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Small business marketing doesn’t have to be difficult and it doesn’t have to be a huge expense. Many small businesses want to reach their target audience, but they aren’t doing so. These email marketing tips will assist with reaching them. As a result, it will also help to improve overall conversion rates.

1. Identify Target Audience

A common mistake of many small businesses is that they try to appeal to everyone. Instead, you have to think about who your target audience is. small business marketing tip email marketingIdentify who the people are that will be the most likely to purchase from your small business. We call this a buyer persona.  This information allows you to customize content that will attract the type of customer you ultimately want to email information to.

2. Collecting Email Information

Always follow the rules when it comes to collecting email information. Only email those that have opted in. This means they give you permission to email them. Avoid buying email lists as they are a waste of money. You don’t know that they are part of your target audience. You don’t even know if those email addresses are still active.

It is better to collect your own email information and to create a list that works for you. Ideally, you should have two lists that you work from. The first consists of potential customers that may be interested in making a purchase from you. The second list consists of customers who have already made a purchase from you, and you would like to encourage them to do so again, or provide you referrals. The type of small business marketing email efforts you put in motion can vary for each list.

Make sure you successfully manage your opt in lists too. This is a huge part of small business marketing. There has to be an unsubscribe button for consumers to remove themselves from the list if they desire. Make sure you aren’t blowing up their inbox with emails or you will have a high removal rate.

3. Make Opt-ins Enticing

Collecting email addresses from your target audience doesn’t have to be difficult. Part of your small business marketing should be to make opt-ins enticing. When someone visits your website, there should be a offers for downloadable information that visitors are willing to provide their contact information to receive. Keep it simple so that they will be more likely to complete the box.  If you ask for more than 3 pieces of information the likelihood of getting the form completed diminishes greatly.

We encourage our clients to use tools that allow for progressive profiling.  The first time a visitor arrives on a landing page we ask just for the first name, and email address.  The next time that visitor arrives on a different landing page the software recalls the information they have already provided and only ask for two or three different predetermined pieces of information – maybe last name, and company name.

Providing custom how to offers, quick & short eBooks, or tip sheets that answer real life questions your visitors are struggling with are a great way to entice them to complete the information.  The key is to present an offer that is going to be enticing – yet doesn’t cost you lots of money to provide.

4. Show Appreciation to Previous Customers

For those that have already made a purchase, show them that you appreciate it! Take a new approach to small business marketing, and it can get you very loyal customers. For example, send them an email with some tips or tricks that will help them get results in a particular area relating to your products or services.

By doing so, you keep your business name fresh in their mind. They will appreciate the fact that you aren’t just giving them another sales pitch. You can also give them the exclusive chance to buy new products or services before they are launched to everyone else. Come up with creative ways to help your customers feel that they are special to you and that you see them as more than just someone spending money.

5. Time Sensitive Incentives

For both the potential customers and the new customers, offer some time sensitive incentives via email. This will get them motivated to make a purchase right away! For example, you can tell them that you are offering your product at 25% off and free shipping for the next 12 hours. You can also tell them that you have a limited number of items to sell and once they are gone, they are gone.

They will be inclined to make the purchase as they don’t want to miss out on the savings or miss being able to make the purchase at all. Make sure your time frame is very clear and that you stick to it. You can even add a video or a countdown to the time sensitive offers to make them even more appealing.

6. Branch Out

Don’t get caught up in offering just one type of email marketing set up to your opt in list. Consider adding some images or short videos. A video that answers a question or shows them how your product works is ideal. Perhaps a list of commonly asked questions and the answers may be what it takes for them to have the information they need.  Remember to keep your emails helpful and not salesy.

Studies show a person often has to be exposed to information several times before they feel comfortable and familiar with it. Offering that information in different ways can also help it to be more appealing as not everyone responds to the same stimuli.

7. Auto-responders

The use of auto-responders can help you to do well with small business marketing. These are pre-designed emails that will go out at the intervals that you set. Create a set of them for potential buyers and for previous buyers. Then your email system can automatically send out the next message in the sequence when it is time.

8. Budgeting

It is important to point out that most of these email marketing tips for small business are simple to implement. They do take time, but they don’t cost very much money at all. Create some low cost but high quality incentives to get people to opt in. Use auto-responders to help you keep track of when to send out messages to them. You will find that by implementing these methods, your small business is able to reach more of the target audience. You will also find your conversion rates increasing!