Email Marketing for Small Business

What can one email do for your business?

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With the right timing, relevance and value, your next email can:

With Email Marketing, you focus on your most important asset: your list of customers, leads and potentials.

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"Your email list is one of your most valuable resources, and if you learn how to treat it right, the cost of doing so will pay for itself."

Neil Patel

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What is Email Marketing?

Email Marketing is the most important marketing channel for any business. It gives you the chance to tell your brand’s story, stay connected with your audience, grow your business while increasing sales. The most valuable part of email marketing is that you own it!

Email Marketing is the lifeline of your business and Benchmark Email helps you nurture the most valuable aspect of your businesses: Your Customers.

Use Social Media to grow and attract new followers. Use Email Marketing to have full control over the relationship with your subscribers. When you send a message to a list of subscribers, we deliver it. No algorithms to get in the way.

How can Email Marketing help my business?

There are a million and one ways email marketing can help. Here are just a five of the most popular ways:

Turn Website Visitors into leads.

Visitors who aren’t ready to buy, may be looking for more information to help make their decision. Use Pop-up forms to capture leads.

Create a Welcome Experience for your new subscribers.

Tell them about your company, brand and vision. Turn subscribers into loyal brand ambassadors.

Sell, Sell, Sell!

Have a product or service to sell? Create an email highlighting features, benefits and specials. Email marketing is the doorway to your next purchase order.

Get feedback from customers.

There is always room for improvement. Who else to help you improve than your subscribers? Ask for customer feedback to anyone who makes a purchase, with email.

Customers don’t complete a purchase?

A study by SalesCycle shows that 75% of online shoppers abandon cart. That’s money on the table! Bring them back in with an automated email that helps them complete the purchase.

Close a Pending Sale

We’ve all been there before: an email lands in our inbox at the perfect moment, with the right message, that seals our decision to make a purchase. That’s the brilliance of email marketing done right.

The email below has a captivating image that grabs your attention. It keeps you amused with a dad joke. Then it makes you crave Chipotle. Finally, it gives you a Call To Action to order at that moment. When sent ahead of a meal time, we’d wager that an uptick in orders will occur.

Postmates Chipotle GIF email Postmates Chipotle delivery promo email

Let’s take a look at how your business can sell more with email marketing:

Sell to a Targeted List

It’s important to do customer-centric email marketing. That means you have to consider your subscribers needs over your own. Keep your subscribers happy and the sales will happen naturally.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you delivering value with each email you send?
  • Is your email aimed at helping your subscriber solve a problem?

Think about those questions in the context of the above email. Postmates likely has location data of their subscribers. If they can target their lists in cities where this delivery deal is offered and a time they’re likely to order, they’re delivering on value and promise. It gives them a special offer and solves the problem of what to order for lunch. It’d be especially helpful to those needing to work through lunch or for those not watching to shlep young ones to the restaurant for dinner.

List Management

Remember that every subscriber is not the same. They have different interests and needs. That’s why list segmentation and the targeting mentioned above is important.

You can sort your subscribers based on demographics such as gender, location, industry or job role. This can help you to determine the type of content to send, like men’s or women’s clothing lines, cater to a local market for a restaurant with multiple locations or how to speak to your subscribers whether they’re an intern or the CEO.

It’s also a good idea to use interests such as purchase history, email engagement or website activity. With that information, you can send related product information or a Call To Action to buy again once a product might be running out or a subscription coming to an end as you can see in this email from Carbonite.

Carbonite renewal email
Marketing Automation

Now that we’ve considered what the right message would be and who’s the right person to send it to, it’s time to consider when to send.

When a subscriber is sorted into a segment, it can trigger an automation to send to them. Each person’s interactions with your email campaigns or your website can trigger a sequence of follow-up emails based on their interests, allowing you to hone your message to your targeted audience. For example, if someone visits your pricing page, you know they’re probably further down your sales funnel and will want to follow-up appropriately. Or if they went to a specific product page or clicked on a link for that product, you can send additional information about the product, testimonials and more.

Doing this will make your email marketing feel like a one-to-one conversation, rather than an email blast. It creates a more personal connection between your business and the subscriber that will create loyal customers.

Livingsocial flash sale email campaign
This first email creates a sense of urgency with “today only” that will hopefully compel your subscriber to make a purchase. If the tracking in your automation shows they haven’t converted yet, you can follow up with...
Livingsocial flash sale email campaign

There are a number of reasons a person may not have acted after the first email. Perhaps they still weren’t convinced to make the purchase. Or maybe they didn’t even open the email at all. People get busy. It could be that they just needed one extra nudge. Hopefully, those regretting not taking advantage of the sale yesterday are inspired to do so today.

