Happy National Small Business Week! As every small business owner knows, getting and keeping customers is vital for the growth of their business. And email marketing still remains one of the top forms of digital media for reaching customers and maintaining customer relationships.

While many digital marketers were quick to announce that email was dead, email has proven time and time again, especially amongst mobile users, to be a medium that delivers one of the best returns on investment.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when creating a successful and effective email marketing campaign.

Make it Easy to Subscribe

What’s tricky about email marketing is that not everyone is willing to give away their email address to just any business. Certainly it’s not worth it for any small business to send an email campaign when you don’t have any subscribers. That said, no business, big or small, should be buying email lists.

Instead, businesses should be creating ways for their customers to easily subscribe. Post a signup form for your home page, blog, and Facebook page. You may want to create new fields asking for birthdays and interests but don’t go too overboard with the required fields. Subscribe forms that are too-long may scare people away.

Tell Subscribers What They’ll Be Getting

Whether you send out weekly newsletters, promotional campaigns, daily deals or weekly tips, you always want to tell your customer what they’ll be receiving either before they fill out the form. Provide them with as much information as possible so they can decide whether or not to be on the list. This can reduce the chance that that customer will opt out later on or mark your email as spam.

Send off a Welcome Email

It’s always a smart move to remind subscribers that they are signed up to receive your emails and to reassure them of all the great content they will be receiving soon. You can also include a special offer or coupon for new subscribers as a way of thanking them for their loyalty.

Optimize for Mobile

If you aren’t optimizing your email for mobile, you’re losing a big share of your audience. About 55% of all emails are opened on a mobile device. Some of the biggest complaints from mobile users about email is that the text is too small to read or interact with, email and landing pages aren’t optimized, messages or ill-formatted  and emails are too slow to load or don’t load fully (missing images, broken links, etc).

Choose an email provider or set of email templates that provide mobile optimization as a standard so that you don’t have to worry about how your campaigns will look on a mobile device. Make sure email text is enlarged, you incorporate larger buttons (to accommodate large fingers) and landing pages are load properly. according to Nielsen, 80% of users are only skimming your email. This places a greater importance on headlines, images, bold text, and clear call-to-action.

Segment You Lists

Not everyone is going to want to receive the same exact email every time. Most customers respond to content is most relevant to them. If they do, they’ll end up clicking through to your website. If they don’t, well, better luck next time! Content on an email should always be a good balance of informative text and visual intrigue.

Before beginning, you will want to segment your lists as much as possible. This involves knowing 1. who you’re trying to target and 2. what your objective for the campaign is.

Simple ways to segment lists are to:
  • Segment by most engaged
  • Segment by persona (age, gender)
  • Segment by location
  • Segment by website behavior
  • Segment by in-store vs website visitors
  • Segment by sales cycle stage
  • Segment by past purchases

Objectives to focus on could be:

  • Increase revenue
  • Generate leads
  • Strengthen customer relationships
  • Increase website traffic
  • Build brand awareness

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