As a small business, going toe-to-toe with the bigger names in your industry can seem daunting, or even impossible, at times – and for good reason. With multinational corporations and “Big Box” stores on seemingly every street corner, trying to rely upon limited resources can create feelings of hopelessness for even the most optimistic small business owners and managers. However, thanks to the rise of the modern digital marketplace – specifically email marketing and inbox campaigns – there’s no reason you can’t claim your fair share of the online consumer audience too. To put you on the right track for success, here’s the five email marketing tips that every small business needs to hear before starting up or revitalizing a campaign.
Be Wary of the Wide Net
In her look at developing campaigns for small businesses, Paula Chiocchi of Business 2 Community points out that casting the widest net possible isn’t always your best bet. Sure, gaining access to massive contact lists seems great at first glance, but doing so could cause your brand to lose out on its ability to generate meaningful, unique, and personalized content. As you develop your audience persona and grow your contact list naturally, it’s okay to take on larger and larger numbers of inbox followers – just be wary of creating a following that is too broad or loosely connecting to your brand.
Segmentation Tells a Better Story
Similarly, Chiocchi also explains that the segmentation of your audience further reduces the risks of embodying an approach that is too broad and helps optimize your campaign at the same time. If you’re unsure with how segmentation works, it’s not too hard of a concept to pick up.
Segmenting your contact list starts with compiling as much information on your membership as possible. From here, sorting and categorizing users based on this information provides the foundation for content development and refinement. By enacting this strategy, you can generate content that speaks specifically to each different category – otherwise known as a segment – thus maximizing the impact of each individual email.
Getting the Details Right
Unfortunately, when you’re gathering this information for segmentation and content development, there’s always room for error when people get involved in the mix. To mitigate this issue, don’t be afraid to ask questions at any point in the process. Delving into the particulars of content optimization with your team of email marketing experts will go a long way to ensure that the devil isn’t actually hiding in the details, which is a massive boon to companies of any size.
Figure out the Right Message and Send It!
In terms of stepping up to the plate and letting your content make a name for itself, plenty of smaller businesses experience a strong case of the inbox “jitters.” Despite all of this, as long as you’ve done your homework and generated relevant content, there’s no reason to assume the worse for your first run of emails. As Jonathan Long of The Huffington Post notes, relevancy is a big piece of the puzzle, so it’s okay to be confident in your content if you’ve utilized what you’ve learned thus far to create meaningful offerings.
As time goes on and you generate feedback and reactionary data, then it’s okay to get critical with your content and seek out new tactics and methods for reaching your audience in the inbox. Until then, focus on what you can control and don’t be afraid when the time comes to send the first message of your new campaign.
Always Be Willing to Expand Your Horizons
The final tip that should serve as guidance for small businesses – regardless of the current industry you call home – revolves around the notion of staying up to date with the best practices within the world of email marketing. Audience tendencies and desires can change with the wind, so avoiding the temptation to rest on your laurels is key to maintaining a strong hold on your status within the inbox.
Whether you’re connecting with industry experts for guidance and counseling on this front, or simply keeping up with relevant blogs and sites (like this one), maintaining a keen interest in what’s going on with email marketing is the only way to truly continue the trend of maximizing the potential of your operations. Considering how important this process is for a small business trying to make a mark on the web, keeping this mindset at the forefront of any campaign is always the right call.