You've read the stats: email marketing is an undeniably powerful marketing strategy. In fact, on average, email generates $38 for every dollar spent, which is a 3,800% return on investment.

And did I mention that there are almost four billion email users worldwide?

Crazy, right?

Email marketing works for companies with customers all over the globe, like BuzzFeed and Uber, two huge companies that have invested in an impressive email strategy.

Click here to download our free beginner's guide to email marketing.

But what do you do when you're working for a local company? One that runs on a much smaller scale? Customers are right in your area, and to make sales, you have to focus on locality.

Enter your solution: local email marketing.

Local Email Marketing

How is local email marketing different from email marketing? All in all, there's not that much of a difference. This approach takes all of the elements of email marketing and puts a local business spin on it.

To illustrate how email marketing can work on a local scale, let's look at an example.

Let's say you run a coffee shop and want visitors to sign-up for your email list. A way you can do that is by making the release of your new drink or roast exclusive to those who sign up for your email newsletter.

That way, you'll have an interested audience, an incentive for them, and more sign-ups for you. And it's not a bad idea for a new tradition, either.

Getting more people to opt-in to newsletters will probably take a little more than just asking — you might have to offer an incentive. However, the incentive can be something you can easily fit into your model, such as a new drink or roast for a local coffee shop.

You might think you're limited if you work for a smaller business with a limited budget, but the advantage of that is that you can do things, particularly in your community, that large businesses can't in their strategy. Your ability to pay extreme attention to detail and create local connections will help you create a strong brand image in your area.

Next, let's talk about some ideas for local email marketing that you can try implementing today.

Local email marketing ideas

1. Host an event and tie it to email.

Events incentivize new prospects to visit your brick-and-mortar shop, and give existing customers an excuse to visit. Hosting an event and using it as a way to gain more email subscribers earns you great exposure you might not have had before.

Plus, it helps you get more eyes on your emails.

To illustrate, let's say a local marketing company has a goal of boosting email sign-ups, and is hosting a networking event in a month. A great way to spark interest in the event and the company's newsletter is to offer a special perk for the event as an incentive for signing up for emails — like a small percentage cut from the admission fee, or a raffle ticket.

By offering a unique incentive, existing customers will be interested in one of their favorite companies giving a little perk, while new prospects will appreciate the free aspect.

2. Make your subject line a local one.

In the fight for maintaining relevance in a flooded email marketing inbox, you have to stand out from the subject line and beyond.

While bigger companies' campaigns have to be general with mass email copy, a local company's marketing team has the edge of inserting local language to communicate with customers on a deeper level. They have the advantage of sounding more relatable.

Starting with a local subject line will entice email recipients who live in close proximity because it's more appealing. For example, if I were to receive an email from my favorite coffee chain that read, "Hey Boston: Coffee and a show?" instead of "Sign Up for Global Happy Hour on Friday", I'd open the first option, but delete the other from my inbox.

3. Make it easy to subscribe.

Make sure the steps leads need to take in order to subscribe are easily comprehensible. If people have to search for a way to opt-in to your emails, they may give up and not subscribe at all.

In order to engage people and make them more interested in signing up for your newsletter, they should be able to do it in a way that's easy to comprehend. Additionally, emails should only have a couple of key elements — shareability, a call-to-action, and a simple form — to be effective.

The option to subscribe should be clearly labeled on a webpage and the form should have more fields than just name and email address. You can find a more in-depth tutorial about email design in this post.

4. Include a promotion in your email.

Local promotion is an advantage of people who own local businesses. Similar to hosting events, promotions are another way to grow your email list by offering something in return.

Special discounts, a complimentary perk with sign-up, or exclusive coupons are all ways you can include promotion in your email. Promotions are a great idea because they can be a low-cost option for showing existing customers and leads that you care about their business.

Think about it — if your favorite local grocery store was offering a 10% discount on your bill by signing up for email newsletters with more coupons, would you sign up? I sure would.

5. Segment your audience.

To further personalize emails and heighten the customer experience, you can separate email lists into smaller subgroups defined by certain characteristics, such as age or hobbies.

What this process does is help you make more informed decisions about which customers receive certain emails.

The information you gather about your audience will help you create special content tailored to the interests of your customers. For instance, if a hobby that's consistent with some of your audience is wellness, you should consider hosting a wellness event where attendees are required to sign up for wellness-themed emails.

Generally, segments are comprised of demographic information that can be collected as part of the sign-up process. To get more information about audience segmentation, check out our post about it.

6. Check your data.

Automated email software is imperative to use to check the performance of your emails. You want to see all the hard work you put into emails pay-off, right? That's what this software can help you do.

Email software tracks metrics that can help you improve your emails and see higher ROI on your email marketing strategy. With email software, you'll have access to data like subscribe/unsubscribe rates, open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates.

In some cases, email software can even assist with the creation of the emails themselves. Depending on the software, you might find email templates to help you accomplish your goals. For example, HubSpot's email marketing software offers templates for opt-in emails, responsive emails, calls-to-action, and simple forms.

You won't have to spend extra time collecting the data yourself, because all of your content will be in one place. You will be able to send automated email messages that look professional, are GDPR compliant, and have all the components you're looking for. If you don't already have automated email software, it could be the missing piece you need.

The next time you receive an email in your inbox, think about how you can spin it to take a local angle. Or, the next time you receive an email from a local business, look at the local flair that the company used to stand out. Is it in the subject line or within the content, and how can you use their emails as inspiration?

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 Beginner's guide to email marketing

Originally published Mar 4, 2020 4:00:00 AM, updated March 13 2020

Topics:

Local Marketing