – Measuring and tracking the results of your email marketing campaigns is extremely important if you want to succeed. What if your emails are not being opened? What if your open rate is rapidly declining? If you are not aware of what is going on, there is no way you can improve your campaign for optimal performance. Testing, Measuring, and Tracking are pertinent in finding the right messages, the right design, and the right call-to-actions that will generate the highest responses

Email marketing is not going away anytime soon. Creating a strong, solid campaign may seem like a never-ending task, but it can be done if you take the time to do it right. As a business owner who wants to bring in more local traffic to your establishment, email marketing cannot be ignored. Although getting started can seem like huge under-taking, the benefits are well worth it in the end.

Need some assistance setting up and/or managing your email marketing campaigns?

I specialize in helping local businesses here in the Toronto, Hamilton, St Catharines and Niagara region, connect with local consumers by establishing a strong, positive email marketing presence. Contact me at 905.572.5445 for a free, no obligation consultation!

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