WHY STAYING IN THE INBOX WILL MAKE YOU #1 IN YOUR TOWN
Whatever the size of your business or customer base you serve, it’s a crowded marketplace that gets more competitive each day. Your businesses must make the most of your limited resources to maximize impact on their bottom line and make sure that you are top of mind when customers think of your type of business.
Further complicating matters, the online environment now provides so many different marketing channels, it can be overwhelming to choose a strategy that best suits your budget, goals, and expectations.
Despite those many marketing choices, however, channel seamlessly meshes with print ads, social media, digital ads or any other technique you want to use in your campaign - email.
Email marketing is the common denominator that can effectively send a message and tell a story, no matter your target audience’s age, occupation or technical savvy.
It’s convenient yet powerful, consistent and customizable, bolstering your brand’s identity and recognition by keeping your small business at the forefront of a customer’s attention. Repeated visits to a customer’s inbox — even when the messages aren’t opened or sit untouched for days at a time — is the unobtrusive yet impactful reminder your business needs to stay at the front of the mental Rolodex.
Of course, email campaigns maximize their ability to engage your audience when your customers open them to read content that is insightful and specific to their interests and needs. When combined with a monthly newsletter that provides a compelling narrative and personalizes your message, an email campaign can be precise, engaging and leave your customers wanting more.
Simply put, email marketing that leverages the power of a consistent newsletter attracts and holds attention, captivates your customer base, and enhances the customer journey that can only help your bottom line.
Why Is Email Different?
Your customers lead busy lives and have widely varying interests. Some live and die by their social media feeds, while others couldn’t care less about their neighbor’s post on the glories of frozen pizza. Likewise, some of your audience spends the majority of their time surfing the web or online shopping, while others see the internet as a necessary evil.
With such different tastes, interests, and habits, digital marketing campaigns can quickly become too broad in scope as they attempt to engage as many potential customers as possible while losing personality and appeal along the way. This dynamic defines the most significant difference between email marketing and other digital channels.
To put it another way, think of your business as a fisherman trying to catch a specific type of fish. You could go out on the open ocean with gigantic nets and start sweeping vast swaths of ocean water in hopes of catching that particular fish. Of course, if you’re lucky enough to find that fish, it will undoubtedly be accompanied by hundreds, maybe thousands of other fish that aren’t what you’re looking for and provide you no benefit.
Or, you could pick up a fishing pole loaded with a type of bait you know that specific fish
craves and head for a spot along the shore they are known to frequent. This targeted effort represents the difference between email marketing and other digital strategies, where the email component of a campaign is precise and honed to the interests of your target audience.
That isn’t to say, that other digital marketing channels don’t also play a critical role in your overall marketing strategy, but the ROI from email shines above everything else. Rather than investing your limited resources on marketing endeavors that are passive and inherently less efficient, email uses a far more proactive, targeted approach that reaches out and finds your audience rather than hoping your customers come across your message by chance.
Amplifying Impact: The Email Newsletter
One of the best ways to amplify the impact of your email marketing is to incorporate a monthly newsletter based on your email subscription list. These newsletters not only foster brand recognition but, just as importantly, provide you the opportunity to create content already tailored for your potential customers, also called warm leads.
However you’ve amassed your email list — perhaps from your company’s web page, a custom-designed landing page or through promotional marketing distributed across the online landscape — those customers have already displayed an interest in your business, products or services, or simply what you have to say.
In other words, the potential customers on your email list are the epitome of those warm
leads that can make conversions to sales much easier when you convey your message and voice in an appealing and insightful way.
As simple as the idea might sound, modern corporate empires have sprung from the foundations established by effective email newsletter campaigns. For small business owners with limited resources at their disposal, marketing efforts must always find a proper balance between budgetary restraints and maximum impact or, in more ordinary terms, the most bang for their buck.
To that point, email newsletters also allow businesses to get an accurate sense of what is working well and what needs refining through simple platforms that track useful email campaign metrics like open rates (how many people opened the email). The business could use those statistics in the future to optimize each newsletter’s impact on opens and, ultimately, generated revenue.
Companies that are a bit more savvy with technology can funnel email newsletter campaigns through a customer relationship management system, CRM for short. These types of platforms, available on a subscription basis, store and organize customer data so a business can easily isolate individuals by location, age, interests or any other demographic on file.
The Components of an Effective Newsletter
It’s clear that nearly every small company would greatly benefit from integrating an email newsletter into their overall marketing strategy. However, there are a handful of critical characteristics that distinguish successful, impactful newsletters from any number of bland and faceless messages that immediately get removed from a customer’s inbox.
1) A Click-Worthy Subject Line
Once the audience is appropriately categorized, use catchy and engaging subject lines to grab the reader’s attention and prevent a newsletter from being mindlessly skipped or deleted without ever being read. You could create the most inventive, engaging newsletter imaginable, but if it doesn’t have a subject line that instantly appeals, it will still end up in the trash folder.
2) Engaging Content
Likewise, the content must be informative but concise, engaging yet straightforward.
3) Proper Formatting for Phones and Computers
Be consistent with your design and always maintain a professional look, particularly when integrating your company logo, color palette, and overall layout. Be mindful of the psychology of design and maximize impact according to the shape, structure, and tone of your content.
If larger blocks of text are required to convey the information correctly, be sure to use smaller paragraphs with easily distinguishable sub-headers that are easy to skim. Email naturally lends itself to quick but insightful communication, so your newsletter should adhere to those expectations.
Also, given the popularity of smartphones and tablets, make certain your newsletter formatting retains its impact but is agile enough to display on a mobile screen properly.
4) A Call to Action
Lastly, since the primary objective of an email newsletter is to increase sales, always include an emphatic call-to-action that stands out and catches the eye. A compelling newsletter will still ultimately fail if it’s not persuasive enough to prompt the reader to click through and further explore your company and what you have to offer.
No Time Like Today to Start
While you undoubtedly agree that an email newsletter is a critical component of your digital marketing strategy at this point, actually designing one and distributing it in a consistent, effective manner might seem a bit overwhelming.
Let us help you.
Our entire focus is on helping small businesses like yours take advantage of the digital tools available. We’re the experts you can rely on so you can concentrate on the million other things needed to run a successful company in this crowded marketplace.
With Gung Ho Local, your monthly email newsletter is in the best of hands, and we’re always around when you need us.
Small Business Marketing Consultant