Article | June 18, 2021
The world of marketing has changed with the advancements of modern technology. Today’s marketers use several digital platforms to outreach their prospects.
Are you a small business owner and hesitant to try email marketing? Let me ease you with successful email marketing tips for small businesses. Email marketing is the best marketing channel to drive leads. Email marketing remains a popular and lucrative medium yet underrated business expansion techniques with varied mediums to share your information and news. With varied mediums to share your information and news, email marketing remains to be popular and lucrative medium yet underrated business expansion techniques. Many small business owners are under the impression that email marketing is ineffective and is for the big business owners, still small business owners can gain a lot from email marketing. Email marketing is the most effective marketing channel for connecting with the audience. To reap -a high ROI, it is time to bring these email marketing techniques to practice.
Why is Email Marketing Important for Small Business?
Start-up businesses and small businesses are low on budget and cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars on costly marketing platforms. But aggressive marketing strategy is required to reach maximum people and appear on SERP. Here is the important part of an email, email marketing is cost-effective and engaging new customers as well as retaining the loyalty of older customers. In addition, email marketing is a transparent and honest form of marketing tool.
Email marketing fulfils small business needs by helping to reach your target customers, send personalized messages based on customer actions, and promote relevant services to them. Email is extremely versatile and allows marketing, relationship building, and expanding your customer base with well-planned small business email campaigns. As per data from Pew Research, about 92% of adults in the United States use email. Thus, if you want to be competitive in digital marketing, you must take up email marketing.
Email Marketing Benefits for Small Business
Email marketing benefits your small business in many ways. Here are few ways where it can help you.
Email marketing can be personalized for your leads, and in turn it gives a boost to your sales.
It is easy to set up.
It can be automated, saving you time.
You can segment your audience and share semi-personalized emails to them, like sending targeted emails to your audience.
You can send promotional emails or new releases.
It helps in building a relationship with your leads.
Lead generation and lead nurturing.
Here are the top 10 email marketing tips for small businesses to enhance the performance of your next marketing campaign.
Top 12 Email Marketing Tips for Small Businesses
When using email marketing, it is important to be compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act. As per the CAN-SPAM Act, consumers are protected from getting unsolicited emails. Make sure you use the opt-in and opt-out form on your website, where users can choose to subscribe and unsubscribe at their will. Be sure to send emails only to people who have subscribed to your email list. It will help if you abide by the guidelines to avoid any significant fines and other sanctions in case you miss.
Personalize your emails
When sending an email, keep the style and tone friendly and go beyond just using the subscriber’s name in addressing or subject line. You can follow few more personalized techniques, such as
Send anniversary emails.
Send behavior-triggered emails.
Send personalized videos.
Segment your audience and then send personalized emails to give a personal touch and grab their attention. This way, email marketing strategy for small businesses will be more effective.
Make signup easy
Registration is the most important step among email marketing techniques. Make signup on your website as easy and as accessible as possible. Use an embedded signup form to make the registration easy. Include signup forms on your homepage, blogs, contact page, and your footer, and other places of the site where customers are likely to visit. You can collect all their details and offer them special discounts. This step will help you build a quality email list and capture contact information about the interested audience.
Segment your email list
This step is one of the significant steps of email marketing tips for small businesses. Once your email list is ready, segment them based on customers’ interest and their characteristics. Segment your list according to your customer’s age, preferences, location, and previous purchases made. A segmentation list is important because each customer differs from the other, having unique needs. Now send a personalized email with special offers and discounts as per these segmented lists. Creating your email segment list will enable you to drive more ROI and effectively target your audience.
Write captivating subject lines
The subject line of an email is a very crucial aspect of email marketing. It is an important part of the email. Create a stunning and catchy subject of the email because it acts as the first impression on the user. Make sure to keep the subject line short and specific. Try to generate unique and impressive subject lines that raise curiosity and trigger recipients to open an email and not take the chance of missing it. Once you develop a good number of ideas on the subject line, you can go for the A/B testing method.
Promotional emails provide special offers and discounts to attract subscribers and customers for your services or products. The main aim of sending promotional emails in email marketing is to convince customers to make purchases. Promotional email offers incentives to drive revenue and sales for a business. Promotional email content and design should be focused on persuading the recipient to act.
