Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways of talking to your customers, despite the low costs associated with it; 1 in 4 businesses say that email is their top marketing technique when it comes to return on investment (econsultancy, 2015). But what sort of emails should you be sending, and why?
Here are four key emails your local business should be sending to your customers, and exactly why they’ll have such a big impact.
When subscribers sign up to your email newsletter, or give you their email address in store, they’re giving you a very personal piece of information. Your welcome email is the way in which you can explain how pleased you are to have them as a contact and how much you value their custom.
A welcome email is also an important time to reiterate why they’ve signed up to your newsletter, and explain what they can expect. It’s very likely your subscriber’s inbox will be jam-packed – by 2019, it’s expected the average worker will get 96 emails every day (Radicati, 2016) – so make sure you explain exactly why they should keep reading your emails.
However, think carefully about the timing of your welcome email. You don’t want to leave it too long before you send a welcome email, as it’s easy for people to forget what they’ve signed up for. Some email providers can automate welcome emails for you, but if you don’t have this set aside some time each day to send them out manually.
An informative, interesting, relevant newsletter should be at the heart of your email marketing. Unlike a promotional email, your newsletter doesn’t need to be focused on sales or promotions. Instead, it’s an opportunity to show subscribers your knowledge and expertise, helping build trust in your business.
Hints, tips, how-tos, guides, tutorials and helpful information all work well in a newsletter. Relevant emails like this, which are tailored to your audience, are more likely to result in purchases: they encourage 18 times more revenue than ‘broadcast’ emails, where the information is the same for everyone (Mailigen, 2015).
The Promotional Email
One of the reasons local businesses use email marketing is because it’s a simple, quick way to send your contacts direct offers in promotional emails. A promotional email is anything that informs your recipient about a new product, sale, offer, deal or discount you’re running.
Research shows promotional emails can have a real impact on your sales: nearly seven out of 10 customers say they’ve been influenced by an email from a business to buy something from them (MarketingSherpa, 2015). What’s essential here is that your email has a strong and clear ‘call to action’ – what exactly do you want your recipients to do? Make it obvious and easy for them and they are much more likely to do it.
Timing is also important for promotional emails. Too many emails and subscribers will switch off. It’ll also be difficult for you to keep up with this frequency. Make a plan of when promotional emails will be appropriate, and how many you’ll send over the year so you attract customers, not put them off.
Having direct access to your customers via email also means having direct access to a huge range of information about their likes, dislikes, preferences and thoughts about your business. A survey email helps you gather all this data, and it’s very useful if you’re thinking of introducing a new product or service. You can make simple, attractive questionnaires using tools like Survey Monkey or Google Forms, and link to them in your survey email.
Customers (and all of us!) like being asked their opinion, as it shows you consider their opinion to be valuable. But asking customers for ideas on new services, ways to improve the business and what products they’d like to see you stock isn’t just good service, it’s commercially viable: in ground-breaking research from MIT, academics found that of over 1,000 successful innovations in business, 60% of them came from customers!
If you’re already using email marketing for your local business, make sure you think about how you can include these four types of email in your future campaigns to help you keep your audience interested, develop stronger relationships with your customers and improve your sales.
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