Small business owners know that email marketing is one of the most effective ways to drive sales. But, it can be difficult to come up with new and interesting ideas that will resonate with your target audience.
Every day, people are bombarded with emails from businesses trying to sell them something. In 2022, the average person is expected to receive over 100 emails per day.
To stand out against the competition and ensure that your emails are the ones seen, you need to get creative. Whether it’s a flash sale, a new product launch, or simply promoting your brand, your emails must be engaging and, most importantly, convert into sales.
We’ve compiled a list of 5 creative email marketing ideas that will skyrocket your small business:
The benefits of email marketing for small businesses
We cannot stress enough how important email marketing is for small businesses. In fact, 41.5% of brands say that email marketing is critical to the success of their brand. While social media and SEO are also important to scaling your business, they should not be your only focus. Email also needs to be a priority as it allows you to build relationships with customers.
Due to the rise of inflation in 2022, businesses need to be covering all grounds when it comes to marketing and scaling their revenue. This is especially important in the face of rising living expenses. In Canada, for instance, the average monthly cost of living now exceeds $4,000 a month, while in the United States, it’s even higher at $5,000.
With the average person’s salary not increasing at the same rate as the cost of living, people are forced to cut back on their spending. This means that businesses need to be more creative and resourceful when marketing their products or services.
Some of the benefits of email marketing include:
If you’re on a tight budget, email marketing is the way to go. It’s one of the most affordable marketing channels and has a high ROI. In fact, for every $1 spent on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $36.
Email allows you to send personalized messages to your target audience with segmentation. Personalization helps build relationships with customers and turn them into lifelong fans.
You can analyze its effectiveness
Unlike other marketing channels, email marketing allows you to track certain metrics and analyze your campaigns’ success. This data is essential in understanding what’s working and what’s not. With this information, you can make the necessary changes to improve your campaigns.
It allows flexibility
Email marketing is extremely versatile and can be used for various purposes. You can use it to promote new products, share blog posts, drive traffic to your website, or even announce company news.
5 creative email marketing ideas
Now that we’ve gone over some of the benefits of email marketing, let’s look at 5 creative email marketing ideas here:
1. Get personal with your subject lines
Your email’s subject line is the first thing customers will see when they receive your message. You want to make sure that it’s eye-catching and interesting enough to get them to open and read your email. One way to do this is by getting personal with your subject lines. This means using the recipient’s name, location, or even interests to grab their attention.
For example, let’s say you own a bakery, and you’re sending an email promoting a new flavor of cupcakes. Instead of using a generic subject line like “New Cupcake Flavor!”, you could use something more personal and eye-catching like “John, Try Our New Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake!”.
Some other examples include:
- “Thomas, We Missed You at the last Brewfest. Come Try Our New Seasonal Beer!”
- “Jill, Your Moving Way Too Fast. Try This To Slow Down!”
- “Hey Rachel, Here’s That Discount You Wanted!”
I want to touch base on that last subject line in particular because as a customer, it feels like it was made just for me.
When browsing through your never-ending emails, trying to figure out which businesses you’d want to purchase from, you’re typically waiting for something to grab your attention, like a bargain or sale to be announced. It’s simple and straight to the point in its targeting – which is key when looking to get sales.
2. Use catchy visuals
Another way to make your emails more interesting and engaging is by using visuals. As the team at GetWeave points out, emailing enables you to include infographics, videos, images, and written information in your messages, which allows for direct advertising and communication.
Including visuals in your email can help break up the text and make it more visually appealing for recipients. It can also help explain complex concepts more clearly or add a touch of personality to your message.
Imagine if you’re sending an email about a new product launch, you could include an image or video of the product in action. Or, if you’re announcing a flash sale, you could use an animated GIF to grab recipients’ attention.
A great example of a successful brand that utilizes visuals within their email marketing is Nonna Live:
The Brand: On a weekly basis, Nonna Nerina gladly welcomes guests into her personal kitchen for Nona Live. Based in a small Italian village, Nonna Live is where viewers can watch and learn authentic Italian recipes that have been passed down for generations. Viewers tune in from all over the world to get first-hand experience learning from an expert who has spent decades perfecting her craft.
Subject Line: IT’S ALMOST OVER! Get your 20% off coupon! ⏳
Email Type: Welcome Email
Why it works: Nonna Live’s email is jam-packed with visual social proof in the form of consumer testimonials, leveraging the power and trust of happy clients to attract new ones.
Not only that, but their welcome emails also include other stunning visuals from completed meals so that customers can visualize the food that they’ll be preparing, all the way to the color scheme so customers can really catch the vibe of Italy!
3. Create a sense of urgency
One way to encourage recipients to take action is by creating a sense of urgency. Make them feel they need to act now, or they’ll miss out on a great opportunity.
The irresistible “fear of missing out” is a powerful psychological trigger that you can use in your email subject lines to encourage people to take action.
There are a few different ways that you can create a sense of urgency in your emails. This could be through the use of time-sensitive phrases like “last chance”, “ends tonight”, “flash sale”, etc:
- Uber: “Sarah, your free ride is expiring!”
- Digital Marketer: “[Urgent] David don’t miss out, the course is 50% off only for the next 30mins!”
- American Airlines: “Your SkyMiles are about to expire, use them NOW!”
- Playstation: “CONGRATS JEREMY! You’ve moved up on the waitlist, get your PS5 before it’s sold out!”
You could also include countdown timers on your lead magnets to further emphasize the importance of taking action now.
4. Customer Referral Program
Creating a customer referral program is a great way to increase brand awareness and grow your customer base. You can do this by offering incentives for customers who refer new leads to your business.
For example, you could offer your customers a percentage off their next purchase if they successfully refer someone. The value of the discount would depend on how many people they refer. You could include different tiers of discounts to provide further incentives to your customers and leads.
Republic Wireless, which is a mobile phone service provider does a great job of this:
They understood that referrals would be more cost-effective since they didn’t have the same kind of budget as their competition, Verizon, and they wanted to encourage clients to tell others about their company. This example above comes from their order confirmation page.
Referral programs allow customers to speak on your behalf, which is a lot more effective when it comes to building trust and credibility. If someone you trust tells you about a great product or service, you’re more likely to try it out for yourself.
5. Segment your list
Another way to ensure that your email marketing campaigns are more successful is by segmenting your list. This means dividing your recipients into groups based on factors like their location, age, gender, interests, or even past purchase history.
By segmenting your list, you can send more targeted and relevant messages to each group, which helps to increase open rates, click-through rates, and, ultimately, conversions.
You can also segment your list based on your customer’s engagement with your website. For example, you can send abandoned cart emails for those who have left items in their shopping cart or win-back emails for customers who haven’t interacted with your site in a while.
In today’s competitive landscape, it’s important that your business is covering all ground. Not only that, but your marketing strategies need to be on point if you want to stay ahead of the curve. Small businesses that run creative email marketing campaigns will be better equipped to reach their target audiences and achieve their desired results.
Remember to put yourself in the customer’s shoes – what would make *you* want to open and read an email from a company? Chances are, it’s not going to be a generic message. Keep that in mind when crafting your next marketing campaign.
If you incorporate these 5 creative email marketing ideas, you’ll be well on your way to creating email marketing campaigns that will help your small business not only grow but thrive.