Make your emails mobile-friendly and optimized for purchases
Around 70% of the population use a smartphone for the maximum of their activities, so it is necessary to make sure your emails are mobile optimized. Make sure your email marketing campaign is mobile-friendly and is an effective email marketing technique for small businesses. Format the content of the email correctly and ensure its adaptability to several applications, regardless of where it’s being used (desktop, tablet, mobile) or on which browser. It is important to analyze open-rate, unsubscribe rate, click-through rate, and user action rates for your small business email campaign. This is one of the trendiest and highly in-use email marketing tips for small businesses to gain success
Make sending automated emails for small businesses a top priority in 2021. Email automation saves a lot of time. Once an automated email campaign is set, it sends automated relevant emails to the users when a specific trigger is met. Sending automated emails is one of the best email marketing tips for small businesses and is a powerful email marketing technique. Set up an automated welcome email for new subscribers, which will help you to build trust with your new customers. You can make use of email marketing software options to automate B2C and B2B email marketing tasks. Through automated emails, you reach to right people with the right message and at the right time for your small business marketing.
Make your emails easy to read/scan
Your subscribers are busy people, so make sure your emails are easy to read, not very lengthy, and stick to your user's experience theme. Users will open your email and scan it without spending a lot of time reading the full content of your email. Make sure your content is interesting crisp, and stands out. Use valuable text in the form of bullet points, subheadings, keywords or gifs, or infographics that cover the maximum of your valuable content in just one look. This email marketing tip for small businesses gives your email a chance to stand out from other emails in the client’s list.
Design your emails around your brand
Design your email that reflects your brand. Make sure your email is instantly recognizable. Follow your brand guidelines for font, image, styles, color palette, and make sure they are consistent with your brand. To make your emails user-friendly, use similar elements as per your website design.
Track engagement and monitor results
You will be able to send the right information to the people who are engaged the most, which is possible only when you track the engagement. It is important to track various metrics, monitor your email campaign’s success, and take corrective measures required to improve the success. Small businesses need to track the below metrics for their email campaigns:
Monitoring results is a continuous ongoing process. First, monitor the analytics information in email marketing to know what works and what does not.
Be consistent with your editorial calendar
Be consistent in sending emails to customers from your email list. You can do this by creating a schedule for your email campaign that helps you plan and execute your marketing campaigns. Be sure to contact your recipients more than once a month to keep them interested and subscribed. Not hearing from you for a longer duration hampers the email campaign leading to a significant drop in the subscriptions. Observe consumer behavior and tailor your plan accordingly.
Email marketing is one of the best ways to reach target customers, keep customers informed, and prospects engaged affordably and easily. Email marketing techniques are one of the most effective and beneficial marketing strategies for small businesses to improve their ROI, increase customer engagement, generate leads, and grow business. To launch an email marketing strategy for your small business, pair it with the above email marketing tips for small businesses and benefit from successful email campaigns in 2021.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What are the types of marketing emails?
Email marketing is nothing but sending commercial emails to promote services or products and develop relationships with potential customers or existing clients. There various types of emails sent are welcome emails, promotional emails, lead nurturing emails, email newsletter, sponsorship emails, transactional emails, brand story emails, and many more. Every brand is different, so tailor your email marketing strategy accordingly.
Why small businesses need email marketing?
Email marketing helps small businesses increase brand awareness and credibility, contact customers, and provide them with up-to-date information about your business. Email marketing helps to generate leads and turn them into sales. The biggest benefit email marketing offers to small businesses is that it allows reaching the right audience at the right time.
Is email marketing still effective for small businesses?
Often small business owners are under the impression that email marketing for small businesses is not effective, and it is just for big business owners. On the contrary, email marketing is the most impactful marketing channel for small businesses connecting with the audience.
"name": "What are the types of marketing emails?",
"text": "Email marketing is nothing but sending commercial emails to promote services or products and develop relationships with potential customers or existing clients. There various types of emails sent are welcome emails, promotional emails, lead nurturing emails, email newsletter, sponsorship emails, transactional emails, brand story emails, and many more. Every brand is different, so tailor your email marketing strategy accordingly."
"name": "Why small businesses need email marketing?",
"text": "Email marketing helps small businesses increase brand awareness and credibility, contact customers, and provide them with up-to-date information about your business. Email marketing helps to generate leads and turn them into sales. The biggest benefit email marketing offers to small businesses is that it allows reaching the right audience at the right time."
"name": "Is email marketing still effective for small businesses?",
"text": "Often small business owners are under the impression that email marketing for small businesses is not effective, and it is just for big business owners. On the contrary, email marketing is the most impactful marketing channel for small businesses connecting with the audience."
