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Top 5 Email Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

So, you've managed to build an impressive collection of email contacts for your small business. But how on earth do you go about using them?

Email marketing is a powerful tool for small businesses. You've got a lot to tell your customers about and a platform to say it on.

These top 5 tips will help you create a successful email marketing strategy.

5 marketing tips yumyum
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Tip 01 - Create multiple opportunities to gather email addresses

Always look for more ways to grow your list. An extensive email list for small business marketing is invaluable.

Fortunately, there are multiple ways to persuade current customers and prospects to turn over their email addresses:

  • Encourage (and sometimes require) visitors to the company website or store to register for every action, whether it’s saving a shopping cart, buying a purchase, or just establishing an account
  • Create contests and giveaways for which visitors must fill out a short form
  • Post free downloads on the site
  • Offer free seminars
  • Offer enrollment in reward clubs or coupon clubs
  • Have a forum
  • Allow comments on the blog section of your website and require an email confirmation before the comment is posted
  • Encourage people to email reviews, questions, or suggestions
  • Have a Newsletter sign-up box
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Tip 02 - Send out your Email Campaigns at the most opportune time

Experian Marketing Services, a leading provider of consumer measurement and analytical services, found that some times of day are better than others to send an email blast. Open rates vary by industry, but in general the highest opening rate for bulk mail—22 percent—occurs in the evening after people have left work and had dinner, such as between 8 p.m. and midnight.

Not surprisingly, these times also had better conversion rates. On the other hand, transactional emails are nearly always opened at any time of day. Fresh email received at the right time of day has the best shot at engagement. Armed with this data, you can send your emails at the optimum time for your recipients to read them.

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Tip 03 - Email Subject Lines that Can’t Help but Get Opened

It’s the quandary of everyone who sends marketing emails: How do you get people to actually open your emails? There’s a lot that goes into creating a clickable, compelling email, but consider the first thing people see: The subject lines.

To make subject lines even more enticing, stop thinking of them as titles, headlines, or placeholders. Think of them as part of a long seduction, where mystery attracts, even tempts them to read—and of course the body of the email pays dividends. News headlines have long been considered seductive, so let’s draw that temptation and mystery into your subject lines, as well.

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Tip 04 - Look at your competitors

We’d like to believe that we’re the only ones in our recipients’ world, but this isn’t a Disney movie; if you’re going to keep your email list engaged, you’ve got to know what others are saying to woo them, too. Sign up for your competitors’ emails, and then look carefully at the subject lines they’re using.

Do you notice trends in their words or punctuation? Did they have a great zinger you wish you’d thought of? Use your observations to get more creative with your subject lines.

Of course, you won’t be privy to their open rates, but your judgment is valuable in assessing whether you’re keeping up with the pack. You can also subscribe to email lists that don’t have anything to do with your industry, but that play the email game really well.

We recommend you check out these awesome emailers: surfing clothing retailer Swell, Jon Morrows on Boost Blog Traffic, and Jon Acuff.

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Tip 05 - Keep it short and sweet

Like your subject line, your email should be concise. If you’re like most marketers, your big picture strategy probably revolves around your website. Keep that in mind when making email content decisions. House the majority of your content on your site and link to it in emails to drive traffic to your hub.

With this strategy, think of your email as a menu that describes the meaty content available on your site. Be sure to get your key message across in the email, but don’t serve it as a main course. If readers want to know more, they’ll click through. Be sure that every word has a necessary function in communicating your message.

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