In this always-on, mobile world, consumers receive a constant flood of marketing communications across multiple channels, including email, SMS texting, smart phone apps, social media and now even smart TVs. But email remains among the most efficient and cost-effective ways for a small- to medium-size business to promote itself and generate business.
To get the most out of this important marketing channel, consider these five email best practices:
1. Start with a Great List
The best email campaigns won’t help you sell more if they aren’t targeting enough of the right people. So building your opt-in list is essential. Many small businesses go only as far as including a website opt-in form. That’s a decent start, but you should also consider other methods to encourage sign-ups. Your list should be promoted like any other product or service, and make it clear to people the benefit to them.
It’s important to promote your list and the quality of the content and discounts they’ll get at every touch point and interaction. That includes during check-out or in-person appointments, as well as on your website and social media accounts. Remember, you want people on your list who want to receive your emails, are likely to open them, and ultimately will take action.
2. Give Them an Offer
The importance of quality email content is hardly a secret. Unfortunately, however, quality is lacking in many email campaigns. Businesses are not just creators of products and services anymore. They are also creators and publishers of videos, blogs, newsletters, infographics and anything else their audiences find useful or entertaining.
But remember, the number one reason people sign up for your list is for economic offers, so remember to regularly include discounts and specials.
3. Get Personal
Did you know, on average, 120 emails land in our inboxes every day? Clearly, you’ve got to do some work to cut through the clutter and get noticed. You’ve been told before to incorporate personalization, but the reason you’re hearing it often is because it’s effective.
The simplest way to personalize your emails and get the attention of your targets is to mention the first name of the target in the first line. You can personalize further, but starting by including the recipient’s name in the greeting is not only the easiest tactic, it’s the most effective.
4. Keep It Mobile
Responsive design refers to the ability to easily read emails and landing pages on a variety of devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers. Smartphones and tablets represent a huge percentage of all email interactions. This means your emails must be mobile friendly to be effective.
The majority of people who have problems accessing a landing page or website never return to it in the future, which makes responsive design an essential component of an effective email campaign. Just remember, however, that responsive email design is a wasted effort if your emails link to a not-so-responsive landing page.
5. Incorporate Specialized Landing Pages
An email is obviously not the end of the line. Rather, it should be the first step toward conversion. Does your marketing message lead the reader to a generalized homepage that doesn’t have anything to do with the email’s content? If so, it probably won’t be effective at lead conversion. Your emails should link to specialized pages featuring a product or service, ideally highlighting an economic offer. Always keep the goal of conversion in mind.
Your email campaigns, if done right, can be effective workhorses in your overall marketing efforts. So get them right. With a little thought and effort, they can build relationships and make your small business stand out from competitors.