- Email is “opt-in”: Customers invite you to send them marketing messages
- Email gets seen and considered. Messages from small businesses get a 21% open rate, according to MailChimp, a vendor that sends billions of those messages a month.
- Email is riding along with the big switch to the mobile phone as everybody’s everything tool—53% of email gets read on mobiles, says email testing service Litmus, up five-fold in four years.
Build Your List
How to entice your customers to hand over their email addresses? Offering email notice of deals and sales is the most direct starting point. Collect addresses at your cash register, with a text message campaign, and more touch points. From the start, tie your email list to your customer relationship management system: you’ll get more value later by segmenting your email list by customer types.
Plan Your Email Program
Your big choices: How frequently to send and what content? The first rule is: never clutter their email inboxes with information they don’t want.
Plan Your Content Forms
Your messages can take a variety of forms, from an offer personally targeted to customer needs to a monthly educational newsletter designed to keep your company in their minds as an industry leader.
Design Your Templates
You can design messages to look like web pages with html, in addition to the standard text version. But the most important design consideration these days: how do your messages look on mobile devices?
Craft Your Messages
You can easily test your messages on a fraction of your audience before sending to the whole list, reducing the guesswork on what text, images, button colors and other details are most likely to succeed. But the subject line is still the most important detail, a major determinant in whether subscribers even open your message.
Stay Out of Trouble
The email service providers are on high alert to block spam. You’re not a spammer but if you’re not constantly mindful of their rules, they’ll treat you like one—particularly if you don’t keep up with the quality of your mailing list.
Measure Your Success
You should track the metrics from the four key success points of any email campaign: get into the inbox, get your message opened, win a click or other action from the message and, ultimately, make money.