Starting an email marketing campaign for your small business can be intimidating. Who hasn’t been spammed around Black Friday, or had to scroll through columns of tiny text to find an unsubscribe button? As a Constant Contact certified Marketing Partner, we at Satori HQ have learned the secrets to creating successful campaigns. Avoid hitting bumps in the road on your email marketing journey with some tips and tricks from the pros.
- Ask (and say please!)
Customers care that businesses treat them with respect. Show that respect by only emailing those who have given their permission, and provide an easy-to-find unsubscribe button. Cultivate your email list by providing an email subscribe button on your website and social media, and ALWAYS obey spam laws.
- Photos: there IS such a thing as too much and too little
Too much of a good thing IS possible! Emails without images are boring, to say the least, and don’t give readers’ eyes any clue about what content is most important. However, emails that are entirely images (such as text in a picture surrounded by other pictures) can mark your email as spam in people’s inboxes. Create graphic, attention-grabbing emails with images—and don’t forget to always include some actual text.
- Provide relevant content
What’s the point of an email campaign? To capture your audience’s attention and hopefully, to provide a service. It’s important you’re providing content your audience wants. Don’t assume everyone on your email list is a sports fan if you run a dog grooming business. However, it’s a pretty safe bet everyone on your list would be interested in “Top 5 Easiest Dog Breeds to Groom,” or “Nail Trimming Demystified.”
- Don’t forget mobile
Today, more emails are read on a mobile device than a desktop. Even if you’re sending B2B emails, everything you send must be mobile friendly. Most email marketing platforms, such as Constant Contact, provide specific mobile friendly templates. Use them!
- Test your emails (over and over and over…)
Before your contacts see the beautiful email you’ve created, send a test version. Click every link and view it on different platforms. Then test again! Send it to your coworkers, and scour it for errors or compatibility issues. If everyone who uses an iPhone or Outlook can’t display it correctly, that’s a serious problem. Fix it before you can’t!
- Find your mistakes
Speaking of those test emails—it’s not all technical errors you’re looking for. You will find that no one will respond directly to your digital outreach, until you make a typo. Don’t feed the trolls! Proofreading is vital.
- Don’t write too much!
And about that written content—stop writing so much! Current advice says 250 words is ideal for most emails. Yes, 250 words. That’s it. Whatever you want to say, distill it into one call to action, and make that the primary focus. If you have more to say, drive traffic to your website and have your audience read it there.
- Don’t be boring
This goes along with writing too much. Your readers probably do not need as much information as you want to give them. Create catchy subject lines (fewer than 50 characters) to incentivize email opens, and follow up with concise, valuable content.
- Analyze data
Are you sending your emails at the wrong times? How do you know? Most email marketing platforms offer detailed analytics: how many people opened your email, who clicked links, who unsubscribed, etc. Send your emails at a consistent time (say, 9am on the first Tuesday of the month). After a few months, change one thing (make it 7pm on first Tuesday of the month). Start with industry advice, then see what works for your business.
- Link back to your website
Again I’ll ask: What’s the point of an email marketing campaign? Driving traffic to your website, and ultimately, hopefully, providing goods or a service. Concise email content that leads to your website allows your audience to learn more about your business at their pace—and gives you guidance about which readers are your warm leads.
By streamlining your message and avoiding these “don’ts,” you too can achieve email marketing greatness. Not sure about one or two of the points above? Give us a shout! The gurus at Satori Marketing are here to help.