Email marketing remains one of the best ways to get your message across to your customers.
Your email messages are one thing you still have complete control over—not only the content, but who gets to see them. You don’t have to worry about some new twitch in the Facebook algorithm or getting lost in a busy newsfeed or timeline. Your emails go where you want them to go and, more often than not, they are opened up and at least skimmed through.
There are 10 basic properties of an effective email campaign:
1. Use a clear, attention-grabbing subject line.
This sounds like common sense—and it is, but perhaps not in the way you think. Not only do you want your customers to know what your email is about, you want them to know it’s legitimate. In order to break through the billions of spam emails that are sent every day, you have to be compelling. If your subject isn’t, your customers won’t go any further.
2. Use an actual person as the sender.
This will also help break through the spam, and it’ll improve your open rates. Besides, as a small business owner, you like that personal touch, right?
3. Stay true to your brand.
Simply put: make sure your email marketing looks like the rest of your marketing material. You want your recipients to recognize who you are, and remember why they clicked on your email.
4. Include personalized content.
This is important, because it speaks to the foundation of who you are and what you do: provide personal service to your customers. Personalized emails improve open rates and click throughs, and it can be as simple as including a person’s first name in your greeting. Despite this obvious piece of advice, many marketers do not do this—and that gives you an advantage.
5. Know your audience
You probably know who your customers are, who your prospects are and who may be on the fence for using your service or buying your goods. Don’t mix them up.
[caption id="attachment_206" align="alignright" width="150"] Many people have their email directed to their smart phones, so you can reach them wherever they are.[/caption]
6. Have an obvious call-to-action.
Think about what you want your email to accomplish and don’t make your customers guess what it is. If you want them to download a coupon to bring it in, make a link that’s easy to find. If you want them to click through to your blog, make sure you offer several ways to do that. The call to action (CTA) button is the second most important component of your email (beside the content, itself) so make it easy to find. You should include a second CTA link at the bottom of your email, too.
8. Include a relevant image.
Just like on your social media platforms, images in emails are engaging. They’ll also help you distinguish yourself from the spam flood (do you see a pattern developing?)
9. Include social sharing buttons or links.
What better way to expand your email marketing network than to have your customers do it for you? Including a ‘follow’ button or link in your email template is a great way to get potential leads with very little effort.
10. Include an Unsubscribe link.
You may not want to do this, but you have to. Sending marketing email without an unsubscribe link violates the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Not only will it damage your reputation, it could land you in court. So you can hope nobody uses it, but you have to include it.