One of the toughest challenges for small businesses is getting people to return. You may not have access to a large marketing budget, so options can be limited. What’s the solution? Stay in touch! Build an email list of people who want to hear from you.

Building a good email list can make a big difference when you’re trying to increase traffic. Of course, it will take a small investment from you, but email marketing can be one of the most effective (and affordable) ways of reaching your customers. It’s your way of engaging and interacting with your users directly.

How often is too much?

Sending a well timed email that contains quality content can be a major tool for boosting traffic and sales. Also, a users mailbox is a private space so you can take that opportunity to discuss the issues your customers are facing in more detail and offer a solution.

The Direct Marketing Association found 66% of consumers have made a purchase based on an email they’ve received.

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Email is personable and still has one of the highest reach potential for users. It has over three times the amount of audience that social media and news network websites can provide. An optimized email list can also offer some of the highest click through rates when compared to other digital marketing techniques.

So how do you get emails?

Don’t be tempted to buy a list of subscribers. An effective email list is created over time through users who have already shown interest in your content. At first this might seem intimidating, but if done right, then building an email list can be easy. There are numerous plugins and website scripts available that are easy to integrate. Build an email list the right way and it will turn into another great asset to your website.

A big challenge is that most users are cautious about giving out their information. That’s why most email subscription sign ups work through a “give and get” method. It’s easy. Provide your users with clear value for signing up and you both end up winning. Use this as a chance to increase the users experience and offer things like providing post updates, access to special content or product trials. Emails with high open rates provide information like outfit ideas from clothing retailers, recipe ideas for the kitchen or design ideas for your home. Building a relationship with your users will increase your websites engagement and return rate.

Write engaging content

Increasing your list is only half the battle though. The real challenge is to keep your subscribers happy and loyal. This will require regular attention to provide more content, offers or other incentives. Staying up to date can be the difference for sales promotions and other business ideas that require engagement.

Sending emails that are low value to your users, or do not contain quality content can have negative results. The most common is that you’ll see open rates dropping and users may even unsubscribe.

Do some research about what your audience is really looking for and what some of their pain points are. You may be able to start addressing some of these in exchange for them signing up and increase your sign up rate.

Collect Email statistics

The reason why email campaigns are so effective is because they can be targeted based on users activities. Email marketing tools give you the opportunity to divide emails into different groups. This can help optimize your campaign depending on the audience that you’re reaching out to.

For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $38.

Email campaigns also provide statistics about open rates, link clicks, sales conversions and other useful marketing information. That combined with your website analytics (The importance of website analytics) will allow you to adjust your campaigns accordingly to increase your conversation and retention rates.

Don’t miss your chance of brand loyalty

Don’t miss the chance to establish future relationships with buyers that can be nurtured into long-term brand advocacy. Email marketing campaigns can be automated and cost pennies compared to other digital marketing methods.

If you want your email list to reach its full potential, then start treating it like the valuable tool that it is. Yes, your email list has immense potential to generate new leads, but that will not happen if you don’t give it the time and dedication it deserves.

Optimizing your campaign is about experimenting with different tactics and learning what works best for your business.