We all have a love-hate relationship with our emails. It’s great because it’s instant, easy to use, and costs next to nothing. At the same time, most of us get hundreds, if not thousands of emails a month—leaving a majority of them unread. As a business reaching out to customers through email, how can you keep your message from getting ignored or worse, moved to the spam folder?
Here are five email marketing secrets every small business needs to know.
Play by the rules
Before starting any email campaign, it’s important to know the rights of your subscribers. Under Australia’s Spam Act 2003, there are three requirements to avoid being classified as spam: consent, identification, and unsubscribe facilities.
Your subscribers should deliberately sign-up to your email list, or have an existing relationship with your business. Each email you send out must also clearly identify your business as the sender and include your full contact details. Lastly, an unsubscribe feature must be built into the email to make it easy for users to opt out of receiving your messages.
Choose quality over quantity
Don’t buy an email list, believe me–it’s not worth it! Instead of aiming for a large number of subscribers from the start, it’s better to target the right people who have higher chances of converting. The key here is aiming for lower unsubscription rates.
Think of incentives that will motivate people to sign up for your email list. You can give access to new research, a discount, or a free trial. Use your sales funnel to identify which touchpoints should include a sign-up opportunity.
Use sticky subject lines
Now that you’ve gained access to your audience, the next hurdle is getting them to click your email open. It’s time to ditch the generic subjects and stop using click bait techniques. Keep it casual, use proper grammar, and add a little humour as needed. Be as creative as you can, while keeping your subject relevant to what your email is about.
Make every click worthwhile
The best way to get people to read your emails is to create content that’s fresh, timely, and relevant. Start by narrowing down your market and segmenting it into smaller groups. This way, you can target subscribers in a particular post code for a pop-up sale, or send the right product tips to your existing customers.
Design your content in a way that it’s easy to scan and share on social media. Don’t be afraid to take visual elements from your website and apply it to your templates for consistency. Before running your campaign, test it on multiple browsers and mobile devices to make sure that your message is readable on all screens.
It takes a lot of time and effort to build and sustain your readership. If you go too long without sending anything or if you blast the same thing over and over, the higher your chances are of being marked as spam. You need to plan the frequency of your emails and map the types of content you will be sending out on a calendar to make sure you’re sending the right emails at the right time.
Email marketing is all about trial and error, don’t be disheartened if you don’t get it right the first time. What’s important is to get started, and make changes as you go along. Go ahead, use these tips, and start on your way to getting those elusive clicks.
About the author
Pia Rios is head of marketing for Alltel Australia. Her expertise in digital marketing, brand, and business communications has been key in helping businesses achieve their marketing goals and bottom line.