While the level of your customer’s digital expertise may vary significantly, many have and use email, making this a foundational element to any small business’s digital marketing efforts. One study found that 72% of consumers say email is their favored tool for communicating with companies they do business with.
And many small businesses are taking advantage of this usage. One small business email marketing provider said about 1.4 billion emails were sent over the 2015 Thanksgiving weekend! Furthermore, the mobile device is helping to make email messages more accessible by consumers who no longer need to log-in via a desktop to review their email inbox.
Email is a great way to drive awareness of deals, new products and services and also a strong tool for driving customer loyalty. More sophisticated email marketers use email to send automated reminders, notifications and other communications that help facilitate transactions. Similarly, email marketing can help drive awareness of other digital outlets like websites and social media channels.
The biggest challenge faced by small businesses is collecting and organizing an email database of customers. Also, some business categories find more success with email than others. Retail, for example, sees a strong engagement with email marketing.
- Create a spreadsheet of customer email addresses that includes additional customer information (name, phone, etc.)
- Research and select an email marketing provider
- Develop an ongoing strategy for collecting new customer email addresses
- Send timely, relevant, personalized, visually engaging emails
- Limit number of emails sent to avoid un-subscriptions