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Sending The Right Message: Best Practices For Marketing Your Small Business Via Email

According to Statista, there were 233 million U.S. email users in the United States by the end of 2015, which will reach nearly 254.7 million by the end of 2020. Email marketing spending in the U.S. is expected to increase from 2.67 billion in 2016 to over 3 billion in 2019. In order to thrive in today's economic landscape, it's important for small businesses to get involved in digital marketing to help reach not only a broader audience, but to also communicate with existing customers. The stats show a prime opportunity to capitalize off a growing market with creative, thoughtful, and personalized email marketing campaigns that speak to the lives of customers. All of these tactics bring about better engagement. The goal is to send the right message to the right person at the right time. Here are some of the best practices for marketing your small business via email.

Get personal with your email messaging

A personal touch in email messaging can go a long way in capturing your customers attention. According to a Cheetah Digital Q1 Email Benchmark Report in 2017, birthday email marketing campaigns have become highly successful and out-performed promotional mailings on opens, clicks, transactions and revenue. Not to mention, personalizing the email by including the subscriber's name in birthday mailing subject lines boosted open rates by almost 18 percent. Don't be generic with your email messaging, speak directly to your customer like they're your friend. There's an old saying, which states friends support each other.

Your customers are mobile, and you should be too

While desktop and laptop use will always essentially be a worthy way of communicating, your customers are mobile, and you should be as well. According to Email Client Market Share, as of May 2017, Apple iPhone leads email client market shares with 31 percent, followed by Gmail at 22 percent. Consumers are opening more emails on mobile devices than any other device. Creating strategies around mobile email marketing campaigns to engage with customers will help increase open rates of your email marketing campaigns. Convenience is the new way of email.

Thoughtful persistence can help your customers follow through

Often customers will attempt to make a purchase on your website and leave in a hurry, with items left in their shopping cart. What happened in the buying process? How do you encourage follow-through with their purchase? According to Experian's 2016 report, e-commerce customers who received multiple abandoned shopping cart emails are 2.4 times more likely to complete the purchase than those who receive only one follow up email. It's important to stay persistent with your customers throughout the entire buying process, even in hesitation within the buying process.

Be creative and take the risk

According to a Campaign Monitor article titled "7 Email Marketing Predictions for 2017," Matthew Smith of Really Good Emails states, "There will be a revolution in email design." The change in email design will be a key component in winning the email marketing game. When designers, coders, and content writers come together, it will enable fewer decisions and less time in the design of emails allowing focus to shift to creating more meaningful content. Mixed with great marketing automation, small businesses have the capability to stand out from their competitors with clear concise messaging that can deliver relevance at scale, and turn their email campaigns into revenue generating machines. Campaign Monitor Review reported in 2016, that for every dollar spent on email marketing, an average of a $44 in return on investment is realized. Expect that ROI to increase in the coming years.


This article was written by Marlena Turner for CBS Small Business Pulse

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