7 Email Marketing Tips For Small Businesses

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Imagine opening your inbox, and you see an email of an offer for a 50% discount to purchase dog food. You’re probably going to click on it to buy it, or you’re going to swipe it to the bin. My bet is on the latter.

No one wants to read an email that looks more or less like spam, and the most surprising thing is that most marketers fail to recognize this fault.

The truth is, most email marketing campaigns fail to compel. So instead of landing you more leads and attracting potential clients to your business, it falls short. The trick is getting it right. Let’s look at some hard facts:

4 out of 5 businesses use email marketing as part of their digital strategy, and it’s no surprise why. 83% of B2B companies use e-newsletters as part of their content marketing programs, and 4o% of B2B marketers say their email newsletters are critical to their content marketing success.

So why isn’t your Email Marketing Campaign landing your leads? What could you be doing wrong?

1. Your subject line is not compelling enough

Email marketing is a tricky business, as is any online strategy out there. Many times it could end up going to spam or being left unread. That’s sad, especially if you’ve spent a huge time crafting out content. Chances are, your subject line is flat. Sometimes you have a line saying things like 25% off or some kind of discount offers. You might think this is being direct with a potential customer, but what you’re doing is scaring them off. Phrases such as these that appear at the subject line are red flags and are more likely to cause more harm than good.

2. You need a more welcoming subject line

Your subject line needs to be unique and able to draw attention to itself. In other words, clickable. It could be a funny or witty statement — something that can get the reader interested in opening your email.

A simple way to be sure of the perfect subject line is to develop a list of several lines and pick the best one. Before you settle on what that line should be, ask yourself, is this something I would be interested in enough to click on it? Try to put yourself in the customer’s shoes.

Yes, a greater amount of time needs to be spent working on this, but it’s worth the hassle. This is very important because your subject line is the first thing a customer will see before even opening the email and will consequently determine whether or not it will be opened or swiped aside.

3. Opening the email is only half the challenge

Usually, when a customer clicks on an email, it is easy to determine if they will read through the content in the first 10 seconds. The first paragraph is what gives that customer the first impression. And like every other situation, first impressions are very vital. It is so important that your content needs to be set in the right tone.

That first line needs to be appealing. It needs to be able to communicate your intentions whilst keeping the attention of your reader. One way to do this is through images or infographics. Sharp images strategically inserted at points in the newsletter can tell a story and give the reader an idea of what to expect from reading further. Careful, though; you do not want to have too many pictures overshadowing the actual content.

Videos can also be a great incentive, as long as it merges well with the content. To keep things simple, depending on the newsletter’s length, 1–2 images for a concise newsletter, and 2–3 for longer ones.

4. Knowing your target audience is the path to striking a lasting chord

No one wants to read a 10 minutes sales pitch. You should have a bit of knowledge about what your target market is comfortable with. For example, does your business target a specific age group? Maybe ages 17–30. Then you might want to adjust your tone to appeal to that audience. Although if your target market is more general, it’s necessary to maintain a neutral balance.

Having a system where you can get additional information about clients can also be helpful. This can help you narrow and personalize the type of content that will appeal to your audience. Sending content that educates and entertains is the trick to winning customers. Don’t only try to sell your product or services; make sure you’re sending content that adds value as well. It’s a way of telling your customers, ‘we know you, and we care.’

5. Bear in mind the specific goal of your email

Every newsletter sent out should have a goal in mind, well-thought-out, planned and ready for execution. Do you want to create awareness for the product, alert customers about the new sales season, get newbies to sign up on your website? Whatever it is, make sure that it is clear and communicated so that the customer wouldn’t be left wondering what all that great content was for.

Call to action sentences and phrases can be slipped in towards the end of the newsletter, so the customer knows exactly what to do.

Also, ensure that you don’t try to jumble all your deals and offers in one newsletter. That can leave the customer overwhelmed, wary, and itchy to dismiss your email before reading to the end.

6. Take advantage of the holidays

On average, holiday sales represent about 20% of overall annual retail sales each year. And for some businesses, the figures get even higher than that.

Holidays are the perfect time for businesses to expand their clientele. It is also a way to carve out unique content from the usual all-year-round feed. Therefore, it’s only reasonable to leverage holidays to attract greater audiences and drive sales through the roof.

7. Space out with headlines

Always space out your content with appropriate headlines and paragraphs. Your email should be navigable, clean, and easy to read.

Email marketing can be a game-changer in your business as long as you can maximize these few simple and actionable tips to make your copy and content stand out. In an age filled with many distractions and shiny objects, you need your content to be as unique and relevant as possible.

Whether you are writing the content yourself or having a team that takes care of it, you need to make sure the job is being done in the right way and efforts aren’t going to waste.

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Vivan Gerald