Category: E-mail Strategies

Tips for getting the most out of e-mail based communication efforts.

Email Marketing: Winning in the Inbox

Did you know that the average person gets more than 120 emails each day? That creates a lot of clutter in the inbox. How do you get your email marketing message to be one that is opened and read?

Structure Your Email Message Well

Paying attention to the details will help your messages win attention. It is fine to use a tool like MailChimp or Constant Contact to manage your list and send your messages. You need to go beyond the defaults to be effective.

  • Sender: Set up your sender field to be something your recipients will recognize. Use your name if that’s what they know best. Use the business name if that’s what they connect to.
  • Subject line: Speak to a need or interest of the reader. Make them want to open the message. Be specific and compelling!
  • Summary text to start: Have text right up top that lets the recipient know what your message is all about.
  • Preview text: Write preview text that identifies the value of your message for the recipient. Don’t repeat the content of the subject or summary text.

Offer Content that Matters

Getting the details right will set you up to be read. Now your content has to deliver!

Make sure your message is relevant to the recipient. Don’t send the message if it isn’t. You may need to segment your email list to make sure you send only to those people who will find it highly relevant. Sending to fewer people who care is much better than a blast to all.

Tell a story in your message. Stories capture interest and are easy to read. Make sure your story is easy to read online with short paragraphs, short sentences, and simple sentence structures. People who scan rather than read every word should get the gist.

Experts recommend that you focus each email marketing message on a single topic. People who open a message will give you 1-2 minutes, so keep it short!

Email Marketing Works for Small Businesses

There are over 4 billion email users worldwide. That makes email an even larger audience for marketing and communication efforts than the largest social channels. Email marketing is valuable for any small business.

Data from Statista shows that email is the most common online activity in the US. Hubspot reports that email generates $42 for every $1 spent, making it one of the most effective online marketing options available.

Email marketing is an essential component of any strong marketing strategy. This form of marketing gives businesses the chance to convert their audience members into long-time connections and provide value in a convenient way.

Email Marketing Strategy for Small Business

Successful email marketing is about building relationships. Once you’ve gained a spot in someone’s inbox, you’ll be able to communicate with them on a far more personal and individual level than might otherwise be the case. Email is a channel for one-on-one communication, and the best email marketing strategies take advantage of that.

For long-term success, it’s not just about blasting out content and waiting for sales to begin. It’s a balanced process of gaining subscribers, communicating, analyzing and adjusting.

There are many different formats and opportunities to use email marketing. Here are a few tried-and-true tactics:

  • Greet new subscribers with welcome emails. The most important email a brand can send is a welcome email. It’s typically the first email (or series of emails) that a new subscriber receives and often gets the highest open rates for businesses.
  • Keep people in the loop with newsletters. These regular emails provide an opportunity to share your news about your company, your product, or your industry. It’s also a great format to highlight your latest customer reviews and interesting insights.
  • Incentivize sales through special offers. Email marketing is a fast and effective way to communicate sales and promotions. Or send your best customers a special discount to thank them for their loyalty.

Opening an email is more of a personal commitment than scrolling past an ad on a social media timeline. Someone who clicks on your email is immediately committed to and engaged with your content.

Through email marketing, you can speak directly to each individual customer. You can send them the content, offers, and updates most relevant to them.

Getting Started

There are several tools built to help businesses get the most from email marketing. You will want to research the features, options, and cost of each. Many businesses start with MailChimp because it has an “always free” option until your list grows to a certain size. This can be a low cost way to experiment with email marketing. Lists are easily exportable if/when another tool becomes preferred.

After selecting an email marketing tool, the next step is to build a list. You will want to gather the email addresses of customers and prospects. You may have a CRM or other system that you can export contacts from.

Always add a subscriber form to your website, and make it part of your process to ask new contacts for permission to add them to your email list.

Add parameters to each contact that will allow you to target messages. Typical segments are customers and prospects. You may also want to segment by how you connected with each person. The right segments depend on your business and the type of information you want to share.

Finally, you will want your emails to reflect your brand. Create a template that will let people know each message is from you and that will help them connect your messages to your website and other online locations.

6 Ways Small Business Owners Win with Email Marketing

Many are under the false impression that email is no longer an effective online marketing strategy. Wrong!

Email is one of the first–and still the best–digital marketing strategies for reaching and engaging with your audience. It continues to have an outstanding ROI – email generates $42 for every $1 spent, which is an astounding 4,200% ROI, according to the latest data from Hubspot.

If you don’t have an email marketing strategy, make this the year you develop one. If you have a email marketing effort underway, invest energy into refreshing the look and the content. Your time will be well spent.

Here are the top 6 things email marketing can do for you:

  1. Get your brand into the right inboxes. Set up a template that has a look and feel that puts your brand right where people spend much of their time online.
  2. Make you mobile. Email is one of the most commonly accessed services on mobile devices.
  3. Share your content. Email outreach is a great opportunity to share (and re-share) your best content shared online, giving your audience another chance to see it.
  4. Make you real. Email feels more personal and people respond to that. You can personalize the content and, for larger audiences, segment to target specific interests.
  5. Connect with your other marketing. Emails can connect users to your website, social channels, and any other place where you want to engage. It’s your launchpad to wherever you want to take people.
  6. Test ideas. Email is great place to test images, subject lines, content and more. Make changes and see what the data tells you. In fact, getting measurement data for email is built into most email marketing tools.