Despite the common refrain that no one opens emails, email marketing remains one of the best ways to market your business. Asking for email addresses is a way for you to form trust in your brand, and a way for you to trade valuable information to them for their contact information. An email address shared with your business is much more likely to convert into a customer than someone who has never interacted with your business at all.
81% of small business owners say they rely on email as their primary customer acquisition method. Additionally, 80% of small businesses say that email marketing is their primary method for customer retention as well. (Quicksprout)
This makes your email marketing strategy very important in achieving growth. However, there are quite a few mistakes that are commonly made in email marketing. Here are some good ways to make sure that you’re doing your email marketing correctly.
When you’re looking to set up email marketing, you want to work with a website that specializes in it. For some free services, there are options such as MailChimp and Hubspot. Once you get past a certain point, you’ll need more users, more emails, or more features. At that point, you’ll either want to upgrade your existing service, or look into one like Convertkit or Salesforce.
One of the best things about these services are marketing tools such as the ability to view email analytics such as open rates (percentage of recipients who opened the emails), click-through rates (percentage of people who opened the email who clicked through to the site) and other valuable metrics. Another great feature is marketing automation: the ability to automate certain emails such as “thank you for signing up” messages.
Compile all the biggest news and notes from your small business and put it into a newsletter sent out at least once a month. Be sure to include your best blog posts as well; this can also help search engine optimization (SEO).
Because people are so heavily inundated with emails on a daily basis, they’re going to need an incentive to sign up for your list. Incentives tend to be valuable offers that give the user something in return for signing up. Common ones include checklists, ebooks, discount codes, or free items with purchase.
The best way to do this is to create a landing page and advertise your offer with PPC Campaigns or on social media. On your landing page, have a form where your potential customers enter an email. Then simply send them the incentive automatically.
The other common type of email marketing campaign is more direct. These email campaigns use emails to turn the leads into customers. The messaging for those often involves discounts, sales letters, and other sales techniques.
As mentioned previously, email services compile useful data on opens and CTR. This data can help you tweak your email strategy to be the best it can be. For example, if an email sent at 7pm on a Tuesday gets more opens than one sent at 11am on a Monday, this helps you decide what time to send your message. Trying different types of emails will also help (newsletters, announcements, blogs, offers, etc).
Once you perform your tests, you can dial in on what types of emails and what word choices are best for your audience. Using the most effective emails as examples, you can create extremely successful campaigns.
At the end of the day, the focus should always be on the content. Email subject lines should be clear and short, but unique enough to stand out. Use emojis where appropriate, and numbers as well.
In the email copy be clear what your message is. Be clear and concise in your message, but make sure the message is given. Shorter content is usually better, but either way make sure certain pieces of content stand out. If your email client includes an email builder (like Mailchimp does) it might not be a bad idea to use buttons and images for your call to action as much as possible.
Between privacy laws and the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, it’s important to make sure your users have control over the use of their personal information. This includes having privacy policies and unsubscribe buttons. If you work beyond the United States, make sure you’re following all of the EU privacy laws as well.
If you don’t, it could lead in suspension of your account, or even legal action.
Unsubscribing is also an excellent data point to judge the behavior of readers. If one email has an unsubscribe rate of 1% but the next one is 10%, something about that second email is causing those unsubscribes. Use this information in writing future emails.
Email marketing isn’t as easy as people sometimes think it is: there are many costly mistakes that can be made as you try to get things working properly.
Every email is an opportunity for someone to take an action. Whether it’s a direct call to purchase or a call to read a blog or other piece of content, a percentage of people will always click. And if they don’t have the opportunity to click, to read more, how many potential sales have you lost? Even a simple ‘read this blog’ or ‘purchase this product/service’ can help.
Test different CTAs to figure out which type is most effective for your audience.
This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Sending emails regularly isn’t usually a problem, but don’t send them too often. This is the most common reason for unsubscribing from email lists. It can also get you marked as spam in major email clients like Yahoo and GMail.
In most instances, marketers create email campaigns on a desktop or laptop. However, almost all users open emails on their mobile device. If your email isn’t readable on their device, it will get trashed or ignored; losing a chance for conversion.
In addition, emails that are never optimized for phones and mobile viewing will likely end up with people unsubscribing. And too many trashed messages will indicate to the email client that your messages are either spam or otherwise uninteresting.
There is a huge difference between relaxed and unprofessional. It’s one thing to connect with people by using colloquial language or otherwise meeting email recipients where they are. But make sure that your messages are crafted as carefully as any page or blog post.
Email can be a great tool for small businesses. Due to its low cost – the amount of money you spend to acquire customers can be greatly reduced by a robust email program. So take your time when building an email list.