Email marketing is a great way to promote your business, allowing you to keep your customers up to date on company news, alongside allowing you to send offers and discounts directly to their inbox. It is a great way to gain more leads and sales for your product, without leaving your office!
If you are currently sending out emails to your customers and not getting a good response, or have never considered contacting your customers through email, check out our four email marketing tips for small businesses:
Time it right
Depending on your customer base, you will need to alter the timings of your emails. If you are targeting other businesses as potential clients, your target market are often only checking emails during work hours. Emails that come in later in the day will often be rushed through the next morning, and quickly relegated to their spam folder. According to research, sending out emails to businesses between 11am and 2pm on Thursday’s is the most likely time to receive a positive response.
If your business targets customers directly, you are less limited as to when to send emails. The same research found that customers tend to check their emails between 7pm and 9pm, with a purchase more likely to be made towards the end of the month after payday. With regards to most profitable days, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday are the best days to make a sale.
Keep it simple
It is important that your emails are interesting, as it is unlikely that potential customers are going to read multiple paragraphs of plain text without a hook to draw them in. Use of graphics and images is important, especially near the top of an email, as they are eye-catching, drawing the reader’s attention. Text in the email should be large enough to be easily readable, with any key phrases or sentences highlighted in bold, colourful or a larger font. It is vital to summarise your email at the top of the page in a short sentence, as this will be used for a preview in your reader’s inbox. The average email recipient scans an email for between 5 to 21 seconds, meaning that it is important to catch their attention quickly to encourage them to read further.
Make it relevant
You should make sure that your email campaigns are as relevant as possible to each customer you target. Consider segmenting your audience depending on data you have collected, into categories such as gender, age or interests, and only send appropriate emails to each segment. If a customer believes that every email they receive from you will contain something specific to their interests or needs, they will be more likely to read each email they receive, rather than marking them as spam.
Also ensure that your subject lines are relevant to the email you are sending out. This is important, as a customer will discount your email as spam if the email has nothing at all to do with the subject line they click on. Make sure that subjects are short and to the point, ideally less than ten words, with key words near the beginning of the sentence. If your subject lines run longer than this, it is probable that they will be cut off on your reader’s email preview screen.
Contact customers regularly
It is highly unlikely that every customer you send an email to will open it, much less read the content. This may not be due to a lack of interest in your business, but may be down to a poor subject line or email design, or even an error on their end. This means that it is important to keep in touch regularly, sending out reminder emails following a larger campaign.
If you run a competition, or have a special offer running for a few weeks, your email may be missed by some people who would be interested. Send a reminder email, approximately a week after your initial email, and change the wording and subject line slightly. Adding an element of urgency, such as ‘Don’t miss out!’ may encourage more people to read your email. Make sure not to bombard your customer base with emails, however, as you will find that your campaigns will start being sent straight to their spam folder.
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