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A quick guide to email marketing for SMEs

Email marketing is ranked as one of the best return-on-investment(ROI) marketing channels if done right. With email marketing, your client has generally opted-in to having information about your product sent to them and are therefore better-qualified leads for your business. So, how can you use email marketing to boost your sales? Here are six steps to developing your email marketing plan. 

1. Know your goal

Before you start your email marketing plan, you need to understand the goal of the e-mail. You should also keep in mind the average statistics for emails in your industry when creating your goal. Your goals may be one of the following:

  • Welcoming new subscribers to your business and telling them about who you are.
  • Encouraging engagement with your content and business. This may be to get people to read your blog or to buy your products. If you get money off of advertising on your website, you may want to encourage people to engage with your content by sending them a list of the best stories on your website.
  • Nurturing your current subscribers by sending them information which will help them to achieve the goals they have set out for themselves.
  • Informing dormant subscribers about what you do and why they should choose you for their next project.

Now that we are clear on what our email campaign is about we can move on to the next stage.

2. Choose an email marketing service provider

There are a wide range of email marketing service providers available and you should research each one carefully and make sure they can offer the services you will need. If you are starting out, you can use MailChimp to get a feel for how email marketing works. Other email marketing service providers you could try are Mailerlite or ActiveCampaign.

3. Build your email list

In the beginning, your email list may be short but as you create excellent, informative and useful content it may begin to grow organically. Here are three methods to grow your email list:

  • A physical list: If you have a shop, you could ask your clients to write down their email address if they would like to join your email list.
  • Opt-in page: You can create an opt-in pop up on your website which asks clients to register for your email newsletter.
  • Lead page: You can offer your client a free, useful resource that they can use in exchange for their email address.

Remember when using these methods to only ask for the essential information you need for your newsletter. People don’t like to share too much personal information over the internet. You should also make it easy for your subscribers to unsubscribe should they wish to.

4. Set up your email

Many email marketing services have templates you can use to design a professional-looking email. To save you time, you should change a template with your details and company colours and save it. Then you can use it every time you want to send an email. When setting up your email you should make sure you do the following:

  • Check your spelling. You don’t want your heading to have a glaring error which may tarnish how someone regards your product or business.
  • Put your contact details in the email. You must have your contact details and your address in your email.
  • Ensure your links work. When someone clicks on a link in your email, they should get to the page that the link talks about and it should not give a 404 error. You should also check that your link is written out correctly.
  • Be persuasive. There are three important questions your content should answer: What are you offering? How will it benefit your client? And what should they do next? Simply put, you should have a heading, body text and call to action.
  • Have a punchy subject line. The email’s subject line is the first contact a customer has with your email. It needs to entice them to open your email. You should ensure your subject line is not more than 40 characters or 4-5 words.
  • Ensure it is responsive. Many emails are opened on mobile devices, therefore it is critical that your email is designed on a responsive template.

5. Test your email and send it

When you have carefully crafted your email, it is critical to send yourself or a colleague a test email to check that it is laid out as you have anticipated. You should also check your spelling again and check that all the links work. You should also check when is the best time to send your email and aim to send it at this time.

6. Review your results

When you have finished your email campaign, you need to check your results. The statistics you should look at are deliverability, open rate, click-through and which information your customers found interest. This will help you to tweak your information for the next email. By following these six steps you will be well on your way to using email marketing to promote your business.

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