Crafting the perfect email newsletter is both an art and a science, however there are simple things that business owners can do to ensure that the digital messages they send out aren’t being overlooked or discarded. With 65.8% of small business owners now using email for marketing — largely writing, editing, and managing those efforts on their own, without the help of a dedicated staffer — it’s important that the marketing pitches being created are as personalized, succinct, and direct as possible.
Here are six strategies that small business owners should utilize when putting together their email marketing campaigns.
1. Lead with a call-to-action. “Your call-to-action has to be front-and-center. As your customers are increasingly checking their email on-the-go, you only have a few seconds to get your main message across. Include the call-to-action at the top of the email, or make it immediately apparent via a large clickable image linking to the site where they can take the action.” (Ron Cates, Constant Contact)
2. Make it personal. “It’s tempting to send the entire distribution list the same email newsletter. But each person has a different history and experience with the brand, which means that email newsletters should be seen as opportunities to create personalized and relevant conversation with the customers. Tactics like A/B testing help determine which different versions of email content and offers resonate most with each customer. This helps increase the likelihood a customer will take the action you want them to take, like click through to a product page or make a purchase.” (Alyssa Nahatis, Adobe Campaign)
3. Provide a true value. “Once the business has the customer’s email address, the retailer needs to make sure that their email newsletter is providing true value to their customer. It is a one-time opportunity — as soon as the customer feels that they are not getting value from the newsletter, they will either unsubscribe or immediately delete going forward.” (Debbie Kim, Index)
4. Make mobile a priority. “Seventy-five percent of consumers say they are ‘highly likely’ to delete an email if they can’t read it on their smartphone. That’s a huge portion of your customer base that may develop a bad habit of immediately deleting the content you’ve worked so hard to create. Single-column templates display best on smartphones and tablets. Also, make sure you have links that are easily ‘thumbable’ — meaning readers can click them with their thumbs on a touchscreen. For example, ‘button links’ — bold shapes with simple messages like ‘Buy Here!’ —are easy to tap on a phone.” (Ron Cates, Constant Contact)
5. Trigger newsletters at key moments. “The timing of an email newsletter makes all the difference between relevance and irrelevance. A welcome email after opting in to receive your newsletter signals to the consumer that they can expect to hear from you and increases the likelihood they will open your newsletter. Take into account each customers’ engagement habits with your brand and determine the optimal time sharing the newsletter.” (Alyssa Nahatis, Adobe Campaign)
6. Deliver what was promised. “Once the customer has opened the email, the content needs to deliver against what was promised in the subject line. We find that the most successful e-mails are the ones that are able to truly deliver personalized content, whether it is in the form of a personalized product recommendation, access to exclusive offers or a sneak peek into new products.” (Debbie Kim, Index)
Interviews have been edited for length and clarity.
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.