We have all been used to negative forecasts for SMEs but they haven’t been as dire for some time. Every economist, political reporter, marketing researcher and their dogs are suggesting that whatever business we are in, we are going to struggle over the coming months, email marketing included. History, though, tells us otherwise.
In any, let’s not use the R word and instead say contraction, some businesses close or otherwise go out of business. Some are bought out, in our case to obtain our databases. If you look at previous contractions, one truth is clear; well-founded and well-run businesses continue.
What some companies opt for is cutting back, limiting their business by concentrating on their core customers and their needs. Many survive and if survival is what you aspire to, then by all means go for it. However, we have certain strengths which are not affected dramatically by down-turns in the economy. We have information on the subscribers to our email marketing lists. Now is the time to work out where we are not utilising it to the full.
Segment your email marketing lists in new ways. As the country changes, so do your subscribers. Create new profiles to classify them. As their buying habits alter, check that the details you have them in now is correct. More testing, I know, but testing gives us results and advantages.
You might pride yourself on certain aspects of the way you present your marketing emails. For instance, you might strive for designs that are different; ones that catch the eye at once. Is this aspect of your business model paying its way, or is it merely self-indulgence? I don’t want to depress you, but the free email marketing templates that you turn your back on will probably give identical returns, if not better, when costs are included. You need to discover if any difference is worth your investment in time and effort. ROI is the only thing that matters.
This leads us onto probably the most important aspect of your business: regular reviews. It’s a pain I know, but every process and procedure you have needs to be assessed to see if it is giving the returns you expected. Not only that, but you have to ensure that they can justify their existence as well. The clues as to whether or not they are there, on your returns.
Have the number of new subscribers suddenly dropped, even slightly? Find out why. It is easy enough to blame the current economic situation, but there are still customers out there. Why aren’t they coming to you at the same rate? What are you doing wrong? Your email marketing list is everything to you. Don’t just let your numbers fall because everyone else is struggling.
The easy way out is to contract but, for email marketing, the savings are small compared to others forms of marketing. What this means is that keeping going is not as costly for you. Businesses that which keep going at their old level will expand and become more profitable once things settle.