Marketing / Online Tools / Startup Basics

Email Marketing For Your Small Business

As a business owner you’ve probably heard that you’ll need to email customers opt-in newsletters, or that email marketing is the new wave and you need to get on it. Several big brands even have commercials stating why you need this for your business.

I will be completely honest, I am not the biggest pusher of newsletters or email marketing. If you read the site, you know I am big fan of growing your company local and word of mouth. However, when newsletters are done right, your company will get a nice return on the investment. 

Email Marketing Providers

These are the companies that you create accounts on to send your legions of supporters daily, weekly, bi weekly or monthly updates. If you Google “email marketing,” a slew of companies will pop up. Before you do a Google search and commit to a specific company, see what your shopping cart has integrations for. When I was with a big company, they only had one company selection for integration. However, I had already committed to MadMimi as a newsletter company, but the great thing about them was they had AMAZING customer service. I emailed them my dilemma and they created the code for me to interject into my site.

One down side to it is I had to manually put the names into the database. When a company comes standard with your shopping cart – 9 times out of 10, the emails will already import to your system when you get a sale.

Opt-in Rates

There have been a variety of studies showing that if your subscription bar is at the top of your site you will have a higher subscription rate then if placed at the footer. I believe it was a 67% higher opt-in rate — don’t quote me on that though. I will point out on this site, the top subscription box is for the actual newsletter and the bottom subscription box is for the RSS feed. In addition, for my consulting site, it is at the bottom. I get a great number of people signing up. What matters is that you have one on your site and that it works. Yes, I had an oopsie moment when mine was not working.

Capturing Emails

If you have been in business for awhile and just now thinking about doing email marketing, reach out to your customers and see if it is okay to add them to your newsletter list. I get subscribed to newsletters daily. I unsubscribe daily because it is my business email. I do not want shopping emails coming to my business email. I don’t mind my personal email, but my business one? Not so much. Also I have seen people ask their followers on Instagram and Facebook to leave their emails in the comments. You do not need a million people on your list to be successful. Start with one and watch it grow long as long as you are consistent.

Offer Free Swag

People love free stuff, you love free stuff. Offer your readers and customers free stuff. T+J Design offers first time subscribers 20% off their purchase when they sign up for their newsletter. This is a great way to get people to subscribe and in addition, get orders immediately from individuals. Are you a service based business? Do not fret, you can join the party by offering e-books or newsletter series. I recently signed up for several service based company emails because they were offering 10 day crash courses in a subject matter or had free e-books! This is a great way to become an expert in your field.

Newsletters are a great way to directly connect with your customers verses hoping they’ll see your tweets, Facebook post or whatever else. The newsletter is going straight to their in boxes. We will discuss email etiquette, design elements and paid subscription options soon.

What are your thoughts on newsletter for your small business? Are you you currently using newsletters?

Photography image by Johan; imaged sourced by Flickr Creative Commons

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Imperfect Concepts is the premier destination for the creative women business owners looking for how to guides, tips, motivation & inspiration.

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