It’s no secret that email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach potential and current customers, but how do you optimize that channel to achieve the best results for your small business? Here are 7 email marketing tips to help you increase those open and click rates and bring in more and more subscribers.
- Make it Easy to Subscribe
Without subscribers, you have no reason to do email marketing for your small business. So how do your clients, fans, and others subscribe to your emails? Do you have an easy-to-see button or form on your homepage or do they have to know where to go to find it? If you don’t make it easily accessible, you won’t have very many people sign up. Make sure to include an option to subscribe on your homepage, your blog, and every other page of your site you deem applicable. The more places your viewers see it, the more likely they are to subscribe.
- Be Consistent
Start a regular schedule of when you will send your emails and stick to it. Do you want to send an email every Monday and Wednesday? Then make sure you do it every Monday and Wednesday. If your emails become sporadic, your subscribers won’t remember you as easily and will be less likely to open them. Successful email marketing requires establishing a consistency which in turn, makes you more reliable and can increase your subscribers’ willingness to read what you’re sending.
- Keep It Short
This is not the time to practice your novel-writing skills. If you’re sending emails with 1,000+ words, your readers will likely get bored and close it out. Don’t fill it with fluff. Be to the point with relevant material your subscribers will find useful. If you have a lot of information you want to convey, then include a brief snippet of it with a link to read the full details on your website or blog.
- Format It Well
If your email is one or two big paragraphs, that can be very hard on the eyes. Make it easy to skim, because the likelihood is that most people are not going to take the time to read every single word of your email. Break it out to the most important points. Try using bullets, numbers, or images to split up your text. If there’s any easy to follow format, your subscribers will be a lot more likely to internalize your intended message.
- Make it Mobile Friendly
On average, more than half of all emails opened are through a mobile device now. Just because your generated email preview looks good doesn’t mean that that view will translate to mobile. And if the formatting is unreadable on mobile devices, you’ve just lost the chance to reach over half of your subscribers.
Many email marketing tools will give you a basic mobile preview that you can use, or there are standalone products whose sole purpose is to test your email in just about every email platform known to man. However, if your marketing automation software does not have this feature and you don’t want to purchase an additional service, try sending a test email to yourself and another coworker who has a different phone than you so you can test out at minimum what it looks like on Android and iOS.
- Test, Test, Test
Try something new. Dare to be different. The great thing about email marketing is that you can try it on one email and if it doesn’t work, you can move on to something else for the next one. Do A/B tests so you can test subject lines, timing, images, formatting, etc. Each time you test something, you learn what works and what doesn’t and can apply that to future emails. Maybe sending your email at 11am didn’t work too well, but sending it at 7am doubled your open rate! Make sure you test each piece separately though. You don’t want your change in subject line to skew your stats for a different send time.
- Know the CAN-SPAM Rules
It is illegal to send unsolicited email and the penalties for not adhering to the CAN-SPAM Act are pretty severe. According to the FTC’s website, “Each separate email in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act is subject to penalties of up to $16,000.” Yes, that is in thousands. For every single email in violation. So how do you protect yourself from this? First of all, every single email that you send out has to have an opt out or unsubscribe option that your small business must honor. You also are required to include a valid physical address of your business, whether that is a street address or PO Box. If you’re not very familiar with the CAN-SPAM Act, make sure to read up on the rules and regulations set so you can protect your business.
Remember, it’s okay to be different and try something new. Experiment with formats, subject lines, email length, email frequency, and anything else you can think of. Use the email marketing tips above to help your small business craft the perfect style for your subscribers and the results of your efforts will show in your numbers.