Which of the online marketing method do you think offers the best return on investment (ROI) for small businesses: social media, SEO or paid search?
Actually, the answer is none of the above.
Email marketing is ranked as the marketing channel which produces the highest ROI with 68% of companies ranking the return as good or excellent, according to the Email Marketing Industry Census 2014. The census stated that revenue directly attributed to email has increased by 28% in just the past year.
For small businesses looking for the best bang for their marketing buck, email should be the top of their list. If you ready to make your into email marketing, here are six tips that you can use to maximize your results.
#1 Welcome Your New Subscribers
When someone signs up for your email newsletter you should send them a welcome email which introduces them to the brand. You may even want to send them a free gift or discount code as a welcome gift to signing up for your email newsletter. This first email should also tell your new subscribers what they can expect when they sign up for your newsletter. For example, will you email include promotions, tutorials & tips or case studies?
#2 Use a compelling subject line
The subject line of your email is one of the biggest factors in whether or not your email marketing will be successful. Why? Because if your subject lines isn’t compelling then no one will click through to read your email. Some ways to improve your subject line include the following:
Add scarcity – People are naturally loss averse which means that if they think they may miss out on something they are more inclined to take action. You can take advantage of this trait by using scarcity. For example, making only 100 of a particular package available or having an offer that ends at midnight. When there is finite number of products available or a time limit on when action needs to be taken, people will want to at least open the email to find out if it is of interest to them.
Ask a question – Asking a question works because it gets the reader thinking about how the problem applies to their own lives. Immediately they will be able to see the practical benefits of what you are offering in the email, because it is specific to their own situation.
Use a how to subject line – How to subject lines are written in the format “How to drop six pounds in six weeks” or “How to use explainer videos to get 300% more leads”. Make sure that when writing a how to subject line that you focus on the end benefits rather than the methods used to achieve them.
Include the receivers name – There is saying that there is nothing sweeter in the world than the sound of our own name. Including the receivers name in the subject line can make it significantly more likely that they will open the email.
#2 Make The Content Easy To Read
People are time poor and don’t always have time to read a lengthy text heavy email. You want to make your email scanable by including sub headlines and bullet points. A good approach is to create a “two speed” email which features sufficient content for people who like detail but can be scanned by people with less time on their hands.
#3 Consider Segmenting Your List
If you haven’t done email marketing before the idea of creating multiple email messages for each specific customer profile may seem daunting. However, segmenting your list is actually one of the best ways of increasing the return on investment of your newsletter. For example, if you were running a local gym, young men in their twenties may have very different goals that they want to achieve than a woman in their fifties. For the latter group you may want to send out information about the latest Yoga group or Zumba class, for the former that new weight bench or cross training equipment might be of more interest. Segmenting is also useful if you operate a national business but you want to send out content which is specific to each of your local sites.
#4 Keep it personal
People buy from local businesses precisely because they aren’t a faceless brand. Take advantage of this by showing off the human side of your business. Include personal anecdotes and stories about what is happening in your company. This will help you to create a more personal connection with your readers. Stories also tend to be more interesting than dry content which means that people will actually start to look forward to reading your newsletter.
#5 Make it mobile friendly
53% of all email opens now occur on a mobile phone, according to the Experian Q3 Quarterly Email Benchmark Report. That means that ensuring your emails can easily be read on a mobile phone is critically important. If you are using a template for your email newsletter check that it uses responsive design. This will mean it adapts to the smaller screen of a smart phone.
#6 Add a P.S.
We assume that when people receive an email they will read it from top to bottom. But in fact, many people will read the top, then skip the main content, and read the bottom of the email. If you are presenting an offer in the middle of your email then there is a good chance that they won’t see it. The solution is to add a P.S. to the end of your email where you can reiterate the offer that you made in the body of the email.
The final ingredient in a successful email marketing campaign is to test. Use A / B testing to send out variations on the same email where you change only a single element. This may mean using a different subject line but the same body for the text of the email. Or you might try adding a P.S. in one email but leaving it out another. By testing your emails you will be able to see what works, and just as importantly, what doesn’t. By making small but consistent improvements to your email you can maximize the return on your marketing budget.