Like any strategy that relies on writing, the top rule is pretty basic: Keep your email marketing messages interesting to your readers. It definitely isn’t your intention or in your overall plan to send out boring emails, but it happens. Many small businesses that use email marketing get “stuck in a rut.” They write information that may seem interesting to them but is (yawn) boring to their readers who could be potential clients. Just because you think something is exciting, doesn’t mean that everyone else will agree.
So, the question is, how do you know if your email marketing messages are appealing? Here are a few ways.
- Ask them. Pretty simple strategy. You can survey readers and ask them the questions you are wondering about: what they want and need. For best results, keep the number of questions low and to the point. Your readers are busy and do not have the time to answer a long list of questions. Also, kill two birds with one stone: the survey results can be used in product and service development.
- Have a “special” content area. The surveys will give you a good idea of what your readers are interested in. Why not provide it to them in a special content area. When email list members know that in addition to your social media marketing you provide information that is usable in their life, your open rates will soar. Your company also becomes a dependable and reliable source for information that matters to them.
- Answer your readers' questions in print: Submit some questions on your email campaigns. Think about Dear Abby and other columns that became a success simply by answering questions that readers can relate to. By encouraging your readers to submit questions, you also get more information about what your readers want and need.
- Feature a customer or client in a story. Highlight a client that has used your service or bought your product. Do a short story about them. Your client will appreciate the extra attention (and publicity), and this will make your business credible. Especially if you are small business, this simple strategy fosters a sense of community involvement and interaction.
- Have your clients interact with your small business: How? When you send out an email campaign, ask yourself if it prompt your reader to take action. If there is nothing, then you may want to rethink your angle or story. If after they read your write up, they want to buy, exercise, work, eat, create, design, shop – something – then you have succeeded in your efforts.
All great strategies have guidelines to follow. Email marketing can be a great tool for a small business, but it also can backfire and be a waste of time and money if not conducted properly.