Community Development for Small Business
Many people feel that they have to wait until their business reaches a certain size before they have the credibility to create a community. In fact, it doesn’t matter what the size of your company or client listing; a business should be focused on raising brand awareness early on.
By joining niche communities and sharing your expertise freely you can connect with members who could benefit from your business. This is a slow process of “give and take”, in which you offer valuable insight in hopes of gaining their trust; while it is a crucial step in brand awareness, it is also time consuming.
Most new business owners are not able to hire help as soon as they open the doors; this means that they are responsible for the full operations of their business. It is important to recognize the need to streamline your business so you have more time to run it. This requires the use of online marketing techniques to help your small business connect with potential customers and developing community.
Online Marketing Tools for Small Business
With a plethora of potent online marketing tools at your disposal it’s easy to lose yourself with the different marketing channels and software.
One of the best methods to use for the development of your community is email marketing. This very powerful tool is perfect for brands looking to connect with their customers and increase engagement. Now I know you have heard those people who are saying that email marketing is dead. Well, here is my advice on that, “Don’t listen!” For those who need to be convinced by the numbers here are a few statistics. These stats show why it still remains one of the best lead generation methods around.
- For every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return is $42
- 96% of online consumers use email
- 90% of consumers check their email once a day
We don’t suggest flooding your subscribing customers with daily emails complete with the latest sales. Email marketing can be a powerful tool and successful if implemented properly. Here are a few tips to help your small business tap into the power of email marketing.
1. It’s About the Old and the New
When businesses think about growing their list they go in with the mindset that the more emails they have, the better their chances of making a sale. Although there is some truth to this, what they forget is that with each new lead added they have to walk them through the “trust factor” before they actually buy. You need to nurture the ones you already have on your list so that they stay in the “ready to buy” mode while you are converting the new leads; this means developing email content that also provides value to those who have already been converted to clients.
2. Make It Specific and Personal
People hate to receive what looks like bulk emails; persistent sales pitches are sure to end up in the spam box. Customers like to know that the email sent to them was sent with care and personal attention. Email companies have also cracked down on this and also spam any emails that do not personally address the receiver. Email marketing tools such as MailChimp help you design customized newsletters, welcome emails, and notifications which can be personalized per subscriber. It offers various templates for sales, discount offerings, and other features small business owners can benefit from.
3. Identify Your Target Audience
Email marketing is an effective way to gauge if you are really capturing your audience’s attention. Looking online marketing platforms like GetResponse and Hubspot, you’re able to access stats regarding email campaigns and subscriber activity. With this information you can get a better understanding of your most active demographic, how they interact with your emails, the content that held most interest, and what content didn’t receive any activity.
If you want to get even more specific with your engagement you can also section off your list. Sections allow you to speak to your audience, according to where they are in your process.
4. Catch Them On The Go!
With consumers able to access a variety of services such as emails from mobile devices, you drastically decrease your ability to reach your audience if your emails are not delivered in a mobile friendly format. Think about it this way, how often do you stay on a website or read through and email that does not easily fit on your screen.
Successful Email Marketing Campaigns for Small Business
Email Marketing is most successful for those who understand the importance of communicating with their intended audience; not simply using it to push sales through. You want to make sure that you are making the information valuable and easy to access. Most importantly, you want to make sure that you are engaging ALL the people in your community.
Email marketing campaigns can be used to boost a small businesses productivity and revenue by allowing efficient communication with new or potential customers. Are you ready for the next level in business? If so, then it’s time to start implementing email marketing into your business plan.