Email marketing is still one of the best ways to get the word out about your business and to engage your loyal customer base.

Your email list should be populated by customers who have given you permission to send them marketing material directly—you should never buy an email list from a vendor—so you already have piqued their interest. Here are some ways you can keep it, and make sure your emails aren’t immediately discarded:

  1. Make sure they are mobile friendly. More and more people are using their phones to do everything from look for services to reading their email—and it gets easier and easier to do so with every new generation of smart phone. More than 80 percent use a smart phone and nearly 50 use some form of tablet.  Think about single column designs without big graphics. They will translate better to a mobile medium.


  1. Consider text-only emails and avoid using image-based messages. They may look good while you’re creating them, but remember most email clients will automatically block images these days. In order to see them, your customers will have to take the extra step to unblock or show the images—and you know that’s enough to turn people off right away. If your emails are picture-heavy, most likely all your customers will see is a bunch of broken texts—if they open it at all.


  1. Be personal. Your email should come from a real person, preferably yourself or the manager they’re most likely to engage with at your shop. (Having an email come from ‘noreply’ is the kiss of death. You might as well type ‘spam’ yourself. This goes for the addressee, too. Send your email to a name, and address it according to their interests, too. Studies have shown that nearly 75 percent of online customers are frustrated when they receive content that has nothing to do with their interests.


  1. Make it short and sweet. Your subject line should be compelling and to the point. Think of it like a headline, and try to grab your customer’s attention. Mention a special offer, ongoing promotion or something else that will get their interest. Be specific if you mention time: “Free alignment checks tomorrow.”


  1. Have a clear call to action (CTA). Your marketing material should be designed to get your customer to do something. You can decide what that is: come in to your store, visit your web site, say ‘Hi’ or like something on your social media feed in order to get a discount or access to a special service. Whatever it is, though, make sure it’s easy to understand and track. Include more than one link, make them prominent, and thank them for their time and attention.


Those are a few common tips. Can you think of others? Let us know in the comments!