Running an engaging email marketing campaign is one of the top ways to reach your customers. As such, putting together your small business email marketing campaign can be a challenge the first time out…

As a small business owner, you understand how important it is to do email marketing, as it is one of the marketing channels with the highest Return On Investment (ROI). In fact, the ROI that comes from email is arguably the highest compared to other marketing efforts. So, low cost and high ROI make email marketing the best method for small business marketing.

As if that isn’t enough, a survey revealed that 80% of professionals state email marketing is the driving force behind their customer acquisition and retention.

In this guide, we’re going to dive into five email marketing tips for small businesses. These are the top email marketing best practices that will help you grow your email list and sales this year and next.

Tip #1 — Be strategic with your funnel

You could spend days planning and creating a compelling email series that illustrates the amazing features and benefits of your product. But if you send your campaign to a list of people who aren’t quite there yet, you’re wasting your time.   That’s one of the reasons having a compelling lead magnet is so important in your sales funnel.

Simply put, your subscribers might not be ready to buy your product yet.

To avoid ineffective email marketing campaigns, you need to understand the notion of sales funnels.

The marketing or sales funnel is a model that helps you conceive the buyer’s journey, which in turn is the path a prospect takes as they become familiar with your brand up to the moment when they decide to buy.

The right sales funnel can mean the difference between converting a flood of customers and clients in your business or listening to the crickets chirp in the background…

Click here to get instant access to a free sales funnel course, one that will give you a proven formula to crafting winning sales funnels no matter what industry your in, what product you’re selling, or you current level of expertise!

Marketing funnel small business tips

To advance your leads down the sales funnel, you need to have an appropriate email and conversion strategy for each stage of your funnel. What are the stages of the typical marketing funnel for a small business?

There are five:

  • Awareness,
  • Consideration,
  • Conversion,
  • Loyalty, and
  • Advocacy.

And the best thing about the sales funnel? You can capitalize on email marketing during every stage.

Unlike paid ads or other less customizable mass marketing actions, with small business email marketing, you are in full command of when and how you engage with your list throughout the buyer’s journey.

So, instead of sending bulk emails to everyone on your list, be fully aware of where people are on their buyer’s journey, and customize your email campaigns accordingly.

Tip #2 — Make it easy to subscribe

This email marketing tip for small businesses seems pretty obvious. If you want to grow your list as quickly as possible you need to make it easy for new prospects to subscribe. However, you’d be surprised by how many websites bury their opt-in form in the footer, or some rarely-visited page.

Making it simple for visitors to subscribe to your mailing list means that you place the opt-in form where it’s clearly visible. And that is in multiple locations on your site.

  • As a general rule, you need an opt-in form above the fold, which is the upper half of a page, the part that is visible without scrolling down.  That’s what landing pages do…
  • You need an opt-in form at the top of the sidebar on your blog.
  • You can create opt-in forms that are placed in the middle of your content, which can deliver a freebie or an interest-specific content upgrade.

Also, you make it easy for people to subscribe to your small business newsletter when you provide incentives, like a discount or a free report.

Now, if you expect to get too much information per subscriber, you might prevent some people from signing up. On the flip side, when you ask for one simple piece of information, like an email address, your conversion rate goes up.

In short, remember to place a short opt-in form on several places on your site and give prospects a reason to join your email list.  Also, make sure you do some A/B testing to see what placement gets you the most leads!

Tip #3 — Make it easy to read

Email marketing is a tricky endeavor for entrepreneurs and small business owners with no expert marketers in their staff.

Even if you serve great content, there’s no guarantee that you follow best practices and that recipients will read your email. There are, however, some simple tricks to improve open rates and reader engagement.

Most consumers read their email on mobile devices. Some professionals—if not just as many—also use mobile devices to access their inbox. With this in mind, one of the best email marketing tips is to write emails that are optimized for mobile devices. You can do that by keeping your content short, simple and ideally readable with minimal scrolling.

Present content in bite-sized pieces, utilizing bullet points and clear headings. Say what you have to say in a few sentences, and include a clear call to action to make it easy for people to learn more.

Always stick to one message/subject matter per email. Include gifs, video placeholders or other images to maintain interest and get your subscribers to keep reading.

In case you don’t know already, most email marketing platforms have a mobile responsive newsletter editor so you can easily build email layouts that automatically adapt to small screens.

responsive emails tips for small business

Another way to have more people read your content is to use a consistent email template with your logo. Readers should be able to recognize your branding instantly.

Why bother to write clickable email copy when people don’t even open your emails? Your first priority should be to put together a good subject line that will get your subscriber to want to read more.

Download this curated collection of 100 subject lines. Use it to discover which subject lines work best so you can formulate your strategy and get better results.

Follow these readability tips to skyrocket the effectiveness of email marketing for your small business.

And now let’s move on to a tip that is less self-explanatory and often arouses controversy.

Tip #4 — Make it easy to unsubscribe

Yes, this tip is counter-intuitive, and we get it; you hate it when folks unsubscribe from your mailing list, especially when you’ve spent dollars to get them on your list.

You’ve also spent dozens of hours strategizing on your email sequences and cultivating your content, and you want people to see your work. But, unfortunately, at the end of the day, you just have to let your subscribers go.

If they’re not interested in what you have to say they’re probably never going to buy your product anyways. You should just let them go and, in fact, you should make the process simple—just one click.

For starters, by making it easy to unsubscribe, you leave the former subscriber with a positive impression of your brand. There’s no point spamming unsubscribed recipients who don’t open your emails anyway. Most popular email marketing services for small businesses will automatically include an one-click unsubscribe link at the bottom of your emails.

More importantly, you can see things differently and realize that every unsubscribe is an opportunity. Every time someone leaves the email list of your small business, it’s a chance to learn and improve your email marketing.

For example, you can automatically present outgoing subscribers with a quick survey. Your email marketing platform probably has a built-in way to do that automatically. With a survey, you can learn why they left.

For a customized survey solution, try the Askly Quiz Builder. With Askly, it is easy to ask the right questions and find out what your customers struggle with.

With a quick survey, you can spot a trend and reach to conclusions regarding email content and list segmentation.

Here’s an example of MailChimp’s default unsubscribe survey:

Unsubscribe - Email marketing tips for small business

Tip #5 — Automate your email marketing

Small business owners often do email marketing 100% manually. However, no matter how hard you try, email marketing is time-consuming and, you can’t do it all. The good news is that some of the manual email marketing work can be “delegated” to modern marketing automation for efficiency.

You’ve likely heard people talking about “email marketing automation” and “drip campaigns” a lot recently. Email marketing automation is quickly becoming an integral part of small businesses.

marketing automation segmentation

You need marketing automation for a dozen of reasons. Contrary to how it sounds, email automation can actually contribute to campaign personalization and customization—if you do it right.

By automating your email marketing, you make your sales funnel more efficient. Remember when we explained in the beginning of this post how important it is to be conscious of the buyer’s journey?

With the email marketing automation, you can send the right content to the right people at the right time. You also free up your sales people’s time so that they can focus on nurturing qualified leads.

Ultimately, you need email marketing automation for small business to nurture incoming leads, close additional sales and turn your new customers into repeat buyers.

Email marketing tips for small business

There you have it. Our top email marketing tips and tricks to help small business owners improve their marketing game.  If you’d like a hand in getting an email marketing campaign or a sales funnel set up, schedule a call and we can work through it!