If you have a strong digital marketing strategy in place for your small business, then you have taken the necessary steps to organically grow your small business daily.
The goal is to drive prospective customers to your website, to then convert those visitors into leads.
Next, its about turning leads into sales.
As you collect leads from your website (and events, in person, referrals, etc.), you should be strategically working to cultivate them towards becoming a customer.
One of the most effective ways to nurture those leads into future customers is through the power of email marketing. The idea is to send your leads specific messages, promotions, and offers in a way that gently nudges them to buy.
But, like everything in digital marketing, you need a strategy. A roadmap of success.
To get you started, here are a whole bunch of things to keep in mind while building a successful small business email marketing program.
Build your list honestly, and organically
First things first, resist the temptation to purchase email lists.
Similar to how you can purchase fake Facebook Friends, Twitter Followers, Instagram Likes, etc., you can purchase email addresses.
Trust us, this is a usually total waste of money.
To start with, here is no way to guarantee you spent your hard earned money on real, valid email addresses. And even if they are valid, chances are these random contacts won’t necessary be interested in your specific product or business, or appreciate your unwarranted, 'spammy' emails showing up in their inbox.
Think about it: when's the last time you were excited to get an unsolicited email in your inbox?
And to make matters worse, you'll have a tough time finding an email provider that will allow this technique. Email services like Aweber, Mailchimp and Constant Contact have been known to fine and even take legal action against companies who do this.
So if you shouldn't buy email addresses, what can you do to grow your list?
You offer something of value. You then exchange that offer for someone's information - their email address.
Whether you're providing valuable content, products, services, or offers; the key word here is VALUE.
Consumers are inundated with advertisements all day long. From the morning radio to billboards, television to the ENTIRE Internet world, disruptive advertisements rule our lives. And because of this, most consumers have developed a blind eye to them.
This is why inbound marketing is so powerful. It removes the disruption and replaces it with valuable content that the consumer discovers on their own time; their own efforts.
It's just up to you as a business owner, website owner, and/or content creator, to know what they're looking for and create it (and, of course, optimize it).
Once you do that, you'll start to attract the right audience that'll give up their email address in exchange for what it is you have to offer.
Make it clear about what they're exactly signing up for
Again, it’s all about the value proposition.
If you're providing valuable, targeted content to your ideal audience, then you should start to find more eyes on your website.
Once they're there, you need to hook them with an offer to capture their email address.
Whether you go with a pop-up box (we use LeadPages), embedded call-to-actions, sidebar forms, or something entirely different, it's important to be transparent about just what they're getting in exchange for their email address.
Appeal to your target demographic by providing a clear description on your website of what value they will gain by subscribing to your newsletter or downloading your ebook; either through the email subscription box Call-To-Action or on a separate landing page.
Things to consider in the copy:
- Will your emails offer coupons and discounts on new products?
- Will they offer tools and tips on how to use your product or services more efficiency?
- How often will you send an email?
- Are they full of free, educational content your audience would find helpful?
Before your audience agrees to give your access to their personal inbox, they deserve to know ‘why’ they should.
Continuously deliver joy and value
If you've followed the first two steps in creating an effective inbound content marketing program (which, of course, includes a well-designed, SEO optimized website), then you should be set-up for email marketing success.
But, if you've noticed, we've yet to go over the other important piece of the email marketing puzzle: what the heck do you send in your emails?
They gave you their permission, now its up to you to deliver on your promise.
Well, start with the offer they originally signed up for.
For instance: blog subscription
If they subscribed to your blog, then you should only send them your latest and greatest blog posts at whatever frequency you said you would. You can go a couple ways with this approach.
You could create a newsletter that includes a curated collection of the best you have to offer each week (or month, etc.). Or, you could focus on just one blog post in each email. But again, be clear about this up front in your call-to-action so they know BEFORE handing over their email address.
While its a great start, a blog subscription email or newsletter is your most basic of email marketing techniques. It's a passive, automated tactic that doesn't take up too much of your time.
And also not the most effective way to nurture your leads into paying customers.
Ideally, you want to build a web of email nurturing systems that intelligently delivers the right content at the right stage of the buying cycle - all in an effort to move them down the 'funnel' towards purchasing.
If you've mastered the website content and you're capturing emails left and right, I suggest you take this step into the email/lead nurturing world.
However, if you're like 95% of most small business owners then I would just focus on optimizing your website with the right content - and then capturing the email addresses of those visitors by adding forms and relevant offers to your site.
If your website doesn't currently have any lead capture capabilities, and you'd like to start capturing these potential customers online, then give us a call.
We've teamed up with over 1200 business owners to build an optimized website that drives the right traffic and, most importantly, converts traffic into leads and sales. You can fill out a free consultation form here, or simply give us a call at: 866-634-1206.