Business Email Marketing 101

Email concept.

All businesses have priorities, and how to focus your marketing is among the most important. The wrong approach can cost your money and business, while the right approach may be the secret to success. For companies without a significant marketing budget, digital techniques can be highly effective, offering an affordable way to reach thousands of potential customers. For companies who see value in sharing content and creating an audience of active readers, email marketing can be exceptionally valuable.

An Introduction to Email Marketing

Since the inception of email, businesses have been using it as a marketing strategy. Unlike many methods, like social media marketing and content marketing, email targets your audience rather than your audience seeking you out, creating a compelling way to advertise offers, show off new content, and make your readers aware of what you and your business have to offer. Email marketing can come in many forms, but newsletters, coupons, promo codes, and updates on new products and services are among the most common.

Writing an email, however, is the easy part of email marketing. Think for a moment about how many company emails, whether a favorite store’s weekend sale or a restaurant’s new menu offerings, you send in the trash each day. Thus, the challenge in email marketing is not writing an email, but rather writing an email that your audience will want to read.

Start With a Compelling Title

When you want someone to open your email, the title is the first way to catch their attention. Headlines are most effective when they are short and to the point, witty and unique, and offering something customers are interested in. Avoid overused words, clichéd phrases, and overly promotional material – readers will overlook your emails easily if the subject sounds too much like the other emails they’re used to getting.

When you have a great discount, sale, or new service, make sure you let your customers know. An enigmatic or comical headline can be effective at times, but may make customers overlook your message. In addition, do your best to avoid clickbait. While getting customers to open your email is generally a positive, raving about a deal your readers will never believe isn’t worth it when what you have to offer doesn’t live up to the hype.

Speak One on One

All readers knows that your emails aren’t coming personally addressed to them, and that’s okay. However, studies indicate that readers respond better when they’re addressed by name or in a way that includes personal information, like location or industry.

This sort of personal approach isn’t possible in every email communication, but it is fairly simple to code an email to include personal information rather than an anonymous greeting. In addition, many companies have separate distribution lists in order to keep emails targeted at the right audience. Try to make sure your emails are relevant, topical, and appropriate for each person you are marketing to, rather than blanket communications that will create an unwanted reputation from your readers.

Target the Right Time of Day

Believe it or not, when you send emails has a large impact on whether or not they are read, making your schedule vitally important. Most busy adults are likely to ignore emails that come in on the weekends or at night, as these times are frequently associated with leisure activities. In addition, Mondays are generally poor days for communication, as many individuals are tired and sluggish after the conclusion of a few days off.

In order to inspire the most readers possible, send your newsletters mid-day, mid-week. When your readership has an opportunity to take the time to read what you have to say, you’re much more likely to get your message across.

Keep Your Text Short and Clean

Your readers may have time to read what you write, but that doesn’t mean that long-winded sentences will win them over when they only have a few minutes between tasks. Instead of putting entire articles in your emails, add snippets with links to the full text with short, complete headlines. Your readers will get the message of what you have to offer without being burdened by unnecessary details.

Instead of providing too much, give your audience just enough. Keep your text clean, concise, and easy to read in order to get your point across without irritating anyone with the next great American novel in email form.

Use Tools to Make the Process Easier

Some companies struggle with email marketing because it just seems too complicated and overwhelming to do without a huge team of professional writers, but this honestly isn’t the case. Many marketing solutions exist, ranging from automation tools to organizers and templates.

Applications like CakeMail make it easy to set up an email and send it within a matter of minutes, taking the frustration out of the formatting process. Options like MailChimp can help you lay out, design, and edit your work, as well as providing tools for mobile optimization. Other programs, like Benchmark, help you create emails and track the metrics associated with them to help you see what’s working and what isn’t. Instead of going with your gut, today’s marketing options make the process straightforward and simple.

When you’re new to marketing, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the options and details facing you, but you don’t have to let that stand in your way. Email marketing is an effective, affordable way to target customers locally and around the world, offering you a simple solution targeted at lead generation and conversion. By taking time to focus on details like content, subject line, time of day, and audience objectives, it’s easier to ensure your next email campaign is a success.