HOW EMAIL MARKETING CAN HELP SMALL BUSINESSES SURVIVE COVID-19

It’s enough to strike panic into the heart of any small business owner: closed offices, physical distancing and economic downturns. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced most of us into our homes – small business owners and customers alike – with little contact with the outside world. But in times of crisis, a hero always emerges. For small business owners, that champion is email marketing.

Despite the popularity of online social channels, email continues to be an integral part of daily life. In 2019, Statista reports there were 3.9 billion email users around the globe. And that number could grow to 4.48 billion email users by 2024. Email marketing is definitely here to stay.

This is good news for small business owners – email
communication is one of the most cost-effective marketing tools. Through this
channel, you can share your latest deals and offers, keep customers informed
and maintain customer relationships.

During this COVID-19 crisis, your customers are checking
their emails for relevant offers and updates. Your business should be popping
up in their inboxes, too. Here are some key things to remember when planning
your email marketing strategy in the coming weeks.

Select the right
customers.

Before sending each email, carefully consider your audience.
Don’t send your email to everyone in your database. Why? Customers will delete
broadcast emails they consider irrelevant.

Instead, use segmentation to determine the appropriate list
for your email. This practice allows you to separate your email list based on the
unique interests and preferences of your customers, including geographical
location. With targeted groups, you can send more emails with relevant content.
Although this takes time, it’s worth the effort. Your customers will reward you
by opening your emails more often.

Don’t have an email list? Here are a few simple tips to get you started:

1) Offer an incentive:
When you give away something of value, customers will often provide their email
address. Try offering a free sample, newsletter, online tutorial or a
complimentary service.

2) Build your email
list organically
: Ask your customers if they would like to join your email
list to receive important updates. If you are providing an essential service
for customers during the COVID-19 crisis, leave an email sign up sheet in a
visible area.

3) Collect emails through your website: Create a pop-up ad or message on your home page that encourages visitors to sign up for your email list.

Grab their attention.

When staring at an overcrowded inbox, customers are tempted
to delete emails without opening them. That’s why your email subject line is
your first line of defense. You have one chance to grab their attention – so
you have to get it right. Always make your headlines short, punchy and
memorable. A little FOMO (fear of missing out) can go a long way, too. Give
them a reason to want to read more.

Make it personal.

A personal email shows your customers that you care – a
sure-fire way to build trust and relationship. Address your customers by name
in your emails. You can include this in the subject line of the email, the
salutation or throughout the body of the email content itself. And even if they
don’t purchase your products or services through your email, your company will
be top-of-mind for future business.

Solve their problems.

What challenges are your customers facing in light of COVID-19?
Your email should clearly describe how you can help solve those issues. If your
business is running on reduced hours or has closed temporarily, your customers
would appreciate an email notification. If your business has also made changes
to respect physical distancing, include that information in your email. Your
customers will be grateful that you went above and beyond to keep them safe while
supplying their needs.

Don’t be a stranger.

Your customers need to hear from you regularly. Continue to send emails that contain relevant content, especially as changes occur due to COVID-19. Remember to post this information on your social media channels as well to give your customers real-time updates.

Product updates, new offers, short-term promotions, company milestones, weekly newsletters or blog posts can all be shared in an email. But don’t forget to plan ahead for your emails. Set up a calendar to schedule emails that align with your customers’ needs at specific times of the year. This will keep you ahead of the game and build relationships that result in continued business.

We’re all in this together. It’s time to let your customers
know you care and that you’re here to help during the COVID-19 crisis.

Contact a representative at webhoster.ca today to launch your email marketing campaign.

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