Spring is here, and it arrived in full force. But with Spring comes more than runny noses and watery eyes (darn those allergies). It’s also a great time for some fresh to-do lists.
While my husband is back to mowing the lawn and treating the yard for weeds, I’m busy thinking about the to-do lists small business owners should dust off. And at the top of my list is email marketing.
A few months into the new year, it can be easy to let your small business email efforts fall by the wayside. The holidays are over, and you’re no longer pushing those specials and promotions. You may even be a little busy following up with leads who’ve reached out to you for new projects at the start of the year.
But that doesn’t mean your email marketing efforts should grow stale. Here are 6 habits successful small businesses use to keep their email marketing fresh year round.
1. Use templates.
The biggest reason many business owners neglect email marketing is time. Trying to build emails that look professional, writing them, and delivering them to the right contacts in your list…it can all seem really time consuming.
And since email marketing isn’t your full-time job, you may decide to put it off for another day.
Templates help the most efficient email marketers stay relevant with their contacts. Because when you work from a template, the most you have to do is fill in a few details, choose your audience, and hit “Send.”
Top email marketing templates to have on hand:
- Permission pass
- Welcome email
- Regular newsletter
- Special offers and promotions
- Happy birthday
- We miss you
- Thank you
Those top templates will have you covered in nearly every instance that calls for email marketing. Need help getting started? Here are 5 free email marketing templates.
2. Schedule in advance.
Another one of the biggest drawbacks of email marketing is the time it takes to actually hit “Send.” For many small business owners, the only time you have to dedicate to email marketing is after hours. But you may not want to send your emails after hours.
That leaves you, the busy business owner, taking time out of your already jam-packed day to turn on your computer, and send your emails.
There’s a better way. Most email marketing software help you schedule your emails in advance, so you don’t have to take time out of your day to hit “Send.” They’ll let you choose the precise date and time you want your emails to leave your inbox and enter your contacts’.
Already scheduling your emails in advance? You’re ahead of the curve. Take it a step further with email automation.
With email automation, not only can you schedule email messages in advance, you can use advanced tagging and targeting tools to automate your emails to send to individual (or groups of) customers based on data you have about them.
The best part? You only have to turn the templates on once.
For example, with Thryv, you can schedule birthday emails ahead of time based on your contacts’ birthdays. As long as you enable the birthday template once, any contacts you enter birthday data for and tag to receive the birthday email template will receive it on time, every time.
3. Segment your list.
Ever wonder why contacts unsubscribe from your email list? It may be because what you’re sending them isn’t relevant. In fact, irrelevant content is responsible for around 20% of email unsubscribes.
To keep your contacts from unsubscribing, and to win more loyalty with your email marketing, segment your list into a few different groups.
Not all your contacts are the same. Consider segmenting your list of email addresses by:
- Lead, prospect, customer
- Favorite product or service
- Frequency of purchase
- Amount spent or expected to spend
- Another group that makes sense for your business
When you send more relevant content directly to these lists of like-minded individuals, recipients are much more likely to act.
4. Scrub your list.
Spring cleaning isn’t just for your home. The best email marketers give their email lists a good scrub regularly, as well.
Scrubbing your contact list is another top way to ensure your contacts don’t mark you as SPAM because you’re emailing outdated addresses or contacts who no longer want to hear from you.
Successful email marketers recommend you deep clean your list about every 3 months. Here’s everything else you need to know about how to scrub your contact list.
5. Monitor those metrics.
If you don’t spend time reviewing the effectiveness of your emails, any time you spend writing and sending them will go to waste.
Most email service providers give you access to useful email marketing metrics, like:
- Open rate – the percentage of each email you send that gets opened
- Click-through rate – the percentage of emails opened that are clicked through
- Bounce rate – the percentage of your emails that don’t reach a valid email address or inbox
- Unsubscribe rate – the percentage of unsubscribes you earn with each email send
- Spam rate – the percentage of recipients who mark you as spam with each email send
Use these email marketing metrics to measure your effectiveness.
When you see high open rates and click through rates from a specific email, try to replicate its success. When you see higher-than-average bounce rates, unsubscribes, and spam reports, do less of whatever earned you these unfavorable marks.
6. Send surprises once and awhile.
Successful email marketing plans include a regular rhythm of emails that get your contact list used to hearing from you. If you set the expectation that your list will hear from you weekly, for example, stick to it!
But every now and then, try mixing things up.
Consider sending a one-day-only special offer, or run a limited-time contest, and amplify it using your social media pages. These types of special surprises can earn your business some extra attention and reinvigorate your email marketing plan.