Tips for Successful Email Marketing
Email is the easiest, least expensive way to communicate with people you already know. And, as Samantha Bee points out, you’ve got nothing to lose! Existing contacts are the best source for new business since they’re familiar with your skills and work style. A concise, periodic email reminds them what you do and makes it easy for them to share with colleagues. Your email may reach them just after they met someone in need of your services. Qualified leads are the most likely to turn into business.
Encourage people to subscribe to your email list by adding a sign-up button on your website. When you make presentations, take advantage of an already interested audience by inviting them to subscribe to receive more detailed content. As you attend networking events, suggest subscribing when you meet people who express an interest in the type of content you regularly post. Consider offering free information, a tip, coupon or discount in return for subscribing.
Design vs. Template
Email marketing companies like Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, Vertical Response and others offer easy-to-use templates as a quick way to start. As a real believer in the power of branding, I feel it is critical to design a custom email template that is complementary to the rest of your marketing materials. If recipients don’t recognize the email as coming from someone they know, they aren’t likely to read it or engage in its content, and may well unsubscribe. If you’re on a limited budget and can’t afford developing a custom template, at least change the theme colors to your corporate colors.
People are busy and don’t have time to read. The primary reason for people to unsubscribe from an email list is too much text. Use lots of images—images routinely get more clicks than text. Consider a format that has lots of ‘white space’ to allow the eye to quickly scan for content of interest.
Ideally, you should set up a marketing calendar for the year that guides regular email content. Sending out one email per month is frequent enough to stay on people’s radar and infrequent enough to be manageable. Email is the perfect media for startups because the sender is in charge of how often to communicate with subscribers. No one is going to call you and ask why you didn’t get your email out this month! That said, you stand the most to gain by establishing a schedule and sticking to it.
Editing Is Essential
What goes out from your organization is a reflection of how you work. Including inaccurate or poorly written content (especially typos!) shows that you feel low standards are acceptable. Proofread carefully. Use spell check. To get the best results, consider working with a professional writer.
No one likes spam. Send email to people who have subscribed or whose permission you’ve received to add to your list. Make sure to include an unsubscribe link for those who no longer wish to receive emails from you.
If you’ve succeeded in delivering content that subscribers find valuable, chances are they will want to hear from you more frequently than the monthly email. Add links to connect via social media such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.
5 Tips for Emails that Get Read
- Allow people to sign up for targeted email lists so they’re receiving information they’re interested in.
- Always include images! Infographics are a great way to include visuals if quality images aren’t appropriate or available.
- Keep text to a minimum by using ‘Read More’ links that connect to detailed information on your website.
- Review email analytics for popular content.
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