Email Marketing Internet Marketing

Email Marketing Tips to Build Loyal Customers For Your Small Business

Email marketing is a powerful way of building relationships with your customers and to send updates and special offers to your customers. This essential effort helps to drive your customers back to your business. Furthermore, email marketing helps you build up a network of contacts.

I am just surprised that not enough small businesses use email marketing. With a network or database of customers, you can continue to market to them and have them continuously refer their friends & family members to you.

As such, it is important for you to try to capture your customers and prospects’ contact information at every opportunity and touch point (on your website, at tradeshow, at point of sale in your store, surveys, at seminars, etc).

Once you have your prospect’s email, you have to make a genuine effort to build relationship and gain their trust. You have to establish yourself as the expert in your field so that they can count on you anytime they need help or their friends/family need help.

You can establish your credibility and expertise by providing them with useful and valuable information pertaining to your business and industry.

An email costs you almost nothing. By using an “autoresponder” email marketing service, you can send an email to your list of prospects and customers automatically. A good starter autoresponder service for small businesses that you can use is Aweber, probably the most popular one out there. It costs only $20 a month.

Since Aweber is an established email service company and is recognized among Google, Yahoo, AOL, your email messages will have higher delivery rate and not end up in the SPAM box.

Another good email marketing program to use is Vertical Response. With Vertical Response, you have the option of paying per email sent. If you don’t send email as often, you may prefer to use Vertical Response.

How to Motivate Your Prospects And Clients to Sign Up

You’d need to give your clients and prospects some incentives in order to get them to sign up and offer their emails to you. You can use incentives such as offering them free downloads, free whitepapers, coupons, discounts, immediate notice of new items arrival, or when you are offering specials.

Other incentives may include a special report or E-book that they can immediately download. Be sure to mention these incentives and encourage your prospects and customers to give you their emails on your website, brochure, at the cashier checkout, at tradeshows, or on any other marketing literatures and events.

For example, if you have a restaurant, you can instruct your waiter/waitress to ask for the customer’s email in exchange for a free dessert coupon on their next visit.

This is called “permission” email marketing. In other words, you only e-mail people that give you permission to e-mail them. It’s important that you never send mass, unsolicited emails to people. Doing so is ineffective and may lead to legal troubles for your business.

On your website, you can use an “auto responder” service like Aweber to create a sign up form. Aweber will give you a JavaScript code that you can insert on your website to get the Opt-in form.

Here are some best practice advices to follow to maximize your email marketing success:

  • At the beginning of your email relationship, focus on providing useful and helpful content and information.  You can offer a “how to” articles or reviews of certain products, or results of some surveys/polls. Don’t try to sell too much. What you try to do is to establish your credibility and gain their trust.
  • Segment your customers using a database system and send customized marketing messages to each target group. You may segment your customers based on behavior  or demographics information.For behavior segmenting, the key information you want to pay attention to are the frequency (how often the customer buy or visit your business) and recency of purchase (the date of their most recent purchase or visit).The customers that buy frequently from you and most recently are obviously the most valuable customers. You would want to spend more of your marketing resources on these group of customers and ensure that they remain loyal customers. For customers that do not respond to your offers or rarely open your emails, you may want to reengage the:
  • Write a compelling subject line – As you know, most people get bombarded with all kind of emails everyday. How do you make your email stand out from the rest? They key is having a compelling subject line. You should limit the subject line to around 50 characters and make it compelling.
  • You can also split test your subject line on a sample first and pick the best one to blast out to the rest. For example, if you have a big enough database, you can randomly select 100 subscribers and divide them into group A and group B. Send half of the emails with subject line A to group A and half of the emails with subject line B to group B.
  • What you’re trying to measure is the open rate (most email service providers provide this statistic). Between the two subject lines, you would then select the highest performing one and use that to send your email message to the rest of the list in your database.
  • Place the opt-in box in a prominent location of your website. The opt-in box should be on every page and it should be in a visible location of your website, usually the upper left or upper right.
  • Ask for feedback – Feedback from your customers can help you serve them better. Ask them for ideas on content, whether they’re happy with the content, and areas of improvement.
  • Ask for referrals – If you have customers that are happy with your services, ask them to refer you to their friends/family.

Lastly, you need to make your privacy policy very clear. Your prospects and customers must trust that you would never sell or give away their email addresses to any third parties before they feel comfortable to give up their emails to you. As you know, everyone hates to be spammed!

To learn more about email marketing, you can visit the Aweber website. They have many great articles on email marketing best practices.

Chapter 8: Unleash the Power of E-Mail Marketing

Collecting emails from your customers and prospects is a powerful way of building relationships, sending them updates and special offers, and driving them back to your stores! Also as important is the ability to build up a network of contacts.

