Email marketing remains one of the more effective ways to reach both customers and prospects. Yet many small business owners don’t take advantage of the marketing tactic, or do so half-heartedly without a plan in place. As a result, email marketing results can be dismal, which then makes marketers feel it’s no longer a viable marketing option. So untrue! Email marketing is one the most effective techniques for digital marketers and should remain a part of your small business marketing strategy. Here’s how to get your customers to love your email marketing messages and in turn, potentially increase your business’s revenue.

Make it worthwhile to give up an email address

People are becoming much more guarded with their email address, only giving it out if they feel they’ll get a real value in return. When you encourage your customers, prospects or vendors to sign up for your email list, what is your value statement?  What are you telling them they’ll get in return for giving up their email address?  Here are a few ideas to make it worthwhile to the potential subscriber:

  • Offer an incentive – Offering an incentive to sign up for your mailing list is a great way to entice site visitors to give you their email address. They gain something of value for giving up their email this way. This offer can be something as simple as a free guide, online video course, or other valuable content piece. Incentives are a good way to draw new visitors and new subscribers in.
  • Make your email content match the subscriber’s needs – make it clear to those who you want to sign up how valuable the information in your email will be. Be sure to match their needs to what you’re providing. If you have a product that appeals to a certain group, make it clear how you’ll provide information or perhaps a discount in the emails you send out. Again, it’s about value.
  • Promise discretion – in other words, make it clear you won’t bombard them with emails or sell your list to others. They need to feel comfortable that they’re not going to get overwhelmed with spam once they sign up.

Send content that’s useful and consumable

It’s tempting to toot your own horn in your email blasts to subscribers but avoid the temptation. Sure, it’s good to show people that you are awesome enough to win awards, gain great results for clients, or were asked to speak at a major event, and you should share that info, but sparingly. Remember, content marketing (and email IS a form of content marketing) is about providing useful information.  If you’re providing useful, helpful, relevant content for your target audience, you WILL be interesting! Only send valuable information and people will be more likely to open and even share your emails.

Brevity is key in emails

You’re a small business owner, which means you’re busy. Guess what?  Your subscribers are busy too! If they open an email and are met with a small novella, they’ll close it and you’ve lost them.  A recent Constant Contact survey found that emails with approximately 20 lines of text and three or fewer images resulted in the highest click-through rate. Keep it simple and brief. Have more to say?  Make sure there’s a clear call to action that sends them to your website so they can get more information.

Provide a golden nugget in your email message

Each email should have that one piece of information that is golden to the reader. That could be a discount code, a tip, a quote…some little item that people look forward to each time they receive an email. Take a moment and think what you’re golden nugget will be, and be consistent in providing it in each and every email message. Remember, they want value for giving you their email address, so give it to them!

Want your email marketing messages to be effective?  Try the tips above and see how it impacts your email marketing success. You’ll be surprised how these small tweaks will make a big difference in getting more engagement and results.

Patty Hughes
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