Any small business owner with even a hint of experience in digital marketing knows that email marketing is one of the most powerful tools in any small business arsenal. However, if not handled correctly an email marketing campaign can actually result in less than stellar figures. In the best case, it’s a miniscule return on investment—leagues below the 4300 percent reported as possible by Search Engine Journal in April of 2014 – while a worst case scenario can actually leave most small businesses in a marketing lurch with ROI in the negatives.
In the wise words of the late, great Uncle Ben, with great power comes great responsibility. Any business that pursues email marketing needs to handle this powerful marketing tool with care; a good email marketing campaign could turn around a business halfway down the road to bankruptcy, while a poor one could leave a successful business owner looking over the worst profit and loss report since launch.
The Benefits of Email Marketing
Many marketing professionals consider email marketing one of the most powerful marketing tools in the world today, second only to the ever-elusive word of mouth advertisement. According to Chron, this power can be explained through a few simple points:
- Immediate: where paper newsletters are bound by the traditional time restrictions of snail mail, email marketing is instantaneous. This means it can generate an instantaneous response.
- Global: email marketing makes it possible to target customers from all over the world without the budget needed for international shipping, travel and more. Simply put, reaching more customers means getting more business.
- Engagement: because email marketing allows customers to interact with your company, it builds a sense of engagement. This doesn’t just help your customers to grow more loyal to your brand, but can help you understand your customers better.
When it all comes down to it, email marketing offers better access to your customers through instant contact, a wider reach and the ability communicate with them in a one-on-one environment. This is how marketing analysts can report almost 44 dollars in return for every dollar spent on email marketing.
How to Market with Email
Every marketing technique has its own set of do’s and don’ts, but email marketing comes with a set of laws and regulations that, if not followed to the letter, could blacklist your business as spam across every email platform on the Internet. The US Small Business Administration reminds entrepreneurs like you to take special care to be sure that your campaign follows the laws set down by the CAN-SPAM act and only solicits to customers who have subscribed or opted in to receiving emails from you. Don’t buy any lists and make sure that every customer knows what they’re opting into when they give your business their email address.
Once you have those regulations clear in your campaign, it’s time to get cracking on the fun part: design. Email marketing design is an extremely important field of design, but more specialized than many business owners realize. For this reason, you should always work with a professional designer, whether it’s through a crowdsourcing group like Designhill, a freelancer in town or a nationally acclaimed graphic design agency.
An email designer should be skilled in the following areas:
- Proper utilization of space. Email marketing necessitates designing on a digital canvas of no more than 600 pixels in width, meaning that everything in your newsletter, eBlast or sale announcement needs to be appropriately scaled, proportioned and positioned to utilize this limited space correctly without looking crowded. Your designer needs a unique type of compositional skill to pull this off, so make sure you’re working with a pro.
- Typefaces and calls to action. Does your designer only use one or two fonts in every project they’ve ever done? They’re probably not the best choice for email marketing design, then. Typefaces are extremely important not just for readability but also for aesthetic appeal. If no one clicks your call to action because the font makes it blend in with the rest of your content, then it’s not going to help your business!
- Color and white space. Hand in hand with composition, any designer worth their salt in email marketing design needs to be able to utilize “white space” correctly, which often means understanding your brand’s color palette intimately. Not all white space is white, after all, but while a certain color may look just fine in an area fully populated with text, it could turn out to be an eye-burner when presented on its own in a gap between paragraphs or photographs.
Crowdsourcing is a great way to find a designer with this unique set of skills, since it’s a rare thing to find a designer who markets themselves as “works well in tight spaces.” Crowdsourcing, on the other hand, can net you dozens of examples, so choosing to crowdsource and opting for email design by an expert makes it easier to find a designer that fits your needs.
Don’t Pass This Up
No matter how you choose to locate the professional help you need to create your first successful email campaign, the key is that you find a professional as soon as possible. This marketing tool is straightforward, simple in the right hands, and could offer the boost your business needs to step out of the minor leagues.
Don’t miss out—get started with email marketing today!