email for small business

Every business is unique. I hear all the time that there are no exceptions to this rule but living in the real world I will tell you that is just not the case.

There are clear clients of mine that are really small and honestly ran by men who won’t ever take the time to build the kind of relationship needed to make e-mail work for their business. This is more true in the service based industry.

Think about it for a second. Would you want your plumber e-mailing you once a month?

With this said, in most cases building an e-mail list can be one of the most valuable marketing efforts out there and provide the highest long term revenue.

Here is the recording from our live video hangout

What makes e-mail work

There are several things that make E-mail marketing work so well

  1. We are creatures of habit. If we get our oil changed at 1 place, chances are we will go back there a second time. The surroundings are familiar to us. Compound that with good customer service and a good product and we will be back time and time again.

By just staying in front of the user to remind them we are here we can win their loyalty.

  1. Building a relationship and establishing authority, E-mail allows us to re-connect with someone who already knows about us because they signed up to our list. Using e-mail is a great way to build and nurture a relationship.
  2. Providing value is key to making e-mail marketing work. If you have no value you won’t do well.

Let’s take a look at an oil sales company

When a customer check in we could capture the e-mail.

Now we can setup an auto e-mail to go out 3 months from now about being time to change their oil and if they come down in the next 14 days we will give them ABC loyalty discount or ABC upgrade.

This is a benefit in

  1. Reminding the person they need an oil change
  2. Offering a discount or value proposition.

What Software is Out There to Build my List

There are many different programs with many different options. Some of the standard and simplest are

You can go far more complex when creating your e-mail list. You can for instance have more advanced software plug into your e-commerce site. With this kind of tie in your are able to send e-mails to people who started the checkout process but did not complete the checkout an e-mail for the product they were checking out.

I won’t go into great details on the more advanced programs because generally it’s mid to large scale companies that need these kind of advanced tools. For most small businesses it’s not usually worth the time and cost to setup and manage.

If your business is using WordPress for your website then integration with the above clients is very easy through plugins. I use Bloom for my Opt-ins

Cross Marketing

Cross marketing is something a lot of businesses just don’t do but it’s done all the time in the online and media world.

Reaching out to other businesses that offer a complimentary product or service can really help both businesses build up clients.

Going back to the oil change shop. You might have someone local that does quick paint touch-ups and you can cross market them or someone who repairs small cracks in windshields or knocks out dents.

In order for cross marketing to work the other company needs to have a list that is of value.

I have purchased my E-mail software, Now How Do I get Leads?

This is one of the least talked about aspects of e-mail marketing. At least it seems to be from what I see out there. Everyone loves to tell you what you should be doing but when it comes time to doing it they are silent on how it is actually done.

Every industry out there is going to be different. Ecommerce sites have it far easier as they are based online. Their customers are already online using the website.

With Ecommerce you can use your e-mail list software along with a WordPress plugin such as Bloom from Elegant Themes to capture e-mails via a pop up. Here you can offer a special discount

Having a lead magnet can really help. If I was a roofing company I might put together a quick 3 page report on the top 10 mistakes home owners make when replacing their roof. Things like this can be great lead magnets because it builds curiosity, fear of loss and is highly relevant to your website visitor.

Offline is a bit harder but can be done when you present a value proposition of some kind.

Back to the Oil change company.

—–Value Based on customer Needs——

Oil Company Would you like to be reminded when you need an oil change next?

Customer: Yes

Great: What is the best e-mail to use. Don’t worry we won’t spam.

——Assuming the Sale——-

Oil Company: We are reducing the amount of paper waste we send out. Would you like to be notified by e-mail over us mailing you a post card.

—-Monetary Proposition

Oil company: I see this is your first time in with us for an oil change. Would you like to save $5 today by signing up to be notified via e-mail about your next oil change date and company specials

Getting Testimonials and Reviews

E-mails can be a fantastic way of getting client testimonials and reviews online. Getting into that top section of Google Maps, yelp, or having people checkin on Facebook are all strong values and selling points for your business.

Capturing e-mails and asking for a quick review on a few different platforms can go a long way in attracting new customers.

Developing A content Strategy

Nothing is worse than getting a user to sign-up for your e-mail list then you not doing anything with that e-mail.

Last week we talked about Developing a content strategy for your business. It was a great segment on how you need to have a plan of action in place. View this lesson at

The same is true of your e-mail list. You have a series of e-mail already in place. This is known as auto responders. With this series of e-mails you can schedule when e-mails go out by certain actions such as date of last e-mail sent or date for when the user signed up.

It’s important that you are always 100% of the time attempting to offer value in your e-mails. Just sending an e-mail to have an e-mail sent is worthless and wastes your readers time.

Let’s take a look at how an Oil Company Might be able to set this up as an example of adding value.

Oil company: Pre-schedule 4 e-mails for the next 12 months that are reminders to the person to get their oil changed.

Create 12 e-mails that go out once a month to help stay relevant to the end user. This could be curated content from around the web such as the top 5 safety vehicles for 2017.

Maybe a curiosity piece: What maintenance does an Electric Car need? , Maybe what your Oil Company thinks of Electric Cars?

How to’s: How to quickly repair a car dent, how to remove annoying car scratches, what emergencies supplies do you need in your car… making your headlights brighter, You get the point. I’m adding value to my newsletter.

For an oil company you don’t really have to do that many touches to stay relevant. If you were doing fashion you might have to do weekly or even daily blasts but luckily service based industries don’t have to go to such extremes.

Key Point: You can use your current content marketing strategy to leverage what content already goes inside your e-mail.

If this article was helpful then consider joining us next time for our live Hangout.  Simply signup to our newsletter to get the invite or connect with us at .


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