Why Every Small Business Should Be Using Email Marketing
Email… Some people love it, and some people hate it. No matter what side you fall on, one thing is for sure: Email is very important in our modern world.
I’m not sure why email gets such a bad reputation though – I love email! I’m also a bit obsessive when it comes to structure and order, and I pride myself on keeping an empty inbox and a flawless folder system. With an understanding that not everyone is going to approach their email like I do, I can totally see how these daily messages can be overwhelming, frustrating, and even annoying.
These reasons, along with many others, are why small business owners don’t even bother messing with email marketing strategies. Regardless of your thoughts about email, this marketing strategy is crucial to connecting with your target audience and converting more sales for your business.
At the end of June, we released a Marketing Moment video about why email marketing is important to small businesses, during which Dave also highlighted two big myths about email marketing. However, there are quite a few other myths about email marketing, as well as some impressive statistics, that I think all small business owners should know.
A Few More Marketing Myths
There are a lot of different ideas about email marketing floating around, but there are two myths specifically that I think deserve some quick attention…
Myth #1 – Subject Lines Should Be Short
In February 2015, Return Path analyzed 9,313,885 emails from more than 3,000 retail senders.
After analyzing all those emails, they produced a nice graph that showcased the average read rate compared to subject line character length. As you can see in the graph, the most common Character Length is between 41-50 characters (the green bars), but take a look at which category had the highest Average Read Rate (the blue bars).
Turns out that the emails with a Subject Line Character Length between 61-70 characters were actually the highest performers with an Average Read Rate of 17%!
The graph also shows that the evenest ratio took place, in the 51-60 character grouping, but overall the Average Read Rate didn’t fluctuate significantly throughout the majority of the graph.
SO WHAT'S THE LEARN HERE?
Your emails will most likely still be read whether they are 5 characters or 99 characters. While the graph, nor I, certainly don’t recommend crafting email subject lines that pass 100 characters, my biggest piece of advice would be to test out various lengths and styles to find the best formula for your small business brand.
Myth #2 – Emails Are More Successful On (Blank) Day Of The Week
I can’t lie. I truly believed in this email myth until researching information for this blog post.
I’ve been working as a marketer in various roles for over 10 years, and even I thought email marketing campaigns would perform better on certain days of the week. But after looking at the data provided by Fahad of Instapage, it looks like pretty much every day of the week is the perfect day to send marketing emails ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
“It turns out there isn’t one single day that guarantees more email engagement — so much so that there is conflicting research for which day of the week is optimal for sending emails.”
— Fahad Muhammad of Instapage
To take a look at some of this conflicting – and in a way, hilarious – data from some of the industry’s leaders, check out this blog post from Mary Fernandez – The Best Time to Send Emails (Here’s What Studies Show).
SO WHAT'S THE LEARN HERE
Same as before – don’t just do things because other people say it’s best. Each brand is unique, so continue to test and evaluate what days work best to send marketing emails to your small business customers.
Some Quick Stats About Email Marketing
Stat #1 – Email Provides Massive ROI
Email is really good for business, plain and simple: For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average of $38 in return. (Constant Contact)
Stat #2 – Consumers Prefer Receiving Emails
86% of consumers would like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with at least monthly, and 15% would like to get them daily. (HubSpot via Statista, 2015)
According to Forrester, people are twice as likely to sign up for your email list as they are to interact with you on Facebook. (Constant Contact)
Email has a higher conversion rate than both search/SEO (e.g. Google, Bing, etc.) and social media – combined. (Constant Contact)
Stat #3 – Email Is Checked On-The-Move In The USA
Outside of work, Americans most commonly check their email while:
Watching TV (70%)
From bed (52%)
On vacation (50%)
While on the phone (43%)
From the bathroom (42%), and…
Even while driving (18%) [don’t text and drive, guys – or read emails! 📱👀🚙🚫]
(HubSpot via Adobe, 2015)
The Basic Elements Of A Quality Email Newsletter
Not sure how to begin crafting your first or next email marketing campaign? Consider these four tips before writing and sending your message.
1. Deliver Short & Direct Messages
Emails find great success when they focus on delivering a single message. Rather than focusing on delivering an entire dissertation, try providing a simple introduction or basic explanation in your message.
Here are a few examples of when your small business can send an email to your customers:
To announce an upcoming sale
To provide an update about your product or service
To send an exclusive discount or sale
To share company news or information
To feature an event you’re hosting soon
2. Feature High-Quality Images
Many of our blog posts, videos, and social media content highlight the importance of using high-quality images in all of your public-facing content – so I won’t bore you with repeating this position again… But you should definitely use high-quality images!
One thing I found interesting when researching information for this blog post was this stat from HubSpot:
“As the number of images in an email increases, the clickthrough rate of the email tends to decrease.”
— HubSpot, 2014
As I mentioned in the previous tip, be sure to keep your emails short and to the point. People receive a lot of email, making long-form emails difficult to digest. Long-form emails can experience a lower performance rate, even if they include beautiful pictures and graphics.
3. Include A Call-To-Action (CTA)
The point of every marketing action is to convert, am I right? Convert someone’s interest to a decision to purchase, or maybe even just convert a new follower of your brand.
With email, it is very important to include a statement for someone to follow, also known as a Call-To-Action (CTA). Here are a few examples of effective CTAs:
Confirm Your Appointment
Follow Us On (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)
Read Our Blog / Watch Our Video
4. Don’t Forget The Links!
The customer’s journey shouldn’t end with an email. Instead, think of your email as just an introduction for people to learn more. Links are a perfect way to keep email readers to “continue down the rabbit hole.”
Some common links to include in your small business marketing emails:
Website online store
Social media accounts
Although email can be very overwhelming, it can still be an incredibly powerful strategy to utilize when marketing your business. Tools like MailChimp and Constant Contact can make sending emails super simple, and the reports they generate will provide you with a lot of insight about how your campaigns are performing.
If you or your small business is looking for help with email marketing, feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’d be glad to help!
Is your small business currently using email as a marketing strategy? What are some of the successes you have experienced? Any lessons learned that are worth sharing?
The Top 6 Email Marketing Myths You Shouldn’t Believe, by Fahad Muhammad of Instapage
The Ultimate List Of Marketing Statistics, by HubSpot
10 Eye-Opening Email Marketing Stats You Need To Know, by Rustin Nethercott of Constant Contact
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