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25 awesome tactics straight from the experts! Thanks for putting this together, Mark. Small businesses don’t have to be chained to adapting shady lead generation techniques as these strategies work when done right. There’s a robust CRM out there that won’t break the bank (free, even). You can integrate it with your current phone system using a 3rd party integration tool like Tenfold, as we did. Our CRM, phone system, lead gen tools, and many others work seamlessly together. It provides us access to all the relevant info in a single easy-to-use dashboard.
Although email marketing has been around for a while, it continues to drive significant results for small businesses across the country. Even with the rise in popularity of other marketing platforms like social media, email marketing is still one of the best tactics that brands can use to reach and engage their target audience. Below, we’ll cover the top 25 of the benefits of email marketing and explain how they can help your business improve lead generation, conversion, and revenue.
Customer referrals should be one of your key sources of new business. This means keeping in touch with your existing customers to ensure you are well placed to get referrals. Kyle Porter advises keeping the conversation informal. For example, “Hey John, we’ve got a killer new feature coming out that does X & Y. Which other marketing execs do you think would find this interesting?”
Brand awareness is one of the most important benefits of email marketing. Email marketing helps you increase your brand awareness by getting your email messages into the inboxes of potential new customers. The more consistent your communication is with your email subscribers, the more likely they will be to think of your business when they are looking for your products or services.
Email marketing is an essential component of a marketing strategy for any kind of business. It does not matter if you own a brick-and-mortar shop, or you sell your products via an e-commerce website. This marketing tool will allow you to better communicate with your customers, inform them about the launch of new products, attract them with customized offers, and much more. All this is done by creating an email campaign and sending out a carefully crafted email newsletter to your potential and existing customers and clients.
Email marketing is a type of direct marketing that involves businesses sending promotional messages via electronic mail to a group of prospects and customers. It’s widely used as an efficient and cost-effective method for new customer acquisition, building brand awareness, and increasing product sales, as well as fostering trust and loyalty with a company’s customer base.
It’s difficult to track the success of your email marketing campaign from your Yahoo or Google email address. Email marketing services provide built-in analytics that guide you on how to keep improving your customer engagement and retention rates by showing you exactly which emails succeed. Without analytics, you’re really just emailing blind. These analytics reveal how many of your emails reached the recipient’s inbox, how many of those emails were actually opened, and how many links were clicked in the body of your email. Email analytics can also help you develop insights into why your email bounced or which subject lines are the most successful.
When it comes to designing an email for a specific offer, the main component to keep in mind is the offer itself. You want the copy to be brief but descriptive enough to convey the offer's value. In addition, make sure your email's call-to-action (CTA) link is large, clear, and uses actionable language. You can also include a large CTA image/button underneath to make the action you want email readers to take crystal clear.
Be sure that your business is using and leveraging the benefits of email marketing effectively. Email is a communication channel that allows your business to speak directly to customers, prospects, partners and suppliers. When utilized as part of an overall web-based marketing strategy it is a powerful tool that provides a wide range of benefits for businesses of all sizes.
Before you officially open your doors to paying customers, set up a basic landing page on your domain that invites visitors to stay informed by entering their email address. Don’t beg—write copy that describes what’s exciting about your upcoming product and offer strong incentives for early adopters where it makes sense (e.g., early-bird customers get 20% off on launch day).
Design: With newsletters, the layout becomes a much more complicated task than it is with dedicated email sends. You’ll have to spend some time deciding on the right placement of images and text, alignment and prioritization of information. Thankfully, there are a bunch of websites out there to help you with these efforts. MailChimp, for instance, offers a package of 36 basic, flexible templates you can use to get started.
Less Consistentcy: With newsletters, marketers generally stick to a specific schedule. For instance, you might create a weekly newsletter that goes out on Tuesday mornings. Or your company might be sending a weekend newsletter summarizing information published throughout the week. With dedicated sends, the schedule is less clear and, potentially, less consistent. You might use dedicated emails when you have published a new offer (which might be sporadic). Even if you decide to maintain a specific schedule, your subscribers might not realize it or expect communication from you because there is no clear connection between the separate sends.
For example, a local design school could send out emails to let them know about their new design class that has a limited number of seats. Many of their customers and potential leads may have missed out on this opportunity to attend the class, had they not revisited the website in time. The design school then can fill all the seats more quickly, instead of waiting for reservations to trickle in.
