5 Email Campaigns to Increase Small Business Sales
Today’s consumers want to shop and support local brands that share their values. One of the most cost-effective ways to develop this personal connection that will lead to increased sales is through email marketing.
Sometimes it feels like small businesses don’t stand a chance in today’s retail landscape. With once household names like Barney’s going bankrupt, it can feel like small businesses face impossible challenges. And while running a small business is no cakewalk, smaller businesses can actually be better placed in today’s economy than their bigger, less personal counterparts.
In fact, small businesses can thrive in this new market. Today’s consumers want to shop and support local brands that share their values. And consumers will go out of their way to shop with the brands they like but only if you’ve developed the sort of connection with them that fosters and cultivates a community of followers.
One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to develop this personal connection that will lead to increased sales is through email marketing. Think about it: The people who sign up for your emails have agreed to let you into their personal space.
So make sure you treat email marketing as a personal, one to one message. This might sound intimidating, but the truth is it’s simple.
You just need to implement a few—or even all—of these email campaigns and you’ll see increased sales and build lifelong customers.
1. Welcome campaign
In the same way you want to develop high-value marketing materials in order to put your best foot forward, your welcome email—or a series of emails—presents the same opportunity.
When a new person signs up to receive your emails—whether they want that discount code, access to your newsletter, or event updates—you should always acknowledge them so they know their sign up worked.
But don’t just tell them it worked and leave your message at that. Instead, this is the moment that a person’s excitement about your small business is at its peak. Take advantage of this excitement by sharing your story. After all, small businesses thrive today because of personal connections, so emphasize your story and what makes your business different from others out there.
Are you involved in the community? Do you give back? Host events in your neighborhood? Probably. So use your welcome email to give new subscribers the information they need to fall in love with your business.
Plus, this welcome email is a great time for you to explain next steps, what they can expect from your emails, and, give subscribers more ways to get involved and connect with you.
Source from ReallyGoodEmails.com
Remember, now is your time to go above and beyond for your subscribers. They’ll notice and they won’t forget it.
2. Best of campaign
Another great email campaign that will have your new subscribers ready to spend is a “best of” campaign. Regardless of what your small business does or sells, you probably have a few products or services that stand out as your best performers.
This campaign allows you to introduce your subscribers to your bestsellers, most popular blog posts, or the game-changing features that make your small business stand out from the crowd. Maybe you have stellar customer service or provide education opportunities for the people and community you serve.
Sending a “best of” campaign allows you to introduce subscribers to what makes you better than the competition and your CTAs should direct readers to convert.
3. Personalized recommendations campaign
We’ve all received emails containing links to items “Customers also viewed” but how often are those blurbs actually helpful? Not that often. Usually, those links are things you’ve already seen that didn’t work or were different versions of the project you purchased.
Instead, create email campaigns around personalized recommendations that are actually useful to customers. For instance, you can introduce related products and link to a custom landing page you create or the individual product page. If a customer buys sneakers, show them bestselling socks. If someone buys—or views—a pair of leggings, recommend the matching shirt that will help your customers complete their set.
Sourced from Campaign Monitor
Customers know companies collect their data, so find ways to exceed their expectations by recommending products or services they might not know about instead of giving them the same thing.
Again, people shop at small businesses because of the personalized attention, shared values, and presence in their community. Find ways to translate these unique positions into your email marketing campaigns.
4. Social proof campaign
You’ve probably seen the statistics saying that people trust online reviews more than traditional advertising. In today’s economy, reviews aren’t nice to have, they’re a must-have for any business. In order to make sure your reviews get in front of your customers and potential customers, create an email campaign that features product reviews and comments.
In fact, you can go one step further and create an entire email campaign that shows prospects not only reviews of your products or services, but also features user-generated content, aka the posts, tweets, and images your customers create around your products.
One great way to do this is to create a custom hashtag, allowing you to grab photos from social media sites to use in emails and possibly even on your website. This encourages customers to interact with you online, post reviews and images, too: When they post, they’ll know they have a chance to be featured. This encourages the personal interaction that people seek from small businesses. This means you’ll have the reviews and customer-created images that encourage prospects to convert, and then those people are more likely to review and post after they make a purchase. You’ll also be able to save time and resources in your marketing: Instead of having to create images, your happy customers are doing the work for you.
There are few tactics in marketing that are such clear cut win-win-win situations, but using reviews and user-generated content do exactly that. Your customers are happy, prospects are more likely to convert, and you save time and money on your marketing.
What small business could say no to that?
5. Follow up campaign
Whether your subscriber has made a purchase, requested a return, or left a review, never forget the power of reaching out and following up with them. Even if they had a problem with your product or service, checking in and making sure they feel valued can encourage them to come back to your small business.
You can design a follow up campaign to send automatically after people interact with your brand. It doesn’t take much: Even a plain text email that acknowledges their action and says thank you can mean a lot to subscribers.
This follow up campaign is also a great time for you to ask for feedback, reviews, and social proof in order to keep the user-generated content coming in, just like we discussed earlier.
For purchases and returns, you might prefer to send a series of emails that asks for feedback and recommends other products after a certain amount of time, and maybe sends a referral code for them to share with their friends or a special discount to encourage them to make a purchase, especially if their last purchase didn’t work out or live up to their expectations.
If your small business has a need, there’s an email campaign you can design to help meet that need and overcome your challenges. And luckily, the right ESP will make it easy not only to design emails but to design automated journeys that save you time, while still sending these relevant, personalized emails that will increase your small business’ sales.
Just remember that email marketing should emphasize what makes your small business special: That means emphasizing your story, offering personalized recommendations and services, and staying in touch. Feedback only works when customers feel heard, but email marketing makes this simple to ask for feedback and respond automatically.
When you feel overwhelmed looking at today’s retail headlines, remember that your small business is positioned to not only succeed but thrive in today’s market. Focus on what makes your business special and emphasize your personal connection to consumers. You’ll build your own cult following in no time, especially when you use email marketing to emphasize that one to one connection you have with your biggest fans.