How to Reach Your Customers – Are eBlasts Right for You?
Email is not a new technology. In fact, it’s been around for more than 50 years; however, it’s still as strong a method of communication as ever. In 2020, email users climbed to more than 4 billion people and, according to Statista, this number is projected to continue climbing for the foreseeable future. That being said, it’s likely your customers are using email, as well, and it may be a great option for directly reaching more potential customers.
Like email, email marketing has been around for a while. I’m sure you personally subscribe to a variety of marketing emails from your favorite retailers, but email marketing isn’t only for large companies; small businesses can benefit from it too. In this blog we’ll break down exactly what email marketing is, the benefits for small businesses and how to determine if it’s right for your business.
What Is Email Marketing?
Email marketing can be broken down into two main categories: promotional and informational. Promotional emails promote products or events and include a specific call to action. This could be anything from taking advantage of a sale on your website to signing up for a bull sale catalog. These emails are typically sent with the rhythm of your business, meaning you send them when you have something to promote as opposed to more informational emails.
Informational emails may be a weekly or monthly newsletter or simply a business announcement. Informational emails offer you the opportunity to share more about the services you offer, provide additional content to customers – such as recipes that utilize products you sell – or keep customers in the loop about business happenings.
While mass emails (eblasts) can be sent out through your regular inbox provider such as Gmail or Outlook, you’ll likely run into technical issues as these providers are meant for personal use, not to mention your design options will be very limited. Instead, you’ll want to invest in email marketing software. A quick Google search will provide you with a myriad of web-based options, each offering their own pricing plans and features. Monthly prices range based on functionality, number of contacts you can send to, access to pre-designed templates, support, etc. You’ll want to select a company that best suits your needs for the price, and finding one that’s user friendly is a definite bonus.
You’ll also need a contact list to get started. Building a contact list is a vital part of email marketing and a whole separate topic in itself. Keep an eye on our blog for more info about list building, coming soon!
What Are the Benefits of Email Marketing to a Small Business?
There are a variety of benefits to email marketing that apply to large and small businesses alike.
While not everyone is computer or internet-savvy, most know how to check their email, making it accessible to all age groups and a very wide audience of potential customers. You’re also able to reach people on a variety of devices – desktop, tablet or mobile – making it even more convenient.
As previously mentioned, most email marketing software programs offer multiple pricing packages that you can choose from, based on your needs. These can range anywhere from free to $300-plus per month. The average small business, however, can expect to spend closer to $10 to $20 per month.
Utilizing eblasts is a great way to build brand awareness and stay top-of-mind to your customers. Not only will they be exposed to your brand more frequently, but you can also send emails that further explain services or products you offer, increasing the awareness of ways you can better serve them. In addition, you can begin to build excitement around events or product launches to further pique their interest and build credibility with your customers by providing informative and helpful content.
Whether your goal is to drive more traffic to your website, book clients or increase catalog requests, eblasts can help you improve conversions by providing calls to action that are easy and convenient for customers to act on.
Personalized Marketing Ability
By tailoring your email list into sub lists, you’re able to create and share more personalized marketing campaigns based on customers’ previous purchases, interests, etc. For example, if you have customers who routinely buy ground beef from you, you can send them a follow-up email to their order with recipe ideas and include other items that may be of interest to them.
Unlike traditional print campaigns, email marketing can provide you with immediate feedback and results. Businesses often see immediate sales or requests being made after sending out an eblast. Depending on the marketing software you choose, you will likely be able to view metrics on how your eblast performed, as well, including open rates, click rates, etc. All of this can provide insight into what worked best to grab the reader’s attention and how to better tailor your emails going forward.
You Own Your Email List
Last but certainly not least, an important benefit of email marketing is the fact that you own your email list. Unlike your social media followers who could vanish if the social media platform goes away, your email list is here to stay.
Are Eblasts Right for Your Business?
While they are a convenient method of marketing with a seemingly endless list of benefits, is the investment right for your business? It depends, of course. As with any business decision, it’s best to determine what your goals are. If your business holds regular events and you’d like to improve attendance, or you would like to increase website traffic to sell more products online, eblasts can be a great way to reach more potential customers. If your goal is to maintain customer relationships by offering informational content in a regular newsletter, utilizing eblasts is a great way to do so. If eblasts could help you reach your business goals and you’re able to build a solid contact list, the small investment in software is certainly worth it.
Eblasts are an effective marketing tool when used strategically. Determining if eblasts will help you reach your customers is only the beginning. Once you determine email marketing is right for you, it’s time to build a contact list, structure/design your emails and set yourself up for open-rate success. Be on the lookout for an upcoming blog post all about the nitty gritty of setting up eblasts.
If you believe email marketing is right for your business but need help, or you don’t have the time to tackle it on your own, BluePrint Media is a great resource to help develop and implement an eblast strategy for your business. Learn about what our inbound marketing strategies can do to reach your customers here.
Emily grew up in rural Connecticut with a passion for agriculture. She attended Texas A&M University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a master’s degree in ruminant nutrition. Emily has joined the BluePrint team as a designer and feature writer after previously working in feed sales and as the marketing manager for a large ranching operation in central Texas. Emily and her husband look forward to raising their family in the agricultural community they both love.