From popular practices to out-of-the-way marketing strategies, trends take time to keep up with. Email marketing is one of the most fruitful ways for small businesses to capture leads, build brand awareness, and drive growth without breaking the bank.
Before explaining how to generate leads with small business email marketing, let’s explore the main benefits that come with it:
- Generating high-quality leads and driving conversions
- Informing subscribers about product launches, events, social media contests, and more
- Nurturing existing customers and building brand loyalty
- Personalizing your outreach to target the right audience segment at the right time
What’s the catch? You need expertise to achieve that, especially if you’re a small business owner. This article will cover the most effective ways to include emails in your marketing strategy.
5-Step Email Marketing Strategy to Generate Leads
- Pick the right email marketing platform
- Build your email list
- Set up email types
- Create incredible email content
- Evaluate results
There are cheap yet effective tactics you can follow to reach out to potential leads and get them to notice you.
Later on, as your business grows, you’ll have a contact database and all the knowledge you need to manage it successfully. But let’s take it from the top: the email marketing service.
1. The Ultimate Weapon: Pick the right email marketing service
It’s your most critical decision regarding your small business email marketing. There are several ESPs suitable for small business email marketing. Some offer a free trial, while others have a free version.
But how will you know which is the perfect fit for your small business? First, ensure your email marketing platform includes all the necessary features.
Opt for a solution that facilitates all the steps required for your email marketing to reach its target. Let’s review some of the essential capabilities to look for in an ESP:
- Email editor with drag-and-drop design and intuitive interface
- Pre-designed and customizable templates to fit your business needs
- Personalization and segmentation options for better audience targeting
- Automated workflows that are set in motion based on specific user actions
- Lead generation options with engaging landing pages and sign-up forms
- Integrations with popular third-party platforms that your business uses
- Advanced reporting with metrics like opens, clicks, unsubscribes, etc.
Selecting the most appropriate tool to create emails that make an impact, you have all you need to bring your small business email marketing to life. Let’s see how.
2. The Groundwork: Build your email list
Selecting the ESP that best serves your objectives brings you closer to sending email marketing material.
However, it will get you nowhere if you don’t have a solid database of active email recipients who will read, interact with, and share your content.
Here are some effective methods to attract potential leads and grow your contact database:
- Create a signup form and a landing page to acquire contacts that have agreed to receive email marketing material from your brand.
- Use the free POWR pop-up builder to set up exit-intent pop-ups to keep visitors on your site and urge them to subscribe to your newsletter by showing relevant content.
- Use your social media to promote your signup pages and ask your existing followers to share them with their followers.
- Leverage lead magnets such as Ebooks, checklists, guides, discount codes, webinars, etc., to incentivize people to subscribe.
- If you don’t own a website, use forms to gather the email addresses of customers purchasing from your brick-and-mortar store.
Whatever tactic you follow to collect email subscribers, stay compliant with anti-spam and data protection laws like GDPR and CAN-SPAM Act.
You can remove fake or outdated accounts, email addresses with typos, and inactive recipients. It secures email recipients’ data and ensures you send emails to people who have consented. And make sure you sanitize your email list at least twice a year.
After creating your email list, you can analyze your subscribers’ profiles. Then, use those data to build your buyer personas, understand their pain points, and offer solutions. It’ll allow you to further personalize your interactions with them.
3. The Core: Set up your email types
Now that everything is in place, it’s time to build your email marketing strategy. Here’s where your email marketing platform will help you create and automate it.
There are various email types to use and drive customer engagement, but it’s up to you to determine which ones work best for your business.
This process includes identifying your email marketing goals, choosing the email types and frequency, and scheduling email campaigns. Some of the most common email types include:
Welcome emails enable you to establish a relationship with new subscribers by telling them your brand story, explaining how your product or service solves their problems, and giving them a sneak peek of your business proposition.
It’s also an excellent opportunity to offer them an exclusive discount on their first purchase.
Follow-up emails direct recipients’ attention to a specific action you need them to take. This type of email could require actions from an invitation response or an invoice payment. Everything goes as long as the email stays brief and to the point.
