The Power of Local Email Marketing: How to Attract and Engage Customers in Your Area

local email marketing cover image with a local thank you sign

Local email marketing is a strategy that sends email campaigns and promotions to customers and potential customers within a defined geographic area. 

Whether you own a bouquet shop or a designer store, you want to engage with the community, build relationships, and drive foot traffic or local sales. 

Forget the expensive billboards and impersonal ads. A well-strategized local email marketing campaign can help you build strong relationships with people interested in your business.

Luckily, we have a collection of easy local email marketing strategies to get you started on the right path.

What is Local Email Marketing?

Local email marketing is a strategy to reach customers in your specific locality. It’s essentially email marketing dialed in to focus on a local audience.

For example, if you run a handyman shop, you want more households in your area to know about your services. You could spend a lot of money to advertise or use local email marketing campaigns to achieve your goals.

Here are the key components and benefits of local email marketing:

  • Provides targeted audience: Emails are sent to people who live and work in a specific area, making it highly personalized and relevant.
  • Helps with local promotions: Allows you to promote special offers, discounts, and product launches that are only available to your local audience.
  • Enhances community engagement: By paying attention to local issues, you can build personal relationships and foster community engagement.
  • Increased foot traffic: Local emails can drive more people to visit your store, increasing the likelihood of purchases.
  • Cost-effective strategy: Requires less resources and money and helps you reach more people.

While local email marketing helps you reach local people and drive sales, there are significant differences between local and traditional email marketing.

The Difference Between Local and Traditional Email Marketing

Traditional email marketing focuses on delivering important information and promotions via email. 

The big difference between traditional and local email marketing is the geographical location of customers. Traditional email marketing targets a broader audience without geographic constraints.

Let’s discuss more of their differences in the table below.

Aspect Traditional Email Marketing Local Email Marketing
Focus Promoting products and services to a broader audience Building relationships and brand awareness in a local area
Target audience Existing and potential customers, regardless of locationPeople in specific geographic locations (city, town, neighborhood)
Email content Generic promotional content, product launches and discounts, and company news and updatesEvents and promotions relevant to the local area. Community news updates and special offers for the local people
Email metricsClick-through rates, website traffic, sale conversionsSignups for local events, local store visits, and event attendance
Local email marketing vs Traditional email marketing

Another obvious difference is that local marketing emails segment subscribers on a micro-level to target specific audiences. Suppose you already own a local email list: You can start to sub-categorize people into distinct groups based on their interests and brand participation. 

If you don’t yet have one, we’ll show you easy and effective ways to gather local subscribers.

Easy Ways to Build Your Local Email List

Building a local email list is the best way to stay in touch with your neighbors without overwhelming them. Although these people could reside near your business, getting them to sign up for your email list isn’t all that easy.

Luckily, we have the strategies and tips to help you create a high-quality email list that will turn nearby residents into loyal fans. 

1. Leverage Your Website

Every business, whether small or large, requires a website to stay active in the online space. Even though you sell physical products or provide services, it’s important to have a website that correlates to your brand identity. 

You can use these strategies to use your website and build an email list:

  1. Use the standard opt-in form: The standard opt-in form is a classic way to get people’s contact information. Use clear and concise forms with relevant fields to encourage signups.
  2. Use targeted popups: Popups help you capture visitor attention. Place them strategically, such as when a visitor is about to exit the page or perform a certain action.
  3. Offer incentives: People are more likely to sign up in return for an incentive. Provide discounts, free guides, or early access to new products.

2. Use Social Media 

Globally, the number of social media users grew to a whopping 5.04 billion in January 2024. Even if you don’t target a broad audience, social media can be a wonderful opportunity to connect with like-minded native population. You can also utilize geo-tagging to understand consumer behavior and help them find information about a specific location.

Here are a few ways to use social media to your advantage:

  • Promote your email list: Let your followers know about your email list. You can drop links in your posts, social media bio, or use a dedicated space to showcase the list.
  • Run a local contest: Contests require people to enter their email addresses, which is a great way to gather interested leads.

3. Offline Strategies

If you don’t have an online presence yet, here are ways you can build your email list offline:

  • Utilize business cards: Include a call-to-action or QR code on your business card to help people sign up.
  • Use networking events: Collect email addresses with permission at networking events or trade shows.
  • Flyers and brochures: Include a signup option on printed materials such as brochures, flyers, or menus.
  • Print ads: Consider including a sign-up option in local print ads like newspapers or community magazines.

Whatever method you choose, ensure to follow email marketing regulations such as the CAN-SPAM and GDPR Act. This means using double opt-ins and providing clear unsubscribe options for recipients.

The key to building a successful email list is to provide valuable content and promotions to keep leads and customers engaged.