Use Personalization to Boost Sales

Doing small things like incorporating a subscriber’s first name in your email message will help create a stronger connection with your audience.

Automation also provides opportunities for personalization. Each interaction with an email or your website can trigger a follow-up based on those activities. What’s more personalized than a user experience specifically tailored to an individual’s interests? It will make your subscribers feel like you’re completely attuned to their needs and that you care about what’s important to them.

Content Marketing Strategies That Help Sales

There are a few notes email marketers can take from the content team that will help out your bottom line.

Subject Lines

Without a clear, tempting subject line, your email will be ignored or get deleted.

Here are the characteristics of an effective subject line:

  • Feels urgent
  • Makes you want to find out more
  • Presents value
  • Feels personal
  • Tells a story
Examples of great subject lines:
  • Johnnie Boden: What begins with N and rhymes with 'you'?
  • Ramit Sethi: Wow, you guys hate a lot of stuff
  • Four Seasons: Watch Us Travel the World in 90 Seconds
  • Growth Institute: Are YOU the immune system of your company?
  • Troy Broussard: Yikes — totally forgot to mention that…
  • Sumo: We won't be recording this workshop
  • Freelancer.com: What jobs are robots going to take first?
  • Gimme Some Oven: New Post: I’ve Been Dying To Tell You Something For Awhile Now…
  • TripAdvisor: 12 of the most surreal hotels we’ve ever seen
  • Ryan Levesque: The TRUE Story: My first $100,000 day
Call To Action

The only thing an email can sell is a click. So you better make sure that your Call To Action (CTA) is going to inspire that click.

You should include one clear call to action, so that your subscribers don’t get distracted from the goal of your email: to move them further down your sales funnel towards a purchase.

To write a CTA you should:
  • Make it compelling
  • Keep it in the first person
  • Covey a sense of urgency
  • Tell a subscriber why they should click
  • Use action-oriented verbs
  • Emphasize value
  • Alleviate stress
  • Keep it simple
Voice

The tone of your emails should match your brand and be written in a manner that both informs and entertains.

This is another opportunity for you to focus on the experience you’re creating for your subscribers and not the sale you’re trying to make. Provide value and the sale will happen.

Crafting your brand voice in your email marketing messages will let your business show some personality and create engagement. Remember to think of your emails as a conversation and simply not a place for you to blast your message through a megaphone. You’ve received permission to send to your subscribers. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to nurture a relationship with them.


Bring Back a Lost Customer

It will cost you 5 times more to bring in a new customer than to keep the ones you already have.

With that in mind, it’s not hard to see why an email marketing re-engagement campaign that is timely, relevant and delivers value will help your sales numbers.

This re-engagement campaign from Lowe’s does a good job and trying to bring back customers without feeling desperate. It focuses on the improvements they’ve made since the last time a customer has visited. It also serves as a reminder for anyone with a home improvement checklist they’ve been neglecting.

Lowe’s re-engagement email
Amazon does a great job and following up on customer who have previously expressed interest in a product.
Amazon website tracking email campaign

Here are a few strategies for bringing back a lost customer:

Shopping Cart Abandonment

The average cart abandonment rate in 2017 was 78.65%. That’s way too much opportunity to let them walk out the proverbial door.

When more than three-fourths of consumers leave items in their shopping cart, a cart abandonment email strategy is a must.

This cart abandonment email from Whiskey Loot aims to ease any concerns that may have kept you from making the purchase, adds some personality to make you like them and shows the value of their product.

Whiskey Loot shopping cart abandonment email
Tips for cart abandonment emails:
Timing is key

It’s a good idea not to wait any longer than three hours to send an abandoned cart email that achieves good open and click-through rates. Businesses who send in that window average an open rate of 40 percent and a click-through rate of 20 percent.

Use a subject line that converts.

You’re not going to be able to win back a customer if they don’t even open your abandoned cart email.

Remind them of the product they abandoned.

Don’t let them forget that product they were pining over. If they can’t stop thinking about it, they’ll return to complete their purchase.

Include a clear and obvious CTA button.

Your abandoned cart email has one goal: to make the subscriber complete their purchase. Make that easy with an easy-to-find CTA button.

Be persuasive.

From the subject line, to words in the email and your CTA, everything should be aimed at convincing the reader that they can’t live any longer without the product they left behind.

Offer customer support.

Part of the conversion process is alleviating any concerns a potential customer has when deciding on purchasing an item. Make your customer support known and available to them, to help iron out any friction points.

