Small Business Email Marketing
John M. Haddad
Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to communicate with your customers.
However, simply sending out bland messages with all text and no call-to-action will get your email quickly moved to the trash bin.
Here are 10 tips to help you make your emails the best they can be, engage your targeted audience and improve your email marketing.
- Use links to lead your readers to more content on your website, blog or social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. Link your readers to the most direct path of information.
- Use images and graphics – there is nothing more boring than reading an email that contains all text. Images break up text, add visual interest, and make your email easy-to-read. Images draw your reader in.
- Use Alt Text – some email systems may block images from being displayed or require the reader to turn images on for emails. By using Alt Text when you insert images in your email, you give the reader information about the image. Gmail recently announced it no longer blocks images by default, but other email systems still do, so using alt text remains a best practice.
- Buttons / Social Media – include call-to-action buttons in your emails to make it easy for the reader to quickly get to your products or services. Buttons are great because more and more people are using tablets and smartphones and buttons are easier to push than simple links. Also, make it easy for your readers to find you on social media by including social media icons that link to any social networks your business uses.
- Table of Contents – use the table of contents for longer emails that have many sections so your readers can quickly get to content that interests them.
- Readability – make your email content easy to scan by using bullets, short chunks of copy (generally three lines or less), headlines and subheads.
- Call-to-Action – tell your readers what you want them to do. Use call-to-actions that are clear and concise; at the same time, don’t confuse your readers with too many in one email. Use action verbs such as “Read More,” “Learn More,” “Buy Now” and/or “Sign Up Today.”. Again, use buttons and graphics for visual appeal.
- Length of email – your customers and clients receive a lot of email, so attention span to read long emails are limited. Rather than try to squeeze everything into your email, include links to direct readers to your website, a blog post or a landing page that has more information.
- Proofread and Test – don’t depend on spell check to catch mistakes. Read the message, word by word, to check for errors and grammar. Send a test email to yourself to make sure all your graphics and links work correctly.
- Share the content – why limit the content you generated to just your email list? After you’ve sent your email, share it on your company’s social media profiles. This expands the reach of your message and increases the chances that people will see and engage with it.
There are many great email marketing tools available for small business owners. I’ve personally used and implemented both Constant Contact and Vertical Response for my clients. Both are excellent services.