Local Email Marketing Guide for Small Businesses and Retailers

Email marketing gives you an opportunity to speak directly to your consumers. It enables you to contact them at any time, regardless of when they last stepped foot in your store. 

The potential return on investment for email marketing is massive. Here are some stats:

  • On average, email marketing brings in $38 in revenue for every $1 spent
  • Eighty-one percent of small businesses rely on email marketing as their main customer acquisition method
  • Eighty percent of small businesses rely on emails for customer retention
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Could You Benefit From Local Email Marketing?


You can benefit from email marketing if you operate any kind of local business, such as:

  • Brick-and-mortar shops
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Coffee shops
  • Plumbing services
  • Gardening services
  • Etc

You can use email to promote your local business’s products or services, announce flash sales and new product arrivals, and invite people to your events

Use Online and Offline Methods to Build Your Email List

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You can use both online and offline methods to build a local email. 

You can use both online and offline methods to build a local email list for your retail business. 

5 Online Ways to Build an Email List

1. Use your website: 

If you own a website, take advantage of the list building opportunity it offers you. Place signup forms on different areas of your website, such as at the end of a blog post and/or in the sidebar. 

There are a number of other signup form options that you can use on your website. 

Pop-ups are signup forms that appear in the center of the screen. When the rest of the content is dimmed out, it is called a lightbox. 

Popups can be triggered after a certain amount of time has passed, after the user scrolls to a certain section of the page, after the user clicks on a link, or when the user starts to exit the page. 

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Slide-in forms are boxes that appear in one of the bottom corners of the page as the user scrolls down. This avoids covering the content, which can be annoying.

Sandbox Just another WP site

Signup bars are bars that appear at the top or bottom of the page. They can either be static or they can stay at the top/bottom of the screen even as the user scrolls down, in which case they are called floating bars. 

Again, this avoids interfering with the visitor’s reading. 

Heatmaps See where they scroll and click

Welcome mats appear when the user first lands on your site and take up the entire portion of the screen. To continue to your site’s content, the user simply needs to scroll down – an arrow usually indicates that this is possible. 

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2. Use landing pages 

Create landing pages that are targeted to visitors from your specific geographical area. Have a clear call-to-action on your landing page that directs users to sign up. 

Always make it easy for users to subscribe. Reduce the number of fields they need to fill out. 

3. Promote your landing page 

Promote your landing page through paid advertisements on Google or Facebook. Both platforms allow you to target users in a specific location. 

You can also promote your landing page on social media. Link to your landing page’s URL from your posts or profile. You can also create signup forms that allow users to subscribe to your list directly from your Facebook page. 

Include social sharing buttons in every email you send to your subscribers and encourage them to share your newsletters. This way, their friends and followers can sign up as well. 

4. Have a lead magnet

Give users an incentive to subscribe, also known as a lead magnet. You can offer potential subscribers a free ebook, video course, discount code, or raffle entry – anything that gives them a reason for them to hand over their personal information to you. 

5. Cross-promote 

You can collaborate with other local businesses and organizations (that you are not competing with) to gain subscribers. You can promote their services, events or email list to your subscribers, and they can promote yours. 

3 Offline Ways to Build Your Email List 

1. Get your customers to subscribe 

Encourage in-store customers to sign up to your email list. 

Don’t ask them to write down their emails on a printed form as their writing might be illegible. Instead, ask them to sign up on a dedicated tablet, computer, or phone you set up for this purpose. 

2. Use short URLs and QR codes 

Another idea is to create an easy-to-remember URL, such as yourwebsite.com/signup. Alternatively, you can create a QR code that users can scan to bring up your landing page. 

You can distribute your short URL or QR code on business cards, print them on shopping bags, and advertise them on large billboards (the last option only works for URLs). 

3. Get leads at local events 

Another idea is to collect leads at local events. You can do this by giving out a business card with your short URL/QR code, collecting their contact details and sending them the signup link later, or having them sign up on the spot on your own phone or tablet. 

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Use These 10 Local Email Marketing Tips to Increase Your ROI

Following are 10 tips that can help you increase the effectiveness of your email campaigns. 

1. Craft Better Subject Lines

3 email subject line stats

Thirty-five percent of people open an email based solely on what’s in the subject line. 

Create subject lines that are eye-catching. A good idea is to create a sense of mystery or suspense that will make recipients want to open the email to find out more. 

Personalizing your subject lines increase open rates by 22 percent, on average. 

Another idea is to use emojis in your subject lines. Using emojis can help your emails stand out from the other emails in your recipients’ inboxes. It can also add a touch of personality. 

It’s important to constantly test different subject lines because writing subject lines should never be based on gut feeling. 

The Subject Line Tester by Automizy grades your subject lines based on data from over 1 million campaigns.

Not only scoring, but the free subject line tester provides subject line templates you can use to increase your email open rates.

