Email Marketing Gets Leads for Your Small Business

Email marketing is a great way to generate leads and convert more prospects for your business. It allows you to reach out to current and prospective customers and keep them updated – on your latest deals & news about your company. Email marketing services give you the ability to create custom marketing for each segment of your audience. They let you spread news about your company and bring in new customers in an efficient way. If you invest in a good email marketing service – you’ll get online reporting to track new and returning customers.

It all starts with a good list, if you just send to a random list of people that have never heard of you – it’s called “spam”. Most purchased lists aren’t much better. There’s a few things you can do to grow your email list in a positive way without resorting to buying a list – 1. Offer stuff on your website and get people to sign-up using a good online form. – 2. Tap into your existing customer base to grow your email list and offer special deals exclusively in your email newsletter –3. Ask customers to sign up each time they purchase something & offer incentives to spread the word – 4. Stay active on social channels and make sure to share your newsletters wherever you can to expand your reach and encourage sign-ups. Don’t give up! Growing a good email list takes time – but it’s worth it!

Features to look for when choosing an email platform:
email marketing
Contact Management – The appearance and simplicity of the dashboard are going to determine how often you access the program to create campaigns. The ability to import existing mailing lists from other services, whether they are social media or email providers, is a big plus. The best email advertising services allow you to create custom demographic segments so you can reach the right customers with the most applicable message.

Email Creation – Before choosing a service, you’ll want to make sure you can upload images, type your text, manipulate how the text displays, and be able to add links and a social media share bar. They should also offer professional features you’ll need to create customer surveys, newsletters and other event emails. Most email marketing solutions offer the flexibility to work either in a design format or directly with HTML, most allow you to create email messages from scratch or choose from a list of creative templates.

Sending & Reporting – look at the reports, graphs and statistics that show you how your email campaign is doing. You should be able to see how many customers open your emails and which links they click on. You’ll see how many unsubscribe and how many forward your emails. These reports let you know how many emails bounce (meaning they didn’t reach their intended destination), and you can tell how many are unopened. Some email services work with Google Analytics to give you even more data you can use to increase the success of your campaigns.

Help & Support – good email marketing services provide help getting you started, including a user manual, wizards that walk you through the creation, FAQs, a blog, tutorials and articles that explain how to create effective email campaigns. Support should include the ability to contact the them by email, phone or live chat.

7 tips to make better emails:

1. Write a compelling subject line: it should contain 30 to 50 characters and should create a sense of urgency, and also give the reader some indication of what to expect.

2. Make emails 500-650 pixels wide: If wider, users may have to scroll horizontally to read the whole message.

3. Put your logo in the upper left corner: eye tracking studies have shown that people look for logos in the upper left corner of emails, that provides best visibility.

4. Keep the main message & call-to-action above the fold: if your main call-to-action falls below the fold, you could lose up to 70% of your recipients.

5. Include incentives: try to include an incentive in your subject line, you can increase open rates by 50%. “Free shipping” and “Free consultation” are some good examples.

6. Tie to landing page: your landing page should match your email’s headline, copy, much of content, and look and feel of your email. Make sure you’re using tracking codes to see which emails and landing pages perform better.

7. Do a test: send a copy of the email to a friend or business associate – see if they can quickly tell what your call-to-action is? If so, you’re good, if not – keep working.

Email marketing is a great way to generate leads

There are a lot of new tools in a marketer’s tool chest that are getting a lot of attention. But don’t forget about old reliable tools that can help you get the most out of your marketing initiatives. Creating a campaign can be as simple as adding names to a database, customizing an easy-to-use template, and looking pie charts and bar graphs to see how effective your campaign is. Look for a service that offers intuitive tools to help you quickly upload your list of contacts. You’ll also want the ability to adjust the design of your email marketing messages to reflect your company’s brand image. Look for a email tool that is easy to learn and use so you can spend your time with your customers instead of tech support.

lynda.com_400x400pxThere’s tons of resources around email & online marketing for your business, I would recommend Lynda.com as a great place to start. They have a hours and hours videos on online marketing fundamentals that will provide a framework and teach you how to develop and launch a online marketing campaigns and measure the success.