Email marketing makes it incredibly easy for the advertising departments of small businesses to reach a wider, more receptive audience. While usage of email marketing by firms is growing, it’s still not used tremendously widely amongst smaller businesses. In order to best illustrate the effectiveness of this particular marketing tool, this article will take you through the most important facets of email marketing.

Be direct

First and foremost, email marketing provides a direct line of communication to current as well as prospective customers and clients. It’s important that you make the most of this line of communication, to ensure that the information you are providing them with is specifically useful to them. As obvious as it sounds, taking a scattergun approach to email marketing will just consign your advertising campaign straight into the junk folders of its less than impressed recipients.

The key to catching, then holding the interest of recipients, is to personalise emails as much as possible. Small touches, like addressing your emails to the specific recipient in question, go a long way to reeling in the interest of potential customers, demonstrating that you’ve actually given more than a passing interest to them as an individual.

Mailing Manager, an email marketing firm, has proposed ideas on how to take this one step further. For example, according to the organisation, you could attend trade conferences and conventions to determine which aspects specifically appeal to your consumers. Alternatively, you could use social media to gauge and evaluate the interests of customers.

Of course, richer personalised content is also required to get your email marketing campaign going. Combining market research with email marketing allows you to direct a unique campaign at a specific demographic. To take a general example, if your research found that 15-25 year old males, a demographic that your small business is very keen to tap, weren’t connecting with your brand, you could construct an email marketing campaign tailored specifically to the tastes of that demographic, enticing them to bring their custom to you.

Get a reaction

Another obvious sounding point, but one that once again demands reiteration: once you have spoken directly to a key demographic, about a subject or product relevant to them, you need to convert that good will into action.

A good way to go about this is to draw attention to a particularly relevant sale or event; or introduce a new, desirable product to them directly. Make use of your market research and ability to directly reach potential clients to really drive them to action.

To take this approach one step further, you can further incentivise potential or current customers by providing them with exclusive offers, or even free gifts. There’s a lot to be said for the adage ‘’you’ve got to spend money to make money’’, and this is no more true than for email marketing in a small business. Never underestimate the value of customer goodwill and positive word of mouth.

Manage and measure

Things can potentially get a bit more difficult when it comes to measuring results and managing multiple campaigns. You could go to the effort of making a bespoke email marketing client for your small business; but that seems like a comparative waste of time when measured against the cost of buying a commercial email marketing client, or utilising the services of an email marketing management company.

In either case, you’ll reap the rewards of their superior experience, and the effectiveness of their tried and tested methodology. Email marketing software will allow you to quickly add new contacts to your pool of potential or current customer lists, which in turn allows you to quickly and easily target a particular group or demographic for each email marketing campaign.

Good email marketing software or services will also allow you to easily manage and quantify the fruits of your labour; the available toolset should allow you to measure how many recipients of a campaign opened the email, clicked through links or otherwise interacted with your campaign. The takeaway point is that email marketing software and services allow for easier analysis and operation of your campaigns, making your efforts more focussed and effective.