These days, it is easier than ever to generate a series of email messages to go out to your list and attract new business. The real difficulty, though, is to make your email campaign as effective as possible. Here are 15 tips to make your small business email marketing program as effective as possible.
1. Make Sure Your Message Gets Through
Increased efforts by the major email systems have included mechanisms to trap unsolicited emails from getting through to the recipient’s inboxes.
Be certain that you use a double opt-in method to ensure that you are ‘white listed’ in your recipient’s email system. Also, be careful with the use of such words as ‘Free’, ‘Save’, ‘Discount’ etc in both your subject line as well as email text.
2. Personalize Your Message
Increase the click thru and read rates by using the recipient’s first name, as in “Dear John” rather than “Hi, there!”. This makes your subscribers feel as though they already have a relationship with you. Just doing this little thing can improve reading and click thru rates by as much as 650%.
3. Use Text Rather than HTML
Numerous studies have shown that most Internet users respond better to plain text links rather than clicking on an image to take a desired actions.
For this reason, always use bold, blue, and underlined text links to obtain more conversions and sales.
4. Use a Third Party Autoresponder Service
By following the rules of on of the better autoresponder services, you will be forced to adhere to more stringent ANTI-SPAM rules and that means a direct advantage in your read and click thru rates.
Besides, it will make life much easier in setting up a nice marketing series so that you can manage the process much more effectively.
5. Send on Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Many studies have shown that the best days to perform a mail out are on Tuesday or Wednesday. People just seem to be more receptive to communications on those days.
6. One Message is Not Enough
By using a good autoresponder service, you can plan an effectively way to automatically follow-up with your subscribers to provide them with information on your products and services.
Many studies have shown that the average person is not motivated to purchase until after the 6th or 7th contact with a company.
You can establish the messages as well as the interval between messages and this will help your build trust with your subscriber.
7. Build a Brand Through Consistency
Always pay particular attention to the look and feel of your email message to ensure that they come across as professional rather than something that was thrown together in a hurry.
Keep your look and feel consistent across all your emails. If you are doing a newsletter, creating a template with your company logo really helps in this regard.
8. Create the Expectation
When you are sending a regular email to your subscribers, be sure to do so on a regular internal and stick to it.
Your customers will come to “expect” your email with anticipation and you surely don’t want to disappoint them.
9. You Get 1/2 Second of Their Attention
When your subscriber opens your email, you have about 1/2 second to grab their attention before they delete your message and go on to other tasks. In your subject line, be sure to specify a benefit that the customer can expect by reading your email.
For example, instead of using “My Company Email Newsletter“, you might say, “MyCompany Newsletter: 10 Tips for customer Satisfaction”.
10. Appeal to the Preview Pane
Many email systems, such as MS Outlook, now have a preview pane in which the subscriber can see the lead-in text of each email before they open it. Be certain that you have some very interesting content in the first couple of lines of your emails.
11. Test Your Links
Try doing a split test of several emails to determine which links appeal the most to subscribers.
Try out different color links as well as link placement in a couple of emails and then check the statistics (from the autoresponder service) to determine which type link and which placement achieved the best results.
12. Try An Ethical Bribe
To get a higher subscription rate to your newsletter, offer them an “Ethical bribe” to sign up.
Give subscribers a free ebook on the subject or a good discount coupon just for signing up. Everybody like something for nothing!
13. Email Mini-Courses
By providing free information to your subscribers you can more easily establish your credibility and collect more names to your email list. Why not create a small “Mini-Course” of several (5-10) emails on a topic of interest and schedule them to be delivered one to two days apart. Be sure to make the content informative and not too hard sell.
14. Comply with the SPAM Laws
The last thing that you want to be accused of is being a “spammer” – one who generates a bunch of unsolicited emails. Be sure that you know the rules and that you provide subscribers with the capability to unsubscribe at the bottom of each email.
This will keep your list clean and you know that your subscribers really do “want” your information and a relationship with your company.
15. Be Sure to Always Sign Your Emails
Your signature box at the close of the email is your best way to attract more traffic to your site. Be sure to include your personal information, company details, and even a link back to your main website. It might look like this:
My Company, LLC
Visit our website at: MyCompany.com
When you put these 15 tips into practice in your email marketing program, you will enjoy increased readership, company branding and you will attract more subscribers! This is the very best of small business email marketing.