In my last blog post, I wrote about the main reasons why email marketing is important for a small business to invest in. To summarize, the most important reason why email marketing is so valuable is because it gives you the highest return on your investment compared to social media, pay-per-click ads, and direct mailers.
Now, I'm not suggesting you open up a MailChimp account and start blasting emails out to all your friends and colleagues. With every type of marketing, there's a strategy to make it successful and worth your time/ dollars, and I want to illustrate the 5 types of content that will assist you in not only creating emails your customers want to open but also the magic phrases to get your customer to take action on your emails.
1. Email Has to Add Value
When you go to create an email blast, take a step back for a second, close your eyes and literally ask your client to tell you what they're currently struggling with and how your business can help them out of their struggle. This is a great exercise to do when you're brainstorming content for an email blast, blog or social media post. More than anything, it will consistently steer you in the direction of only producing content that brings value to your customers.
When you put value in your email blasts, it helps you build trust between you and your customers. In the end, this positions your company more positively in your customer's mind as a company they want to do business with and, they're more likely to refer your business to their friends/family the more rapport you can build with them. Here are 3 ways you can add value in an email blast.
How you're current services help your customers daily.
Publish new deals or promotions with enticing discounts (usually anything over 30% off).
How your company is getting involved in community service projects.
2. Format and Design is Key
When you are creating your email blast, constantly check in with yourself, look over what you've created and see whether your information is displayed in an easily digestible way. I like to add photos to break up the text and I also add fun buttons for people to click on to get more information on my blog or an event I am speaking at. Here is an example of buttons you could be using that I've found success with in past emails.
3. Make Your Emails Concise
A good email will be around 750 words. When an email is longer, it will set off an alert to the email provider, because long emails can be tagged as spam. Also, writing long paragraphs of information is one way to get someone to not look at your email or lose interest half-way through reading it. I know after you spend a couple hours on an email blast, the last thing you want is for someone to immediately delete it.
Knowing how short people's attention spans are, I try to keep my paragraphs in my emails to four lines minimum. If you are noticing you have long paragraphs, either have someone in your office or a friend takes a look at the email. There's always a more concise way to say almost anything.
Furthermore, the longer your emails are, the more likely it is that your email will experience formatting issues on different email providers, mobile devices, and iPads. You can check the different formatting on each platform before you send or schedule your email blast on any of these providers (MailChimp, Constant Contact, and GetResponse), to ensure there won't be any major formatting obstacles. However, to avoid these issues, try to keep your emails short, sweet and to-the-point.
4. Be Relatable
Whenever we are experiencing an obstacle or going through a difficult situation, we tend to think we're the only ones. To address these fears in a way that makes you relatable to your customers is by saying these four keywords "you are not alone". Use these types of words in your subject line or within the body of your email and watch your open rate (the amount of people that open your email) increase.
Furthermore, people enjoy doing business with people, not companies. Don't be afraid to speak in a more casual voice. If your customers don't understand your industry lingo, use other words to get your point across. When you use industry words, they can be confusing to your customers and they may even alienate them. Your mission is to try to ensure each person on your email list wants to open your email. To get a sense of the average open rate and click rate of your particular business, please check out this resource for email benchmarks.
5. Encourage Actionable Steps in your Email
Beyond having your customers open your emails, you also want to encourage them to take an action once they've read your email. This can be anything from RSVPing for an event, reading your latest blog post, taking a survey or participating in a challenge to name a few actionable steps.
You can nudge your customers to take an action either by creating a button they can click on, you can talk up the action in the body of your content or you can also link text to a specific page you want your customers to click on. To ensure an action is taken, I like to place links in multiple places within an email. This gives the customer optimal opportunities to opt into whatever your action step is.
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