Email marketing remains a strong customer outreach tool for small businesses, even during the age of Tik-Tok®. Launching an email marketing campaign might sound overwhelming but the payoff may lead to increased brand awareness and sales. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get you started.
Choose a platform
Email marketing apps help you create messages, build subscriber lists, automate workflows and more. PC Magazine® rates 20+ features of 10 popular services here. Take a look and choose one that fits all of your marketing needs and is easy to implement. Some also integrate with other software solutions you may already be using, like customer relationship management or website platform software.
Make it easy to subscribe… and unsubscribe
Many small business owners who send out regular newsletters to their email list don’t have a subscription box or option on their website to solicit new subscribers. If you make it hard for customers and visitors to your website to subscribe, you’ll miss opportunities that may affect your bottom line. It’s equally important, and key to compliance regulations, to have an unsubscribe link in a visible spot in the header or footer of your emails.
Brand your email to look like a pro
When you contact current and potential clients and customers, you want to have a clear and concise look and message. There are several easy steps you can take to improve the look, tone and voice of your emails:
- Add your logo
- Use custom colors and consistent fonts
- Add engaging visuals and images
- Break content into short, easy-to-read paragraphs. Less is more.
Depending on your website design platform, you may already have email templates using your brand assets. For example, SquareSpace® has email marketing included, based on your website design, and using the subscribe option from your website.
Create a compelling subject line
Your subject line is the first thing recipients will see. Therefore, it should be attention-grabbing, relevant, and concise. The right subject line can improve your open rate. According to MailChimp®, the best email subject lines include a compelling reason for the user to open and are brief and descriptive. They recommend the subject line contains no more than 9 words or 60 characters, only one emoji, and no more than three punctuation marks.
Personalize your emails
Use tools to personalize your emails with subscribers’ names and content based on their preferences and behavior. Personalization has been shown to increase open rates for most users, and may work especially well when combined with targeted automations such as birthday deals and post-purchase follow-ups.
Content is key
Providing valuable and relevant content is key to attracting and retaining email subscribers. Promotions and sales offers are important but consider where else you can provide value to your subscribers. Educational articles, product updates, DIY or other tutorials, and recipes or craft ideas using your products may all contribute to email content that subscribers look forward to receiving.
Don’t forget to include a call-to-action (CTA). A clear, compelling CTA to make a purchase, sign up for a webinar, or download a resource, should always be featured in your email newsletters.
Also consider capitalizing on seasonal events and social trends, like including a Christmas tree emoji for a holiday sale or using a trending hashtag in the subject line. However, you should avoid spammy tactics like all caps, excessive exclamation points, or too many sales pitches.
Test and refine
When you are creating an email, consider using an A/B test to compare versions and see how small changes may impact your results. Test and compare variables like subject line, from name, CTA buttons, content, send time, and more. This helps you see what is working and refine your strategy accordingly.
Continually assess your email marketing efforts and make adjustments. Most email marketing providers include analytics to track open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and other metrics, including new subscribers and unsubscribes. It’s important to pay attention to the ever-evolving digital landscape and adapt your email marketing as needed.
Look at the competition
Keep track of your competitors to determine how often they offer discounts, when they email and how they segment their email lists. In addition to strategy, you’ll see copy, images, and subject lines that you might want to tweak for your own email blast.
Proofread once, and then proofread again
Avoid glaring errors. A simple typo can turn off your readers fast. When you’ve written and tweaked the copy, it’s hard to proofread all by yourself. Ask an employee with strong writing skills to give your message a thorough review. If you need help in this area, look into Grammarly®, an online service that automatically detects grammar, spelling, punctuation and other common style mistakes in your writing.