Are you like so many other small business owners out there today that do not understand the significance of email marketing nor the appropriate measures to take to implement a successful email marketing strategy? Many small business owners err by using emails as either a prospecting tool to try and solicit people they do not know or as a sales tool to try and deliver countless offers and promotions to any potential customer rather than to a targeted audience that you can, over time, build relationships with. If you are guilty of any of the above then it’s time you learn how to incorporate an effective and efficient email marketing campaign for the betterment and benefit of your small business.

In order to develop a successful email marketing strategy, it is essential that you look upon your emails as a tool for strengthening existing client relationships as well as incorporating new customer leads. You should begin your campaign by introducing an informative monthly email newsletter which would afford you the opportunity to engage in interactive communications with both existing clients and potential new clients. A monthly newsletter is not only a cost efficient and cost effective marketing tool, but a tool for engaging the attention of your clients while increasing the overall visibility and credibility of your small business.

GET THEIR PERMISSION TO ADD THEM TO YOUR EMAIL LIST

Though there are multiple components to take into consideration when developing your email marketing campaign, one of the most important first steps is gaining the trust of your clients by way of what is often referred to as ‘permission marketing.’ When sending along your newsletter you want to be certain to obtain permission from your existing and potential new clients to add them to your email marketing list. This simple task can be accomplished by including a SignUp form on each page of your website. Regardless of what type of interaction you have with your clients, whether email, phone call, or online chats, take every opportunity to inform them on the benefits and the values your newsletter will afford them.

CREATE RELEVANT, INFORMATIVE CONTENT GEARED TOWARD YOUR CUSTOMERS

Recognizing that your newsletter is intended for your clients, it is mandatory that you make the concerns and interests of your customers your primary focus and dedicate very little content to your company and products. Customer focused newsletters are a great attention getter and should be short (between 500 and 750 words ideally) and able to be scanned since the majority of people today tend to scan information before actually reading it. Formatting is important to scanning capabilities and should include bolded headings and bulleted points. Such topics as problems your customers face and possible solutions, ‘Tips for’ content is always an interesting topic, developments in technology, and certainly industry news and developments that can prove to be advantageous to your customers.

DON’T FORGET A CALL TO ACTION

Yes, your newsletter should be primarily focused on your customers, but taking advantage of an opportunity to engage your readers with relevant offers that can ultimately generate sales leads as well as increase traffic to your site, is something you do not want to pass up. Make certain that your offer is not only attractive and attention getting, but relevant all round. Relevant to your customers’ interests and needs, and certainly relevant to the focal point of your newsletter content.

INVEST IN AN EMAIL CAMPAIGN MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

The benefits of an email campaign management system such as Constant Contact or Exact Target are many. A management system allows you to automate your list building, your email designs, delivering of your emails, and even automated trigger emails and all types of advanced reporting as well. Determine what it is you want to track, the specific needs of your business and the budget you have to work with and then go out there and invest in an efficient email campaign management system. A management system will also provide you with the tools you need to monitor the success of your email marketing campaign and determine the success ratio of your e-newsletter. Whatever you do – never use your personal email for your email campaigns.