It doesn’t matter what kind of small business you own, whether you are a business consultant, blogger, author, digital marketer, health or life coach, sell your own handmade items on Etsy or run a Shopify e-commerce store, your email list is your biggest asset. Unfortunately, so many business owners don’t take advantage of what their email list has to offer. At best, some force themselves to send out a newsletter once a month but the average small business owner does not take the time to consistently engage with their email subscribers.
We have come up with our top five tips to improve your email marketing campaigns and make your email list work for you.
If you don’t send out regular emails, take it slow at first. Don’t set the bar too high or you will give up along the way. In the beginning, aim to send out one email a month. Once that has become part of your monthly marketing schedule, move up to two emails a month: one a newsletter and one that is promotional in nature. The goal is one email a week.
Considering how many emails land in every Inbox each day, why should your subscriber open your email? You have to provide enough value to motivate them to click into your email. However, don’t be daunted by the word “value”. What this means will vary from business to business. If you own an e-commerce store, this can be a discount coupon. If you are a health and wellness coach, this can be one useful health tip or it could be a short review of the best quality fish oil supplement you can buy at your local supermarket, for example. Or maybe you are a digital marketer and you could share a tip on how to make a meme in Canva. Remember that you are an expert in your field but your subscribers are not, which means that something that is second nature to you, could be extremely useful to your followers, so don’t hold back from sharing.
People are busy so keep it short and get to the point. As we discussed earlier, small business owners tend to bury their heads in the sand when it comes to emailing as they think they have to write a whole page or more. What if we told you that an email could be as short as three or four lines? Would that make email marketing something you could master? Remember that these days most emails are read on a mobile phone so four sentences in an email on mobile looks like a novel.
The subject line is the most important part of the email for several reasons: the main one being that depending on what words you choose, your email could end up in the Spam Folder. According to Remarkety, Yahoo’s e-commerce email automation platform, some of the top words to be avoided at all costs in your subject line are: Guarantee, 100 % free, FREE, ALL CAPS, $$$, !!!, Act now!, Re:, FWD:.
Another reason to spend some time crafting a good subject line is this is what grabs your subscriber’s attention and influences their decision to open and read or delete your email. Top blogger, Neil Patel, suggests making your email subject line similar to something you would write to a friend, for example, “Guess what I found out”, “Have you seen this?”, “I thought of you when I read this”; something that makes the line more personal. Try out different styles and see what effect they have on the open rate.
There is so much research out there on when to send emails for optimal open rates but each business is different so while the research offers good guidelines, don’t be afraid to experiment. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays tend to be the best days to send emails. Avoid Fridays and Saturdays. Choose a day and schedule for the early morning between 7 am to 9 am. Start here and if you never change this schedule, you will still be better off than most. However, depending on what business niche you are in, you might want to consider the following research about purchase rates and when people shop online. If you own an e-commerce shop or an affiliate store, it is good to know that Wednesday has the highest purchase rate from email campaigns between the hours of 8 am to 1 pm and 5 to 6 pm. Tuesday comes a close second. Therefore, consider experimenting with email send times within these parameters and find the optimal time for your business.
Overwhelmed? Don’t be. Remember, start slowly. Aim for one short email a month to start with and be consistent. After two or three months, you can begin to integrate the other factors and watch how your email list helps your business grow.
Submitted by Sharon