Below, we’ll brainstorm how to write a perfect local marketing email to attract the right ones near you.

How to Write Engaging Local Email Marketing Content

Even with a micro-segmented audience, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Each email must be tailored to fit your audience’s expectations and preferences. 

Here are some things to remember:

  • Include the location: Since you’re targeting local residents, highlight the proximity to increase the likelihood of responses.
  • Understand their needs: Get to know the needs of each customer — are they price-conscious? Quality seekers? Or time pressed? This will help you craft relevant content and tap into their emotions.
  • Write in a conversational tone: Be professional while maintaining a friendly tone, like you’re talking to a neighbor.
  • Showcase local love: Highlight your involvement in local events or show testimonials from happy local customers.
  • Focus on the subject line: Keep the subject lines short and highly relevant by emphasizing the value. Seeing a subject line referencing their neighborhood could increase your open and click-through rates.
  • Use visual appeal: Include high-quality images or videos when possible to showcase your brand value upfront.
  • Personalize the email: Stick to using first names or referring to past actions to build a personal connection.
  • Focus on mobile-friendly design: Ensure your emails render well on smartphones and other devices, where people mostly check their emails.
  • Include a clear CTA: Tell readers what you want them to do next — book an appointment, visit the store, or use the discounts.
  • Be mindful of the frequency: Avoid sending too many emails at once. Find a good sending frequency and stick to it.

Most importantly, find ways to incorporate local events or reference the neighborhood. This will help recipients connect better with your content.

Email Campaign Ideas and Examples For Local Businesses 

Local email marketing is a long-term strategy, just like any other plan of action. Based on your business type, you can leverage different forms of email marketing campaigns to keep customers engaged and happy.

People generally enjoy the history and authenticity of local businesses and usually support the proprietors by offering practical and emotional support. 

This gives you a good opportunity to tell your stories through various email marketing campaigns. Below, we selected the most used campaign types to help you get a fair idea of the practices. 

S.NOType of email campaign Representation Example use cases
1.Welcome emailsInitial email to greet new subscribers or customersNew subscriber sign-up, purchase acknowledgment
2.Promotional emails Emails focused on offering discounts, deals, and special offersHoliday sales, flash sales, exclusive discounts for locals
3.Newsletters Regular updates about the business, including news, articles, and product launchesCommunity involvement, monthly business updates
4.Event InvitationsAnnouncements about special events hosted by the local businessWorkshops, webinars, and grand opening
5.Transactional emailsAutomated emails sent after a specific customer action such as purchases, sign-ups, etcOrder confirmations, shipping updates, and appointment reminders
6.Re-engagement emailsEmails sent to encourage inactive customers to come backSpecial offers, updates on new products, discounts
Types of local email marketing campaigns

Let’s examine them in detail in the below section.

Welcome Email Campaign for Your Neighbors

Welcome emails are the first messages your local customers receive after signing up for your email list or purchasing a product. Although your customers have been with you for long, a welcome email is a great place to help them learn more about your brand. Start with a friendly greeting, highlight your value proposition, and guide them toward a CTA.

Give them a local feel—use local references, images, or greetings. This will strengthen their bond with your business.

local email marketing - welcome email example
Welcome email example. Full version at the Source

1000 Email Ideas uses a simple layout with a straightforward CTA. It also helps customers surf through the ideas they missed before joining the email list.

Promotional Email Campaign for Locals

Promotional emails keep your local customers engaged with offers, discounts, and deals. This is a one-off opportunity to capitalize on new product launches or existing offers on products. If you’re a service-based company, you can give customers a percentage off of specific services, encouraging them to continue business with you.

local email marketing - promotional email example
Promotional email example. Full version at the Source

Sill, a plant selling company, employs attractive product imagery that tells a story. The high-end photos along with the discounts increase the chances of recipients taking an action. 

Local Email Newsletters

Email marketing newsletters help local subscribers stay updated about your business, industry happenings, and product updates. This way, the locals don’t have to ask around for your brand information, they can receive it in their inboxes.

If you’re afraid there’s not much information to share, curating local content is a good tactic to keep them engaged. 

local email marketing newsletter example
Newsletter example. Full version at the Source

Bedow, an icecream brand uses great-looking product photographs along with compelling copy to encourage purchases. They also weave in storytelling by comparing their icecreams to poems. 

Event Invitations for Local Subscribers 

Event invitation emails are special because they connect personally with your local readers. It’s no longer about generic promotions but personal invites that benefit the customer. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great starting points. You can send holiday, seasonal, and special event emails to encourage more in-store visits. 

event invite example email
Event invitation example. Full version at the Source

Today is a newsletter that aims to collaborate with like-minded people and create a better future for all. Its email invitation is brief and helps locals connect by adding their business purpose and history, right below the invite.

