6 Best Practices for Local Business Email Marketing

03.24.2022 Sara Brasfield

Given the relatively low cost to set up and manage email campaign, local business email marketing is one of the highest-ROI strategies you can use to promote your business.

While email marketing alone won’t help you achieve all of your desired marketing and advertising goals, this cost-effective promotional tool can fit into any size of marketing budget. Even better, email marketing is a kind of “owned” advertising channel that will grow in value as your list of email subscribers increases over time.

Whether you’re a brand-new business or an established local company, email marketing is a no-brainer. Read on for six best practices to optimize your emails for better customer engagement.

1. Encourage Email Sign-Ups Through All Business Locations and Appearances.

Businesses can reap a lot of long-term value from a mature email list—but building up that list can take time. While your website, social media and other digital properties can encourage email sign-ups among your visitors and followers, in-person email signups are a unique opportunity afforded to local businesses.

Whether you operate a retail store, a business office, or make appearances at various pop-up events and trade shows, a simple email sign-up sheet can help you collect information among interested customers and prospects, creating a new channel to stay in touch, promote your brand and cultivate loyalty and trust.

2. Segment Your Audience to Improve Email Relevance and Engagement

As your business grows, a single email blast to your entire email list might not offer the best value in terms of engaging consumers and driving engagement. If you’re seeing large segments of your audience failing to open emails or click through to related content, it might be time to create multiple email segments that can receive tailored emails and messaging specific to their interests.

Segmenting your email list at the local level also lets you define local customer personas and buyer groups based on the criteria that matter most. This can support your digital advertising by helping you identify the messaging and other engagement strategies that are most effective for specific audience segments.

3. Use Local Promotions and Other Strategies to Reinforce the Value of Your Business Emails

Email blindness is a serious threat to your company’s email marketing strategy—and to combat it, you have to keep finding compelling reasons for your customers to continue opening your marketing emails.

Witty subject lines will only carry you so far. To train your audience to notice and open your branded emails, consider dropping periodic email-only promotions, product releases and other exciting content into your emails as an incentive for consumers to click and see what’s new with your business.

Even if you only drop these promotions and other special content on an irregular basis, your customers will be more eager to open your emails and find out what’s new.

4. Encourage Online Reviews and Other Feedback

Email is a great tool for facilitating feedback and conversations that grow your local presence and improve your customer experience. Many small businesses use email to solicit feedback, share customer surveys, and encourage online reviews from satisfied customers.

Given the role online reviews play in promoting your business, email can be a great tool to encourage reviews and remind customers of how your business relies on positive reviews to grow its local customer base. Other types of feedback gathered via email can help you address friction in your customer experience, address newly discovered customer service issues, and provide all customers with a better experience that caters to their needs and interests.

5. Combine Email Marketing With a More Holistic Marketing & Advertising Strategy

A successful email marketing strategy can be a linchpin connecting other advertising and marketing channels. By managing these campaigns alongside one another, and even using different channels to cross-promote other marketing and advertising content, you can deepen your connections with customers and execute better multi-channel customer engagement.

Email, for example, can be used to promote your business blog, your social media content, and videos produced for TV ads or other digital platforms. Meanwhile, social media, your business website, and the CTAs at the end of videos can encourage those users to subscribe to branded emails in exchange for insider content related to promotions, product releases, expert tips, and other valuable resources.

6. Partner With Local Businesses for Email List Cross-Promotion Campaigns

Looking to reach new segments of your local consumer base? Struggling to build visibility for a new local brand? Strategic partnerships with local businesses can be a tool to reach would-be email subscribers through cross-promotions that let you speak directly to the customer base of a non-rival.

A local fitness gym, for example, might seek out an email cross-promotion opportunity with a local juice bar or health food store, using one another’s email lists to reach out to customers and offer promotions to try out each respective business. While these local companies aren’t in direct competition, they serve a similar customer base and can help you broaden your brand’s reach—and grow the roster of your email marketing list.

Take your email marketing to the next level by leveraging email alongside other digital advertising strategies. Cox Media can help you turn audience insights and cross-promotional opportunities into greater ROI not only for your email marketing, but for your overall small business advertising strategy.

Contact us today to see how we can help.

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About the Author

Sara Brasfield

Sara is the Content Marketing Manager for Cox Media’s corporate team in Atlanta, with a passion for writing and delivering relevant insights for advertisers. With more than seven years of experience in B2B marketing, Sara aims to help Cox Media’s current and future clients connect with their customers find new and unique ways to grow their business. Outside of the (now virtual!) office, Sara loves spending time running, reading and supporting her favorite teams (Go Braves & Gamecocks!).

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