For small business owners and marketers of small businesses, it can feel like a lot of marketing strategies are out of reach. You’re not sure where they fit into your marketing mix or how they can work for your specific marketing goals.
Luckily, email marketing is not only attainable for small businesses, but it’s effective at reaching new customers, nurturing leads, and closing sales.
All it takes is the right strategy and some out-of-the-box email marketing ideas to make email marketing a success for your small business.
8 Small Business Email Marketing Ideas to Try
Did you know that 80% of marketing professionals say that email marketing drives customer acquisition and retention? Try these eight ideas to generate leads and close sales with your small business email marketing.
1. Create a monthly newsletter.
Email newsletters are a perfect addition to any small business marketing strategy because they give you a way to consistently get in front of your subscribers with the latest news, promotions, and spotlights that are important for your business.
By creating a monthly newsletter, you’re also providing a way to share relevant tips and tricks with your audience that can position your small business as a thought leader and industry expert.
Here are some examples:
- Plumbers can share tips on how to protect your pipes in the winter.
- Veterinarians can share how to keep pets from overheating in the summer.
- Dentists can share tips to protect your teeth after eating (too much) Halloween candy.
- Florists can share the best flowers to send for certain holidays.
A monthly newsletter is an opportunity to get creative, engage your audience, and create a regular touchpoint that cuts through the digital marketing noise.
2. Run a referral program with email marketing.
The power of word-of-mouth marketing can’t be underestimated. Consumers trust recommendations from family and friends – so why not harness this power for your business through email marketing?
Use email marketing to educate your audience about your referral programs and encourage them to spread the word to their networks to help you grow your business.
3. Reward your email list with subscriber-only discounts.
In order to grow your subscriber list and reward your existing customers, your small business can offer subscriber-only discounts sent via email marketing messages.
Once a quarter, you can tease your subscriber-only promotion on social media and at your business location to encourage your audience and customers to subscribe. This not only gives them access to your exclusive discounts but also grows your list so you can actively engage them throughout the year.
Make sure to send regular reminders about how and when these discounts can be used so you can stay in front of your customers until they make a purchase.
4. Send birthday and anniversary emails.
Every year, I look forward to the first day of my birthday month to watch the birthday emails roll in. It’s always exciting to see what discounts, offers, or well-wishes will arrive in my inbox from businesses both large and small.
As long as you have a CRM that houses customer data, you can send email marketing campaigns for your customers’ birthdays and potentially even anniversaries – either personal or their anniversary of becoming a customer or subscribing to your email list.
5. Celebrate your business’s birthday.
You can also use email marketing to celebrate your small business’s “birthday” by offering a special discount, sharing a small story about how your business came to be, and interviewing a long-time customer or employee.
This gives customers a chance to celebrate your business – while getting a gift for themselves in the process. That’s what we’d call a win-win!
6. Start your holiday email marketing campaigns early.
It feels like winter holiday shopping starts earlier and earlier each year, with many customers beginning their shopping well before Thanksgiving and Black Friday. This means that in order to set your small business apart, you should start your holiday marketing campaigns a little earlier as well.
Make sure to plan out your holiday promotions, events, and sales in advance, and use regular email marketing messages to communicate with your customers about what they can expect.
This can help you ensure their holiday shopping budget is spent with your small business instead of with the competition!
7. Use email marketing to humanize your small business brand.
Customers want to do business with brands they trust and believe in. In fact, one report found that while two-thirds of customers said a good reputation would get them to try a company, they wouldn’t continue working with that company unless they trusted them.
They’re looking for a personal connection. Email marketing gives you an easy way to build that connection with your customers and prospects in a few different ways.
Here are some examples:
- Share your business’s history: Educate your customers and prospects on how you started your business, what makes you special, and any unique stories that may endear you to your audience.
- Share how you’re supporting the community: Small businesses are the backbone of our communities and many are active in supporting their local areas. Share how you and/or your employees get involved in your community.
- Share employee profiles: Highlight your employees, their stories, and their experiences so customers know who to expect when they work with you.
8. Profile your customers (and share positive reviews!).
Reviews and testimonials are just as important for your business as personal referrals. In fact, 88% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from people they know.
One way you can use this to your advantage is by sharing customer testimonials and reviews in your email marketing messages.
Interview your happy customers to find out why they chose your business, what they like most about you, and why they would recommend you to others.
You can also take screenshots of your Google or Yelp reviews to include in your email marketing as an added piece of social proof, which basically just means that it’s a sign others have used your business and think you’re great.
Boost Your Small Business with Email Marketing
Email marketing gives your small business the perfect opportunity to connect with customers, engage leads, and close sales – all it takes is a little creativity, planning, and the right email marketing services.