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Marketing for an online business differs somewhat than for a business that has a street presence. Your web store cannot be seen when people go shopping in the CDB, but it may well show up when they shop online. Part of the marketing is in harvesting their email addresses so that you can establish a relationship with them.

Many businesses get email addresses simply by giving their customers the option of creating an account. In return, the consumer finds it easier to purchase what they want, especially the next time they shop there. The business can then send out marketing emails over the next few years or until/if they unsubscribe.

Some businesses also offer a newsletter in return for the email address. The benefit for the consumer is that they get to hear of discounts or new stock ahead of others.

Here are 7 tips for email marketing in your small business:

  • Make it easy and quick for people to subscribe to a newsletter by requiring only two inputs; a first name and the email address. Most people consider it an invasion of privacy for any more information to be required.
  • Let your subscribers know what to expect and how often. Few want to get emails more than once a week. Let them know what exactly they will get in their email.
  • You should always send a welcome email to new subscribers. Mention why they are getting it and who they signed up with. Repeat the information given above just to remind them. A special offer would be a good way to please them and get them to click the confirmation link.
  • Make sure the email is designed to look similar to your website with the same colours and company logo. This makes them feel as if it is all familiar and they are more likely to open the letter and read it.
  • Break up the email into small portions that are quick and easy to read, adding a small graphic, bullet points and subheadings. Your customers are busy people and don’t usually give their undivided attention. It’s more likely they read it on the way to work, or at work in that brief break while they wait for the printer to spit out their copy of something.
  • Send people valuable information in the email and don’t be pushy with your buy now spiel, especially if they have just bought something. You don’t even have to offer a product in every email, but every second or third one would do.
  • Automate your emails so you don’t have to create one every week. It is more efficient to do at least 6 and have them ready to be sent out on the days you specify.