Back on Day 18 I asked you to prepare your email marketing strategy and your list. Day 19 I introduced the concept of using your site as the hub, and yesterday you received the instructions on how to brand your outposts. Each of these is critical to the success of your email marketing campaigns.
Today’s gift is a checklist for your email campaigns. Number one on the list is to clearly articulate what is the primary reason you are sending out an email to these folks. Hopefully, by now you are aware that talking to your customers is more profitable than bludgeoning them into submission.
Your purpose dictates what your call to action will be. Every single email has to have a call to action. This is really easy to figure out when it is an invitation or coupon. It is harder to know what is an appropriate call to action when you are building your reputation or just keeping in touch with your network. You need to do better than teasing with an intro and simply directing them to your web site. “Click here to read more…” is putting your interests before your readers’. That is if they even get that far. You have to get them to open the email.
Therefore, next on your checklist is your subject line. It has to be interesting enough to prompt your readers to give you the courtesy of a quick peek. You will be given that opportunity at least once. If you have done a good job of providing your target customers what they want, they will happily continue to open your emails and invite you in for a visit. Hey, they might even go so far as to buy from you.
This is where consistency is absolutely important. You need to build up an expectation. You want your readers to look forward to receiving your emails.
Next is the content. I am only going to focus on the presentation of your well-written content. Best practice is to keep the width to 600 pixels and have your motivating headline not in an image but in HTML copy. Some emails arrive with the images turned off. You can put your headline in your alt tag. Also, keep those images small in file size. Make sure that your reason for sending the email is in the top 400 pixels of the email. Use this premium real estate wisely.
Great content can always be better with excellent design and copy. If you are receiving feedback that your copy needs help, hire a writer. If you are not able to get the design looking great, then use a template in your email program or hire a designer… like me. Keep it simple. Content is king!
Significant portions of emails are read on mobile devices. Make sure yours looks great on all browsers and especially mobile devices by testing it.
Also, add sharing functionality to your email. Make it really easy for me to spread my WOM. It is well worth investing in the extra effort to code the ability to share partial content of a multipart email. This is far more effective than sharing the entire email.
Please remember there is a Goldilocks effect to emails: Too many, too few, too long, too short, too targeted, too broad… all these can have a negative effect. Of all these, the most common reason for a poor response is the lack of a clear call to action. Don’t hit send without one.
Please, share these 24 days of Christmas presents with your favorite DIY small business. You’ll be glad you did.