The oft-predicted demise of email marketing is nowhere on the horizon. Email remains an effective way to bring your brand to your customers. Well-designed and targeted campaigns can be used to stay at the top of your customer’s mind and to share updated information about new products and information.
However, today’s cluttered digital landscape has made it difficult to grab a customer’s attention. While attractive factors such as high conversion rates and low costs make mass email campaigns appealing to the small business owner, here are some best practices to take note of before sending out email blasts.
Every day, people’s mailboxes are bombarded with tons of promotional emails. If you use a generic subject line, your mail will not even be noticed, let alone read.
A good subject line is as important as the content, if not more. Personalization (“Time to renew your…”), timeliness (“Happy New Year”, “Summer is here…”) and even curiosity (“Have you tried…”) work well to boost open rates. But make sure to avoid words and phrases in your email marketing subject lines that are past their sell-by date or trigger spam filters. Words such as “free” and symbols like exclamation marks, for instance, are likely to see your emails hit the spam folder.
Your email content should be exactly what your readers are looking for. If you are writing to senior lawyers and bankers, you may not want to use slang and pop culture references. Also remember that people spend very little time reading emails. They scan rather than study copy online. Edit and re-evaluate – poor grammar and clumsy templates are not appreciated by anyone.
Finally, the call to action is crucial because it is the very reason behind your email campaign. It has to be simple, relevant and eye-catching. If your reader doesn’t spot it, your email hasn’t served its purpose.
If you want to talk to only a handful of people, sending out individual emails is acceptable. But if you are planning to send an email blast to a large number of people, the first thing you need is a database. You can buy email lists or collect individuals’ details over time, with the latter always being the better option.
A reputable contact management solution such as Sansan allows you to scan information from your contacts’ business cards and store it in a cloud database, as well as send out email blasts. The bulk email feature offered by Sansan enables you to tag your contacts as per their industry or working relationship with you. This gives you the flexibility of customizing your emails for different segments. For example, you could send out an email to any contacts tagged with the word “events”, while an email blast sent to those tagged “property agent” would be different.
Email marketing remains an effective way of approaching clients – existing and potential ones. The minimum investment and high conversion rate (if targeted well) make it a viable choice for small businesses to build and nurture relationships.