In this special five-part series, we’ve already discussed how to use SEO, social media and online ads. In this article, we’re talking about email marketing strategies that get more customers walking into your store, or more eyeballs on your website and other online content. Next week, we’ll focus on the last step: traditional advertising.
Imagine a marketing wheel, with the five traffic-increasing strategies acting as the spokes. Not all of these strategies may make sense for your small business; however, without a balanced approach to increasing traffic, you’ll have a hard time working up to the next steps: getting leads and converting sales. Businesses can spend a lot of time and effort on these last two steps, but they don’t get very far if they haven’t drummed up a steady flow of traffic.
Email marketing is one way to create traffic, and keep your business within the scope of your potential and existing customers.
Email marketing 101
A form of direct marketing, email marketing techniques range from blasting a customer list with one strategic email to dripping targeted messages one at a time to targeted prospects, with tools like Infusionsoft. If your business already has a customer list that includes current email addresses, email marketing can work for you right out of the gate. If you don’t have a good list yet, don’t worry. You can build up your email list as you develop your content strategy, and how it fits into the larger marketing strategy for your business.
Step 1 - Build Your List
Businesses intent on increasing traffic with email marketing must balance the need to develop effective marketing campaigns with a continuous focus on list building. In essence, if you’re going assign resources to email marketing, your goal should include expanding the list of subscribers who get these marketing messages. Include a few strategies to grow your email list, such as offering consumers a free report in exchange for their emails, and asking for email addresses whenever consumers get in touch with your business. Of course, if you’re going to collect this kind of valuable data, you’ll need a customer management system that can handle it.
Step 2 - Choose A Tool and Manage Your Lists
The next step involves deciding on an email marketing tool. Customer relationship management (CRM) tools, like Salesforce.com, help you manage customers’ personal data, while automated email programs like MailChimp, make it easy to segment lists and create campaigns. We recommend tools like Infusionsoft, which provide CRM and email tools in one unified platform. Setting up CRM and automated email systems takes time and effort, but once you’ve developed a foundation of emails and campaigns, the system runs on autopilot, allowing your focus to switch to strategy built on solid analysis and measurement.
Step 3- Create Campaigns
After building an email list and selecting tools with which you can work, you can begin working on the process of creating an email marketing campaign. Savvy businesses may repurpose existing digital content for their email lists. For instance, you can publish blog content that is of interest to your email list, or break up the content of a free report into a seven-series email campaign. Don’t make the mistake that some businesses make when repurposing content. Repurposing content doesn’t mean copying/pasting a blog article into an email. Instead, consider the content topic, condense it, and introduce it with a catchy subject line and include call to action that directs readers to your website.
Step 4 - Measure Results
With most strategies to increase traffic, it’s important to measure and analyze the email campaign’s results. Tweak your campaigns by testing different subject lines and using media (like video and pictures) to see what works best, and the content consumers respond to.
With several streams of traffic flowing into your business through multi-level marketing channels, you can successfully move onto the next steps: turning those leads into sales. Stay tuned for the final part in the series covering “how to get more traffic to your website,” when we’ll talk about traditional advertising.
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