We've all heard of email marketing. Chances are, your inbox is filled with it! Here's how to use email marketing to strengthen customer relationships.
Email marketing is when a business sends an email to a group of people using email. Email marketing can take many forms:
- announcements for new products or services
- special offers and promotions
Done well, email marketing can be a great way of staying in contact with your customers and promoting your business.
Why do I need email marketing?
Email marketing has become popular because it allows a business to reach their target markets in a more focused and less expensive way than traditional print, radio and TV marketing. It's also more effective at conversions than social media.
It can help you to stay in contact with customers who have bought from you. It can also introduce them to new products or services. Email marketing can help you strengthen your relationship with your customers, leading to loyal followers.
How do I start email marketing?
There are some pretty smart tools to help businesses with their email marketing. Some tools even allow businesses to group their customers based on information such as:
- how long they have been a customer
- their spending habits
- likes and dislikes
- demographic information
The business can then send out emails to specific groups. Customers will get personalised emails that are likely to be of interest to them.
Most email marketing tools will store email addresses in a database and provide campaign management capabilities. More sophisticated software includes customer relationship management tools like Salesforce.
The great thing for small businesses is that many of the email marketing software providers offer a free version. But before choosing the first email marketing software you come across, do your research. Consider what your business wants to achieve. Talk to friends, colleagues and other businesses about the tools they're using.
Tips for getting started
1. Grow your database
Include a sign-up form on your website and social media channels, and encourage customers to sign up to receive updates, specials and promotions. Consider running competitions or promotions to encourage your customers to sign up to your mailing list.
2. Don't overdo it
Make sure you stay in contact with your potential customers – but don't flood their inbox. If you contact them too often, they'll delete your emails without reading them. Or worse, they'll ask you to remove them from your mailing list. Once or twice a month is enough for an email.
3. Plan your approach
Create a content plan. This is a schedule of your planned online activity. It identifies the following:
- your target audience
- how you'll measure success (or failure)
Having a content plan can take the stress out of email marketing.
Get started with content marketing planning