Small businesses should ensure their websites feature clear calls to action for email newsletter sign-ups, as the importance of collecting data via such forms cannot be underestimated
Tamara Gielen, independent email marketing consultant and author of b2bemailmarketing.com, said there are a lot of companies that are not pushing their newsletters on their websites – and are missing out on valuable data as a result.
Sign-up forms can be very useful for capturing some data when visitors fail to convert, she noted. "You want to at least know who these people are and you can do that by promoting your newsletter and selling the benefits of subscribing," Ms Gielen commented, adding that incentivising people by offering regular deals or money off their next purchase can be very effective.
She reminded small businesses that every touchpoint with a prospect or customer should be seen as a chance to get data. "Whether it's online or offline, whether it's in a store, at a trade show or customer service that people are calling – even your invoices can have a call to action to sign up for the newsletter," Ms Gielen said.
Attract email sign-ups with great content
Despite the rise in social media, email marketing remains a great way of engaging with a target audience. Because newsletters allow small businesses to communicate a variety of messages – from sales information to latest industry news – in a visually appealing format, they are a powerful element of content marketing.
Email marketing messages reach over eight in ten UK internet users, so chances are that members of your target audience are avid users of email. However, with so much competition online as brands vie for the attention of consumers, what will make your email marketing stand out?
While clever subject lines go some way in ensuring emails get opened, the one tried and tested way of keeping subscribers engaged is by offering them fresh, relevant and interesting content that is of value to them.
The same principles as for social media can be applied here: people who follow brands stop doing so when content becomes boring and repetitive. The same is true for email marketing, which is why small businesses should ensure their content strategy is tailored to their audience and their interests.
What's your top email marketing tip?