Customer feedback emails
Your business's success depends on people's perception of your brand, which is even more critical for small businesses. Asking for your prospects’ feedback through dedicated surveys demonstrates that you care enough to know what they think and use their feedback to improve.
Only some recipients are ready to convert into a customer. That’s where lead nurturing emails guide recipients down your sales funnel by sharing helpful content that addresses their needs. This type of email communication usually requires an email sequence to establish a relationship and make them trust you.
The good old classic newsletter contains valuable information for your audience and informs them about special events, product launches, important updates, and more. You should create newsletters with your prospects in mind; it’s about informing and educating them, not selling.
No matter the email types you employ, it’s vital that you also identify the ideal sending times for each email to be dispatched - and opened. Let’s have a look at some crucial findings regarding sending times:
Remember that the best time to send an email campaign may vary depending on your target audience’s demographics.
So, consider testing different sending times to find out which brings better results. But more on that later.
4. The Essence: Create an incredible email
It may shock some marketers, but email recipients rarely go through an email reading the entire content.
So, you have just a few seconds to catch their attention, get them to scroll through your email content, and click on your call to action.
What do you have to do to make that happen? Let’s go through the crucial components of a great email:
- Craft catchy email subject lines that are concise and aligned with the email content. Also, they should showcase the value of opening and reading your email.
- Opt for a visually appealing email design with a clear structure that doesn’t tire the reader out while helping them sort the most critical information out.
- Make your CTAs actionable, straightforward, and prominent within your email content to ensure subscribers understand the action you want them to take.
- Leverage attention-grabbing visuals to break up large blocks of text. Visual components are highly effective in complementing the value of your email copy as long as you don’t overdo it.
- Personalization in email marketing is here to stay. Adding personalization elements in your email campaigns shows recipients that you took the time to understand their needs and that your unique value proposition is the answer to their pain points.
- Always optimize for mobile devices. With more than half of email users checking their inboxes on mobile devices, creating responsive email designs that render perfectly on every device is necessary.
5. The Verdict: Evaluate the results
As with everything in life, it’s the outcome that matters. To evaluate the effectiveness of your email marketing, you should conduct A/B testing regularly.
A/B testing allows you to create two email versions, send them to different audience groups, and track each variant to check which performed better.
Apart from A/B testing options, most email marketing platforms offer features to evaluate your marketing campaigns through detailed reporting.
Their built-in analytics help you monitor how many recipients opened your emails, how many clicked on your call to action, how many hit the unsubscribe button, and more.
Specifically, you want your open and click-through rates to be high for recipients to engage with your content, but you also need low unsubscribe and bounce rates.
High unsubscribe rates could mean recipients are overwhelmed with too many emails or receive irrelevant material.
High bounce rates indicate that your emails need help reaching inboxes, which damages your deliverability.
Affordable ESPs have nothing to envy from high-priced ones in terms of reporting. Monitoring reports will show you where there’s room for improvement.
- Is your content poorly personalized to match the recipient's demographics or purchase history?
- Do you need to look further into your customer persona and apply advanced segmentation?
- Should you set up an email account management strategy to improve your sender’s reputation?
- Is your sign-up process time-consuming?
Whatever the need, use the reports provided to you by your preferred tool to get your metrics within the ideal range and fine-tune your small business email marketing.
Small business email marketing is about sending an email when you have something important to say, which makes it effective.
The vast array of all-in-one email marketing tools enables everyone to create eye-catching and engaging emails.
With so many email marketing tools, finding the one that best serves your small business marketing objectives is easy.
You can use their features to customize pre-made email templates, create solid email lists, leverage demographic segmentation, automate email sequences, monitor email campaign performance, and more.
Through these processes, every small business owner or marketer can scale their business to seven figures and, above all, build long-lasting and trusting relationships with their recipients.
After all, isn’t this what small business marketing is all about?
Maria Fintanidou works as a Copywriter for email marketing automation software Moosend, having created the Help Articles (FAQs) and overseen the platform’s translations in Greek and Spanish. She loves exploring new cultures and ways of thinking through traveling, reading, and language learning.