Include your contact information in the newsletter. You always want your contact information in an easy-to-find area on the newsletter. The purpose of your newsletter isn’t necessarily to sell, but if your customers are inspired to reach out to you because of the newsletter, you want them to be able to find you. You could put social media contact buttons in the header or footer of your message; you could go the more traditional route, and include your phone number and email address; or you could do both. In the example below from our very own VerticalResponse newsletter, you’ll notice the social buttons in the top right corner:
Newsletters are great not only for marketing to prospects, but also for nurturing your existing customers with company news and events, product announcements and feedback requests. Such ongoing communication will help you retain happy customers and collect valuable insights about them. What are the tidbits of information they click on the most? Can you upsell to them at all? Don’t forget that your existing customer base can also spread the word about your company and share resources that you publish with their network.
One of the greatest advantages of email marketing is that it allows marketers to send targeted messages. Print, radio and television ads are broadcast indiscriminately and frequently reach consumers who have no interest in the product offered. But email marketing allows companies to tailor certain ads to certain customers. If a customer has shopped for a brand of shoes in the past, companies can email them coupons for that same brand knowing that they have already expressed an interest.
While there are many tools on the market to support this, our favorite here at Nutshell is MailChimp. Not only does Nutshell offer a powerful integration with this tool, MailChimp is easy to sign up for, and offers free subscriptions up to 2,000 contacts. Click here to learn more about how Nutshell integrates seamlessly with this tool! Sending mass emails to thousands of clients from Nutshell can be done within minutes.
Run sweepstakes or a contest. Although contests can potentially bring in a lot of sign-ups, the inherent downside is the person you’ll attract is looking for free stuff. Use a giveaway to break through the noise, or to jumpstart your list, but don’t rely on them to grow an engaged audience for the long term. Check out contest apps on the Shopify App Store.
A better approach, or better said, an approach worth testing is offering the white paper for no commitment, allow the prospect to download it immediately without providing an email address. In the white paper, link back to resources on your site. By driving the prospect back to your site you can add them to a remarketing list for more qualified prospects, and you can request their email then (once they’ve gotten some value from you).
Everyone loves a compelling story, so if you can find a notable one from a staff member, customer, or even your own business and life, consider using it as a topic for a newsletter. Maybe a customer used your fitness products to lose 50 pounds, or you could share what originally inspired you to start your business. Whatever the story is about, it should be both interesting and relevant to your brand.
For example, Groove HQ, a helpdesk startup, positioned their entire blog around following their company to $100,000 in monthly revenue — a large, public live challenge. And as outlined in one of their latests posts looking back at their content operation, they grew their blog visits to 250,000 per month and grew their company revenue to $500,000 per month with content marketing as the only channel they invested in.
Generates Less Concurrent Buzz: With dedicated sends to your entire email database, you can generate a lot of buzz around your brand. There is an explosion of engagement resulting from the simultaneous forwarding and social media sharing (especially if you have Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook sharing links in your email). Lead nurturing cannot quite achieve the same buzz effect because it is programmed to schedule fewer emails to segmented audiences. So while there will still be sharing, you won’t see a huge spike in traffic and conversions on a specific day. Rather, the visits and leads will trickle in.
As popular as newsletters are, they have a drawback. When you send multiple links or blurbs in an email, you weaken your main call-to-action. Your subscriber may click on the first link or two in your email but may not come back to the others, or they may skim your email and move on. So, if your main goal is to drive a specific action – sign up for this webinar, buy this product, read my latest blog post – you may be better off with a standalone email. These emails are dedicated to just one topic and put the call to action front and center. Your readers’ attention won't be diverted, so they’re more likely to take the action you want them to.
5. Don't include too many images or graphics in your mass email messages. A lot of images can make your emails slow to load and may cause display issues. Also, many subscribers do not allow images to display, so they may just show up as white space. To avoid this problem, use a mass email marketing program that automatically creates a text-only version of your emails.
Most companies send both types of emails because they serve distinct functions. Mass emails are sent on a schedule of the marketer’s own making, either to every email address on your mailing list or subscriber list, or you can send email to only a targeted segment. The message itself might be an email newsletter or promotion. Transactional emails, on the other hand, are triggered by a customer action (say, a password reset or abandoned cart). Whether it’s the customer or the marketer prompting the send, the usefulness of your emailing software hinges on successful delivery.
Email is the marketing channel preferred by consumers to communicate with companies. According to research conducted by MarketingSherpa, 60% of survey respondents chose email as the preferred way to receive promotions and regular updates from companies with which they are interested in doing business. Only 20% of respondents chose social media, and 17% chose text messages.
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Look for a point of diminishing returns. Where are your campaign investments providing value? At Marketo, inbound strategies like content marketing are the strongest channels, and should be maximized to a point; but beyond that, inbound tactics need to be supplemented with outbound, paid channels in order to create sustainable demand and generate new leads from your website.