As a small business owner, you might not necessarily have a lot of marketing budget. Instead, you’re probably more likely to opt-into the less-expensive marketing practices such as email marketing. There are a lot of different ways you can leverage email marketing to your favor as a small business.
It’s one of the best ways you can gain new customers, nurture repeat customers, expand your reach and more - all while being relatively inexpensive. When done correctly, email marketing is one of the best ways to drive visitors to your site, create new customers and generate sales.
But another lesser used marketing practice that you can also use to your advantage is the invoice email. This type of emails aren’t used as much as a direct marketing tool. In fact, they’re often overlooked. Businesses see invoicing as a monotonous and straightforward activity that they have to go through at the end of each month. As such, they don’t really go out of their way to stand out.
In reality, invoice emails can seriously boost your reach and increase repeat customers. In this guide, we’ll be looking at 5 simple ways how you can use your invoice email to further promote your business.
1. Increased branding
Did you know you can increase your branding reach with your invoices? Setting yourself apart in your branding and marketing is essential if you want to make it far today.
If, until now, you’ve been sending out regular and default invoices, you just might have been missing out on serious branding and exposure.
When sending invoices, you should look at them as an additional touch point with your customers. With that in mind, you can then make your invoices come to life and make them an extension of your brand.
Simply adding your logo and making your invoice a part of your business can help promote yourself as part of your bigger branding strategy. Most invoicing software and tools allow you to customize your invoice and putting your logo onto your next invoice email takes little to no time.
Remember, your brand defines you as a business. And you need to remind your customers of this whenever you can. Your branding, in turn, reflects your business objectives and ideas. Making your invoice a part of your business brand is a simple, yet effective, way of increasing your overall business branding.
With that said, you shouldn’t stop here.
2. Personalized invoice
If you truly want to take things up a notch, consider personalizing your invoices to a particular segmented target market.
It’s been proven that segmented marketing campaigns have an increased open and click-through rates. The reason? People love being valued and understood. If you can understand your customers’ needs and wants - then your marketing efforts are bound to pay off.
Being relevant to your subscribers is essential, as many people won’t engage with content that isn’t tailored to their needs and preferences. Email list segmentation is important. If you don’t have enough data to split your list, using an advanced email validation platform can be a solution. Some email validation and email verification tools come with appending features. That means they add missing information about your subscribers, such as name, gender and location. Use those indicators when you segment your list.
Invoices can be used in different ways to promote your business. And it’s important that they are varied in their message. Consider your invoices and what you’re trying to communicate with them.
The list may include:
● New product announcements
● Discounts for services
● Referral link
● Free trial
● And more
Invoice emails should reinforce your brand values. Next time you’re customizing one, consider what message you’re trying to communicate.
Invoices primarily consist of text and numbers, so, if you want to catch their eyes, consider using graphics. This opens up a whole number of different possibilities as to how you can personalize your invoices. But the main idea is to be consistent, and align with your branding values.
3. Watch your language
Did you know that 84% of organizations that worked on improving their customer support in 2017 eventually saw an increase in revenue?
As mentioned above, if you’re treating your invoices as another touch point with your customers, you can leverage this to your favor and improve your overall customer experience.
Like with many other communication points, watch how you engage with your customers. Your language and tone matter. Treat them like a person and try to keep things as friendly and casual as possible.
It’s always important to stay professional, but also friendly. Never forget there’s a person at the other end of the screen - and not a robot. Something as simple as a “thank you!” note at the end of your invoice can leave a lasting impression and change how your clients see you.
Write for your target audience and they’ll appreciate your message. Once you do your research into their demographic characteristics (such as age, gender, background, education, etc.), you can then tune your copy to better fit their personality.
4. Driving further engagement
According to Gallup, customer engagement can lead to an increase in revenue as high as up to 23%.
You can do the same for your business through invoice emails by customizing them and providing value. If you want to increase your repeat customers, you need to offer some kind of incentives so they can continue interacting and coming back to your brand.
Depending on your niche and invoice, it’s very likely that your customers will slowly go through the invoice to make sure everything’s in check. You can use this to your advantage and personalize your content, and offers.
Don’t be afraid to reward them for being a loyal customer. Start with coupons, discounts, loyalty rewards and other incentives. You can then slowly build up to asking them for a favor in return, and chances are, they’ll oblige.
For example, you can offer your customers a discount if they refer your brand to other people in their social circles. If done well, this can become a win-win situation.
Your customers will appreciate your kindness and you’ll gain more followers in return. It’s all about finding the balance of providing rewards and value, and then asking for a favor.
5. A strong call-to-action (CTA)
Finally, if you feel that you’ve near perfected your relationship with your customers, you can provide a call-to-action in your invoice to drive additional sales.
An invoice email in itself is a way to get paid. But if done well, it can generate even more sales for your business.
There are many different ways you can incorporate that into your invoice emails, but at the end of the day, one mistake you can’t afford to make is not having a strong call-to-action.
There is a lot of space in your invoice mail. So, the next time you’re customizing an invoice, think of the different ways you can get your customers to come back to your site.
Adding a special “offers” list at the end of your invoice can get your customers to take the CTA and help you net a sale. Alternatively, however, you can also use this space to add a link to a survey or a place they can leave a review on your site - depending on what you need more at the moment.
You can customize the CTA based on your requirements. For example, if you’re just starting out, you can use it as a way to generate social proof and get to know your customers. When doing this though, you have to make sure your CTA aligns with your brand - in terms of the design, language, and so on.
At the end of the day, your invoice emails are essentially bills. But that doesn’t mean you should pass up on the opportunity to stand out from the market and focus on marketing your brand.
Position your invoice emails so that they benefit everyone involved. Make it a win-win situation, offer incentives and offers, and your customers will fall in love with your brand.
This article was brought to you by our guest Uwe Dreissigacker.
Uwe is the founder of online invoicing software InvoiceBerry and also offers free invoice templates to businesses. Small businesses and sole traders can create, send and manage their invoices, quotes and credit notes with the tool.
In his free time, Uwe travels the world and enjoys experiencing different cultures.