Email marketing is one of the best ways to reach your audience. Studies have found that 81% of small business owners use email marketing as their primary customer retention channel. 

Email marketing isn’t just popular; it’s effective and affordable. For every one dollar spent on email marketing, you can expect to earn $32 back. Plus, email marketing software isn’t expensive which means you can reach your customers for only a few pennies each.

If you’re missing the benefits of email and don’t have an email marketing plan for your brick and mortar business, it isn’t too late to develop one. Follow this guide to utilize this convenient and low-budget marketing method.   

1. Start to Build Your Email List

The first step to develop an email marketing plan is to grow your email list. It doesn’t matter if you have the best email content around if no one sees it. 

So grow your email list by:

  • Adding call-to-actions on your website
  • Promoting your newsletter on social media
  • Inviting people to sign up for your email list at events and in your store
  • Collecting email addresses at the point-of-sale to retain existing customers
  • Offering coupons and gifts on your website to customers who sign up

You may discover that collecting email addresses is easier in some ways over others. Some brands find that event tabling and promotion is a great way to grow their email bases. Others rely almost exclusively on point-of-sale collection. Test a few different ways to see what works for you. 

Recommended Reading: How to Generate Leads Online to Drive Customers to Your Physical Storefront

2. Identify Key Audiences That You Want to Reach

Segmentation is an essential part of your email marketing plan. Not every customer has the same needs or the same relationship with your business. For example, a local spa would promote seasonal specials to customers who come in for a rare treat, but would highlight the health benefits of massage for weekly customers who use it for therapy. 

Segmentation makes your email marketing plan more effective by getting the right message in front of the right people. 

Look at your key buyer personas for your business and develop ways to segment your email list. (Your email provider will likely have tools that do this automatically). You can sort customers by age, gender, customer type, loyalty level, product user, or any other category you can think of. 

3. Develop Your Campaign With Clear Goals in Mind

Once you have your email list and your audiences, you can start to develop your email marketing plan. This plan will address questions like “how often will you email your audience,” and “what do you want your audience to do with the information?” 

As you develop your marketing plan, list concrete goals that should come from the email communication. A few examples include:

  • Increase the number of registrations for an upcoming event
  • Grow your number of bookings for appointments or treatments
  • Drive more people to your website to learn about your products
  • Bring more customers in-store to stock up on your products

Your business will likely have multiple goals that change depending on the email content. For example, your overall goal may be to bring more people to your store, but that could be achieved by hosting in-store events that require people to sign up. Both goals can be achieved through an email marketing plan. 

4. Create a Content Calendar for Email

Email marketing is a part of content marketing. It doesn’t matter how many people you reach if the content is low-quality and fails to provide value. 

Set up a content calendar that addresses what will be in each email. If you send out a monthly newsletter, then you can pick themes for the content, or you can identify specific topics and offers for each weekly newsblast. A few ideas for email content creation include:

  • Highlight blog content to drive people to your website
  • Create exclusive offers or insights that only email users receive
  • List upcoming events to remind people of what they can attend and buy tickets for
  • Share beautiful photos that captivate readers as soon as they open the message
  • Offer personal messages from the founder or owner of your brick and mortar business

You can set the tone for your email content, as well as the messaging and themes. Your newsletter can be a blank slate for you to get creative.  

Start your editorial calendar today. Use our free guide and template: How To Create An Editorial Calendar For The Year [Free Template]

5. Track the Success of Your Efforts

One of the best parts of email marketing is how easily you can monitor it. You can look at immediate data points like open rate, click-thru-rate, and unsubscribe rate to see how your message was perceived. 

You can also track the number of conversions that come as a result of your content and even create exclusive offers that only email users would have access to. 

Each month, track the success of your email content and monitor your growth over time. This will help you see what content is popular, where you win over your customers, and how you can improve.  

6. Periodically Review Your Email Marketing Plan

Your email marketing plan and target goals will evolve over time. As you grow your experience with email marketing, you may discover that you have a target audience that you have yet to reach or you may want to pivot your strategy to reach a different goal. This is okay. Growth is an important part of running any business. 

Set up annual (or bi-annual) reviews of your email marketing efforts. 

Consider adjusting the frequency, content, and call-to-actions in your email efforts. You may also want to adjust your segmentation. Even if you are happy with your email efforts, use this review to set higher goals for the next six months so you can continue to succeed.  

Learn More About Connecting With Your Customers

Customer retention is important for any brick-and-mortar business. Without loyal customers to come back and recommend your brand, you will have a hard time making a profit. 

Email marketing your link to making sure that past customers and clients come back to do business with your brand again and again. 

For more tips on how to connect with customers beyond your email marketing plan, check out our Resource Library. It includes ebooks, checklists, and guides that can help you boost both your inbound and in-store marketing strategies.