Want to learn about the #1 digital tool for ROI? 10 Essential Tips to Engaging Email Marketing

Want to learn about the #1 digital tool for ROI? 10 Essential Tips to Engaging Email Marketing

4 minute read

Every small business owner in Vermont has come to expect that when they click open their inbox, they will likely see a collection of email newsletters, promotions, and sales pitches from near and far. The question arises: should I be adding to the cascade of messages? It turns out if done properly, the answer is “yes.” In fact, according to Constant Contact, the average ROI for email marketing is $42 for every $1 spent, so this is not something to be ignored. 

To find out more, The Starting Point turned to digital marketing and business solutions specialist Andrea E. Bacchi, VtSBDC’s social media/email marketing consultant and CEO of Vermont, online-based Think Dynamic Digital. Andrea says that every business can benefit from adding email marketing to the mix, as long as they are bringing value to the content they are providing. What does that mean? Instead of selling, Andrea explains, use email to build relationships with customers. Keep it simple with shorter, more digestible messages, and use links and graphics to make it interesting. She encourages creating a captivating subject line, and to use one emoji to draw attention without overdoing it.

Wondering how to get started? Andrea generously shared her Top 10 Tips for Engaging Email Marketing with our readers:

  1. Get started with email marketing
    • Email Marketing is one of the most cost-effective digital marketing approaches for small businesses. The average expected ROI is $42 for every $1 you spend on email marketing, according to Oberlo. And 81% of SMBs (small to medium-sized businesses) still rely on email as their primary customer acquisition channel, and 80% for retention (Emarsys, 2018)
  2. Provide value 
    • Customers actually want to hear from you, so don’t be afraid to reach out and share what event you have coming up, what new products you’ve invented and what industry news you feel your ideal client would be interested in. Just be sure that 80% of the time you’re sharing content that builds relationships and trust and only 20% of the time you’re promoting your brand and products and/or services. This way you provide more value to your target audience, and you’re seen as an industry expert – not just someone who is asking for you to buy their product.
  3. Optimize for Mobile
    • Make sure that your emails are optimized for mobile devices. Check to see how the graphics and text look on the desktop compared to a cell phone or tablet. According to Adestra, emails campaigns that display incorrectly on mobile may be deleted within three seconds, and that’s the last thing you want! You want your content to be viewed and shared, so be sure to view your email campaigns on mobile before sending. 
  1. Use links and Call-to-Actions – and make them obvious
    • Be sure that your Call-to-Action buttons stand out from the rest of your text and photos, just don’t use too many. Make sure there’s enough white space so the CTA is seen. This goes for links as well, which should be hyperlinked text, not the actual web address link placed into the copy. Here’s an example: “VtSBDC has a resourceful website for small businesses”
  2. Segment your subscribers and create a content calendar 
    • Content calendars help you plan what types of content you want to create for upcoming events, specific topics, promotions, etc. Planning out your email campaigns each month is going to help you know what and when you will share and who you will share it with. Segment your lists to ensure you’re creating content for the right audience.
  3. (Relevant) Emojis are your friends!
    • Emojis can call attention to your subject line and make your email stand out from the hundreds that a subscriber might receive – just don’t use too many emojis in your subject line or it will be perceived as spam. Go lightly and use relevant emojis to bring your content to life and make it shine.
  4. Testing, testing, 1-2-3
    • Double check all links and CTA buttons to make sure they go to the right place. Walk yourself through the buyer journey to see what your ideal client might experience if they click on a link to purchase your course or product. Make sure it works and is easy for them, so they become a paying customer or a webinar attendee. If anything is broken, fix it before sending it out. There’s nothing more anxiety ridden than finding out after your email sends that something didn’t work correctly.
  5. Keep it legal 
    • The CAN-SPAM Act from the Federal Trade Commission is a compliance guide for businesses and for good reason.The CAN-SPAM Act, a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.” You’ll want to keep things legal not just because it’s the law but also because it creates a positive relationship-building experience among you and your ideal clients. It’s not recommended that you buy subscriber lists – you’re better off building your list organically using social media marketing and your website. Click here to learn more about the CAN-SPAM Act.
  6. Brand your emails – and keep them professional 
    • Using consistent branding in your email campaigns, just like on your social media platforms, is key. It helps your ideal client recognize your brand so it’s important to use branding colors, fonts and the tone in your messaging in a consistent way.
  7. Check your analytics 
    • One of the most important things you can do to grow your business is to check your analytics after you send out an email campaign, so you know how to optimize and improve to further reach your ideal client. What is your Open Rate? What links are people clicking on? What times does your audience seem to open the email? These are some of the questions you’ll be able to answer when you check your analytics. Once you know the answers, you can change things up or keep them the same to get more momentum and provide more value to your potential customers. 

“Don’t worry that you are being annoying by emailing your customers,” Andrea concludes. “By offering information or education, or simply starting a conversation, you are establishing loyalty and creating relationships. That’s what it means to build your brand, and to take positive steps to growing your business.”

Looking for more? Check out our resources page or request advising! 

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