There are a variety of marketing tools available to those who search for them, but many small business owners have found that Constant Contact, an all-in-one marketing solution, to help them navigate the opportunities rooted in web-based marketing.
With a desire to “empower small businesses and nonprofits to grow customer relationships and succeed,” the company has a variety of tools and resources that can help business owners engage or improve engagement with current and potential customers.
Here are some pro tips to help you leverage Constant Contact for your small business marketing needs.
1. Leverage the List Growth Tools
A great place to start is with the Constant Contact List Growth Tools. As you may have assumed, these tools are meant to assist in contact acquisition, something that is quite helpful as you try to grow your ecommerce business.
Included in the List Growth tools, you will find common list growth methods, such as sign-up forms that can be placed on your website, Facebook business page or your WordPress blog, but you’ll also find more unique tools.
Bricks-and-mortar companies will find the QR Code and Text-to-Signup capabilities extremely useful in store or for events and can be includes on brochures, table tents, etc. Additionally, Constant Contact’s App Market Place has hundreds of apps and integrations (Quickbooks, MindBody, Shopify and iCapture, just to name a few) that can help you find new contacts or grow your list using contacts you already have.
2. Incorporate Polls Into Your Emails
I don’t mind taking merchant surveys, particularly when I’m enticed by some reward at the end, but I, like many others, don’t always have the time. Depending on length, it can be a bit of a time commitment, and if I’m on mobile, it can derail my browsing.
While Constant Contact does offer survey services, they also offer “Polls”. Placed directly inside the email, Constant Contact’s Poll feature provides a way to engage customers and capture information without asking too much of them. Poll questions, which should be short, let you get to know your customers by providing insight into their preferences.
Once collected and analyzed, responses can be used to dictate what type of content goes into emails, how to segment emails, or in the case of bricks-and-mortar locations, what time to offers specific events.
To make the most of your polls, Constant Contact recommends sending them out on a quarterly basis to avoid overwhelming your customers and to gain access to important customer as you plan out the next three months.
3. Use Tags to Segment Emails
Your customers and their needs vary based on a variety of circumstances, including location, demographic and their engagement level with your company (loyal customers, new customers, etc). While creating individual email lists can provide a high level of segmentation, tags take that segmentation to a more granular level.
Utilizing tags makes it easier to engage customers with relevant and appealing content or offers that meet their specific need. For example, by setting up tags based on location, you can send location-based offers or alerts about everything from grand openings to weather-related solutions (i.e., coats, heating products, winterized home solutions, etc. when temperatures drop).
4. Manage Your Bounces
As you grow your email list, it’s likely you’ll also notice an increase in the amount of emails that bounce. There are variety of reasons that an email may bounce: sometimes the email addressed entered doesn’t exist as it was keyed in, it may have been identified as undeliverable, the account can be suspended, the recipient may have blocked your address, or the recipient may even have an out-of-office reply running (no reason to worry about that one).
How does this impact customer engagement? Innocuous as they may seem, bounces add up; they can muddy the waters and create overall deliverability issues that stem from your perceived reputation (the more “bad” emails you send, the lower your credibility can get). Dirty lists can also lead to low open rates and spam complaints. Even worse, you could be paying to send emails that will never be received.
To keep a clean list and maximize the chances of recipient interaction, leverage Constant Contacts bounce tools, which can help you rescue or remove contacts who don’t get/want your emails, monitor contacts by their sign-up date (old contact info may no longer be relevant) and ask contacts to update their profiles. By making it a point to manage and maintain your bounces, you can increase opens and engagement.
5. Use the Social Share Functionality
To properly engage your audience, it’s important to leverage all relevant channels, and this means extending past an email campaign and delving into social media. Social Share, Constant Contact’s social media engagement tool, streamlines the process, making it easier to share your email, event or coupons on popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Worried about what and when to post? Luckily, this tool will automatically post on your preferred social network and pick the time of day when your followers are most active. You can also customize your own message, image, and posting schedule, should you wish to experiment a bit more.
As an added bonus Social Share also tracks social engagement, (likes, comments, shares, views and clicks), which will empower you to make informed decisions about what type of social interaction is working and what’s not.
Today, a successful marketing plan requires you to engage with existing and potential customers is a variety of ways, and making some small yet mighty tweaks can help you build relationships. For small business owners, building and maintaining campaigns can be difficult, but acquiring new customers and gathering relevant information about them can be time consuming.
These five tips can help you manage your campaigns more efficiently and create long and loyal relationships with your customer or client base, growing your business bit by bit.
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