Why Unfamiliarity with SMB Marketing Tools and Best Practices Hurts

As a small/medium business (SMB) owner, you’ve figured out that email marketing works and know that this social media thing could be good for your business. It’s a great way to keep in touch with people who already know you and your company and it’s easy to stay top-of-mind until someone is ready to purchase.

However, what they fail to mention about do-it-yourself (DIY) SMB marketing tools is that there are plenty of SMB marketing best practices used to make these tools successful for your business. What they don’t tell you is this: unless you’re doing everything right to make sure you’re launching your SMB marketing campaigns at optimal times, and using industry best practices, chances are, you’re not actually seeing the benefits of your time and financial investment.

DIY SMB Marketing Tools Leave Room for Failure.

DIY tools for email marketing give you a good starting point to getting the benefits of email and social media marketing. They’ll help you to build out newsletters, create a template, and send emails to multiple people at once. However, what a lot of people fail to realize is that there is a lot of work involved when heading up your own marketing efforts for your SMB. Not to mention, the numerous pitfalls along the way that only come from lots of trial and error.

Trouble Doing Your Own Email Marketing. 

A common occurrence with a lot of people who do email marketing on their own is that they run into issues they might not even know about. Just because you send out an email or social media update doesn’t mean that you’re doing it right. In fact, just the opposite, you could be doing more harm than good. Maybe you went out, bought a list of leads, uploaded it to your contact database and continued to send out newsletters. Something you might not know is that a lot of those email addresses could already be marked as spam by various email filters, thus hurting your primary email address. Now, you’re in trouble because your emails don’t even get sent to someone’s inbox anymore. All that work for nothing.

Email and Social Have So Many Best Practices.

Whether you’re posting to social media channels or sending out email campaigns, there are a ton of things that can make or break the success of these efforts. Send an email on the wrong day and risk more than half of your audience not even seeing it. Send it at the wrong time of day and they might not even have time to read it. Send something with too many buzz words and you can guarantee you’ll find your emails auto-sent to someone’s SPAM folder.

Here are some of the things that impact your email marketing success:

  • Subject lines

  • Text to image ratio

  • HTML or text only

  • Day of week sent

  • Time of day sent

  • Too many links

  • Following CAN-SPAM guidelines

Social Media is a Popularity Contest.

When it comes to social media, all social networks are built on algorithms that are structured in a way to show you what it thinks you’ll most likely want to see. So while you might have a Facebook page with a few hundred followers, that does not mean all of those followers will see your new post. But there are things you can do to give your message a fighting chance. The amount of times a day you post, the time of day you send out updates, how often you’re “liking” other peoples stuff, how often your posts get “liked” or clicked, and more. It’s a lot of work to begin with and even more work to do it correctly too.

Do-It-Yourself or Do-It-For-Me?

While DIY tools for email and social media are a great way to take ownership of your brand and customer outreach, at the end of the day, there’s a lot of “gotchas” that can really hurt you in the long-run if you don’t familiarize yourself with both the best practices and also the best practices, tips and tricks too.

DIY tools have their place and sometimes, it’s easier to just say “do it for me.” For small business owners, the time you have in a day to tackle your marketing is less than ideal but it’s a crucial part of your business. Sometimes, it’s just easier and more efficient to have someone do the hard work for you than it is to become a part-time marketer too.

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