Email marketing can often times get overlooked as a marketing tool. This is a huge mistake, especially for small businesses, that have a limited marketing budget and time but are looking to drive more customers into their store.
Email marketing is cost effective and, according to a recent study by custora, is much better at acquiring customers than Twitter and Facebook (although to be fair, email marketing has been around much longer than social media).
So if you are a business owner and haven’t started using email marketing already, there is no better time to start than now. But before you get started, here are three email marketing tips on how you can get more customers into your store.
Email Marketing Tip #1: Don’t be afraid to drive subscribers to your website or social media first
A lot of times business owners can get caught up in the instant gratification of a sale. They expect all of their advertising and marketing to result in sales today. But unless all of your customers or prospects are impulse buyers, most of them will take time before they commit to visiting your store or purchasing your products or services. More specifically, they will visit your website to do research, read about your competition, read reviews of your product or service and check out photos of your products.
With this in mind, reconsider the goals of your email campaigns. Instead of always trying to drive people to your store to make a purchase, understand your customer, the buying cycle and how they make purchase decisions. Encouraging them to visit your website to read more about the benefits of your service, and the price to move them down the buying cycle or encourage them to connect with you on social media to consume valuable content and to get any looming questions answered that they may have before they commit.
This strategy is simple but is often poorly executed. The key is to be explicit in your emails. Don’t be afraid to create a call-to-action button that drives subscribers to your website. Something simple like “Visit our website” works well. If it’s not clear what you want the consumer to do, they most likely won’t follow through, resulting in an unsuccessful campaign
Email Marketing Tip #2: If you really want them in your store, give them a reason to visit
Another mistake that many small business owners make with their email marketing is forgetting to give subscribers a reason to visit their store. Too many times I’ve seen a beautifully designed email that neglects to include substance and a call-to-action. Unless you provide value to your subscribers, they have no reason to read your emails let alone visit your store.
So give them what they want. Coupons and discounts are an excellent way to drive in-store traffic. I suggest that when offering a coupon in the email, give your customers multiple ways to use the coupon. By making it convenient for your customers, they will be more likely to act on the offer. With the explosion of smartphone usage, it is much easier for subscribers to just show you the coupon on their phones than to print it. But allow for both.
Valuable content, such as promoting new menu items or new products are also successful in driving people to your business. If you do choose to feature new products in your emails, be sure to include high quality photos that entice them to come in.
Email Marketing Tip #3: Thank customers who have made a recent purchase and remind them about other products or services you offer
I think email marketing tip #3 is self-explanatory but let me explain a simple way in which small businesses can do this:
- Unless you have a point of sale database that can keep track of customer purchases and their emails, it will be crucial to collect customer emails at the point of purchase. Either have a sales clerk ask for the email or include a sign-up sheet for email next to the checkout. Also, make sure to give the customer a reason to sign up. Again, specials, coupons and new product updates work well in this regard.
- Either daily or weekly (the closer to the purchase the better), send out a thank you email to your recent purchasers. First, thank them for their recent purchase. Second, include other products or services you sell that are relevant in the email. If you can, give them an incentive to return like a coupon or discount.
- Don’t stop with just a thank you email. Add the customer to your database, keep track of what they have purchased and continue the lead nurturing process we discussed in email marketing tip #1.
These three email marketing tips can get you started on a path to successfully utilizing this very effective marketing tool.