1. Choose a good email marketing vendor
If you have a small business, you’ll probably want to communicate to your customers on a regular basis. You can offer them special deals, let them know about new or featured products, or share the latest news about your business. Choosing an email marketing vendor can seem to be difficult but it really doesn’t have to be. There are many good venders out there that cater to small businesses. And you don’t have to spend a big monthly fee to get quality service and an email system with all the bells and whistles. I have used MailChimp and it is totally FREE, well at least until your lists get really big, which may take a bit of time for most small businesses.
Make sure your email list is nice and clean. So what does that mean? Well, you should try to “scrub” your list by removing duplicates or removing emails that are generic looking like “firstname.lastname@example.org”. These emails often end up in “black holes” or even considered SPAM by most email systems. Also make sure your list is comprised of only opt-in users. You certainly don’t want to be marked as a SPAMMER.
3. Templates are your friends
Don’t hit each email with a blank slate. Create or find an email template that you can customize with your own branding. This creates consistency with the look and feel and improves usability of your communications. In other words, recipients will know what to expect and know where to find the stuff they are most interested in when you send them an email. Most email marketing vendors have many built-in templates to choose from and most auto-populate the footer with any subscription info and social links.
4. Content Do’s & Don’ts
It always makes me crazy when I receive an email that is basically one BIG graphic. So why does this make me cringe, well first it comes off a bit lazy, especially with all the options available from today’s email vendors. Second, people my want to block images on their mobile devices, so your email will look empty when it arrives. And third, it doesn’t ever allow you to guide people to different content areas on your website or social outlets. So, please use real text in your emails as much as possible. There are plenty of areas where graphics can be used to make the email look all your own. If the template layout is good, you will already know the size and position for each graphic. And to make creating content even easier create an email strategy with and email marketing calendar to end the “mad scramble” to blast out a message out to your customers and followers.
5. So, How did it go? Was it worth it?
Try to get into the routine of checking to see how your email was received, how many emails bounced, how many click-throughs you received, what content was most popular, what was shared, etc. Maybe even follow-up with some recipients and ask them for some feedback. This will help you “dial-in” your communications better and increase engagement and interest in your emails. Please let me know if you need any help with choosing an email marketing vendor or even some questions on this subject, I would be glad to help (no fee).