Small business tips for email marketing success
Posted in The virtual assistant blog
Digital marketing with email newsletters is a very effective technique and is one of the best ways to engage with customers. Well constructed email marketing campaigns can increase your sales, improve brand loyalty and increase customer retention rates. But what are the best email marketing techniques? This article will share some essential tips for email marketing success that will ensure your email campaign delivers great results.
The Advantages of Email Newsletters
According to a survey of companies using digital marketing in 2014, permission-based email newsletters continue to provide the best return on investment (ROI). The ROI of email marketing is also much better than traditional forms of marketing including direct mail and newspaper advertising. Email marketing can be used for many purposes, including:
- Engaging with customers and building brand loyalty
- Boosting sales and generating leads
- Promoting new products or services
- Advertising special offers
- Increasing brand awareness in the marketplace
- Presenting valuable content to readers that helps to establish your business as an authority in the market
As more businesses discover the benefits of email marketing, the space is becoming more crowded and customers are receiving more emails. That’s why it is important to use email marketing best practises that make your promotional material stand out from the crowd. Here are some of the best email marketing techniques to ensure that you are on the right track.
Tip #1 — Focus on permission-based email marketing
Permission-based email marketing means the recipient of the email has requested marketing material from your business. It is important to receive permission because unsolicited emails are considered “spam” — sending spam can tarnish the reputation of your business and attract considerable fines. Users who have given you permission to send them emails are eager to receive your marketing materials and interested in its content.
Tip #2 — Use a variety of techniques to attract sign-ups
If you are going to be marketing with email newsletters, you will need a large list of willing recipients to make it worthwhile. Some of the best techniques for increasing the size of your email recipient list include:
- Running competitions where people need to signup to be eligible
- Incorporating an email newsletter signup into your website
- Offering access to valuable content like an e-book or magazine if they sign up to your email newsletter
- Publishing weekly specials and exclusive deals via your email newsletter. Add special codes to your newsletter, which customers must use to obtain the discount
- Advertise the newsletter and the benefits of subscribing in relevant outlets
- If you have a membership card that offers customers discounts, ask them if they want to receive the email newsletter
Tip #4 — Make subscribing easy!
Don’t ask for phone numbers, addresses and other details when asking for email addresses. Initially, you just want their first name and email address. You will obtain the rest of their details when they complete a purchase.
Tip #5 — Segment email lists and personalise emails
One of the most useful email marketing best practises is to segment email lists based on the interests of the recipient. Use any relevant information you’ve gathered about the person, including previous orders and products on their wish lists. You will obtain a much higher response rate and more sales with personalised content. Some modern email marketing tools have advanced functionality which allows the creation of “unique” newsletters that are constructed based on previous customer behaviour.
Tip #6 — Make the subject line count
An essential part of marketing with email newsletters is constructing the right subject line. It has to make the benefit of opening the email obvious to the recipient. An email subject like “This Weekend Only: 25% off all dog beds and FREE postage!” will immediately grab the attention of anyone with a dog. When you construct the email, make sure the content you mentioned in the subject line is near the top of the email.
Tip #7 — Use reminders for special events
If you are running a promotion for a couple days, it is a great idea to remind the customer of the event. You can even send the same content, with a couple of minor alterations. Just make sure you don’t spam the user with endless emails! Use subjects like “Last Chance — 25% off all dog beds and FREE postage!”
Tip #8 — Get inspiration from competitors
Subscribe to the email newsletters of your competitors and take note of the content, special offers and design of their emails. Also, pay attention to the frequency with which they send their emails. You can “borrow” some of their best ideas and think of ways to differentiate your email newsletters from theirs.
Tip #9 — Keep the tone conversational
For emails that are promoting a particular product or service, write in a casual, funny and conversational tone. Don’t use too much sales jargon and just write as if you are telling a friend about a great new product or special offer.
One of the best email marketing techniques is to have the same person write the email each week and sign off with their name. Instead of just being thought of as a promotional tool, the recipient begins to see the email as “another weekly email from Jenny, telling them about the specials for this week”. If the writing is creative, interesting, funny and personal, recipients will actually look forward to opening it!
Tip #10 — Use multimedia emails
Colourful email newsletters that feature multimedia are more exciting for users and tend to have superior conversion rates. However, always have a plain text version available for the recipients who can only receive text emails.
Tip #11 — Focus on usability and readability
Your email should be simple to navigate and easy to understand. If it’s a long email, consider using a table of contents near the top of the page. Use headings appropriately, include some white space, use bullet points and use columns to improve the layout. Remember that people who are reading emails are usually scanning them at a rapid rate — you need to make it easy for the recipient to understand the content and value of the email in a few seconds.
Tip #12 — Test, test, test!
You should continually refine the type of content and layout used on your email newsletters to obtain better results. Keep testing different aspects like subject lines, fonts, colours, images and so on.
One of the most important email marketing best practices is to A/B test your email newsletters. Send one version of the email to half of your customers and send a different version to the other half. Use analytics to determine which email obtained more responses from customers.
Tip #13 — Incorporate other digital marketing avenues
If you are using social marketing, content marketing or some other form of digital marketing, promote it in your email newsletter. Make customers aware of the many ways they can contact you, learn more about your business and take advantage of your valuable content. If your email newsletter has some high quality content, post it on your website and allow users to share it (via the website or via their email client).
We hope you found these tips for email marketing success useful! If you would like to learn more about email marketing or our virtual assistant marketing email service, feel free to call us on 0800 994 9016 or click here to request a free consultation.
- 10 Tips for audience engagement and driving traffic with email newsletters
- Digital marketing advice for small business owners
- How does email marketing work? A guide for small business