Email marketing is a valuable and inexpensive way for small-business owners to promote brand awareness. It allows them to reach out to past customers, introduce themselves to future ones and provide people with special offers. Email marketing also provides an opportunity to build a solid relationship with a customer. Generating effective content is only one piece of the puzzle – there are things you should and shouldn’t do when interacting with people via email. It’s important to send people emails that are relevant to them, and great care should be taken to avoid spamming. Creating and maintaining solid email lists will help you with these goals. Keeping these things in mind can help you create successful email marketing campaigns.
METHOD 1 : Creating Email Lists
Build your email list.
The three most important groups to market to via email are your current customers, past customers, and prospective customers. Use a spreadsheet to create a database of their names and email addresses. If you don’t already have the email addresses, you’ll need to start collecting them. To build your list, use your website, storefront, front desk, and every phone call to request your visitor’s email address.
- Keep a clipboard at the front desk or storefront of your business for people to sign up for your email list.
- Entice them into signing up by offering discount coupons and other advantages that will only be sent via email. Make it relevant to what they are currently doing. Are they reading a long how-to guide? Then offer a summarized actionable checklist in exchange for their email.
- All you need is their name and email address to get started. Don’t ask for too much information at this point.
Many people will be reluctant to sign up for an email list unless you assure them you will keep their email addresses and personal information private. This should be promised upfront. Along with the initial promise, you should develop a privacy statement that will be included at the bottom of every email you send out. This statement should be brief and to the point.
- Privacy statements should state that your company will never give out email addresses to third parties and will only be used for the purposes of marketing your company’s products and services.
- It should also be mentioned that the email content is confidential and intended only for the individual named.
- Also state that if the email has been received in error, the recipient should notify the company so that their email can be deleted from the email list.
- Example: Your privacy is important to us. We will not disclose your personal information to any third party unless you have given us consent or we are required to do so by law. If you do not wish to receive communication from this company, you can opt out by replying to this email and notifying us.
Create different email lists.
- Keep email addresses organized in spreadsheets and make sure you separate them. At minimum, you should have the emails broken into lists of current customers, past customers and prospective customers. Creating separate email lists allows you to send different emails to the groups, each with their own targeted content. As you go along, you can get more specific with your lists for even better targeting.
- Keeping separate lists also helps you to prevent spamming them with irrelevant content, which reflects poorly on your company.
- It’s important to build relationships with your recipients through email marketing. Targeted lists with relevant content will help you do that.
Have clear and specific goals in mind.
Remember the acronym “AIDA” as you compose the message – Attention, Interest, Desire, Action.Your subject line needs to get their “attention” so that they’ll open the email. Once they’ve opened it, spark their “interest” so they’ll want to continue reading it. Create “desire” by providing them with a motivating offer. Finally, they need to be moved to “action” – which can be clicking on a link, calling your business, buying something from your website, and so on.
- For example, a dance class instructor who teaches couples could effectively market via email by offering a promotion for a free one hour introductory class. This offer would create desire, which could be further solidified by including a positive testimonial from a current student.
- Since the primary targets are couples, a subject line like, “Do you want to take your relationship to the next level?” would be an effective way to get the attention of a prospect
Write an effective subject line.
Always remember the risk of being flagged as spam. A good subject line can diminish that possibility. It’s best to write a subject line of less than 40 characters. 20 to 30 is probably optimal.
- Tell your recipients what’s new in terms of products, services and relevant business information.
- Using the words “how to” is a great way to get your email opened; connect your solution to the recipients’ needs.
- Make a compelling offer that will interest the recipient. Offers are usually discounts or special pricing.
- For example, a good subject line that a POS software company could use when marketing to restaurant owners would be, “Our new security feature will eliminate internal theft” or “How to eliminate internal theft.”
Provide interesting content.
- Avoid obvious sales pitches. Instead of immediately pitching your product, make the email about your readers. Instead of long-winded descriptions of your products and all the amazing services you provide, write about problems that might be afflicting your readers, then introduce solutions that include your products and services.
- Just as the subject line should prompt them to open the email, your intro needs to do one thing – get them to read the rest of the email.
- To capture interest, try telling a story, building mystery, and/or including a relevant and compelling image in the email body.
- For example, instead of announcing a new feature by describing it in technological terms, you could instead talk about the benefits of the feature that will directly and positively affect a prospective customer. Focusing on a customer’s needs will get their attention.
- You could make key statements using bulletpoints, which would succinctly convey information while also emphasizing it.
Keep it simple and easy to read.
People receive a lot of emails every day and you probably aren’t going to have their undivided attention. Make sure the email is easy for the recipient to scan through quickly. Break the content up into short paragraphs. Stay on point and be clear.Include relevant images to break up the text.
- If you have an offer that requires a good deal of information, provide a “Read more” link. If they’re interested, they can click that link and be taken to a web page that provides additional information.
- Start with the most important information at the top of the email.
Create an action-oriented goal.
Your email should entice and prompt the recipients to take some kind of action. However, action does not necessarily mean getting them to buy something immediately. The goal could be getting them to reply to the email or even just getting them to click a link that brings them to your website. While people do manage to sell in their emails and drop people straight onto a credit card page, you will have more success getting people interested in reading more about your offer.
- Make sure the action goal is something that you can track – like a click, reply or a phone call – through platforms like Google Analytics.
- It’s important to monitor the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns, and the only way you can do that is by providing a call-to-action that you can track.
Send a welcome email and provide an opt-in option.
Before you start marketing to someone new, you should first send a welcome email. Introduce the company and let them know what to expect from future emails. Provide an opt-in form that allows them to confirm that they want to receive further emails from you. To give them incentive to opt-in, provide an attractive offer in the welcome email.
- For example, you could offer a free product or discount with their next purchase.
- An opt-in option can help prevent you from spamming people and get your relationship with that person started on the right foot.
- Every email you send should also have an obvious unsubscribe link in it. This allows the person to opt-out at any time.
Send a test email first.
Once you hit “send” on an email, there’s no going back. You can’t make corrections or change any of the content. Before you send an email out to your entire email list, send it to a few key people in your company. Have these people review the email content, confirm that all the links work, proofread the text, make sure the formatting looks right, etc.
- You will feel a lot more comfortable and confident about sending the final email out to your list if you do a test send first.
Track the effectiveness through analytics.
Most email service providers include free analytics when you use their programs. These analytics provide a great deal of information about the email’s effectiveness, but the three most important metrics are the open rate, click through rate (CTR), and unsubscribes. Knowing this information can help you tweak your content for more successful email marketing in the future.
- The open rate tells you how effective your subject line was by showing you how many people opened the email and how many people didn’t.
- CTR shows you how many people heeded the call-to-action, which essentially tells you how successful your content was.
- Unsubscribe information lets you know when you’ve created ineffective content because it tracks how many people opted-out of receiving future emails from you after seeing the current one.