Small Business – Email Marketing FAQ

Getting started in email marketing can be a daunting task. There are lots of considerations and you probably have lots of questions. Here are the answers to the 10 most common questions about small business email marketing.

1. I’m a small, local business…I don’t sell anything on the web…how will email help me?

Email is a great tool for building relationships and staying in touch with your customers, even if you don’t sell anything online. For many of your customers email is the most reliable way to reach them. You can use email to send tips and information, coupons and special promotions that drive immediate sales.

2. Do I need a big list to benefit from email marketing?

No. While having a big list can be beneficial because you’re reaching more customers and prospects, it is not essential. What you want is a responsive list. One in which the recipients are excited to receive your emails and respond to your offers.

3. Should I buy or rent a list of emails?

No! Don’t be lured by the offers of 10,000 email addresses for $100 that you see on the web. Sending email to people who haven’t opted-in to your email list makes you a spammer. And it will get you blacklisted by the major email providers. In short, it can permanently kill your ability to use email marketing.

4. What’s the difference between single opt-in and double opt-in?

“Single opt-in” refers to email addresses you have collected on your list from people who asked to be added, but for who you have not electronically confirmed their email address. “Double opt-in” (sometimes called “confirmed opt-in”) is a process that sends a confirmation email to each new address added to your list asking the recipient to click a link in the email to confirm that they requested information from you.

5. What are the costs involved in email marketing?

An email marketing system can be started for less than $20 per month. Costs increase as the size of your list and the number of messages sent grows, but email is still one of the lowest cost marketing methods available.

6. Do I need special technical skills to begin using email to market my business?

No. If you can write an email or use a word processor, you can create an email marketing campaign.

7. How do I avoid being a spammer?

First, only send email to people who have asked for information from you. Second, make sure the messages you send are relevant to the recipients.

8. Do I need to signup for an email marketing service or can I just send my emails from Outlook?

You absolutely want to invest in a professional email marketing service. They will help you comply with the requirements of the CAN-SPAM law; they will improve your the deliverability of your messages; and they’ll give you tools to track the success of your campaigns.

9. How do I build an email list?

If you have a website, you can put a signup form on your website. If most of your business is done offline, simply ask for each customer’s email address as they checkout.

10. What should I look for when choosing an email service provider?

Choosing the right service provider is critical. Look for a provider that has high deliverability ratings, is well respected and can provide strong references. Major providers include AWeber.com, Constant Contact and Infusionsoft.com.