If your local small business isn't taking advantage of local email marketing as a marketing channel to grow your business now is the time to get started.
Email marketing still remains one of the most effective marketing channels for most businesses.
Some of the marketing needs for local businesses are slightly different than businesses targeting a larger geographic area. So, in this article, we're going to focus on how you can optimize your email marketing for a local audience...
How to Optimize Your Local Email Marketing
The benefits of local email marketing for your local business are plentiful. When optimized properly, this marketing channel can be a significant source of new business and have a very high ROI.
Here are our tips for optimizing your email marketing for a local audience...
1. Eye-Catching Subject Lines Are a MUST
Subject lines play a huge role in click-through rates. Did you know that 47% of email recipients open email based on the subject line alone?
Have you ever opened an email because of an intriguing subject line? I bet you have.
Here are a few tips to make your subject lines more engaging:
- Personalize the subject line with the person's name or location.
- Ask a question.
- Use ellipses (the three dots you see at the end of a sentence...)
- Speak to the benefits the person will receive by opening the email.
- Pique curiosity.
- Make an offer.
- Create urgency or scarcity.
To get some great ideas for top performing subject lines check out these articles:
2. You MUST Know When to Email Your Audience
Obviously, timing is an important consideration in your local email marketing campaigns. Local customers are much more active on certain days and even within small time frames.
You don't want your emails to go unnoticed especially if you've put so much effort into crafting them.
Here's a study from CoSchedule to help you narrow in on when to email your audience:
The study revealed that customers are more likely to open an email when they're not busy. Although these stats are compelling, they are not set in stone. You'll have to perform your own testing to figure out when to email your audience to get higher open rates.
You should test the best times and days against your own list even if it means sending many variations at each peak time just to understand what your list responds to best.
By the way, I'm assuming you already have an email list. If you don't or want to continue to grow your email list, you might find this article on building your email list helpful.
3. Your Email Content MUST Resonate With Local Customers
Another way of getting marked as spam is to email your customers irrelevant content or messages. If you send emails that highly resonate with your audience then you are sure to get higher open rates.
You might want to consider segmenting your email list by location or preferences. Email list segmentation is really important because it allows you to send extremely relevant content to your list, which will increase open rates and engagement. Here are a few examples:
- In Colorado, we get a lot of hail storms. A roofer might want to segment their email list by city so when a specific city is hit by a hail storm they can email that specific segment of their list offering a free inspection.
- A local insurance broker might want to segment their list by the types of insurance a particular client has purchased (home, auto, life, etc.). This will allow them to send messages specific to all their life insurance clients and/or try to upsell clients that have not purchased specific types of insurance from them.
Makes sense, right? The more relevant you can make your email messages to every person on your list, the better your results will be.
4. Split Testing is a MUST
Split testing is always a great idea in any digital marketing channel. Whether you're working on Facebook local advertising or a local PPC campaign, split testing will give you a bird's eye view on what is effective and what is not.
Email split testing can increase your conversion rates, but you’ll want to test just one aspect at a time to ensure you’re collecting accurate results.
Try following these simple steps:
- Step 1: Split the group you are going to email into two sub-groups.
- Step 2: Email each sub-group the same message with one difference. Your one difference might be the time an email is sent, the day an email is sent, a subject line, or a call to action in the email content.
- Step 3: Based on the one difference, identify what metrics (open rate, click through rate, etc.) you need to analyze.
- Step 4: Analyze the metrics for each sub-group to determine the winner.
- Step 5: Apply the results in your future email campaigns and keep testing.
5. ALWAYS Optimize for Mobile Users
Did you know that 59% of email opens occur on mobile?
If your email messages are not optimized for mobile, then your email marketing results are suffering and that's a fact.
Optimizing your local email marketing for mobile users is a smart and profitable business move. Many of your subscribers will open your email on a mobile device no matter where your local area is.
Here are ways to optimize your email for mobile users:
- Use mobile-ready templates
- Shorten your subject line to 30 characters
- Write a compelling preheader text
- Optimize the ‘From’ Name
- Balance image size & text in your email
- Always apply big buttons in your email body
- Use larger font sizes (16 point font or higher) to ensure easy readability on smaller screen sizes
- Always link to mobile-ready landing pages.
6. ALWAYS Create Customized Landing Pages
If your small business has various locations or if you’re creating hyperlocal deals for your customers, don’t send every customer to the same URL. Instead, consider creating customized landing pages for various customer segments or for customers in different locations.
By redirecting people to landing pages designed specifically for their needs, you’ll guarantee they get what they need with a single click of a button.
It's also a great way to point them to awesome content that you’ve created just for them, leaving them with a sparkling first and lasting impression of your brand.
7. Your Email and Social Media Efforts MUST be In Sync
Social media can help your local email marketing campaigns and vice versa.
How? Let's take a look...
- Build your email list by getting social media followers to subscribe. There are a host of ways to do this, but here are a few:
- Ask followers to opt-in with a post.
- Run a social media contest.
- If you are using lead magnets (ebooks, checklists, etc.) on your website, promote them through your social media channels.
- Use your email list to build your social media following by:
- Including social sharing icons in your email messages.
- Including a call to action to follow you on social media in your emails.
- Provide a prompt when people sign up for your email list to follow you on social media after the email opt-in process.
8. Manage & Maintain Your Email List Consistently
Your email marketing is not a set it and forget it type of deal.
It's important to consistently review your email list for accuracy and identify updates or changes you should make.
- Are your segments working well?
- Do you need to add additional segments?
- Do you have email addresses that are bouncing and need to be purged?
- Do you need to update subscriber data?
Keeping your email list clean, current, and updated will only improve the results you see from your local email marketing campaigns. Take the time to review your list at least every 3-6 months.
I hope you found these local email marketing tips helpful.
It may be as easy as clicking the SEND button, but the success of your local email marketing depends on how much effort you put into it.
If you're looking for other email marketing resources you might find these articles to be a huge help too:
- Email Marketing Best Practices to Help You Crush It
- How to Absolutely Nail Email Marketing for Your Small Business
So what do you think about these tips? Do you think they can help you achieve your local email marketing goals?
Don't be shy to leave a comment below, we'd love to hear from you.
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Are you looking for more solid local marketing tips and tricks? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Local Marketing.
Header image courtesy of Stockunlimited.