Thursday, May 3, 2012

Top 5 Ways Email Marketing Can Help Small Businesses

The success of any business is built on the strength of its customer relationships. While loyal return buyers are always a goal, a business can’t thrive unless they continue to expand their customer base. Using an email marketing campaign is a direct and cost effective way to accomplish both of those goals. The following are the top five ways that an email marketing campaign can help a small business.

1.      Direct Sales

In the world of e-commerce, the mailing list is gold. Before email came along, direct mail campaigns were used to entice customers. Businesses were happy with a 1% or 2% return rate. But even that measure of success was hard to track. Today, an email marketing campaign can invite customers directly to your website where they can instantly make purchases. You’ll be able to track a spike in sales to the delivery of those marketing emails as a way of judging the success rate.

2.      Increase Brand Awareness

The internet version of “junk mail” is referred to as “spam.” These are the email messages that are unsolicited and are often quickly deleted. With a small business email campaign, you could be sending directly to customers who have requested information about your business. This makes them a more attentive audience. It also helps promote your brand. Not every email needs to be about a hard sale. You could include a newsletter which promotes part of your company history or tells the personal stories of your staff. It’s all about making a positive connection between your business and your customers.

3.      Special Promotions

Every savvy shopper is always on the prowl for a good coupon or special sale. An email marketing campaign can incorporate those special promotions to generate significant sales. While you’ll want to promote holiday bargains, there is no reason why you can’t have ongoing discounts throughout the year. When a customer opens an email with a special offer, they might be inclined to act immediately especially if you put a “ticking clock” on that offer.

4.      Customer Surveys

A marketing email could include a customer survey. This will help you determine what your customers might be looking for in terms of products. It can also give you a glimpse into their thinking about how your staff handles customer service. Everyone likes to give their opinion especially if it can be done on their own time and if there is an incentive for it (as opposed to a phone survey).

5.      Introduce New Products

If you have millions to spend on television advertising you could reach a wide audience to introduce a new product. However, most small business don’t have those kinds of disposable marketing funds. An email blast can literally reach those same millions of potential customers in a fraction of the cost. Keep in mind this will be a captive audience that won’t be able to “zap” through the email like they would a TV commercial!