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10 Tips to Building a Strong Email Marketing Plan.

email marketingAs I mentioned in another recent blog article, Email marketing can be a very key activity for many small businesses. An Email newsletter effectively packages up the best content generated by the business into an easily-digestible, relevant and useful resource for their audience. Often, an email newsletter may be the company’s main mode of engaging customers, building loyalty and driving sales. There’s no special skills needed to create an email newsletter, but email marketing the right way does require basic know-how.

Here are 10 small business marketing tips to help you create an effective email newsletter to help build your business.

1: Make the subscribe process as easy as pie. 

Position a sign-up box prominently on your website. Include the link to the subscription page on all social media profiles. Share newsletters on platforms where and when possible and ask folks to sign-up to receive this valuable content directly to their inbox. Do not ask for too many information fields right off, you may have an opportunity to capture more information further down the line. You can just start off asking for name and email.

2: Tell your subscribers what to expect.

Let your subscribers know how often they can expect to hear from you. Assure them that you will be sending relevant and useful information to them. Be sure to send a “Welcome” email to all new subscribers to remind them why they are on your list and give them something to look forward to, such as a special offer or exclusive content as a way of thanking them for their subscription.

3: Brand your Email newsletter.

Your email campaigns should match your company’s look and feel.  Customize your chosen template to use your company colors and logo in the header. Speak in the ‘voice’ of your company’s persona.

4: Send Email only to those who “Opt-in”.  Build your contact list with care.

Emailing to strangers is not only rude, it is considered spam and can adversely affect your online reputation and rankings. Email is most effective when sent to those with who you may already have a relationship.

email marketing contact listQuality in a contact list is always more important than quantity. Your contact list should include individuals who have opted to receive your emails, who have shown interest in your product or service. Take notice of which of your sources deliver the most responsive audience members – those who will open and click through on your links.

5: Have a compelling subject line.

The all-important subject line! You absolutely have to grab the reader’s attention at the subject line.  Create a compelling statements, a teaser, a giveaway, contest or discount. But this may lead in to the next item…..

6: Be relevant and useful – Don’t be Selly-Selly – Be friendly

Make sure that your email content is well-written and will actually be an interesting read. Offer information of value to your customers and present yourself as a trusted expert. It is a good idea to keep a casual tone in your email newsletters.  People actually expect human voices in their email inboxes. Send people the content that they actually want. Consider segmenting your lists to target certain subscribers to only receive certain content. Sending relevant content keeps your readers engaged.  They will actually look forward to your newsletter. What’s even better, they may even choose to share it with their own contacts. (Here’s a tip: When a customer asks you a question while doing business with you, write it down, save it. When the time comes to write your next email, you will already have ready topics at hand.)

7: Be brief – Make it scannable – Make it shareable.

Take a tip from Twitter, and try to say more with fewer words.  Summarize your message and offer a ‘read-more’ link to a blog article or a page on your website. Most readers (me) are probably just scanning an email newsletter.  Pack in words with special meaning.  Use subheadings, always.  email marketingProvide excellent content so that people will want to share it.  Make it easy for them to share with either a share button, or by publishing the content on your website so that it is easily shared with a link.  Consider adding social share buttons to the newsletter to make it even easier for your readers to share your work on their own social media platforms.

8: Be consistent.

A regular email newsletter is a commitment. You wouldn’t want your readers to forget about you, or be more likely to delete, or worse – mark you as spam!  Make time to plan out your newsletters on a regular basis.  Be sure to edit the newsletters to assure that they represent your brand and are providing relevant and useful information.

9: Be ready to respond.

If you’ve done it right, you will very likely have a response to the email newsletter that you send out. People may email you back. They may click through your calls-to-action. They may decide right there and then to order your product.You have to be ready when it comes. Try to respond immediately when possible. 

10: Measure your results.

Use your email marketing software to measure the opens, clicks and other statistics that will give you valuable information about your audience behavior and preferences. The information is key to figuring out what works, what doesn’t and what topics and types of content resonate with customers. You can use that information as you move forward to create your next email newsletter campaign.

If you’ve read through all of these tips, you have already figured out that email newsletters can be a most valuable resource for reaching out to current and potential clients. 

One of my favorite resources for Email Marketing tips is Michael Katz on Blue Penguin Development. He truly is a likable expert.
Michael Katz notes that Email newsletters

  • generate leads.
  • increase sales.
  • position you and your company as an industry thought leader, the go-to resource.
  • are inexpensive to send, have interactive possibilities, and are easily shared with friends.
  • let you show your “human side,” to show your audience that you’ve got information to share with them in a non-threatening way.

Email newsletters are some of my favorite projects to work on.  I hope that you will contact me if you have any questions at all about setting you your own Email marketing program. I would love to help you get it started out on the right note.

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Other related articles:
When Email Marketing is Like a Plate of Spaghetti

Know, Like, Trust

Consider Outsourcing

More on Email Marketing

constant contact email marketing  Let Me Help You Build Your Email Marketing