Email Marketing for SMBs

Email Marketing: Why is it so Popular and How SMBs Can Benefit from it

Digital marketing has skyrocketed in recent years! Most companies are utilizing at least one or more aspects of this, still relatively young form of marketing, arguably with mixed success. These approaches can include social media, SEO, a simple website presence, AdWords and many techniques but one of the oldest forms of digital marketing still reigns as one of the most important ways to reach people in the digital environment – that’s email marketing.

The email is still one of the most valuable assets users rely on in the online environment. Most people would rather disclose their Instagram or Facebook profile instead of their email. We use our emails as a basis for registration to most websites and online services, online payment and a plethora of other things.

Due to these reasons reaching an audience through email marketing is difficult to do but can also be potentially very lucrative and beneficial to lead generation. But how do we do it? We are here to discuss preciselly this!

Generating email lists

Email Marketing List BuildingThe basis for any great email campaign is a well-crafted email list. Generating a high-quality email list may seem like a gigantic task for those companies that have never done it before. It can be a bit tricky to setup but there are really numerous ways to do it – it all depends on your current contacts and the way you do networking. Here is a small list of most commonly used:

1. A well-crafted sign-up sheet
2. Events that require an email sign up
3. Giveaways
4. Competitions
5. Newsletters
6. Business card leveraging
7. “Subscribers only” method

Keep in mind that these are by no means the only approaches to building an email list and that using one of these doesn’t exclude the others. Most SMBs will leverage a few approaches to build their email list. Still, you’ll have to be careful to target the right people. Poorly targeted lists are practically useless.

Best practices for email marketing

Before you start using your email list, you’d want to think about a few things. CTA (Call to Action) is one of the most important things to think through before you start filling the inboxes of the people on your list. Getting people to take you up on that CTA is what its all about and this is why it needs be well thought through, tested and if need be, modified to improve conversion.

The other important thing is the design. Your emails need to match your brand and people who got your emails need to know exactly where it came for even before they take a peek at the email address. Depending on your resources and ambitions you may decide to go for a template, get a designer for your efforts or get a programmer to take care of it. It all depends on your goals.

Keep in mind that email marketing works best if it provides value to the users. If you just periodically prompt people to do things for you via email you are not going to have high conversion numbers. Provide knowledge (whitepapers, blog posts, statistics, etc.), financial benefits (discounts, coupons, special offers) or any other form of value you believe that your subscribers would find enticing. This way you are giving something to motivate people to engage and therfore improve loyalty as well as conversion.

Analytics & software solutions

Email Marketing AnalyticsYou are not going to do a perfect job with email marketing at first. It will take testing, it will take adjustment, in some cases these adjustments will be radical! If you are serious about making your email marketing campaigns work you’ll have to put in continuous efforts into both improving it and invest in software solutions that help you find ways to improve it.

Let’s list some of the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for email marketing so you know what to look out for when analyzing the success of your marketing campaign.

Most important KPIs:

1. Open Rate (OR)
2. Click-through Rate (CTR)
3. Bounce Rate
4. Spam score
5. Conversion rate
6. Device segmentation
7. Click-to-open Rate (CTOR)
8. Unique Clicks

It is very important to have a quick and reliable email reporting within your procedure so you can actually be on top of your campaign at all times. With this much metrics to follow you’ll have to put in a lot of effort to make them go up (or down depending on the metric you focus on). Test, analyze, adjust, repeat!

We hope we managed to clear up some of the mysteries surrounding email marketing. It can be one of the most reliable and valuable tools for digital marketing but it requires quite a bit of work to get it going! Don’t give up!

Vladimir Zivanovic
[email protected]

Vladimir Zivanovic is a Project Manager here at MyCity-Web and a part-time blogger with a Master’s degree in English language and literature from University of Belgrade. He is responsible for communication, including status reporting, project preparation, and, in general, making sure the project is delivered in budget, on schedule, and within scope. His main interests are computer technologies and he is a great gaming enthusiast, especially for World of Warcraft, which he has been playing since the beginning. When he is not playing games or reading epic fantasy, he is saving up to buy the newest mobile phone, as he is lost without one. He also loves surfing the internet, finding interesting facts, and using them when someone least expects it. Doing an exhaustive research is very important for Vlada, as everything needs to be supported by hard facts. He regularly posts on his Lifehack and LinkedIn profile.

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