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Email Marketing in a Time of Social Media Chaos

posted by Michael Epps Utley Michael Epps Utley
Email Marketing in a Time of Social Media Chaos

With social media channels like X (formerly Twitter) and TikTok becoming less stable every day, more small businesses are turning to owned platforms they can control and depend on, like email.

If you feel a little behind when it comes to email marketing for your business, this guide explains what you must know to get up to speed.

What Is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is a type of digital promotion that involves sending messages to a list of subscribers via email. The content could include news, perspectives, offers, and more.

Common objectives for email marketing programs include:

  • Building customer relationships

  • Promoting products or services

  • Increasing brand awareness

  • Driving sales

Email marketing can take many different forms, such as a single email announcing something new (or a special offer), a regular newsletter series, a nurture campaign for leads, or as a way to contact customers about product enhancements.

Email marketing allows small businesses to reach target customers directly with personal and relevant messages. It comes with limited gatekeeping or outside interference, especially when compared with most social media platforms. Email is also relatively inexpensive and straightforward to track, providing ample data for determining campaign success and gaining insights to optimize future efforts.

Email isn’t considered as exciting or innovative as newer channels, like text messaging, chat, and social media. However, it is a proven way to build relationships with an audience while generating business results.

Getting Started With Email Marketing

Here’s how to launch a solid email marketing program.

1. Develop an Email Marketing Strategy

Coming up with a strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. Use these steps to build one.

Define Your Audience

You must clearly understand your audience before you can effectively connect with the people in it via email.

Start with your buyer personas. They should include the pain points your prospective customers are dealing with that your business can solve. Doing this allows you to tailor your email marketing efforts to meet their needs.

Establish Goals

Conduct internet research to learn the benchmark email goals for your industry, such as open rate, click-through, and unsubscribes. Benchmarks can vary significantly between business sectors, so it’s good to know those for yours so you can determine if your efforts are effective.

Build an Email List

An email list is a group of prospective buyers who have allowed your business to send them email content.

To build a list, you must set up ways to opt-in to receive your emails, like contact forms on your website or content offers, such as webinars or ebooks. Some businesses build email opt-ins into their chat functionality.

Choose Email Campaign Types

Email campaigns can include:

  • Informational newsletters linking to blog posts

  • New product and service announcements

  • Special targeted offers

  • Nurture campaigns for leads

  • Retention or regain campaigns for existing or past customers

  • And more

The type you choose depends on what you want your prospects to do. Newsletters are great for maintaining customer relationships and staying top of mind. Offers can help gin up business for a short time. Product and service updates can get people to consider newer or better offerings.

Come up With a Schedule

Determine how often you plan to contact the people on your list. It should be enough to get the desired results without irritating subscribers, which could cause them to unsubscribe. Inform people how often you plan to contact them when they sign up for emails. It will help set expectations.

Once you come up with a schedule, stick with it. It will build trust with your audience and ensure your business stays top of mind.

Now that you’ve taken these steps, you have a basic email marketing plan and are ready to send out content.

2. Select an Email Marketing Platform

An email marketing provider (ESP) should provide the support most small businesses need to conduct email campaigns. Popular examples include Hubspot, MailChimp, and Constant Contact.

3. Send Your First Campaign

Send out your first emails. Monitor performance in real-time. If the results aren’t what you expected (for instance, the unsubscribe rate is exceptionally high), it might be wise to reconsider your approach before sending out additional emails. If you disappoint the people on your subscriber list too often, you may never attract them back to interact with your emails.

4. Monitor Results

Small business owners and marketers should monitor everything. The same is true for email marketing. Watching key metrics like open rates, unsubscribe rates, and engagement over time, will empower you to optimize your emails, improving results over time.

Email Marketing: The Bottom Line

If you’ve mastered other forms of marketing, you should be able to quickly become an email pro. Get started today so you’re able to continue to promote your business and reach your audience through an owned platform if one of your social media options flames out.

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