How to Effectively Reach Customers in a Virtual World

03.16.2021 Sara Brasfield

Many local businesses don’t have the time or resources to support in-house marketing efforts. But budgetary constraints aren’t an excuse to swear off advertising and marketing altogether—especially when your competitors are finding ways to make their business visible to your target audience.

Fortunately, the rise of digital advertising offers more cost-effective advertising options than what was available to many businesses in the past. With refined targeting capabilities and diverse ad spots of different shapes and sizes, digital advertising for small businesses can generate positive revenue that accelerates your growth and earnings potential.

Here are some tips on how to advertise to help you get more customers, including strategies that could increase your lead conversion rates over time.

1. Craft a Killer Email Subject Line

Your customers probably suffer from email fatigue on a daily basis. When sending emails to customers and prospects, you aren’t just competing with other businesses in your industry. You’re competing with every other business sending emails to try and grab that customer’s attention.

The right subject line can make all the difference. Wondering how to write a good subject line for email marketing? Here are a few simple tips:

  • Try asking a question connected to a customer’s pain point. For example: “Are you going to miss this year’s investment earnings goal?”
  • Be specific. Don’t email asking if your customers have had a recent HVAC visit. Ask them if their air conditioner is ready for the summer.
  • Highlight value. Percent-off promotions and time-limited sales windows are an easy way to drive impulse email openings.
  • Write in first-person. Using “I/Me/My” pronouns can create a stronger sense of personalized service offered by your business. Your audience may be more likely to engage when they think a real person is behind the email.

2. Don’t Settle for Sub-Par Ad Spots

With so many ad inventories existing across cable TV, TV Everywhere, digital video, video on demand, digital audio, and mobile ad channels, your business doesn’t have to settle for an ad spot that doesn’t seem like a good fit.

A good media partner can help you identify how to get leads through these ad spots—including specific ad opportunities that offer a highly relevant audience. With the right ad placements, you can optimize your value while maximizing visibility among digital consumers.

3. Build a Clear Value Proposition Into Every Email

Email offers a lot of value in connecting with consumers, but a little can go a long way. If you email consumers too often, and/or without offering clear value in that communication, it could discourage consumers from opening future emails that actually do offer value.

Between the subject line and the opening paragraph of your email, give consumers a clear sense of the value you’re offering. From promotional discounts to free expert insights, you should aim to cultivate a reputation of sending emails that are worth your customers’ while.

4. Respond to Social Media Comments and Messages

Like it or not, many consumers consider your social media profiles to be the digital front page of your small business. They’ll use messaging platforms as a customer service channel, and expect quick answers to messages and comments they post to your accounts.

Because of this expectation, small businesses should be prepared to respond to these messages in a timely manner. Use social media engagement as a way to cultivate positive brand experiences for your target audience, and to demonstrate personalized service and attention.

5. Be Persistent With Follow-Up Emails

A single email is rarely enough to turn a lead into a conversion. In reality, email campaigns require time and exposure to solidify brand awareness and move prospects down the path to conversion.

The best way to build email campaigns is through audience segmentation and drip email campaigns. When you segment an audience based on various criteria—their referral source, for example, or your engagement history with that individual—you can enter them into automated drip campaigns that deliver follow-up emails on a time-optimized basis (But always make it worth their while to read – remember tip #3!).

6. Make it Easy to Take the First Step

Regardless of what ad channel you’re using to connect with your audience, a clear call-to-action and easy next steps is the best strategy for increasing engagement. From simple messages like “Click Here” to “Sign Up Today” to “Call Now,” solutions and value should be obvious to any consumer interested in your business. Build fillable forms and communication channels that remove friction and make it as easy as possible to generate new leads for your company.

If you’re serious about building up a successful, optimized digital advertising business plan, it helps to work with a trusted partner that can steer this strategy toward success. Contact us today to see how we can help.

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 eight 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 office, Sara loves spending time running, reading, and supporting her favorite teams (Go Braves & Gamecocks!).

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