You know it’s important to communicate with your email audience regularly. You’re all set up with an email service provider (ESP) like ActiveCampaign. You’ve designed a gorgeous template. You’ve built a decent email list. Now, it’s time for the fun part—what do you actually send them? And how do you come up with effective email marketing ideas? As a small business, you probably don’t have someone whose sole job is to develop creative email marketing campaigns, so we’ve put some ideas together to give you some inspiration.
But first, go back to your strategy
Before diving into the email marketing ideas below, remember that campaign success hinges on your strategy. Ask yourself three fundamental questions:
- Who are you addressing?
- Why are you sending them an email?
- What actions do you want them to take?
You might find that simply answering these three questions generates email marketing campaign inspiration. When you’re wondering how to come up with email marketing ideas, you should start with strategy because it creates a structure for you to fill in. Put another way, your strategy takes away that dreaded moment of staring at a blinking cursor on a blank screen.
15 email marketing ideas for small businesses
Whether you’re an email marketing novice or a seasoned pro, these ideas will hopefully get you thinking about giving your email campaigns the spark they need to grab your audience’s attention.
Idea 1: Create a monthly newsletter
In email marketing, consistency is critical. Craft a monthly newsletter filled with the latest news, promotions, key dates, and industry insights. Become a trusted source of information for your audience.
Idea 2: Specific prompts
Engage your subscribers in a dialogue. Ask for their opinions, feedback, or testimonials about specific products. It’s a win-win—you gain insights, and they feel heard.
Idea 3: Run a referral program
Encourage your audience to refer friends and family through email marketing. Remember, a referral from a trusted source is one of your most powerful sales tools.
Idea 4: Product education
Invite your customers into your world. Showcase the ways your products or services can improve their daily lives. Paint a vivid picture of the benefits they’ll reap.
Idea 5: Humanize your brand
Lift the curtain on your operations. Share behind-the-scenes glimpses during product development, company milestones, or feature updates. You can also share your business’s history, community involvement, and employee stories. Make your subscribers feel like insiders and build trust through personal connections.
Idea 6: Reward program milestones
Celebrate your customers’ loyalty. Remind them of the rewards they’ve earned through your loyalty or referral programs. This strengthens your bond and encourages more referrals.
Idea 7: Webinar series
Share your knowledge through a series of informative webinars, and use email to promote them. Webinars not only educate but also foster a sense of community.
Idea 8: Leverage the power of social proof
Highlight customer reviews, stories, or contributions to specific causes or projects.
Idea 9: PR highlights
Showcase your accomplishments. Share past media mentions and upcoming collaborations to expand your reach and credibility.
Idea 10: Reward your email list with subscriber-only content
Make your subscribers feel special by offering promotions or information they can’t find elsewhere.
Idea 11: Share blog posts
Make your blog posts work hard for you by sharing them with your email subscribers. Instead of copy/pasting the entire blog, we recommend including teasers that will make them want to click through and read the full post.
Idea 12: Profile your customers
Showcase your satisfied customers. Tell their story, and share their testimonials and reviews to build trust with potential clients.
Idea 13: Send birthday and milestone emails
Personalize your emails by celebrating your customers’ birthdays and milestones. It’s a simple gesture that goes a long way in building customer loyalty.
Idea 14: Celebrate your business’ birthday and milestones
Turn the spotlight on your business’s celebrations, such as anniversary dates, awards, and other milestones. Share your journey, offer exclusive promotions, and engage your customers in the celebration.
Idea 15: Start your seasonal email marketing campaigns early
Get ahead of the holiday or seasonal rush by planning and promoting your reminders and offers in advance.
You may also be interested in: 5 ideas for successful email marketing content
Take these marketing email ideas and run with them!
Email marketing is a versatile and effective tool for small businesses (read more about email marketing benefits here). With the right strategy and creative email marketing ideas, your small business can thrive in the digital landscape. We hope this list has given you the inspiration you need to get started. If you need help creating and executing your email marketing strategy, our team would love to hear from you.
Have you read our comprehensive guide on The Power of Email Marketing for Small Businesses?