Bike Shop MarketingIndependent Bike Dealers

Email Marketing Basics For The Busy Owner/Operator

As we’ve mentioned in a previous article, email marketing is the one digital medium virtually guaranteed to make a marketing impact fast. It guarantees that your message will appear in the recipients inbox and that they at the very least will be made aware of your news, offer, or update – even if they don’t open it. The effectiveness of email marketing is undeniable: 

  • Customers who purchase products or services through an email offer spend 138% more than those who never receive one.
  • For every $1 you spend on email marketing there’s an average return of $44.
  • The average order value of an email is 3 times higher than a social media ad.

Long story short, email works, and with 99% of consumers saying that they check their email every day, you need to ensure your customers are receiving regular emails from your business so that email marketing can work for you too.

Contact lists and how to cultivate them

Before you can even think about starting an email marketing campaign you need a list of viable contacts that you can send emails to, and a way to keep it growing. This does not mean you should just go out and buy a list of contacts. 

Buying lists is an easy way to waste money and get your email marked as spam in the process. You need to cultivate lists naturally. If you’ve been diligent about saving the email addresses of the customers you’ve done business with, then congratulations, you’re ready to start putting together an email marketing plan. 

If you don’t have that list, then you need to give people an incentive to give you their email addresses with opt-in pages and lead magnets.

  • Opt-in Page – A link on your website to a page offering a newsletter with insights they can’t get anywhere else. 
  • Lead Magnet – An incentive offered to potential customers for supplying their email address, like a free or reduced service, checklists, ride suggestions, sneak peeks, worksheets, training plans, etc.

This can also be where you decide to use some outbound marketing – like digital or print ads. If you read our post: The One Digital Medium to Make a Marketing Impact Fast you’ll remember:

Instead of taking out a generic ad touting what your business does, provide a call-to-action with an offer that can only be received by visiting a landing page on your company’s website.  Make that landing page a simple form that requires the person’s first and last name, and email address, then send the offer right to their email.

There are a number of ways to entice people to give you their email. Whatever your incentive is make it clear, and don’t be afraid to promote it. But remember, it should help your reader save time, money, and/or energy. 

A customer loyalty program is the perfect companion to your email marketing strategy

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Once you've got your list, what do you send them?

Email marketing best practices

Think: What are the questions and problems your customers are grappling with now, next month, and 6 months down the line? This can help you get started thinking about what kind of content your audience might want. There are plenty of options, a few examples being:

  • Route suggestions and repair tips

  • A newsletter with industry news, curated content, relationship building content, or original content written specifically for (or even by) your customers. 

  • News about promotions, sales, and discounts. This can be company-wide or exclusive to subscribers.

  • News about your business, or new product/service announcements.

  • Links to new blog posts, FAQs, shop photos, or service updates

  • Information about events that you’re hosting or sponsoring.

  • Follow up emails.

  • Traditional sales emails advertising products and services, though these should only be one component of your strategy

Create a variety of content for your email campaigns to ensure customers get what they’re looking for, and what you promised them. Remember, each email you send should serve a distinct purpose and have your audience’s needs in mind.


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