Email marketing can be a powerful marketing tool, but it’s often underutilized by small businesses. It’s an affordable and cost-effective way of reaching your customers, though it does take some time and effort to develop your email marketing strategy and implement it over time.
There are a few different types of marketing emails, and it’s helpful to understand each type before creating a strategy to reach your customers through email.
Promotional emails are a great option for B2C (business to consumer) businesses, but they can also be used by B2B (business to business) companies. In promotional emails, you can spotlight a specific product or service, promote a sale, or offer a discount or coupon. The goal is to promote what you do and drive customers to your website or other landing page for more information or to make a purchase. Some examples would be a candle company highlighting their scent of the month or a consulting company promoting an upcoming training opportunity.
Informational emails are more about sharing information and less about promoting your business, though they can certainly serve that purpose as well. Email newsletters typically fall into this category, as do emails that share recent blog posts or other informational content. For example, we send a StoryPath email once a month that includes our two most recent blog posts plus any company news that we want to share. Sharing recent blog posts or other informational content is a great way to increase traffic to your website and keep your name in front of potential customers.
Automated and triggered emails
Automated and triggered emails are set up to send at a specific time or in response to a specific action. These include things like welcome emails after someone signs up for your list or a browse abandon or cart abandon email you might receive when shopping online. Post-purchase emails asking for a review fall into this category, too. Automated and triggered emails are most common for retail companies, but there are some ways to use them strategically for service companies as well.
Transactional emails are usually strictly business emails, though they might have a small amount of promotional content sometimes. Things like order confirmations, shipping alerts, delivery notifications, and invoices are all transactional emails. Because these emails are connected to a business transaction, they’re exempt from opt out rules. That means you can still send these types of emails even if someone has opted out of receiving your marketing emails. It’s important to know how your email service provider, or ESP, separates transactional emails from promotional or marketing emails if you’re using the same system for both types of emails.
That covers the basics on the different types of emails. Now it’s time to talk about keys to success for email marketing.
- Develop a strategy
Know your goals, know your audience, and have a plan that makes sense for you. Before you send your first email, you need a plan for what sort of content you plan to send, how often you plan to send, and how you plan to get new subscribers to join your list.
- Be consistent
If you’ve spent much time reading our blogs, this one comes as no surprise. Consistency is key! Have you ever joined an email list for a store you frequent, received an automated welcome message, and then not received another email for six months or more? Whether you plan to send weekly or monthly, have a plan so you can be consistent.
- Focus on relationships
Ever been to a networking event, talked to someone for maybe two minutes, exchanged business cards, and then ended up on their email marketing list? If so, you might be thinking, “I didn’t ask to be on this list!” Don’t be that person. Only send to customers who’ve asked to join your list and make sure they have a clear way to opt out. Build relationships with your subscribers over time, and make sure you’re sending valuable content.
With the right strategy in place, email marketing can help keep your organization top-of-mind for customers. Even if people don’t always open your emails and read them, they’re still seeing your organization’s name in their inbox. When they do open them, it’s one more opportunity to build that relationship by providing valuable promotional or informational content.
Need help creating an email marketing strategy that aligns with your business goals? We can help with that!