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Four simple email marketing tips for small business owners


The death of email as a marketing channel has been predicted on numerous occasions over the years, yet despite technical developments that have occurred in that time, it remains as resilient as ever.

For the small business owner, email can be your first and best communications channel. Why? Because it's an easy and cheap way to make a start. Here are four key tips to help you kick off your email marketing in the right way:

Personal account or an email marketing provider?

There's nothing wrong with sending emails from a personal account if you're offering a highly-tailored or personal message, but for sending to a group of customers or a database full of prospects, you'll probably need to sign-up with an email marketing platform like MailChimp or dotmailer. Each offers a series of professional-looking templates to which you can add your own message and images. Many software providers even let you send emails to a certain number of subscribers for free each month.

What are you going to say?

Your email is going to be ignored, most likely deleted, if it's not of any use to the recipient. You've got to get the content right - tell them something they might be interested in; something that tempts them to engage with your business. What about linking to your blog that explains why you're such a great firm and so different from your rivals? Or why not tell them about exclusive offers, new products or services, or publicity you have received? And any other notables, for that matter.

Send regularly, but don't annoy

There's no use sending one email then waiting six weeks to send the next. To have

any impact you need to send regular emails. You want to get to the point where you're the first name that springs to mind when your recipient requires services that you supply. That said, it can be tricky to know how many emails is too many. Is three per week excessive? Most people would say 'yes', but some would be happy to receive them, it all depends on the content - is it useful to them? To be safe, however, why not try one a week at first and see what kind of engagement comes as a result.

Develop your offering

Once you've established a routine and started to monitor how many emails are read and click backs you're getting, it might be time to improve what's on offer. What about more regular emails? Split testing content and email titles? Different content for different parts of your audience? Optimising for mobile? How about integrating emails with your social media accounts? Are you able to personalise your emails or encourage greater engagement through changing the placement of links and images?