Purchase Cycle Automation

You should always be working to keep your customers in the purchase cycle. Not only is it cost effective, but it also creates loyal customers.

Marketing automation works to keep your customers going around and around your purchase cycle.

Here’s how:

  • First, send a purchase confirmation email. Let them know they’re appreciated!
  • Then, send a follow-up email touting related products. Go for that upsell.
  • It’s also a good idea to reassure customers about how great their decision was to make a purchase. Share testimonials that highlight how other customers have benefitted from the same products or services.
  • Lastly, send a reminder when it’s time to buy again. If the initial reminder doesn’t succeed, follow-up with a small discount or an offer of free shipping to help seal the deal.
  • For your loyal customers, you can even send a request for feedback or to leave a review. Let your happy customers sing your praises far and wide!

Identify Your Inactive Subscribers

When it comes to your email list it’s all about quality and not quantity.

That means it’s important to say goodbye to subscribers who are telling you through their repeated inaction that they’re no longer interested in receiving emails from you.

People change jobs and email addresses and others no longer find value in your emails. It happens. Being able to identify those inactive subscribers will help you reduce your bounce rate, increase your open rate and ensure the best possible deliverability.

Thankfully, Benchmark Email offers a Targeted Emailing tool that allows you to quickly and easily identify those inactive subscribers.

Now that you know to look out for them, let’s take a look at what to do with them.

Create a Subscriber Re-engagement Campaign

Before saying goodbye to your inactive subscribers for good, you should try to re-engage them first.

One of the most simple and effective ways to re-engage an inactive subscriber is to tell your subscribers that you’re going to remove them from their list, but give them an opportunity to opt back in to your emails. Everyone wants what they can’t have and it might be just the thing that makes them feel like they need to start engaging with your email campaigns.

If the simple and straightforward approach isn’t successful, you can try to throw a hail mary. Try something a little different than you’ve done before. Perhaps it will get their attention.


Build Trust with Potential Buyers by Nurturing Relationships

From the moment an individual subscribes to your email list you have an opportunity to show them you care about them.

Huckberry welcome email campaign
This Welcome Email from Huckberry does a great job at creating a warm welcome for their new subscribers. Reading it makes you feel a part of something. Then they tell you what you have to look forward to as one of their subscribers.

Let’s look at how you should be nurturing relationships with your subscribers:

It Begins with a Simple Welcome Email Automation

With automation, you can set a welcome email to be triggered from the moment a person subscribes to your email list.

Here’s what your Welcome Email Automation should do:
Send it right away.

You don’t want your subscribers forgetting why they’d be getting a welcome greeting from you.

Create a warm welcome.

Set the tone for the great relationship you’re working to create with your subscribers from the start.

Let them know what to do next.

Are there any actions that they still need to take? Let them know how to get started.

Give a gift.

Offer an exclusive piece of content for your subscribers or anything else that will make them feel special for being a part of your community.

It can be easy to forget that there is a person on the other side of every email address. Remembering that will help you build a relationship with your subscribers. Treat them the way you’d want to be treated. It’s important not to lose perspective of why a person subscribed to your email list in the first place.

Tell A Story About How Your Products or Services Will Benefit Your Customers’ Lives

As an email marketer, you want to be the narrator to the story that paints a picture for your subscribers.

Through storytelling, you want to create an understanding of your products or services that makes your subscribers excited about them.

Focusing on customer-centric marketing, you’ll want to consider how your products or services relate to your subscribers. It’s also a good idea to keep in mind how your products and services relate to one another. It will help the storytelling process!

Ask yourself:

  • Do you offer products or services that can easily be paired together for a sale?
  • Are there products that make for an easy upsell after the initial purchase has been made?
  • Can your products or services work together to make a sale for you?

Storytelling allows you to provide a lot of information about your company and products or services while still remaining interesting enough to keep subscribers tuned in.

Plus, when you’re doing storytelling in the form of customer testimonials, it boosts your brand reputation. It helps when someone else is singing your praises.

Send Customer Testimonials or Case Studies

One way to keep your customers happy is by confirming their good choice to purchase your goods or services. You can achieve this by sharing customer testimonials or case studies.

Share testimonials about how other customers have successfully put your products to use.

David Ortiz Marucci testimonial
If it’s good enough for a World Champion, customers will feel like they made the right choice.

Ask For Feedback

If you truly want to find out what your subscribers want out of their relationship with them all you have to do is ask.

Instead of playing a guessing game or trying to infer their wants or needs from your open and click reports, send a quick survey asking them what type of content they want to receive from you.