Article | June 18, 2021
The term "Horeca" is an abbreviation of "Hotel", "Restaurant" and "Café". It represents a very diverse sector, i.e. from star-restaurants to catering and canteens to brasseries up to small, local cafes. A small country like Belgium counted end 2017 almost 60.000 horeca-enterprises (7% of all Belgian enterprises), thus showing the importance of this sector. Furthermore with a total revenue (also end 2017) of over 15 billion EUR and more than 75.000 people employed in this sector, it remains an important economical actor for the Belgian economy.
It is undisputable that the Covid crisis has been a disaster for this sector. However, now that life gradually returns back to normal, it is likely that the trends which were already launched in the horeca sector before the crisis will be even enforced and accelerated.
With new habits come new customer needs related to the horeca. Think about the company canteens. With more people working from home, this sector will have to reinvent itself. Most likely they will start offering also prepared meals directly to consumers via supermarkets and other distribution channels. Obviously, this will force other actors in this market to reinvent themselves, thus launching a chain reaction.
Even more pronounced is the impact of take-away and delivery. While a large group of the population was still a bit hesitant to consume take-away, the Covid-confinements also forced this group to start exploring these new services. At the same time, restaurants which were not offering take-away services before were also forced to adapt. As a result, take-away and meal delivery services have known an exponential boost and this trend, although it will know a small set back when the pandemic is fully over, is here to stay.
Unfortunately the horeca sector was already a sector with a lot of difficulties before the crisis. The sector historically copes with one of the highest percentages of businesses bankruptcies , especially when looking at the first 5 years following the establishment of the business. This is often caused by the fact that many people consider the horeca as an easy way to entrepreneurship, founding their businesses with a poor of even no business plan. At the same time there is of course the strong dependency on labor. As this sector is very labor intensive, margins are low due to the high labor costs. Furthermore with hard work and irregular and long working hours, horeca businesses have more and more difficulties to find motivated and qualified personnel. Additionally the sector, being so fragmented, often lacks professionalism, not really for the horeca-activity (i.e. the preparation and serving of food and drinks) itself, but rather for the supporting activities like financial management, supply chain management (like good stock management), procurement… This makes that many restaurants have a poor view on the breakdown of their costs and revenues, thus losing a lot of money in inefficiencies like expired stocks due to too large ordering, certain dishes which are not sold at the right price, employees being paid too much expensive overhours, bad negotiations with suppliers…
Apart from the above very obvious trends, there are still a lot of other trends. These map perfectly with the 8 universal trends, I described in my earlier blog "Universal trends - Common over all industries?" - https://bankloch.blogspot.com/2021/01/universal-trends-common-over-all.html, i.e.
Pressure on margins: margins are historically already low in the horeca sector, but are becoming even more under pressure, due to new forms of competition, like meal boxes (like HelloFresh or Foodbag), prepared meal services (like Mealhero), sharing platforms (like Thuisafgehaald or Menu Next Door), virtual restaurants (also called Dark Kitchens, i.e. restaurants without a physical location, but only serving online delivery platforms), living room and concept restaurants… This forces restaurants to work more professionally and efficiently and find a specific niche (of clientele willing to pay extra for specific product or experience). These efficiency gains can be achieved via digitalization (with regards to personnel management, cash register, stock management…) and new technologies (like 3D printers or cocktail machines like "Tenderone", "Bottletender"…), but also by being more selective on opening hours/days (especially for weekends and holidays), putting less (more specialized) choice on the menu card, making dishes less complex by investing more in the quality of the ingredients, by pushing more self-service (e.g. let the customer cut the food for the whole table, which has as a welcome benefit that it increase the customer experience).
Trustworthiness: clients must have confidence (trust) in a horeca place they are visiting. Obviously, the customers must have the feeling of being treated fairly and respectfully (e.g. via a transparent and correct pricing), but they also want to be able to trust the product they are consuming (eating or drinking). This means providing more transparency, like providing more info about each dish and more its ingredients (important for specific diets and allergies), nutritional value and origin of the product (i.e. farm-to-table).
Frictionless experience: the customer experience should be at pleasant as possible, meaning any friction should be removed where possible. This consists of frictionless ordering processes, via digital menu cards (providing details of each dish and allowing easy filtering) and direct ordering (directly to the kitchen), all the way to a frictionless checkout, consisting of digitally receiving and paying the bill. A multitude of solutions are available here, like full ERP solutions for horeca businesses (like Apicbase, Horeko, Square for restaurants, HorecaMakers, Growzer…), digital menu card solutions (like Kimeru, Digital Wizards, Futuresto, EasyButler…), ordering terminals and apps (like Futuresto, EasyButler, MyOrder, QCard, PayMyTable…), cash registers (like Lightspeed, RestoMax, Gastrofix, HorecaMakers…).
