Remember how excited you were when you first ‘got mail’? And then came a new way for growing your business – email marketing and that was really exciting. You could send to hundreds, maybe even thousands of people, all day, every day, whenever you wanted to – who were all just as excited as you to receive mail.

Now days though, it strikes many as old-fashioned, outdated and irrelevant. And the all day every day concept, now gets you classified as a spammer.

But…research says email marketing done well, or at the very least consistently, can still work exceptionally well for growing your business.

If you’re not currently sending out email or newsletter campaigns to your clients though, you’re likely missing out on a huge opportunity to keep your customers/clients up to date on all things important to them (in a way that relates to you). It is also a great way to get clients to jump onto your website! And that keeps the all important Google happy too. Did I mention growing your business?

But, in order to clear through the clutter that arrives in your customer’s inbox on a daily (maybe hourly) basis and achieve your goal for sending out that particular piece of communication, there are some rules – you should follow.

10 tips to get you started on your way to growing your business and electronic communications greatness!

  1. Always include a call-to-action – Every time. What is it that you want people to do as a result of reading your email? Make sure it’s clear. Try different calls to action to see what resonates with your audience. If you find you’ve got a great number of email opens but hardly any phone calls or clients, consider revising the call-to-action on your emails (an open rate above 30% is exceptional – but it really depends on who you are, what you do, who you’re sending to and how they perceive you). But more importantly, always make sure your call-to-action is friendly and actionable. Nobody likes pushy-ness.
  2. Make it personal – the key to succeeding in email and newsletter marketing, is the use of personal appeal and relatable content. Give your readers a reason to trust you. And the first step there is to always use their first name – seems obvious, but the number of times we’ve seen Hi there, dear client or Hi John Smith – is beyond belief. No one will read your email if it isn’t addressed to them. And secondly, make sure the email is relevant to them.
  3. Make it relevant – so many content marketing platforms make it easy to segment your lists these days. Have the folks that like your yellow products on a different one to the folks that like the blue ones or one for your prospects and another for your oldest and dearest customer – or however you can best segment your lists.
  4. Use keywords! Email and newsletters are now being considered digital content – that often then get posted on your website. Therefore, they have they great power to influence your search (SEO) results. Make sure you archive all your emails and newsletters to your website (you can choose to do so automatically). Easy to do and easy to gain additional benefits from.
  5. Provide valuable content – Create real content that will hold the attention of your readers. What issues do they have, what will help them in their job or in their lives, that you can find for them. Provide real value, solve the informational part of their problem (even one’s they didn’t know they had yet). But don’t overstuff your email. Two-three story ideas works/concepts works best.
  6. Use your email to drive web traffic – How? By including part stories with a read more link or by providing reference links back to your website on things you’ve woven into your content. Might be a particular service, images or a blog post or an event registration form.
  7. Share widely! The best thing about creating great content, once you find some great content and write it up, it’s easy to repurpose and use across each and every marketing platform – Ie: your social media sites, your website and even in print materials.
  8. Do it consistently – like all marketing, email marketing is not one hit wonder territory. Have a plan, an editorial calendar if you like (call it what you will), but do it consistently – once a week, once a fortnight, once a month or once every two months. You’ll know what is likely to work best for your audience.
  9. Don’t spam – make sure you’re sending to people who not only want you to talk to them, but have also invited you to talk to them. You can’t just send to random people in the hope that they’ll read your email. That’s spam and it’s against the law. Make sure whatever mail platform you use, has an easy opt-out or unsubscribe button – that then also deletes them off your list (otherwise management is a pain).
  10. Measure everything – look at your best open times, try different headlines (sometimes referred to as split A/B testing), different segments of your list, mail on different days, with different lengths of time between mail outs and track your responses. Look at who consistently reads your mail. You might be surprised at what shows up – but you have to measure and mail consistently.

Now you can start 2014 armed and ready to connect better with your customers and growing your business in a way you’d only ever previously imagined.

Of course, if you’d like to be better at growing your business, outsource your email marketing or work with someone to create your editorial calendar or write your content, we’d be delighted to help. We’re best reached on the number at the top of the screen or you can drop us a note here.

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