Email marketing is one of the best weapons in a local business’s marketing arsenal. It’s still one of the strongest marketing channels for encouraging sales, despite technologies like social media taking centre stage: on Black Friday in 2015, 25% of online purchases came from email marketing (Custora, 2015).
But getting email marketing right can be tricky. Here are four rules you can follow to help make your email marketing unmissable, ensuring your subscribers open and engage with your emails.
1) Make them relevant and personal
Your subscribers have signed up to your email marketing because they’re interested in updates from your business, so make sure you keep the information relevant.
Think about what subscribers would like to know about – not just about products and sales, but to do with your industry. This is the sort of useful content to include in your email newsletters. For example, if you’re a plumber, you might want to give readers tips on how to deal with a leak until you’re able to arrive, or how to protect their pipes over winter.
Personalising your emails can also be very effective: research suggests that subject lines which include the recipient’s name are more likely to be opened (Campaign Monitor, 2015). If you include personalised information in the main text of the email, your readers will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them, helping build a relationship.
If you use an email marketing provider like CampaignMonitor, it’s easy to personalise emails with the free, built-in tools.
2) Write a killer subject line
Your email subject line is the first thing a reader will see and it’ll be fighting for their attention in a crowded inbox.
Spend time writing that killer subject line to make sure your email actually gets opened. Be concise without being boring: try and think about what your reader is interested in and how you could intrigue them so they open the email to find out more while still representing the content in the email accurately.
If the subject line doesn’t clearly explain what the email is about, subscribers are likely to delete your message without opening it – or open it and be disappointed. If you’re providing useful information then say so: “Five tips on dealing with a leak” might sound dull to you but for readers it might be just what they’re looking for!
3) Design email for mobile
Your subscribers are very likely to read their emails on their smartphone or mobile device:
In 2015, over half of all email opens happened on a mobile (Litmus, 2015) Three-quarters of Gmail users (that’s 900 million people) access their accounts on mobile (TechCrunch, 2015)
That means it’s essential you design your emails for mobile readers, otherwise they’ll soon delete your email marketing once they’ve opened it and are struggling to read it on a small screen.
Shorter subject lines, a strong, simple message and bigger, clearer design are all key to designing your email messages for mobile.
4) Give readers more of what they want
Not only is it important you keep the information in your emails relevant to your business, but you should also be giving subscribers what they want in your email marketing. This might be information about new products, upcoming sales, or something more specific.
With email marketing, you can speak directly to people and offer them unique opportunities. Consider running subscriber-only discounts or events which will encourage them to stay signed up to your email list. These events and sales are also a great promotional tool to encourage others to sign up to your email database.
If you’re not sure what your readers really want, ask them! Using email marketing means they’re able to respond directly to you with feedback, or use a free service like Google Forms to create a questionnaire and link to it in your email. Remember, people are more likely to complete the survey if there’s an incentive (for example, a prize draw or discount). Email marketing is an effective, engaging way to talk to people – when used right.