Many small business owners view email marketing as something of a necessary evil. They know that they need to do it, but they don’t see the point. After all, isn’t email marketing just a way to spam people?
Actually, no. When done right, email marketing can be an extremely effective way to reach out to your target market and build relationships with potential and current customers. Here are a few of the advantages that email marketing can offer your small business.
Get the Small Business Edge: Email Marketing
The first advantage of email marketing is that it’s affordable. Compared to other marketing channels like paid or print ads, email marketing is very inexpensive. You can send out emails to hundreds or even thousands of people without breaking the bank. BONUS – Building a Marketing Calendar means your emails will coincide with your social media posts. Not only that, you can schedule everything ahead of time! Here’s a great example of a Content Calendar you can download for FREE from Hubspot:
Another advantage of email marketing is that it’s easy to customize your messages. You can segment your list of subscribers into different groups and then send them messages that are relevant to their interests and needs. This helps ensure that your message gets through to the right people and doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. For example, if you segment your email list according to product or service preferences, you can target emails to ONE list, without spamming those who don’t have those preferences. See the image below for the segmentation options I use with my email list.
Finally, email marketing is effective because it’s a great way to stay in touch with your customers and build relationships with them. By regularly sending out helpful information, special offers, and other timely content, you can keep your business at the top of their minds and increase the likelihood that they’ll think of you when they need your product or service. Birthday emails, monthly tips-and-tricks, or upcoming holidays are some examples. These don’t have to be long emails! Having a solid, segmented list means people can opt out of the lists they DON’T want to be part of! See the image below for an example of what I use:
Here is a comparison of three of the most popular lower-priced email marketing platforms: MailerLite, Sendinblue, and MailChimp.
MailerLite is one of the best and most well-rounded email platform options available. The drag-and-drop email builder and MANY list-building opportunities are why it’s my favorite. MailerLite allows you to create unlimited emails and send up to 12000 emails per month for free, and (for the data geek in you) it auto-adds GA tagging. It’s free to use (up to 1,000 subscribers), and their lowest-priced tier is just under $10/mo. This includes subscription forms, surveys, autoresponders, segmentation, and automation. (*Note: if you sign up using the MailerLite link above, you’ll get a $20 credit to use. If you upgrade – no pressure – I’ll get $20 too!)
SendInBlue is my second favorite, as it’s almost as easy and fun to use as MailerLite, but includes a couple of more options including the ability to create subscription forms, surveys, and autoresponders as well as “drive” the entire process from within your WordPress dashboard! Their free version is ALSO extremely robust, but only allows a total of 300 emails per day – so, if your email list is 301, you’ll have to pay. Their lowest tier is $25/mo, so over twice MailerLite’s lowest tier. They also include subscription forms, surveys, autoresponders, and segmentation, but automation is an extra $65/mo for over 2k contacts.
One of the most popular lower-priced email platforms, MailChimp, allows you to send up to 12000 emails per month. with a subscriber limit of 500 for the free plan, allowing form, survey, and autoresponder creation. A common complaint about this platform is that many of the features (free AND paid) are not intuitive (i.e. tagging for analytics). Also, several common features are “premium” (read: paid), so if your budget is $0 and you’re into segmentation (hint: you SHOULD be), functionality is limited. Lastly, their lowest tier (Essentials) starts at $11/mo for up to 500 subscribers. Their lowest tier severely limits segmentation and other features that are standard with MailerLite and SendInBlue.
Email marketing is an often-overlooked but powerful tool that every small business should be using. It’s affordable, easy to customize, and a great way to build relationships with your target market.
So what are you waiting for? Start using email marketing today! Do you need some help getting started? Let me know– I would be happy to help you put together a plan, build some templates, or take on the whole operation!