As a small business owner, you’re probably always looking for ways to connect with your audience. Building connection and trust with your audience are vital for businesses – specifically small businesses – because it builds brand loyalty. Email marketing is a great way to do this, and it’s something every small business should utilize in its marketing strategy!

We know that search marketing, social media marketing, content marketing and other popular digital marketing strategies are excellent tools for small businesses. But one of the oldest forms of digital marketing is email marketing. Businesses everywhere have used email for decades – for a good reason – because it works!

If you want a direct way to connect with your audience, raise brand awareness and educate your audience on your business’ upcoming events, offers and more, email marketing will be your small business’s best friend.

So how can small businesses get started with email marketing and use it to make an impact?

In our recent episode of A Little Marketing, we spoke with guest expert Erin Cafferty on the ins and outs of email marketing for small businesses.

In this episode, “Nurturing Your Audience with Email Marketing,” Erin discusses how small businesses can use email marketing to impact their audience.

Email marketing expert Erin Cafferty discusses best practices and how to get started.

Know Your Audience

You’ll need a contact list when you start an email marketing strategy for your small business. Having this list is the first step to identifying your audience. Depending on your industry, there are a few different ways you can build up this list. For example, if you have in-person customers who shop at your store, you can ask for their email when they make a purchase. Or you can allow customers to opt-in to emails when they visit your website. If you’re trying to convert, another approach you could take is offering a free trial and getting the lead’s email that way.

However you build your email contact list, know who the audience is on the receiving end of the email. Your email marketing strategy approach should differ depending on who your audience is.

“You must know where your audience is in the buying process,” Erin says.

Knowing who is on the other end of your email and where they are in the buying process will be the difference between sending newsletter-style emails and sales emails. If you want to nurture that connection and relationship with your audience, then newsletters or educational content are the way to go. On the other hand, if you’re trying to convert, then sales emails are the better route.

Erin says, “If your audience reads newsletters, that’s the place to be. If your audience is swiping delete on sales emails, that’s not the place to be. It’s important to understand the intricacies of what your audience is doing daily.” If you need clarification on what your audience wants from an email, then an email analytic tool can help you figure this out.

Make Connections and Build Relationships

Email marketing is powerful because it’s a direct way to nurture your relationship with your audience. When you send a customer or lead an email, you’re building upon your relationship while educating them on who your business is and what your business can do for them.

“Connection is my main goal . . . people have to feel a connection to the brand itself before they consider buying anything from you,” Erin says.

Use Email to Stand Out

Since an email goes directly to your intended audience, it’s a great chance to get your message across. But to get your audience to pay attention, you need to stand out. The email notification is your chance to do this. Since it’s a singular notification, you still need to compete with mass amounts of emails in the customer’s inbox. Have a strong subject line and intro to your email that stands out. So how can you do that?

“Instead of doing what everyone else is doing . . . I try to do the opposite. If your email looks like everyone else’s, there’s no incentive to click on it,” says Erin.

Want to learn how to set up an email marketing strategy for your small business? Check out our podcast with guest expert Erin right here! Or contact our team of digital marketing experts at 10|20 Marketing and find out how we can set up an email marketing strategy to bring your small business more leads, sales and traffic!