Email has become one of the biggest marketing tools in the SMB arsenal. However, just shipping out thousands of email with no plan is not any more effective than misplaced advertising. To be effective an email needs to be attractive, informative and well designed. It also has to have credibility. To increase your email reach consider the following three things.
Provide Value to Your Potential CustomerPeople are more likely to read, act on, and even pass along to others messages that offer value. This means that you should use emails to advertise a special sale, offer coupons or discounts and other things that add specific value only to the people receiving that email.
Encourage Referrals As noted above, a huge goal of a good email is to get the recipient to pass the message along to a friend or family member who might be interested in the product or message. People are most likely to pass something on to their friends if it offers value in the form of necessary information or cost savings. A great way to get a double whammy for your email is to send a “bring a friend” coupon or “referral bonus.” Here, you offer an additional savings to both the original recipient and the friend that they refer to you.
Cross Promote to Expand Your List Of course, effective email marketing is only as good as your starting list of email addresses. It is important that you build a solid email list. This does not mean getting your hands on any address you can – sending plumbing repair emails to an apartment renter or mommy and me classes to a retiree makes little sense.
What you want is a list of viable customers – people who may actually need and want your services. You can do this in a variety of ways, three of which are quite easy. First, get email addresses from all your customers. Also, ask current customers if they would like to receive a coupon in return for referring a friend. Another way to increase your email list is to work with another business that has a similar customer base. For example, if you own a child’s clothing store in a high end shopping strip and further down the strip is a baby gym, cross promote. Ask the gym owner to add a link for you to the bottom of their next email mailing; in return, you do the same for them. In this way clients of both businesses get value, receiving only emails that apply to them, and both businesses can potentially double their address list.
Quick Tips The above are all valuable tips for increasing your email reach. There are also some quick tips to prepare the best email, so remember the following:
- Add an “unsubscribe” link to the bottom of your email; in most areas, it is the law and it is also good customer service. You don’t want to get a bad reputation by sending messages to people who don’t want them.
- Use a solid subject line that tells the reader, at a glance, what value this message holds for them. Similarly, ensure that your company’s name is in the “from” box.
- Put your full contact information, including phone number and email address, in your message.
- Keep your messages brief and within a single theme; suggest the reader go to your website for information on your other offers or products.
- Target your market; do not just send messages out to every email address you can get your hands on. Try to target your markets properly and send out information to people who want to receive it.
- Use specific call to action buttons. This means that instead of just putting a button that says, “click here” at the bottom of your message write WHY you want them to click here. Perhaps, “Click here for a video of this product in action,” or “click here for a comparison between product A and B.” Be specific – tell the email read WHY to “click here.”