Email is a critical marketing tool. Research firm Statistica reports that, in 2020, about 306 billion emails were sent and received every day worldwide, and this figure is projected to increase to more than 376 billion daily emails within the next few years.
That should not surprise anyone running a small business. According to recent research from Campaign Monitor, an email marketing platform, 64% of small businesses use email marketing to reach customers.
Unfortunately, there is still a great deal of confusion among small-businesses owners about how to best deploy email marketing.
For starters, you don’t want to send hundreds or thousands of emails from your company’s mail server unless you enjoy getting into a fight with your internet service provider. That’s why it’s always best to subscribe to a bulk email service such as Constant Contact, Mailchimp, AWeber, or Emma. Besides providing templates and assistance for sending out email campaigns, the primary job of these services is to make sure that your email gets delivered.
The good ones will have best practices and actively enforce opt-in and data rules to ensure that you are not sending spam or messages to people who don’t want to hear from you. Because of these controls, the major mail providers such as Gmail, which recognizes that delivery is coming from a vetted source, are less inclined to block your messages or send them to spam.
What about content? The rule of thumb is that it should be short and mostly non-promotional. That’s because no one wants to receive advertisements. Your community will want information that will help. This information can be about your products but also include thought leadership, insights, and advice.
“If your email marketing is all about ‘buy my stuff, buy my stuff, buy my stuff,’ then you’re not providing any kind of value,” says Bonny Clayton, a Media-based web design and marketing specialist. “Keep doing that and your email list is going to die.”
Clayton also recommends that if you’re sharing a blog or information about a new product, “don’t give them the whole kit and caboodle in the email. Whet their appetite, pique their interest in the email, and then say, learn more by having a big juicy button for clicking.”