How to Grow Email Lists, Write Engaging Emails, and Drive Sales and Subscription for Your Rural Business
Small rural businesses like restaurants, campgrounds, and shops can build their customer base by adopting a simple, low maintenance email marketing strategy. Because email marketing is inexpensive and individually targeted, it is the perfect marketing solution for rural businesses with limited advertising budgets and limited potential customer pools.
Email marketing is proven to build brand awareness in potential customers, remind previous customers that your company still exists, and, ultimately, to generate website traffic and drive sales. Emails can pay off handsomely; according to a study done by Experian, every $1 invested in email marketing generates approximately $45 in sales .
Here is our super easy, four-step email marketing strategy for rural businesses catering primarily or exclusively to local customers. If you are running an online retail business based in a rural area, but shipping products all over, your digital marketing strategy will likely be more complex.
1. Grow your email list by reaching out to customers that have already shown interest in your business.
There are always some people who, unfortunately, will never visit your business and will never buy your product. In fact, as a general rule, half of all emails on any given list are completely unresponsive. So that you don’t waste your time trying to sell your product to people you will never convince to buy it, build an email list of individuals who have already shown interest in your business.
Ask for an email address during checkout. Whether the checkout is online or brick and mortar, collecting customer emails as a step in the checkout process grows a fat email list of previous Ask for an email address always customers. Previous customers are less likely to see promotional emails as a nuisance and, instead, see them as a friendly check-in from a business they are loyal to.
Offer a “carrot.” Offering online or on-site visitors a promotional code for joining your email list will grow your list and encourage new subscribers to make an initial purchase from your business. If the customer is satisfied, they may also become a repeat customer. Also, an individual swayed to make a purchase with a promotional code is more likely to click through promotional emails offering discounts in the future.
2. Write killer content that emphasizes what’s new with your business instead of selling a static product.
Ideally, your recipients should look forward to your email blasts because your emails offer unique content, event updates, or tempting promotions. Never copy and paste content from the web, your emails should always contribute something new.
Intrigue with the subject line. Recipients are more likely to open emails with short or personalized subject lines than with long-winded or generic ones. A good subject is absolutely key to email marketing success. According to Convinceandconvert.com, for example, a third of all promotional emails are opened based on subject line alone .
Address the email to one person, not one hundred. Give your emails a personal touch by using the singular “you” instead of referring to recipients in the plural. Also, keep email lists private from other subscribers by hiding recipients’ email addresses. This is just common courtesy.
Show, don’t tell, by using multimedia content. Humans are visual creatures. Social media plugins, for example, increase the likelihood that the recipient will click through an email. Relevant visual content, also, will communicate your message faster and more effectively than text alone.
3. Make a schedule for your email blasts and stick to it.
The frequency of emails will vary based on the dynamism of your industry, but, as a general rule, once a week should be enough to get your message across and let potential customers know your business still exists, without overwhelming your recipients. Remember, if you don’t have anything new to say, never send an email just for the sake of it.
Next, we will look at email marketing using some of the top five leading email marketing applications like Constant Contact, Chimpmail and Mailerlite in terms of setting up an account, monthly cost, customer care, technical support, user dashboard, setting up a dynamic or static template for executing email blast and the spamming rules.