For small business owners, promoting your business can mean the difference between a runaway success and a failure. It doesn’t matter how excellent your product or service is if you can’t rise above the noise and bring in customers.
In recent years, digital marketing has become an indispensable tool for promoting small businesses, and 2019 is no different. In fact, it’s more important than ever.
Among the most vital aspects of digital promotion is email marketing. There are currently over 5 billion active email accounts in the world, so if promotion is going where the people are, email can’t be looked over.
Read on to learn some actionable tips for promoting business growth in 2019.
Start with an email marketing plan
Before writing a series of emails and sending them out, you need to have a strategy. You must understand the lay of the land, the audience, and what you have to offer, among many other considerations.
Here are some of the most vital aspects of a solid email marketing plan.
Make it personal.
With so much marketing material out there, consumers have become savvy to inauthentic ads. Therefore, it’s important for the modern small business to take on a more personal, down-to-earth persona.
In the same vein, you should also use email segmentation to split your email lists into niche audiences, which is especially helpful if your business covers several demographics. For instance, if you’re selling clothes, you might want to segment your email list into men and women.
Source: Really Good Emails
If women are constantly getting email promotions for men’s clothing, they’ll get the feeling that the emails are coming from an indifferent brand. However, if they’re getting emails tailored to their needs, it creates a more personal relationship with the business. They’ll also be far more likely to engage with the email if it’s correctly targeted towards them.
Automation is your friend.
Automated emails provide more than just convenience—they allow you to preplan emails for specific events or consumer behaviors.
One of the most common and effective automated emails is a welcome email. A welcome email is triggered when a consumer subscribes to your mailing list. The name of the game here is expressing gratitude for their subscription, making your value to the consumer clear, perhaps with an introductory discount.
Source: Pretty Good Emails
Automated emails are also great for tying in discounts or special events with holidays, such as Black Friday, Christmas, or birthdays. Birthday emails are doubly effective because they’re both relevant and personal.
Keep your list growing.
While quality should certainly outweigh quantity, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t focus on growing your email list. Just be sure that it doesn’t affect the emails themselves.
It’s equally imperative to grow your list the right way. Among the most useful methods for growing a great list are adding incentives to your website, funneling consumers through social media, and providing discounts that are exclusive to email subscribers.
Purchasing email lists is a big mistake. Not only will many of these emails be inactive, but sending unsolicited marketing material through email can lead to being blacklisted.
Look at the email marketing data.
After your email marketing campaign has been running for a time, you’ll start noticing certain trends in the analytics. These numbers are more than just a curiosity or a historical record, they should be guiding your behavior for the future.
In addition to your own analytics, which is most important, you should also pay attention to the average analytics of all email marketing efforts. By combining the two, you’ll have the clearest picture of the email marketing environment and your next moves will become more apparent.
Here are a few of the most telling email analytics and how they can help you promote your small business to greater effect.
Open rates are the percentages of how many times your emails were opened by subscribers. If you sent out 100 emails and 40 of them were opened, then you would have an open rate of 40%.
For the most part, open rates will tell you the effectiveness of your subject lines, which can be read without opening the email. If you have a poor subject line, people will likely ignore the email. Try to make your subject lines enticing and personal in order to capture the reader’s attention.
The timing might also come into play with open rates, depending on your target audience. You may have a low open rate because you’re sending out emails on a day that your audience is less likely to check their inbox. Testing is vital in this regard, so you can see what works and what doesn’t.
Click-through rates show you the percent of subscribers clicking CTAs or images in your campaigns.
Unlike open rates, which gauge the effectiveness of your subject line, click-through rates gauge the effectiveness of the email itself, and how engaged your audience is with your content in general. You get to see what people interacted with and what they ignored.
Using this information, you can reconstruct your emails to double-down on popular elements and rework unpopular elements. In other words, you can reconstruct your emails based entirely on the behavior of your subscribers.
How to market your business with social media
In addition to the over 5 billion email users on the planet, there are also nearly 3 billion users on social media. Naturally, this makes social media another place where your business needs to make its presence known.
As with email, dominating social media requires a strategy if you want to tap it of its full potential. Simply making an account and posting the occasional in-store event isn’t enough to draw attention.
Consider the following social media strategies that can give your online reputation a much-needed boost.
Don’t use every platform the same way.
When it comes to email, Yahoo users aren’t especially different from Gmail users. With social media, on the other hand, Facebook users are quite different from Twitter users. Part of this is based on the demographics and part of it is due to the construction of the platforms themselves.
After you’ve done a thorough analysis of your business’ target audience, you then need to figure out which platforms they prefer and how to utilize those platforms for your purposes.
Use the information that already exists.
Even though venturing into the social media space with your small business may initially seem intimidating, the good news is that you’re not promoting your business in a vacuum. Many businesses have already ventured into the social media space and figured out what works.
Some of this information may be surprising, like the fact that long-form content is more likely to be shared than short-form content. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort to write lengthy, content-rich blogs on your product or service, you’ll be rewarded with a larger audience.
If you’re using Twitter, you should try to always add an image to your post, because posts with images have more than double the chance of being shared than those without.
These are just a couple of tried-and-true tips that a little research can uncover.
With all the online competition, the promotion efforts of small businesses can sometimes feel like a drop in the ocean.
However, by utilizing the best digital marketing practices, you can figure out how to promote your business to the fullest and accumulate a faithful following.
Among these best practices are:
- Email personalization
- Email automation
- Keep an ever-growing email list
- Use email marketing analytics to your advantage
- Take a unique approach to each social media platform
- Piggyback off the existing social media data
After embracing these simple but powerful techniques, you can be sure that your product or service will reach the audience it deserves.