Personalization: the most important trend for the horeca is obviously the personalization. This results in products and services adapted to the specific needs and desires of every customer. Additionally horeca businesses are being converted more and more into "Experience" places (i.e. surprise your customers, by selling them moments and letting them escape from the stress of day-to-day life), i.e. ensure to give the customer a unique, unforgettable experience, not only via the food and service, but also via the texture and color of the dishes, the building, the interior design…
More in detail this trend means:
New types of restaurants, like living room restaurants (enforcing a more personal touch and home feeling), concept restaurants, food markets, pop-up restaurants…
Accommodating for different food and drink choices. Already around 20-25% of people have a specific food choice, meaning restaurants have to accomodate for people wanting to eat vegetarian, vegan, lactose-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, paleo, biological… Additionally people want alternatives for the traditional wine-card like different types of water, mocktails, non-alcoholic wine, champagne and spirits (e.g. Seedlip), luxury soft drinks (e.g. Crodino, Finley, Pinky Rose, Fentimans & Fritz-Kola) or special types of tea to drink the meal.
Horeca places should become places to socialize, i.e. provide a home-feeling (i.e. a feeling of comfort, stability, trust, intimacy, warmth…), engage socializing between guests via guest tables, street food or sharing plates…
Allow customers to compose their dishes themselves, cfr. Subway, Hawaiian Poke Bowl…
Democratization: by working more efficiently, more automation and digitalization, it becomes possible to offer certain services and products in higher volumes and at lower costs and thus at a lower pricing. This means certain horeca products, which were before only available to the happy-few cannot be offered to a larger segment of the population. A good example are star-restaurants offering a standardized (simpler) version of their dishes via a take-out or catering service.
Authenticity: restaurants are focusing more and more on providing an authentic experience, e.g. by transforming old factories or churches to restaurants, integrating open kitchens where guests can see the cooks preparing the dishes, chefs finishing plates at the customer’s table… Additionally there is a trend towards pure, simple and honest, meaning natural, artisanal and/or high-quality products (ingredients), which are prepared and served in a simple way. A good example of this are also the traditional dishes in a more luxury fashion, e.g. new types of éclairs (Chez Claire), croques (RemorK), hamburgers (Ellis Gourmet burger), meat balls (Balls & Glory)…
ESG (Environment, Social and Corporate Governance): with customers being more sensitive about the environment and society, horeca places need to accommodate to this customer desire. Restaurants are working more and more with local, healthy (e.g. use of superfoods, use of less salt and fat…), biological/organic and Fairtrade products, but also with products with a lower ecological footprint, like e.g. replacing meat with insects, soya-based meat replacements or vegetables. Additionally horeca players need to avoid waste, via a no-waste kitchen concept (via e.g. smaller portions, trash cooking, creative usage of waste…), via anti-food-waste platforms (like Too Good To Go) and by reducing/avoiding packaging (e.g. avoiding plastic straws, cups…).
Partnerships: as many businesses, a horeca business is more and more integrated in a concept, like incorporated in a shop or combined with an experience (like a horeca place in a brewery). Additionally due to the digital revolution, horeca places need to partner more and more with online ordering and delivery services (like Deliveroo, TakeAway.com or UberEats, potentially integrated via Deliverect), social media (like Facebook and Instagram) and food review platforms (like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Zomato, Foursquare…), reservation platforms (like TheFork, Tablebooker, Resto.be…) ordering and payment apps (like Dorst.app or Yummy.app). Additionally new players are coming on the market to help horeca businesses with their typical problems, like procurement (e.g. Tippr or Horeca Direct Shop) or recruitment (e.g. Mise en Place).
It is clear that although the horeca sector is already centuries old, it is also undergoing major disruptions. In the end let us hope that all those evolutions can give us an even more enjoyable horeca experience.
Article | June 18, 2021
Small businesses are the lifeblood of a community, but due to the impact of the coronavirus, they’re shuttering in enormous numbers. While the government launches massive programs to help, it’s a race against the clock for aid to arrive before many businesses run out of cash.Here, two University at Buffalo School of Management experts share their insights to help entrepreneurs and local businesses ride out the storm: Small-business owners must confront the situation and take immediate action to stay afloat, says Thomas Ulbrich, assistant dean for entrepreneurship and social innovation in the UB School of Management. Ulbrich directs the school’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, which is hosting twice-weekly Small Business Strong webinars about everything from cash-flow strategies to working from home.