6 Email Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

May 23, 2015

If you have some automated email plans chalked out already and a rock star digital team to execute them, you might be well aware of small things to take note of in email marketing. The case is a little convoluted for small businesses and budding entrepreneurs. With a powerful small set-up trying to set milestones, small businesses sometimes are not completely aware about the dos and don’ts of effective email marketing. Most small and medium scale companies consume a lot of their time in tracking the effectiveness of their email marketing campaigns. Today I would like to share with you some tips that will help you to achieve your email goals easily, especially if you are a small business owner.

1. List building and segmentation

To start with, build an email list. This sounds very basic, but the quality of your email list will eventually decide the ROI of your email campaigns. Go to tradeshows, put a subscription form on the website, talk to your existing customers about referrals and you can possibly do so much more to build an impregnable email list. Once you are ready with a list, all that you need is managing the same and ensure hygiene.

2. Choosing right Email Service Provider (ESP)
Most small businesses prefer sending out emails via outlook or gmail and that’s it – the end of their email marketing even before they embarked. For effective email marketing, make sure that you select a right ESP depending on what your needs are! Sending out emails through yahoo, gmail or outlook has several issues related to deliverability (which I will cover in one of my points ahead.) Rather, resort to sophisticated ESP like MailChimp, iContact, Campaign Monitor, etc. They help you in varied way right from organizing your pesky list to delivering personalized inbox experience.

3. Identifying what’s in vogue
Dalai Lama says “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” Doesn’t matter if you are a small business or a big company, you need to catch up with the trend and deliver inbox experience which is re callable. Provide real-time experience with responsive emails as that’s the need of an hour. If your emails are not personalized and mapped with buyers or segments, they are going to fail, miserably! Use action buttons, quick pay email forms, text to call and other functionalities to make email trendy. Use interesting design, copy and call to action to lure your customers or prospects. Most small businesses fail to create catchy design and develop emails that render well across the devices.

4. Invest in testing
Testing is the holy bible for modern marketers. With most of your subscribers reading emails on the go, it is immensely imperative to deliver well-tested emails to your subscribers. Use amazing email testing tools that offer compatibility check of your emails with most email clients. Get a fair understanding about renderability and make sure your emails look professional across the viewing environments.

5. Deliverability – the bells are ringing!
With the new age rules and restrictions, it is mandatory to abide by the rules and send out emails that are compliant with various anti-spam acts. With changing ISP algorithms, spam acts and rules of individual countries; it’s quintessential to aim for a higher sender score, good domain reputation and low spam or complaint rate. Most small scale businesses pay a little heed to these matrices, and this is mission critical. Keep an eye on critical factors like bounce rate, open rate, engagement levels, etc. as this will ultimately help you improvise your email design, copy, etc. and over time build a good deliverability record.

6. Document, strategize and plan campaigns
Small businesses or even larger brands at times forget to document a strategy. It is important to keep your subscribers engaged and without proper planning and strategizing it normally doesn’t work (Unless you have 80% off on the table.) On a serious note, even you need to plan your offers. Plan out your calendar and define the kind of campaigns you wish to run this quarter. Identify the kind of content subscribers want to consume, the frequency of emails, sending time, etc. Also, chalk out an email re sending plan for the non openers. There is a lot more work behind the curtains, push those action items now!

These are just handful of tips and I hope small businesses will come out with effective email campaigns to outsmart the competition using the above tips. Do you have a point to add or differ? Please feel free to comment, it’s great to exchange thoughts.

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