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Running a business

The power of email marketing for small business

Email marketing can be a powerful tool for promoting your small business. Despite the explosion of new marketing channels and technologies, email continues to deliver. It’s a personal way to connect with your audience, that unlike social media, is unhindered by third party changes. Instead of getting buried by ads and have to pay for your message to be seen, an email will be delivered straight to your customer’s inbox, no questions asked.

Why email marketing?

There’s a lot to be gained from using email marketing. It allows you to:

  • Connect and engage with your customers and followers
  • Drive sales and increase brand loyalty
  • Keep your business top of mind with customers
  • Build an audience and increase brand awareness
  • Share business-related content, including news, inspiration, and promotions

How to introduce email marketing

1. Choose a software provider

There are many email-marketing platforms available. When researching your options, consider things like how easy it is to set up, implement, and use the software, the features available – email templates, automation, segmentation – price of the plan, and the level of customer support the provider offers. Some popular email providers include:

  • Mail Chimp
  • Infusion Soft
  • SendinBlue
  • Constant Contact
  • Campaign Monitor
  • HubSpot ​

2. Establish an email database

Then it’s time to grow an email subscriber database. This is when your customers and potential customers provide you with their email address and give you permission to to send them emails. You can start to build this by:

  • Adding an e-newsletter sign-up form to your business website
  • Running a promotion encouraging e-newsletter sign-ups on your social media platforms or business blog
  • Asking customers if they’d like to join your subscriber list when they purchase a product or service from you.
  • You could even incentivise it by offering a discount off their next purchase in the first email they receive.

3. Create a marketing plan.

Now that you have your subscriber database and software in place, the next step is to develop the content you want to include in your email marketing. It’s worthwhile creating a plan for how often emails will go out – weekly, fortnightly, monthly – and what content and promotions each campaign will feature.

Examples of the type of content you might use in your email marketing are:

  • Promotions and sales: To promote a 50% off or holiday sale
  • Announcements: To announce the opening of a new store, the introduction of a new product or service, or a change to your trading hours
  • Event-related coverage: To promote any industry events where your business received an award or nomination, or a business party or launch
  • Inspirational or informative content: To provide your audience with useful information related to your industry, product, or service, and promote your expertise in the space
  • Business-related news: To feature staff or promote business partnerships Before you hit ‘send’, make sure your email marketing is responsive to mobile and you’ve used high-quality images to support your content.

Finally, take advantage of insights tools offered by your provider for a better understanding of whether your emails are being read, which content is the least and most popular, and how to refine your email marketing so it engages your customer in the best possible way.

To learn more about how to promote your small business, check out these resources.

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