You can send the same email with different subject lines to different segments of your audience and see how your open rates change. 

You can also try using words such as “free” or “discount” in your subject lines and see how they affect your open rates. 

Use this free subject line tester to grade your subject lines before you send them out based on data collected from over 1000 000 campaigns.

2. Include Relevant Local Offers

Sending your subscribers the right offers is crucial for keeping your unsubscribe rates low. 

Your offers must be relevant. You can include discount codes that consumers can use when making in-store purchases at your retail business, for example. 

You can send tailored deals to consumers based on their demographics, location, and their previous purchase history. 

3. Split Test Your Emails and Analyze Your Data

A/B Testing Automizy describing image

Always use split-testing in your email marketing campaigns. Split-testing, or A/B testing, involves comparing two different versions of an email campaign. 

For example, you can send the same email to two different segments of your email list, but with a different subject line. 

Alternatively, you can send the same subject line to two different segments of your list. One list can receive a version that contains the word “urgent” and the other one can receive a version that omits it. 

Here are some things that can be improved through split-testing:

  • PPC ads
  • Landing pages
  • Subject lines
  • The giveaway you offer as an incentive to subscribe
  • Links in emails 
  • CTAs in emails
  • Pictures in emails
  • Email sending times (days of the week and time of the day)
  • Email sending frequency
  • Email length

Always analyze your data, such as your CTR, open rates and unsubscribe rates, so that you can optimize your campaigns. 

4. Send Broadcast Emails

Even if you have an automated followup series, you should also send bulk emails to your list. 

Broadcast emails are a great way to tell subscribers about local promotions, upcoming product releases, new services, and local events. 

5. Clean Out Your List

Keeping your email list clean, remove inactive contacts. It will increase your conversion rates. 

Subscribers who have not opened any emails for a long time can be deleted. You can send them a reminder email before you delete them to see if they want to stay around.

6. Make It Easy to Unsubscribe

Include an unsubscribe link at the bottom of every email. Make it easy to unsubscribe with a few clicks. Don’t require users to log in and go to their email settings to opt-out of future emails. 

This can decrease spam complaint rates and will allow users who aren’t interested in your products to leave so that they don’t waste your time. 

7. Optimize Your Emails for Mobile Devices 

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Forty-nine percent of emails are opened on mobile devices. Optimize your emails so that they can be read in mobile email apps and on mobile browsers. 

8. Mix Up Your Content

Send different types of emails to your list. Examples of emails you can send include:

  • Newsletters packed with information
  • Blog roundups and curated content
  • Discounts and coupon codes
  • Product promotions
  • Surveys and requests for feedback

Be personal and human in your emails; avoid adopting a tone of voice that is cold and promotional. 

9. Design Your Emails Carefully

Design your emails so that they are easy to read and include plenty of white space. Use images and videos to increase engagement. 

Include clear a call-to-action. Consider using highlighted links or CTA buttons. 

Your email design should be consistent with your brand in terms of slogans, logos, and colors you use. 

You can create these yourself with 2 clicks on Logaster. Enter your brand name, click on “Create a logo” and you’ll get lots of options. Also, you can provide a tagline and select a color scheme.

10. Test Your Emails Before Sending Them

Always send a test email to yourself to see how your email will appear on both desktop and mobile devices. 

You can also use the Glock App to identify issues that might cause your email to go to the spam or promotions folder. 

Use Automation to Save Time and Increase Sales

Biggest marketing automation benefit GetResponse image

Automating your emails can improve productivity, increase your ROI, and help you manage your campaigns efficiently. 

Many email marketing service providers allow you to set up workflows

For example, you can send an email with a link to your product. Then, you can send different emails to different groups of subscribers based on their actions, such as:

  • Users who didn’t open the email
  • Users who opened the email but didn’t click on the link
  • Users who clicked on the link but didn’t purchase anything
  • Users who made a purchase

Additional examples of how you can use email automation include:

  • Sending a welcome email to show new subscribers that you care and to set expectations for what kind of content you will send them
  • Sending a drip series to new subscribers to promote a product
  • Resending an email to subscribers who have not opened an email
  • Segmenting your email list based on how users subscribed (such as differentiating paying customers vs free trial signups) 

Refer to These Local Email Marketing Case Studies For Inspiration

Here are some case studies showcasing successful email marketing campaigns. 

  • Zumba Fitness achieved a 50 percent click-through rate by using videos and personalization in their emails to promote local events
  • Bryan Harris of Video Fruit generated over $20,000 in revenue from launching to a small list of only 1,200 subscribers
  • Oak Furniture Land used geo-targeting to increase revenue by 30 percent

Wrapping It Up

Customers who make purchases through emails spend 138 percent more than customers who don’t. 

Use the local email marketing tips in this article to get more customers and boost your revenue.

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