Email marketing needs to be all about automation in 2019. Why? Because small business owners need it as part of their marketing mix and they need to handle it in a way that saves them time.

Research drives this point home as a 2019 Infusionsoft Small Business Marketing Trends Report found more small business owners reported their biggest challenge they face when it comes to marketing is a lack of time and resources compared to last year. Additionally, the U.S. Small Business Administration notes an incredible two-thirds of small business owners and entrepreneurs are personally responsible for three or more areas of their business, including marketing.

Technology Trends

While it would seem that advancements in technology and tools would be time savers for businesses, in many respects it has made marketing more complex and more rapidly changing than ever before. The sheer vastness of marketing options now available along with trying to stay on top of trends is further drawing on owners’ time.

It’s one of the few remaining and highly effective tools that small business owners can still own today and not have to rely on a third party like Facebook or Pinterest in order to have their content shown. Survey findings still indicate that email marketing receives great returns for companies, averaging about $35 for every $1 spent, and most businesses big and small include it in their marketing mix. That’s why companies need to now focus on automating the process for their organizations.

Grow Your Email Lists

To begin though, you need to have a decent size email list for starters. For some businesses that will require growing your list. At every turn in your marketing strategy you want to be looking for ways to capture email addresses. One of easiest solutions is from your website where you can connect with prospective clients and current customers.

This calls for creating a branded pop-up or email sign-up form in addition to your contact us page. You want the pop-up to appear to capture your visitors’ attention. You may want to consider giving visitors something in return for signing up such as offering such a free demo, consultation or solution guide. You’ll also need to find a service provider that offers form creation or if you’re looking for a more complete campaign approach, Modern Marketing Partners offers a total email solution. Next,

  • If possible, time the pop-up either grabbing visitors’ attention immediately or after a few seconds.
  • If you need to be EU compliant remember to include GDPR fields.
  • To prevent spambots from completing your form and adding unwanted email addresses to your list add a reCAPTCHA check box.
  • Most companies go with a single opt-in method, but consider if you want to use a double opt-in. It adds an additional step where the visitor is sent an email and must confirm his or her sign-up.

Flow Your Email Lists

Once you have list going (and continue to make growing it a priority) this is where automation comes in handy. Actually it frees up your hands and your time so you can focus on other priorities. Automation can possibly happen through your CRM system or you want to be sure to choose an email service provider that has autorepsonder capabilities.

With automation you can move your prospects through the buying journey and help your customers become repeat customers. This requires segmenting your list and developing messages specific to each segmentation’s goals. Creating and communicating the right message to match where each prospect/customer is in the sales-making decision process is key. Marketers agree that segmentation should be handled according to your business processes. In general, you want to have: 1) a welcome or introduction series; 2) thank you or first-time customers series; and 3) reengagement customer series. And if you’re an ecommerce site also develop an automated abandoned cart series.

Email marketing can be a powerful marketing tool for small business owners, it just needs to be on autopilot in 2019. After spending the initial resources to set your email program in motion, you will see the results from focusing on this specific channel. Plus, you’ll enjoy an extra two or three hours every week to devote to your other business priorities.