Transactional Emails for The Natives

Transactional emails are automated messages sent in response to a specific customer action, such as order confirmations, shipping updates, or appointment confirmations. Your customers could reside in close proximity as your business, but that’s not the only way they’ll trust you.

 A well-executed transactional email can inject trust and increase brand credibility with locals. 

transactional email
Transactional email example. Full version at the Source

Airbnb sends a simple-looking confirmation email with basic information such as the location, arrival and departure dates, and payment confirmation.

Re-engagement Email Campaign for Locals 

Re-engagement emails are sent to encourage inactive local subscribers to get back to your brand. You can send discounts, special offers, or exclusive previews to help them make the transition. Carefully using the ‘We miss you’ approach will show their value and re-kindle local love.

re-engagement email example
Re-engagement email example. Full version at the Source

Material sells functional kitchenware and uses good images and copy to persuade customers to come back. We especially like how the brand explains the product value through a series of steps and images.

As you increase trust in your business through email marketing, your loyal customers will become ‘ambassadors,’ bringing in more customers. 

Use email metrics to track campaign performance and adjust your strategies accordingly. 

Measuring Your Local Email Marketing Effectiveness

Most email marketing tools make it easy to track common metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversions. 

Campaign Refinery offers robust analytics and a reporting dashboard that provides a bird’s-eye view of every campaign metric.

The table below shows some of the common metrics.

Email Campaign Metric Purpose Importance 
Open rate Shows the percentage of people who opened your emailsIndicate how well your subject line and sender name capture attention
Click-through rate Shows the percentage of people who clicked on a link in your emailShows the level of engagement with your content and CTA
Conversion rate The percentage of recipients who completed a desired actionDetermines overall campaign success
Unsubscribe rate Percentage of recipients who unsubscribed from your list Shows a potential problem with sending frequency, email content, or relevance
Spam complaint rate Number of people who marked your emails as spam Indicates email deliverability issues 
List growth rate The percentage increase in your overall list growth Shows the effectiveness of list-building tactics
Forward/share ratePercentage of recipients who forwarded your emails to others Measures the reach of your content
Local email marketing metrics

Tracking these metrics alone does not assure good results. You may observe fallbacks in conversions for many reasons, such as email delivery issues, design problems, etc. 

To help you avoid these traps, here are best practices that’ll enhance the effectiveness of your emails.

Local Email Marketing: Best Practices

You can tap into the civic pride of people and nurture them to choose your business over any other. But sooner or later, customers might move away if there’s inconsistent content or poor email delivery.

This means the big box stores get to capture their interests and business. Remember, these multinational companies have big marketing and ad budgets, making it easier to pull in customers. 

But with proper email marketing tactics, you can retain their attention and build a loyal following; here’s how:

  1. Segment your audiences: While this could sound counter-intuitive, segmenting audiences based on their likes and preferences goes a long way in retaining their attention span.
  2. Use mobile-friendly designs: Design emails that pull up great on a mobile device. Optimize the images, re-check font sizes, and use the right-sized CTA buttons.
  3. Play with seasonal engagement: Run campaigns around the holidays, special days, or back-to-school sales.
  4. Promote local news: Share critical updates such as store hour changes, new staff, or community-relevant news.
  5. A/B test campaigns: Test different subject lines, CTAs, or email layouts to see what performs well with your audience.
  6. Track and analyze: Regularly track email campaign metrics to identify gaps and refine your strategies.
  7. Clean your email lists: Remove inactive email addresses to maintain a healthy list and improve deliverability rates

Running email marketing campaigns as a local business can be challenging. A lack of resources and manpower may affect the quality of emails. 

For example, inconsistent branding and complex layouts can confuse readers and distract them from the main message. Another common problem is email deliverability issues (the ability for emails to reach your subscribers’ inboxes). 

Use a reliable email marketing platform to ensure your emails reach the recipients. This is where Campaign Refinery plays a critical role in shaping your email marketing efforts.

Campaign Refinery — The Best Email Marketing Platform With the Highest Email Deliverability

Running a small business could mean wearing many hats, making it challenging to focus on significant details, such as email deliverability. Deliverability issues in local email marketing often arise from poor-quality email addresses, low sender reputation, and non-compliance with email marketing regulations.

Campaign Refinery prioritizes getting your emails to the recipient’s inbox by using a combination of email list hygiene tools and cutting-edge deliverability technology. 

Our automatic email list cleaning tool removes harmful and inactive email addresses, and our high-speed sending engine ensures your emails reach the right place. 

We ensure your local email marketing adheres to email marketing regulations and best practices, so you can focus on what’s important — your business.

Craft perfect emails in minutes with the highest email deliverability rate on the market.

Apply to join as a client today!

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