2022 Email Marketing Guide for Small Business

An Email Marketing Guide for Small Business Owners in 2022

17 February 2022

7 minutes

Hamna Azam

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Nowadays, Digital marketing options are countless. Small businesses tend to focus entirely on channels like social media, instead of email marketing, as a primary means of connecting with their audience – and that right there is a big mistake! It means they are losing out on many opportunities (and potential customers!) Over 90% of US adults use email. Despite the growth in the use of social messaging apps, over 74% of teenagers are using email. 

 As you can see, small businesses stand to gain a lot from email marketing. No matter who your ideal customers are or where they live, work, or play, they probably use an email account where you can reach them. Whether you’re running a small business website, an e-commerce shop, or a blog, email is a powerful digital marketing tool that will help you attract and convert new customers and retain your current ones. The opportunities are endless! Please keep your eyes peeled; we’re about to tell you how you can use this channel to drive explosive growth for your small business in 2022. 

Why is email effective for small businesses?

There are many reasons why an email is an effective tool for small businesses. It can help you create more awareness for your brand, expand your customer base (more people woohoo!), build customer trust and loyalty, showcase your industry expertise, and grow your revenue. Let’s take a look at the different benefits of using email marketing for your small business: 

Get impressive ROI: 

Email marketing offers a reliable and cost-effective means of communication between brands and customers. Estimation shows that this form of marketing has an impressive return on investment over two times that of any other marketing channel.

Improve customer retention: 

Email allows you to build stronger customer relationships through consistent engagement. This form of communication helps you reach customers where they go every day: their inbox, which is something that would be impossible to do using any other marketing channel.

Establish authority: 

As a small business owner, your goal is to become the expert in your niche that customers go to for solutions to their problems. Email marketing will help you establish yourself as an authority by sending high-quality, informative valuable content to your subscribers.

Boost conversions and sales: 

Email helps businesses generate billions in retail sales every year. It presents an excellent opportunity for small businesses to benefit from impulse buying. For instance, you can use it to entice customers to purchase by sending special/discount offers for products related to their previous purchases.

For an extra boost, include a link to your online store using VenderUp to drive conversion and sales.

Grow your brand: 

With a great email marketing strategy, you will be able to grow your brand. You’ll have a direct line to your audience’s inboxes, and all you need to do is send relevant and well-curated emails so your business can stand apart as a clearly identifiable brand. This will give you a significant edge over your competition.

Discover your customers’ needs: 

Email helps you learn more about what your customers like or dislike to stay on top of their needs. You can segment your customers according to their preferences and send targeted and personalized content that resonates with the different segments.

Learn what works: 

This form of marketing offers you a way to determine what works and what doesn’t by testing and tracking the different metrics (Trial and Error), such as open email rates, click-through rates, etc.

Understanding email types:

Once you’ve started growing your email list, there are many different types of emails you can send to your customers and subscribers on your email list. It’s important to understand the various types of email and how they work to choose the right fit for your email marketing campaign! Listed below are a few of the most effective email types that you can choose from to help you meet your business’s marketing objectives: 

Email newsletter: 

This is a popular type of marketing email, and sending periodic email newsletters is a great way for small businesses to contact their email subscribers regularly. A good example of a marketing newsletter email comes from Invision. This newsletter reviews different design trends across industries.

Promotional emails: 

You can send emails for special offers or discounts to entice subscribers and customers to purchase your products or services. This type of email, for obvious reasons, is primarily used by marketers using email marketing for e-commerce. Loyalty program emails: 

Email marketing allows you to set up loyalty programs for your dedicated customers. 

Seasonal messages: 

You can create unique seasonal messages to send to your subscribers to keep your brand at the top of their minds. 

Transactional emails: 

Email makes it easy to send transactional emails, such as appointment notifications, ecommerce receipts, and more. 

Drip campaigns: 

Drip Emails are automated messages that you send subscribers on a specific schedule after taking a particular action. You can use this type of email in your business to communicate with your subscribers in an effective, efficient, and consistent way.

