5 essential tips for email marketing to customers.

Email marketing is a powerful tool for any company, and even more so when you’re running a small business in a close-knit community. Customer relationships matter—and email can help you supercharge your relationship building efforts.

Creating a standout email marketing plan is a learned skill. If you want to communicate and engage with your customers via email, these tips will help you get noticed and make an impact.

1. Craft a catchy subject line for your email.

Take a look at your inbox right now. How many promotional emails have you opened? Chances are you ignore a lot of emails and if you do, your customers do too. That’s where the art of writing a killer subject line can help you stand out.

According to the Direct Marketing Association, 64% of consumers said that the subject line was an important factor when deciding whether or not to open an email (second only to recognising the brand).

When writing your subject line, stick to eye-catching and engaging subject lines that are straight-to-the-point. 

Here are some email marketing examples with effective subject lines:

Hey [name]! How was your experience with X?

We miss you! Here’s an offer just for you.

[Company name] newsletter – [Month, Year]

You’ll notice these examples are all quite short. That’s because shorter subject lines tend to be more successful. As shown by a large Marketo study, subject lines of just four words had the highest open rates (18.26%), but subject lines with up to 10 words had strong click-through-rates, suggesting that subject lines of 4-10 words will yield the best results.

Steer clear of sales speech or over-the-top statements. Trigger words such as ‘free’, ‘bargain’, and ‘deal’, or subject lines written using caps lock could land your email straight in the spam box.

Also remember: you don’t have to create a subject line that would land you a job at an ad agency. Straightforward subject lines are often the most effective.

2. Optimise emails for mobile.

Almost half of all users (47%) open their emails on their mobile according to Campaign Monitor, with younger generations (Millennials and Gen Z) preferring mobile phones over devices such as tablets.

In other words, more and more of your customers are opening emails on their mobile phone, so it’s important that everything you do is optimised for the small screen. For example, any buttons must be large enough to easily click on them without the use of a mouse.

Most eDM services have free email marketing templates that are mobile-friendly, and you can even preview it in a mobile format before sending. When you’re sending out an email newsletter, be sure to send a test to yourself first to check how it loads and pinpoint any strange formatting issues that may come up.

RELATED: How to measure the success of your email marketing.

3. Mix up your approach.

Promotional and/or relational emails are a good way to test the email marketing waters.

Promotional emails share an offer. This could include a flash sale, exclusive discount, EOFY clearance, refer a friend – anything to do with encouraging a customer purchase. Everyone loves a good deal and it’s no different in email marketing. Just make sure your offer is valuable enough to make an impact and avoid using hard sell words like ‘free’, ‘$’, ‘discount’ in your subject line, as this can push your email into spam folders.

On the other side of the coin, there’s relational emails.

‘Soft’ AKA relational emails involve anything from sending a newsletter, to a welcome email, to providing free content, to a birthday message. There doesn’t have to be a selling point in the email. Instead, it’s about engaging your customers and building a connection, so they keep your brand in mind when it is time to make a purchase.

The desired result of a mixed approach is therefore to establish an ongoing connection with your customers via relational emails and pepper this with the occasional promotional email to give customers the opportunity to directly purchase your product or services.

4. Use personalisation in your email marketing.

Personalisation can help you stay top-of-mind and make each one of your customers feel valued.

Emails with personalised subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened than ones with generic subject lines. Personalisation is the key to standing out in a crowded inbox, while solidifying your relationship with your customers.

When you’re picking your email marketing service, choose one that offers some degree of personalisation. Platforms like Thryv have options to insert a customer’s name directly into an email template. If you want to take that further, set up automated emails based on customer behaviours or actions, such as an automated ‘Happy Birthday’ email, or an email based on their purchase history.

RELATED: 8 examples of brilliant email marketing campaigns.

5. Test, learn, adapt, repeat.

No business owner nails email marketing from the get-go. Email marketing is about sending an email, analysing the results and improving for next time. Focus on your open and click-through rates, and track trends over time to help shape your email marketing strategy.

For example, if you want to see how different subject lines affect your open rate, or if your audience is more receptive in the morning or afternoon, use A/B testing. This simply means you send out two variations on one email to see which performs better.

Despite the importance of trialing different approaches and how easy it can be, 55% of marketers rarely or never use A/B testing. With the occasional A/B test, you can continually improve your email marketing – and stay one step ahead of the competition.

Email marketing is all part of the client experience, and one way to improve your client experience is with software that’s built specifically for the job. Thryv is an end-to-end solution for a wide range of client management problems, from marketing automation to scheduling and appointment booking to social media management. Explore the features and request a free demo to see how it can benefit your business.

Talk to Yellow Pages about setting up and managing your eDM campaigns with Thryv.

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