Periscope Recap: Email Marketing Success Stories from Real Small Businesses

Whether you’re still on the fence about trying email marketing, or are already using email and are looking to improve your results — it’s always helpful to see how other businesses have used the tool to achieve their marketing goals.

This past week, we received a question from a follower on Periscope, asking if we could share email marketing examples from other small business owners.

This week, we discussed three of these examples live on the video streaming platform.

From a seasonal retail business that uses email to generate new business during a slower time of the year, to a financial company that builds loyalty and brand awareness with new and existing clients — these examples will show you how email marketing has benefited other business owners and will provide new ideas for marketing your small business.

You can watch the recording of this week’s discussion or read the transcription below.

(Having trouble viewing the video? View it here.)

I wanted to start today’s session by sharing a quote from a recent episode of the Small Biz Stories podcast. This quote from Chris Iousa, owner of Destaré martini bar and Chaibo coffee and tea house speaks to how email marketing can work for your business and what an email marketing success story can look like.

“I tell my staff all the time, “A good impression doesn’t cut it. A super impression is the only way that we have a chance to get people back through the door.” A super impression, followed up with a nice email or a newsletter that may be received at the right time, on a continual basis, just reinforces that great experience they had. We hope that that works, and we’re pretty confident it has.”

For Chris and some of the other business owners we’ll talk about today, email is really the tool that allows them to build off the great experience they’re already offering customers and drive meaningful business results.

One of the first business owners I’d like to talk about today is Dawn Noble, owner of La Provence, a retail shop located in Rockport, Massachusetts.

La Provence is located in an area that depends on seasonal business. The spring and summer months are where they see most of their business, and business owners like Dawn work hard to keep customers coming through the slower months of the year.

Dawn is super involved in the business community and works hard to promote local events.

During the fall and winter months, the goal of Dawn’s email marketing is to promote these local events and give people a reason to visit downtown Rockport.

She sends an email out to her list with information about the events, but also includes details about the specific things she has going on at her business. These emails provide real value to her audience because they let people know about events that they might be interested in, which in turn results in more people visiting Rockport and shopping at her business.

As Dawn explains:

“Email definitely works. We see people clicking through to our website and we have people coming into our shop telling us that they saw our newsletter.”

Another business I wanted to look at is Davidson & Company LLP – a financial company in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Davidson & Co is a great example of a business that doesn’t sell products but has clients and potential clients they need to build relationships with.

When I spoke to Bahar Sedat, marketing manager at Davidson & Co, she said the following:

“We started with email marketing to communicate and share industry updates with our existing clients. But it’s really grown into one of our best drivers for brand awareness. We’re noticing more people talking about our business, and we have more people showing up at our events.”

They are a great example of how email can help you fulfill multiple goals, based on the audience you communicate with. For example, Davidson & Co wants to build loyalty with existing clients, but they also want to build brand awareness with potential clients.

For both these audience, they want to set themselves apart from other companies in their industry. One of the things they’ve tried is to add videos to emails. This lets them show more about who they are, what they stand for, and what type of expertise they bring to the table.

This has worked well for them because they’re able to show the people behind their business. Depending on what industry you’re in, you may find more success with text, images, or some combination of all of these different content types, based on the messages you’re sending out.

The last business I wanted to take a look at today has somewhat of a different story, because they actually partnered with a marketing expert to help build their email marketing strategy.

This business, By Paige, manufactures needlepoint shoes. By Paige had been using email marketing prior to working with an expert, but were having trouble gaining traction and finding the time to do the things they wanted to do.

This quote from Paige Andrews of By Paige sums up what she was dealing with:

“I knew email was important but it really became one of those things that I was putting off to the side when we got busy. I didn’t have the time to stay on top of it.”

Time can often be the biggest challenge you’ll face when marketing your business. You know that email works, you know it’s important to be sending on a regular basis, but how do you find time to fit it into your schedule?

For Paige, working with an expert was the right solution. The expert she worked with, Solutions for Growth, is a digital marketing company that is part of the Constant Contact Solution Provider program.

As a Constant Contact Solution Provider program, Solutions for Growth knows the tools and understands how to setup an email marketing program that’s right for your business.

For example, before working with Solutions for Growth, Paige was only sending a few times of year and struggled to stick with a consistent sending schedule. The team at Solutions for Growth was able to set Paige up with a marketing schedule and is now sending emails on a monthly basis.

Another challenge Paige needed to solve was how to capture new leads from her website. She had a lot of people who were visiting her site to view her products but weren’t ready to make a purchase. Solutions for Growth helped her setup an email sign-up form on her website to help stay connected with some of these visitors.

They also setup a program for new subscribers to receive a 10% off their first order with By Paige. And then using Constant Contact’s automation tools, Solutions for Growth setup a welcome email and reminder email to encourage new subscribers to redeem the coupon.

For Paige, this meant that she wasn’t just growing her email list but she was also generating sales right away from new subscribers.

These three businesses each provide a unique perspective of how email can work for businesses in different industries and different situations.

Each of these businesses had a problem they needed to solve. They understood that email could fit into that and help them become more successful. And they just needed to find a strategy that could work for them.

Building an email marketing doesn’t have to happen overnight. In some cases, your strategy could simply be to make sure you’re sending something of value to your audience at least once a month. You can use that as a starting point and build your strategy from there.

Interested in learning more about how email marketing has worked from other small businesses and organizations? Here are 31 benefits of email marketing, as told by small business owners.

Have a topic you’d like to see us discuss live on Periscope? Let us know in the comments below.

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