Did you know that there are over 3.146 billion email accounts worldwide? That means that roughly half the people in the world are using email to communicate. Facebook, which is roughly home to 955 million active accounts, still can’t hold a candle to the number of email users. Email is an important channel for small businesses to nurture customer relationships and drive business goals. Below are some quick tips for creating a better email strategy for your business.
An important thing to consider in developing an email strategy is how you are collecting and capturing email addresses. You can do this in a number of ways such as at the start of a sale, during the sale, or at the end of the sale. Creating incentives for your customers to give you their email address is an easy way to capture that information. Most customers join your email list because they wish to receive something of value from your company. Special discounts, company announcements, or industry news are some things that can entice your customers to join. Email collection and capture should be an ongoing and persistent effort. The more email addresses you collect, the more opportunities you have for nurturing customer engagement.
Pro tip: You may want to capture other valuable information along with your customer’s email address such as their name, address, length of time doing business with you, where they found you, etc. but it might be better to save that for a later engagement. The less information you require up front, the more luck you’ll have getting people to give up their email address.
After you have collected a list of email addresses, you need to decide on a delivery plan. Determine who will write the email and which customers you will be delivering it to. Value your customers’ time and make sure you don’t put too much information in your email. Keep your message relatively short and digestible. As a rule, make sure that your call to action is clear, prominent and above the fold. Place links near the top of the email and use images to break up blocks of text to make it a little interesting.
Pro tip: It is easy to lump all your customers into one email list, but as your list grows, so do the needs of your customers. Be sure to segment your email list into different buckets. You will get higher engagement if you deliver targeted emails to your customers that are interested in a particular product.
Once you have captured addresses and delivered your emails you need to measure their performance. As you dive into the analytic side of the email campaign, pay close attention to how many people opened the email, clicked on a link, and bounce rates. Be sure to experiment with different layouts, fonts, colors, time of day sent, email frequency, calls to action and different subject lines. To get more ideas on how to measure your campaigns be sure to check out my web analytic tips.
Pro tip: Like website optimization, email optimization is never done. Even though every business has their own average when it comes to conversion rates, there is no reason why you can’t change the rules and perform better. Naturally, you will receive higher conversion rates if you provide valuable content that your customers love.