Kate Spade feedback request survey email
Kate Spade even takes it one extra step and offers an incentive to get some feedback from their subscribers. You’ll know what you need to do, they’ll feel good about being heard and get a little reward for offering some feedback.

Get People Talking About You, Your Brand and More

Email marketing is an opportunity to connect with people and for nurturing a relationship that will flourish with great communication from your brand to keep that connection going for years to come.
LearnVest welcome email
This email from LearnVest does so many things right. It provides a warm welcome. It humanizes the brand and shows some personality. It has CTAs that a subscriber will want to click on. It puts the reader at ease, when they may be nervous about investing. It’s a great start to a successful relationship.

According to the Direct Marketing Association, 66% of customers make a purchase thanks to an email marketing message they’ve received.

Email marketing gives brands the opportunity to reach customers directly, especially when everyone has a smartphone in their pocket. You can reach them wherever they are! Email also helps your brand to create a personality and tone for connecting with customers.

Here’s how you can grow your brand with email marketing:

Design a Template That Matches Your Brand

Here a quick checklist that will help you ensure you’re establishing your brand with your email’s design:

  • Make sure that your colors, fonts, CTAs and other graphic elements match your business’ website and other communications.
  • Be sure that your logo is properly displayed.
  • Display your company information such as URL, social channels, phone number and any other pertinent information to your customers.

Send Emails Regularly

Consistency is key when it comes to building your brand. Once you’ve established your brand, it can create customer relationships that thrive for years to come.

If you wait too long between email sends, your customers may forget that they even subscribed in the first place. Or worse yet, customers will feel like they’re not getting the value they sought from you in the first place and will go elsewhere for it.

Sending with a regular frequency will help you stay on top of the minds of your subscribers and customers. It ensures your company will be the first thing they think of when they’re in need of your products or services.

What do I need to get started with Email Marketing?

Just one subscriber and something to say, that’s it! Don’t wait to have a “large list”. Email Marketing has no limits in size, BIG or small. When it comes to using a tool like Benchmark, the last thing you want is to have to learn something new. That’s why Benchmark Email was created with familiar tools in mind. Here is how and what you will need to get started

Free Benchmark Email Account.

You read that right, FREE. No need to spend a dime to get started. Benchmark Email offers you a free monthly plan for up to 2,000 contacts. (Signup Here)

Subscribers:

Whether you have 1 or a million and whether your contacts are stored in excel, Google Docs, the cloud or a vault. Take inventory of opt-ins and get ready to upload or sync them to a Benchmark Email Account.

Something to Say.

Not sure what to say? Don’t overthink it. Whatever you do, try to add value. Highlight a product, service or even an employee. The idea is to engage with your subscribers to build trust that forsters the relationship. The more you send, the easier it gets to continue the story you’re telling your subscribers.

Will you need a Designer?

Not with Benchmark! Designers are welcome but, NOT required. Benchmark offers hundreds of customizable templates. Editing these templates is like working in Word.

Do you need to know HTML or Code?

Not at all! Again, like designers, code is welcome but not required! Most of our customers can build an email in under 15 minutes!

Tight Socks.

Email Marketing has a return on investment of $40 to $1. You’re gonna need some tight socks as we’ll blow them off with those results! On average for every $1 spent on email marketing, $40 is earned!

How Does Benchmark Email Help With Your Email Marketing

We’re Designed with the Small Business Owner in Mind

Integrate your email marketing with other apps
  • A simple interface to spend less time creating emails

    Get in, get out and get on with your day. The average email is created in under 15 min.

  • Integrate Your Favorite E-Commerce & CRM Services

    With PieSync, Zapier and our own custom integrations, you can connect pretty much anything to your emails.

  • 98% email deliverability

    Accomplish the job you set out to do, make sure your emails are delivered with Benchmark Email.

  • SIGNUP TO BENCHMARK EMAIL

Everything in one place

100S OF CUSTOMIZABLE TEMPLATES TO MATCH YOUR BRAND

Get in, get out and get on with your day. The average email is created in under 15 min.

Email marketing templates

TRACK YOUR SUCCESS WITH REAL TIME REPORTS

See who is opening your emails, what links are being clicked on and the performance of each campaign

Email marketing report stats

SAVE TIME AND EARN MORE WITH AUTOMATION

Your subscribers interactions with your emails and website can trigger automated follow-ups to push leads towards conversion.

Marketing automation example

Get Started Today

Content is King.

Email is the magical carriage that delivers your King. Take control of your content and use Email Marketing to control it’s distribution as well.

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