Email marketing continues to be a powerful and versatile content marketing tool for small businesses. Not only effective, but also more accessible for fifty- or sixty-something entrepreneurs than other digital marketing strategies, email marketing helps companies build familiarity and trust with customers. But with over 144 billion emails sent every day, many of them by companies, it’s crucial to make your emails stand out. The following basic email marketing techniques can help with that.
Send unique, personalized emails
Inserting the name of the recipient in the email, as in “Dear Trevor Jones,” is a start, but for best results you want to go deeper than that. The truth is many customers have become immune to the easy personalization that has become a standard for most business emails. I know I have.
Seek instead to craft unique emails based on existing customer data. You can do this manually, by looking at sales data to understand who your major customers are and then sending them personalized offers, special deals, or even emails of appreciation. Draw on their past purchase history and any customer support tickets they may have lodged. Keep the emails short and write them as if you are directly talking to the recipient.
Turn blog content into weekly round-up emails
The most effective marketing emails featured worthwhile content. That said, generating enough content can be a pain, especially when you have other tasks to juggle. An effective email marketing technique is to gather your best blog posts and other social media content into an informative newsletter.
If you feel you don’t have enough content for a weekly newsletter, send it only twice a month. You can use blog content as it is, or copy-paste the crux from every post and play with the headlines and the formatting, to give it a fresh look.
Craft engaging subject lines
Email marketing research shows that subject lines between 60 and 70 characters in length perform poorly. If you want to improve your email open rates (or get as many recipients to open and read your emails), use short headlines, below 50 characters. On the other hand, if you want to get them to click links in your emails, opt for headlines over 70 characters long, but not too long. Here are a few examples:
- New winter boots collection from big brands out now special prices – (67 characters including spaces) = not ideal
- New boots collection from big brands: Columbia, Sorel, Dickies, Nike, Adidas, Calvin Klein, and more – over 101 characters, may increase clicks for links to products within the email
- Stay warm this winter with new boots collection – only 48 characters, may increase open rate
Add value to your emails
Including special offers, vouchers, or discounts in your emails gives customers something to look forward to. Maximize the value of your emails by including in them unique offers your customers cannot find through your website, blog, or social media page. Create a sense of urgency by adding a deadline to your email offers. Notice how you tend to act quicker when there is a countdown timer included?
Don’t confuse recipients with too many links
If you choose to insert links to products in your email content, you want to keep them to a minimum, except for major sales or holiday emails which may feature bestsellers and other engaging products. For general emails, however, ensure that links to products are only complementary to the content, and follow naturally from it.
Finally, remember that one of the benefits of using an email marketing platform – there are plenty around – is that you can access templates that make your emails look good. Many such templates can revert to plain text if the recipient’s email client doesn’t support the format, so that your marketing emails always end up looking nice. This is important because in the end, it’s not just the quality of the email that matters, but also its design, and especially the first impression it makes.