10 Simple Steps to Start Email Marketing For Small Businesses

As a small business, you need to create brand awareness to start making sales in your business. With limited capital, funding marketing methods such as PPC and Facebook ads may somehow be beyond your budget. SEO is great, but it might probably take a little more time.

So, your last resort is email marketing.

But how do you get started? What are the necessary steps?

Here is a guide for starting an email marketing campaign for your SMB.

1. Get a reliable email service provider

As much as you're cautious with your spending, if you want to excel in email marketing, you need an email service provider.

This will help you leverage the automation process, such as knowing who is clicking, opening, or signing up your email list.

You also save time by sending huge volumes of emails with a click of a button. Most email marketing services will also provide you with professional email templates for your business.

2. Build a targeted email list for your SMB

The first thing about building an email list is not buying an email list. You want your subscribers to be people who are willing to read your content, and voluntarily signed up for it.

The best way to build an email list is to have a sign-up button at the top of your website. To motivate your web visitors to sign up, offer a discount on your product or service, or a helpful ebook.

3. Decide on the goals of your SMB email marketing campaign

Every successful marketing project begins with understanding what you want to achieve. And email marketing is no exception. The general goals of email marketing include:

  1. Welcoming new subscribers. And explaining what you do, and the value your business provides so you can start building a business relationship with them.
  2. Encouraging your subscribers to engage more with your small business by using a webinar or trying to make your first sale.
  3. Nurturing the relationship of your old clients by providing them with valuable content.
  4. Re-engaging with subscribers who haven't been engaging with your brand
  5. Segmenting your list so that you can send out more targeted content.

You can also set your KPI based on conversion rates, such as click-through-rates.

4. Know your audience

If you're just setting up your first email marketing campaign, you might not have the data yet. But don't worry as fast as you run your first campaign, you'll understand what each subscriber is like.

For starters, you can optimize the content you send to your subscribers based on the page they signed up from on your website. You can also use Google Analytics and Facebook insights.

Both sources provide information on interests, location, and demographics. All this data is crucial in creating a successful email marketing campaign.

5. Create great Opt-Ins

For people to sign up for your campaigns, your opt-in must be visible and attractive to your web visitors.

Here are some opt-in ideas:

  1. Welcome gates that web visitors see immediately they click on your website.
  2. Lightbox popups, which appears on any page and blocks the content to grab the web visitor's attention
  3. Exit-intent popups that appear when your web-visitors are about to leave your site.

While you want your web visitors to see your sign-up button, do it with moderation. If it's annoying, your web-visitors might not be very pleased.

6. Plan emails and follow-ups

Once you've set your goal and began your building list journey, it's time to plan out your content.
Some of the things email marketers for small businesses should consider include:

  1. The frequency of the emails
  2. Type of emails
  3. A slight idea of the type of content
  4. The action you want your subscribers to take. It could be following you on social media or buying a product.

Your emails need to be timely, valuable, and engaging. For example, some companies begin by explaining to the new subscribers about their products and services.

This stage is crucial because you need to strike a balance. For example, overwhelming your subscribers with emails may lead them to report you as spam.

7. Craft an effective subject line

This is the part you really need to get right, as it gets people to click on your email. Like your blog headline does, a good subject encourages people to go further.

Here are simple ideas you can use to come up with your subject lines.

  1. Telling your audience what they'll get for joining your email list
  2. A bit of personalization, like adding the name of the recipient on the subject line.
  3. Avoid spam trigger words to improve your inbox placement rate.
  4. Borrowing one of the most converting subject lines from experts and using it.

8. Write the copy for your small business email marketing campaign

You want to hook your reader from the beginning. To do this, keep your email short and avoid pitching too early. You want your audience to be comfortable fast.

Remember, personalized emails get better conversion rates. So, address your readers by their first name, and find other factors like interests to customize the messages.

Other things you can add to your copy include.

  1. A personal story. People are looking to connect with a real person. If you've got a story that resonates with an audience, then this might be what your copy should be about.
  2. Something your audience cares about. This can be useful information or a product you're promoting and how it will improve their well-being.
  3. A video, GIF, poll, or survey. All these have been proven to boost engagement.

The last thing you'll need is a CTA. Although you don't want to start pitching too early, you need to find ideal opportunities to place your CTA within the text as well as at the end.

9. Work on your email marketing design

Email design is important in your small business campaign. If it's not impressive, then people might associate that with your products and stop reading your content.

With a good number of people using mobile gadgets to read emails, make sure you use a responsive design. The latter makes sure that regardless of the device the reader uses, they have a great user experience.

Keep in mind that most email clients disable images, and so it's best if you avoid using too many images. If you have to include alt tags to encourage readers to click on the images.

10. Test and Track

After planning your email marketing campaign and executing it, that's when the work begins.
You need to analyze the results you're getting and stick to what's working. You can do A/B testing to see what subject line is getting more clicks.

This helps you improve your email campaign, and get an idea of how to handle the campaign process next time.

Take Away

For small businesses, email marketing is the best way of attracting customers to their website, create awareness, and make sales.

It's pocket-friendly, and most importantly, effective.

We hope the above steps will guide you through your first campaign.