That entrepreneurs wear many hats is a challenge that multiplies many more times when dealing with other challenges of small businesses throughout the journey. The challenges of small companies often hinder growth, and entrepreneurs must have the ability to overcome challenges and drive the business towards growth. 

The challenges faced by small businesses are one of its kinds that have no comparisons with the problems faced by big businesses. According to Eric J Dalius, a successful marketing expert, besides the stress of starting up, small businesses face an uphill task in trying to break into a new and perhaps saturated market. The problem is compounded by the enormous economic pressure to carve out profits from limited resources and budgets. 

Entrepreneurs must prepare themselves to brace uncertainties and challenges and counter it effectively to make their business survive and grow or else face the fate of 20% small businesses that wither away before celebrating the first birthday. Implementing a plan for acquiring new customers aggressively and nurturing leads closely to convert it into customers is one of the best ways for small businesses to grow. But it is again a big challenge because it is not as easy as it seems. Here are ways of countering it, which we will discuss in this article that also explains the importance of growing your customer base, which is vital for small businesses. Read on to know how to tackle the problem and emerge a winner.

Eric Dalius - Lead generation entails more investments from companies

Regardless of the size of companies, attracting new leads pose challenges for all and more so for small businesses that operate on a limited budget. Allocating a large sum of the budget for lead generation activities is a norm among large companies and corporations, and increasing the spending is also a trait. However, spending alone does not assure the right results, as evident from the data available, which shows a mixed bag. Repeat buyers contribute mostly for the sales accrued by successful brands, and to attract new buyers, the cost goes up by almost five times as compared to retaining existing customers as admitted by EJ Dalius, a successful marketing expert for many years. 

Small businesses that have paltry budget and not too many existing customers find it especially challenging to focus on lead generation to attract new customers. One way of overcoming the challenge is to adapt email marketing, which is a potent tool that costs almost nothing to start a lead generation campaign.

Email marketing for small businesses

There is hardly any other marketing tactic for small businesses that are as effective as email marketing for attracting leads and converting it into customers successfully. Almost 80% of B2B companies consider email marketing as the most effective channel for demand generation, as revealed in a study conducted by the Content Marketing Institute. Besides the effectiveness of email marketing, it is attractive for small businesses because of the low cost of implementation that suits the small budget.

Here are some ways how small businesses can work towards successfully implementing an email marketing campaign by setting aside the challenges that arise from it.

Build a strong contact list

Having a contact list is the first step in implementing an email marketing campaign. Start by creating a list of your existing customers in the database provided they have given their consent to receive your emails. Collect the email addresses of people who visit your business or contact you at events or some other place. Publishing ads on the social media platform, which does not cost too much, is another way of collecting email addresses. Asking website visitors to sign up for your email is one of the means of growing your email list. Consider a double opt-in to gain more engaged leads that have higher chances of conversion into customers, although it might not help to build the list quickly. Do not make the mistake of using a purchased email list to start the campaign because although it can grow the list fast, it has more drawbacks than benefits.

Create a Positive first impression to hook your contacts

Write an impressive welcome email to your contacts when they sign up for your list to welcome them on board and use it as a bait to hook them so that they are convinced to stay attached to the brand. You can manage your email campaign manually or use the services of an email service provider (ESP) depending on the scale of the campaign. Using an ESP can be beneficial in sending out a welcome mail automatically. Doing it manually would mean downloading a list of new subscribers every morning and sending them a pre-designed email. This strategy suits startups that deal with a few sign-ups.  

Create compelling content to nurture your leads 

Do not use most emails to pitch for sales because subscribers detest it and have signed up to avoid hounding by salespersons. They are interested in receiving relevant and valuable pieces of content that could one day inspire them to become customers. Since the contact list has different groups of customers with varied intentions of engagement, you must send the right message to the right people at the right time. Create different types of content like newsletters that contain general information about the business, emails announcing events and thanking customers for engaging with the company and another kind of promotional emails that you can send at regular intervals.

Focus on landing pages

Emails set up the momentum and convince leads to take decisive action and move ahead in the purchasing funnel, but you must create compelling content on the landing pages to speed up the process. Clicking on CTAs in the email leads subscribers to the landing page, which drives them closer to conversions by featuring products and deals talked about in the email. The landing page design should be simple so that the visitors know what to do.

Expand your reach by encouraging contacts to share your email within their circles helps in spreading the good word through social sharing. Monitor the campaign performance by analyzing the email metrics and adjust for improvement.