Email Marketing for Your Small Biz: 3 Ways to Make the Most of Your Contact List

June 8, 2016 Erica Brooke Fajge

As a small business owner or operator, you know email marketing plays a crucial role in retaining current customers and attracting new interest. In fact, studies report that 77% of consumers prefer to receive marketing communications through email.

You have spent time gathering contact info from your customers and have developed a considerably large contact list. But before you give yourself a big pat on the back, take a step back: Are you utilizing your contact list in the best way possible to achieve maximum results? Is your email marketing as successful in generating appointments and revenue as it could be? Or is there more you can (and should) be doing?

Read on for 3 tips to ensure you are fully optimizing your email contact list in all of your customer email communication.

1. Segment Your Contacts, Manage Your Lists, and Keep Them Current
Keeping a comprehensive list of your email contacts is great, but remember that each customer is unique; they can’t all be placed in one general list. Some are new, while others have been loyal to your brand for months or years. If it is a salon you’re running, for example, some customers visit primarily for haircuts and/or coloring, while others may utilize only nail and pedicure services. Distinguish your contacts from one another and categorize them based on services, loyalty, etc., so that you are providing your customers with only the most pertinent information to them.
    
Along with segmenting your contacts, keep track of any emails that bounce back, since email addresses can change as quickly as a Kardashian’s current love interest. Who wants to be wasting time sending out emails that are not even being seen? Track your account for returned emails and then delete those from your list. Managing your emails and tracking your lists takes some time, but doing just a bit of cleanup goes a long way.

2. Get Personal and Show That You Care
When sending email updates and promotions, it’s easy to forget that these are real people on the receiving end—real people with work, families, and life obligations who often have a love-hate relationship with email. You know it’s true: You love to get your information through email, yet you are often overwhelmed by the sheer number of them that can clog up your account before you know it! So keep your emails personal and relevant to customers. Use their name in the subject line. Follow up and say “thank you.” Ask for replies and feedback, and keep the lines of communication between you and your customers open. The brilliance behind email communication compared to other traditional forms of marketing and advertising is that it allows for two-way communication, rather than a one-way vacuum of generic-sounding information that is likely to be deleted.

3. Use Every Opportunity to Increase Traffic
If you’re emailing your contacts without including clear call-outs to do something, take a second look at your email communication. Your emails should always generate increased traffic to your website and social media pages, and should include links to book appointments directly to your website. Think of your email marketing as the hub of your online presence and a friendly reminder to customers to help them find what they need; through one email, customers can easily access your website for information about services, sign up for an e-newsletter, or book an appointment.

Keeping these tips in mind, take a moment (or a few!) to return to your email contact list, and see what changes you can implement to ensure you are being smart about your email communication and generating the results you seek.

Keep us in the loop: How do you make the most of your business’s email contacts? What email marketing tips work best for you? Comment below

About the Author

Erica Brooke Fajge

Erica Brooke Fajge is a Content Marketing Writer at Booker Software. She has extensive experience in the tech and digital marketing industries, specifically in web content, online publishing, and startups. Erica also shares her expertise as an adjunct instructor at the Fox School of Business at Temple University in Philadelphia, where she teaches Business Communications in the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management.

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