Email marketing is a great idea for your small business.
It's an easy and cost-effective way to stay in touch with your existing customers and establish relationships with new customers.
But effective emails don't just happen. The best email marketing campaigns are carefully constructed to elicit a quick response from the people who read them – if they get read in the first place. When it comes to email marketing, here are seven best practices you can't afford to ignore.
- Be Simple. In the world of email marketing, a simple, concise message always gets a better response than a complicated, wordy one. The goal of your campaign isn't to give your customers an exhaustive description of your product line, but to elicit a response, usually by directing the reader to your website.
- Be Brief. Most people won't take the time to read a lengthy email, no matter how good the offer. When you write your email organize your thoughts around a few short paragraphs with a bulleted list and some graphics thrown in for good measure.
- Be Targeted. Like it or not, the success of your email marketing strategy will largely depend on the effectiveness of your email's subject line and opening sentence. In addition to being short, the subject line should include your company name and a call to action. The opening sentence has to reach out and grab the reader's attention, inspiring him to read the rest of the email.
- Be Urgent. Your email has to create a sense of urgency with your customers. Time-sensitive offers are standard operating procedure for email marketing campaigns, but the use of phrases like "hurry", "act now", or "time is running out" can also be helpful.
- Be Repetitive. Be repetitive in your emails. Repeat the same messages over and over to your customers. Make sure your emails repeatedly emphasize the same points. Get the picture?
- Be Action-Oriented. A successful email marketing campaign pushes the reader toward an action, e.g. "click here for 10% off your next purchase." As much as possible, try to orient your language toward the desired response by starting sentences with action words.
- Be Knowledgeable. Identify your readers and try to learn as much as you can about them before you create your email. For example, if your readers are existing customers, your email will read much differently than an email directed toward new customer prospects.