2020 has been a dreadful year for small businesses, and the COVID-19 pandemic has decimated many thriving small businesses. It’s been devastating to see so many of my favorite local businesses here in Portland close their doors permanently. And the disruption for the staff and principals, even for businesses that have survived relatively unscathed, has been terrible.

I want to set expectations up-front: email marketing can’t, and won’t, save many businesses as a standalone tactic. I’m not sure any marketing channel on its own can do that. But businesses that have invested in building a subscriber list have had a powerful arrow in their quiver during this pandemic.

Set Up for Email Marketing Success

While COVID-19 has caused a precipitous drop in searches in many business categories, newsletters have seen a 5-34% increase in engagement.

If you’re not yet doing email marketing — or haven’t done as well with it as you’d have liked — there’s no time like the present to start!

Below are my recommendations for building a great email program that *every* local business can execute, no matter how limited their time, budget, or marketing sophistication.

This presentation was originally given at the Whitespark Local Search Summit, September 16, 2020. Download the PDF for a full-screen view.