I am just surprised that not enough businesses use email marketing. With a network or database of customers, you can continue to market to them and have them refer their friends/family to you.

As such, it is important for you to try to capture your customers and prospects’ contact information at every opportunity and touch point (on your your website, at tradeshow, at point of sale in your store, surveys, at seminars, etc).

Once you have your prospect’s email, you have to make a real effort to build relationship and gain their trust. You have to establish yourself as the expert in your field so that they can count on you anytime they need help or their friends/family need help.

You can establish your credibility and expertise by providing them with useful and valuable information pertaining to your business and industry.


An email costs you almost nothing. By using an “autoresponder” service, you can send an email to your list of prospects and customers automatically. A good starter autoresponder service for small businesses that you can use is Aweber, probably the most popular one out there. It costs only $20 a month.

Since Aweber is an established email service company and is recognized among Google, Yahoo, AOL, your email messages will have higher delivery rate and not end up in the SPAM box.


Another good email marketing program to use is Vertical Response. With Vertical Response, you have the option of paying per email sent. If you don’t send email as often, you may prefer to use Vertical Response.


How to Motivate Your Prospects And Clients to Sign Up

You’d need to give your clients and prospects some incentives in order to get them to sign up and offer their emails to you. You can use incentives such as offering them free downloads, free whitepapers, coupons, discounts, immediate notice of new items arrival, or when you are offering specials.

Other incentives may include a special report or E-book that they can immediately download. Be sure to mention these incentives and encourage your prospects and customers to give you their emails on your website, brochure, at the cashier checkout, at tradeshows, or on any other marketing literatures and events.

For example, if you have a restaurant, you can instruct your waiter/waitress to ask for the customer’s email in exchange for a free dessert coupon on their next visit.

This is called “permission” email marketing. In other words, you only e-mail people that give you permission to e-mail them. It’s important that you never send mass, unsolicited emails to people. Doing so is ineffective and may lead to legal troubles for your business.

On your website, you can use an “auto responder” service like Aweber to create a sign up form (see figure 3 below for an example). Aweber will give you a JavaScript code that you can insert on your website to get the Opt-in form similar to the one below:

 

 

Here are some best practice advices to follow to maximize your email marketing success:

  • You need to make your privacy policy very clear. Your prospects and customers must trust that you would never sell or give away their email addresses to any third parties before they feel comfortable to give up their emails to you. As you know, everyone hates to be spammed!

  • At the beginning of your email relationship, focus on providing useful and helpful content and information. You can offer a “how to” articles or reviews of certain products, or results of some surveys/polls. Don’t try to sell too much. What you try to do is to establish your credibility and gain their trust.

  • Segment your customers using a database system and send customized marketing messages to each target group. You may segment your customers based on behavior or demographics information.

    For behavior segmenting, the key information you want to pay attention to are the frequency (how often the customer buy or visit your business) and recency of purchase (the date of their most recent purchase or visit).

    The customers that buy frequently from you and most recently are obviously the most valuable customers. You would want to spend more of your marketing resources on these group of customers and ensure that they remain loyal customers.

    For customers that do not respond to your offers or rarely open your emails, you may want to reengage them

  • Write a compelling subject line – As you know, most people get bombarded with all kind of emails everyday. How do you make your email stand out from the rest? They key is having a compelling subject line. You should limit the subject line to around 50 characters and make it compelling.

    You can also split test your subject line on a sample first and pick the best one to blast out to the rest. For example, if you have a big enough database, you can randomly select 100 subscribers and divide them into group A and group B. Send half of the emails with subject line A to group A and half of the emails with subject line B to group B.

    What you’re trying to measure is the open rate (most email service providers provide this statistic). Between the two subject lines, you would then select the highest performing one and use that to send your email message to the rest of the list in your database.

  • Place the opt-in box in a prominent location of your website. The opt-in box should be on every page and it should be in a visible location of your website, usually the upper left or upper right.

  • Ask for feedback – Feedback from your customers can help you serve them better. Ask them for ideas on content, whether they’re happy with the content, and areas of improvement.

  • Ask for referrals – If you have customers that are happy with your services, ask them to refer you to their friends/family.


To learn more about email marketing, you can visit the Lyris website. They have many great articles on email marketing best practices.

Peter Nguyen
I'm an Interne/online marketing expert with a strong blend of creative, technical, and analytic skills. I have over 6 years of experience doing online marketing for B2B as well as B2C Ecommerce. My expertise is in SEO, PPC, Social Media, Analytics, Copywriting, Landing Page Design, B2B Lead Generation, Conversion Optimization, Web Design, and project management. I am passionate about online marketing and I am constantly learning and keeping up to date on the latest advances on online marketing and social media marketing.
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