Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to promote your business online. It’s a cost-effective and precise way of conveying your message directly to your target audience. Brands normally use this type of communication to keep their customers updated on company news, sales announcements and invitations to exclusive events. If you’re a small business owner and thinking about using email marketing to build and maintain your customer database, here are some things you may want to consider.
First impressions last
Email marketing is essential to promoting your eCommerce site and is a great way to start building relationships with your customers. Set a time each month to plan out your newsletter schedule and come up with fun, fresh ideas for your readers.
While tools such as Wix ShoutOut can help you create a visually appealing email newsletter in a matter of minutes, you need to make sure that you’re creative with the subject line of your email. Your subject line needs to be simple, attractive and concise. We would recommend using 50 characters or less and avoiding using all caps in your subject title as it might come across as if you’re ‘shouting.
Designing the body
It’s important to choose the right colours, making sure you select a readable font and high-quality photos as these will reflect your brand personality. We would recommend creating a strong contrast between the background and font colour in your email to ensure that your text is readable. If people are reading emails on a mobile device, too mild of a colour contrast can make the message unreadable. Avoid emails with large images as this takes too long to load and increases the chance of your message going into the spam folder.
Create several ‘call to action’ buttons with trigger words to motivate your clients to click through. Some words that can encourage potential customers include “add”, “RSVP now”, “follow” or “donate”.
Ensure your buttons are visible by making them stand out. Here are some further tips on how to create a persuasive call to action.
Personalise your message
Consider using the recipient’s first name, profession or include your own name to make your email look like it has been made for them. If you don’t have a way of sourcing information which can help personalise your emails – for ex. location – then consider how to engage your user base to share this information with you.
Use tailored call-to-actions to help gather a range of information which can then be used to personalise your communications. One way of making it seem personalised is by reminding them if they haven’t visited the website in over six months with an exclusive offer or discount, or by sending them fun birthday emails.
Quality content is crucial
Before you start crafting your email, take some time out to analyse who your target market is and the purpose of your emails. When you put yourself in your reader’s perspective, it will be easier to tailor your message and use the right words to connect with them. Try avoiding technical terms and ensure that you use a friendly tone in your email – the less formal, the better. If you’re not sure what to write, here are some great ideas for your email newsletters.
At Wix, our emails have three primary goals: educating people on how to create a website and strengthen their online brand; informing our community about new features and developments; and inspiring them to keep their sites up-to-date with case studies and tips from our experts. It’s good to vary your email topics so that your subscribers don’t get bored.
Keep your Content Short
Once your customer has opened your email in their inbox, you need to make sure your content holds their attention. On average, people’s attention span holds for 8 seconds so you need this time to grab and excite their minds with short and snappy content accompanied with strong imagery. Moving graphics on newsletters also works wonders for digital savvy customers.
Prepare a landing page
Don’t overwhelm your customers with too much information on your newsletter so it’s always best to include a link back to a page to strengthen your newsletter content. This link can be anything from your blog post, the company website or a dedicated landing page designed for a specific campaign. Landing pages can include more information about a particular product, sale, competitions or announcement and call to action promoting a partnership with another brand.
Research is the key to success
To master the art of email marketing, you need to research your customers. It’s important to understand details such as their gender, likes, dislikes, age to where they like to shop, what social media platforms they are most active on and brands they admire. Not only will that help you collate a comprehensive database, but it will also help you tweak the language of your emails to best suit your audience.
Segment your list
Rather than sending your email to everyone at the same time, we would recommend segmenting your list to provide a personalised experience for your subscribers. You can segment your list based on their demographic, habits, frequency of engagement, etc. and then send relevant emails to them accordingly.
Consider setting up is ‘automated emails’, which are emails that are triggered to be delivered in common cases such as welcoming new subscribers or thanking customers for making a purchase. Make sure you don’t bombard them with automated emails; consumers need to feel special and are more likely to open something personalised to them than a standard email.
Trial and error
Send your emails at different days and timings to test out your customer base and how it effects the click through rate. Alter your ‘call to actions’ and email subjects to see which one gets the most engagement. You’ll notice that some segments of your list respond more positively at different times, so take advantage of that.
Tom Gottlieb is email marketing team leader at Wix.com