Email marketing is one of the most affordable and effective ways for small businesses to connect with their customer base. If you are not already using e-mail marketing, DO IT NOW. The ROI (return on investment) is unmatched by other marketing channels and, with the tools available today, it’s easier than ever to get started. Here are some of our best tips for email marketing newbies.
COLLECT YOUR CONTACTS
Add an email sign up box/form to your website. The footer is a great place for this as it appears on every page of your site.
Collect emails at checkout via your POS system. Make sure to regularly pull new emails from your system and upload them into your email marketing platform.
Add an email sign up option on your Facebook page if your email marketing platform has an Facebook integration available.
Collect emails at events. You can set up a tablet for people to enter their contact information or print small sign up sheets that you later manually enter into your contact list.
Text to join. Many email marketing platforms have a text to join feature. Once set up, you can display signs at your business/events with the information on how to join your email list.
CREATE YOUR TEMPLATE(S)
Your emails should reflect your overall branding.
Include your logo at the beginning of the email
Include a footer with your business information (address, website, phone number, hours, social media links)
BE CONSISTENT The overall layout/design should remain the same regardless what type of email you are sending. Over time, your customers should be able to recognize an email from you without looking at your logo at the top.
Use your base design template to create multiple templates for the different types of emails you might send (newsletter, promotional, event announcement, etc.)
Most people only read the first 3-5 words in a subject line before deciding whether or not to open the email. Many mobile devices also only display the beginning of your subject line.
Put your most important information first, including call-to-actions and time sensitivity. The point of the subject line is not to explain everything in detail, but to get your customer to open the email. You’ll have the opportunity to elaborate further in your sub-header and in the email itself.
INSTEAD OF THIS:
It’s Time! Get the Kids Back to School Ready with 25% OFF TODAY ONLY!
SAVE 25% TODAY ONLY during our Back to School Sale
INSTEAD OF THIS:
Want to learn how to make pottery? We will show you how THIS FRIDAY!
THIS FRIDAY: Beginner Pottery Workshop
The content in your email will vary depending on your industry, but the information should always clearly answer the questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? without having to scroll or read a lot.
Content types include promotional, informative/educational, event announcement, newsletter, etc.
Less is more when it comes to text in an email. Most people don’t want to read a novel every time they open an email.
Instead, use images to call out the point you want to get across.
Add buttons or links for a call-to-action.
Look at the example below. Both emails are promoting a Spring Break Sale on leather purses, but the example on the left allows the customer to answer the important questions with just a glance.
What: 25% off leather purses
When: This weekend
Where: In store and online
Why: Spring Break Sale
Although it is almost a right-of-passage for a new marketer, there’s nothing worse than having to send a second, follow up email that says “Whoops, our event is on October 12 not October 22.”
Always send a test email to yourself before sending it to your customers.
Open the email on both your desktop and mobile device.
Check that all images display properly.
Make sure that all links work.
Double check important information like dates, times, sale details, etc.
Proofread for spelling/punctuation errors.
LIST CLEAN UP
Have you ever wondered why some well-known, large company’s emails turn up in your SPAM folder? Well, it is most likely because they do not practice good email list hygiene. It is very important to regularly remove inactive email addresses (invalid/non-existent addresses).
Most email marketing platforms charge you for the number of contacts on your list.
Your email open rates will be more accurate if you have a clean/active list.
Invalid/non-existent email addresses cause your bounce rate to rise. Your bounce rate is the percentage of contacts on your list that didn’t receive your email message.
Email platforms like Gmail use your average bounce rate to determine if your email will show up in your customer’s Inbox or SPAM.
RECOMMENDED EMAIL MARKETING PLATFORMS TO GET STARTED
Constant Contact *Top Recommendation*
STLL NEED SOME HELP?
After reading this blog post, are you still not convinced that you can run your email marketing campaigns on your own (or simply don’t have the time for it)? We get it… and can help! We offer affordable email marketing services for small businesses. Get in touch today to get started!