Some ways you can use drip campaigns include sending:

  • Product suggestion emails

  • Thank you emails

  • Welcome emails

  • Informational emails

Dedicated send: 

This type of email can be sent to a specific group of people. For instance, if you were hosting a training webinar for one of your products, you might send an event update email targeting only the group of people who registered for the webinar. 

Product update email: 

Although subscribers generally don’t like to receive these emails too often, they can help keep your customers informed about changes in features of a particular product that they purchased. Make sure that your customers are in the loop!

Stay compliant:

When sending emails for your business’s marketing campaign, it’s important to stay compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act).

This act imposes several detailed requirements on businesses and individuals that send commercial emails to customers and subscribers.

Here is a brief overview of the CAN-SPAM Act regulations: 

  • No false or misleading header information

  • No deceptive subject lines

  • Inclusion of an opt-out mechanism

  • Inclusion of the sender’s valid physical postal address

  • Identification of the message as an advertisement or solicitation

  • Honour opt-out requests promptly.

  • Monitor what others are doing on behalf of your business

Failure to comply with these regulations can result in a fine of up to $16,000 for each violation and significant reputational and public relations consequences. You can find out more information on the FTC website. It starts with an email marketing plan! It will help if you plan your email strategy before starting a campaign. To do this effectively, there are several steps you must follow: 

Step 1: Set your email marketing goals

Every business will have different objectives when it comes to launching email campaigns. There are a lot of factors that might affect and influence your goals, such as: 

  • Your budget

  • The size of your business

  • Your email marketing experience

  • The industry you are in

  • The way your marketing channels are prioritized

Your goals can either be general, such as building brand awareness, or they can be more quantifiable and number-based.

Step 2: Define your audience

Your next step is to create a buyer persona and hone in on the specific characteristics of the people you want to reach. As with every other marketing channel, don’t try to go after everyone (there’s no point). You need to get to know your ideal audience so you can target your email marketing campaigns at the people who are most likely to purchase your products and services and support your business (save your time and energy by not reaching out to randoms). 

Step 3: Start building your list

Before sending out emails, you must collect contacts to send the emails to. You can start collecting emails now that you have your goals in order and you’ve defined your target audience. 

Here are the first steps to follow when you start building your email list: 

  • Place email signup forms on your website

  • Add signup forms to social media pages

  • Include a call to action in your email signatures

The work you did in the previous two steps will pay off tremendously in helping you collect emails from targeted subscribers. Make sure you include compelling text explaining to users what they will get in exchange for signing up. Offer valuable incentives and make the signup process as easy as possible.

Step 4: Decide which emails to send

Now that you’re actively growing your contacts list, you can start planning the types of emails to send to your subscribers. As previously discussed, the emails you choose will depend on the type of small business you’re running. Most companies start with a short welcome series and then send a newsletter once or twice a month to maintain consistent engagement with their audience. You can also add occasional promotional emails, product update emails, etc. A variety of emails might prove to be helpful!

Step 5: Design and craft your emails

Many marketers argue about whether or not email design is important, and if it's worth spending money and time to ensure that your message looks terrific.  While some argue that a message's goal and content are more important and that a simple email is better, others swear by emails containing lots of rich media. Whatever you choose, put some thought into ensuring that your emails reflect your brand and resonate with your target audience. 

Step 6: Track the results 

After sending your emails, you have to track the results, analyze the data, and tweak your strategy to improve your results.  Analyzing email marketing data is crucial to achieving success. It’s the only way to know what works and what doesn’t, so you can stop wasting time on tactics that don’t bring results and instead focus your efforts where they will generate the best ROI. You can track:

  • How many people opened your emails?

  • Who opened which email? 

  • What did they click on? 

  • Who opted out of your emails? 

This data is readily available from your email marketing service, and it can help you take advantage of many email marketing opportunities in your industry. Just make sure that you keep track of the correct email metrics and act upon them!