4 Tips for Small Business Email Marketing Success


Unfortunately, the common assumption is that email only works for retail and media’s biggest brands. Many owners make the mistake of believing that small business email marketing success isn’t possible—or, at the very least, won’t work as effectively for them.

But that’s not even remotely true!

In fact, many marketers cite email marketing as their most lucrative channel for online engagement. After all, for every dollar your small business invests into email your team creates the potential for ROI of $20 or more. Giving your budget the most bang for its buck—no matter how big or small it may be.

That said, this investment takes time to pay off—and your company expects results now. So, here are four tips to inspire small business email marketing success right away!

Excite first-time shoppers with small-scale personalization

Right now, you’re seeing more online traffic from first-time shoppers than any other time of the year. But if you’re not personalizing these engagements based on where new visitors are finding your brand from, you’re leaving a lot of potential revenue on the table.

For example, if you know a user came from a specific paid media campaign, personalizing their shopping experience to incorporate consistent messaging between their onsite, email, and mobile interactions increases their likelihood to convert—as well as your ability to take a running start to new, long-term customer relationships that keep them coming back for future purchases.

small business email marketing success

Social media channels are another increasingly popular small businesses are using to inspire email marketing success. By incorporating the same influencer, Instagram post, or a social media ad that brought someone to your site into their welcome experience, you create a highly relevant first impression that makes them much more likely to take advantage of future updates, offers, and exclusive opportunities like loyalty program membership.

Combined with a data-driven ESP, first-time shoppers can even be tracked via cookies on your site experience whether they sign up to receive your emails or not. But when they do, all of the collected first-party behavioral data can be used to personalize your messages on a one-to-one scale.

Optimize your CTAs for small business email marketing success

Your email experience should feel like a gift: thoughtful, personalized, and surprisingly delightful. But without an equally impressive CTA, even the most carefully planned interaction isn’t likely to lead to small business email marketing success.

small business email marketing success

Adding an eye-catching CTA is one of the easiest ways to supplement your spot-on marketing messages and boost campaign conversion rates. So, before you send your next email, here are a few tips for crafting irresistible CTAs that convince your customers to buy:

  • When it comes to copy, nail the details. Short and sweet is the name of the game when it comes to CTAs that convert. However, just because it’s six words (or less) doesn’t mean it shouldn’t still feel personal.
  • Use design to draw attention. To make your good CTA a great one, remember: simple is best. The whole purpose of a CTA, after all, is to inspire action. And that’s highly unlikely if your audience doesn’t understand what is being asked of them or what their next step should be.
  • Pick your favorite. It can be tempting to have multiple CTA buttons if your goal is ensuring that customers don’t miss their chance to engage. After all, one CTA is good, so extra ones must be great. Right? Well, not exactly. Giving your customers one course of action is always more effective than overwhelming them with too many choices.

Know the value of every email subscriber

While ROI is obviously an important metric to help you gauge small business email marketing success, there’s an equally important—yet much less talked about—benchmark to consider: subscriber value.

After all, an accurate estimation of your email subscriber value lets any small business marketing team know how much it costs to acquire an engaged recipient, how much they’re potentially worth, and how many resources you should put into finding and retaining them. Once you have an understanding of these figures, it becomes much easier to make informed decisions about your strategy—and where you can make the biggest impact for the smallest investment possible.

Test rendering across devices and ISPs to ensure small business email marketing success

Did you know that ESPs and third-party email services will often change your email’s code as you send messages out? After all, adding tracking pixels, removing unnecessary code that’s likely to get your interactions stuck in the spam filter, and rewriting links are standard ESP practices.

Left unchecked, however, these positive-minded changes can be bad news for your email rendering. Especially when you consider that email clients like Gmail, Apple Mail, Yahoo!, and Outlook play by their own rules.

For example, these companies make the decision to either enable or block email images by default—creating two very different renderings of your campaign (or more if you create additional personalized versions based on individual user preferences). And if you’re not aware of these issues due to lack of pre-send testing capabilities, you risk losing the impact your campaign could have had because your messages will appear broken to anyone that opens them.

small business email marketing success

Sure, you could put in hours of extra work testing every email across every browser, email client, and operating system your customers could potentially use. But teaming up with a powerful ESP or email partner is the most effective way to eliminate email rendering issues before they occur. These solutions put robust design tools and testing mechanisms at the tip of your fingers, allowing you to preview your email campaign across any device or ISP with a single click—before you press send.

Plus, many of these email partners will deliver an abundance of responsive, code-free email templates ready to use and email builder tools to automatically optimize your messages. Not to mention access to industry-leading reporting systems that shed light on the real-time strengths and weaknesses of every campaign.


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