Email marketing can be a great way to connect with your customers and keep them engaged with your business. But, it’s not as easy as sending out a few blasts and expecting results. To succeed with email marketing, you need to build an effective email list and send engaging, quality content that will increase sales. Let’s talk about what makes an effective email and give you some tips for engaging your customers through email.

How Many Emails Do You Get A Day?

It’s a lot, right?

Some are specific to your day-to-day activities, and some are personal. But, many are from the various services and businesses you’ve dealt with over time that send you updates, offers, discounts, and “important” information.

Of that last category – how many do you actually open and read? Probably a small percentage, right? Otherwise, you’d spend your entire day reading emails.

And, of the ones you read, one of two things probably motivated you to do so:

1. The subject line intrigued you.
2. The timing was right – it offered something that you already had in your head as a need.

Keep that in mind. It’s important as you read on.

Building An Email List

Building an email list is the first step in effective email marketing. But it’s not enough to just have a list of subscribers or existing customers. The more information you have about them, the more you have to work with, and the stronger a connection you can build.

Start by building a list of subscribers. Your list-building strategies can include:

  • Adding an option to subscribe on your website and social media pages.
  • Collecting the email address of your rewards program customers.
  • Holding a contest to collect emails.
  • Collecting email addresses when a customer makes a purchase.

Remember, it’s all about having a good carrot in exchange for their information. People aren’t apt to sign up just because you ask. They are skeptical, wary, and don’t want to be spammed, so you need to offer an incentive. While adding them to your rewards program is ideal, you can also just offer them something to get them to come in and do business. Then, get them signed up when they actually spend money with you.

Segment your email lists to target specific customers with specific content. As you build your list, have a way to identify specific customers. This might be by seasonality, spending, time of day, particular interests, or simply if they have purchased from you previously.

Pro tip: Remember that any followers on social media aren’t “yours.” They belong to the social media platform. If the platform disappears, changes its rules, or your account is hacked – your followers are gone. It’s essential to collect the data through a source or service that allows you to own the data and export it at any time.

Know Who You’re Talking To

Who ARE you talking to? This seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many businesses send generic emails without considering their target audience. Effective email marketing campaigns speak directly to a specific audience; that way, you can craft messaging that resonates and drives results.

Success Key: Write as you would speak, and as you write, imagine you are emailing a single person, not your entire list. If you are sending to a specific segment, use language that will identify them so that they know you are talking to them.

Here are some strategies for valuable content relevant to your audience:

  • Tell a good story and link it to your subject line and offer.
  • Make sure it is relevant to the reader. Tie it in with a holiday, a current event, or a particular reason you are celebrating.
  • Always answer the question in the reader’s mind, “What’s in it for me?”
  • Offer something new: a new offer, a new reason to reach out, a funny story. If you send similar content each time, you are boring your audience.
  • Direct them to a blog post with more information they can use.

We would be remiss if we didn’t add that your list should be constantly maintained and offer a way for your recipients to unsubscribe. Make sure you comply with all the laws surrounding email, and that your provider offers you ways to keep your list clean.

Are You A Welcome Guest In Their Inbox?

No one likes feeling spammed. If you’re sending too many emails or irrelevant emails to your recipients, your email will go unread. They’ll unsubscribe, or you’ll end up in the spam folder. Make sure you’re only sending emails when you have something valuable to share and that your frequency is consistent.

  • Short and to the point.
  • Provide something they need/want.
  • Be entertaining, informative, and relevant.
  • Have one goal.
  • Create a sense of urgency with a deadline or a limited quantity.

Sending engaging content is key to getting subscribers to open and act on your emails. But what makes for engaging content? That depends on your audience and what they’re interested in. But in general, you want to make sure your content is relevant, useful, and interesting.

  • Make your content easily scan-able.  Use short sentences and paragraphs and common conversational language. Break it up with bullet points or sub-headlines. It needs to be digestible easily and quickly. Get to the point.
  • Make it feel personal using the words “you” and “your” will help, and occasionally merge your recipients’ first names.
  • Let your customers know “what’s in it for them” by talking about the benefits you deliver, not simply listing the features.

Pro tip: Features tell customers what, and benefits tell customers why. Features are the facts. Technical or descriptive parts of what you sell. Benefits are why that feature matters to your customers and what it DO for them.

We always recommend including a call-to-action (CTA) as a great way to get subscribers to take specific actions, such as visiting your website or making a purchase. Track that action back to your email, and you will know if your email marketing is turning into actual sales. Often, emails include a promo code unique to that email or a secret word that the customer can use to get the special offer you have included.

Without a solid call to action, you won’t be able to measure the success of your marketing.

Your Subject Line Says It All

Getting your email opened is one of your biggest challenges, if not the biggest. If it isn’t opened, your message doesn’t get read, and your marketing is useless.
Remember the two reasons that probably motivated you to open your unsolicited emails earlier? The first reason you opened it was because the subject line intrigued you. Pay attention to those email subject lines; even keep a list of them. If they intrigued you enough to get you to open an email, chances are that it will work on your customers with a bit of tweaking.

The best subject lines will cause your reader to stop what they are doing to open your email. And if they open it, you are more than halfway there.

Here are some proven strategies for writing killer subject line:

  • Keep your subject lines short and sweet.
  • Use their name.
  • Include a call to action that will compel the reader to open the email.
  • Avoid using spammy words that will cause the email to be flagged as spam.
  • Include an offer.
  • Speak to their pain points; what do they lack?
  • Solve a problem for your customer.
  • Save them time and energy.
  • Leverage the fear of missing out, give their response a tight deadline.
  • Use curiosity or humor.
  • Tell the truth – don’t bait them. Your subject line needs to relate to your content and/or offer.
  • Test different subject lines to see which ones work best for your audience.

Your subject line gets them to open your email. That’s its ONLY job. What can you say in the subject line that will compel them to open the email?

How Much Is Too Much?

There’s no hard and fast rule, but generally speaking, it’s best to err on the side of caution. You don’t want to bombard your list with daily emails, but you also don’t want to go too long without reaching out. Find a happy medium that works for both you and your audience.

Our suggestion to email clients is once a week. But as with anything, you need to monitor the results. Suppose your open rates decline or unsubscribes increase. In that case, you’ll know you are overstaying your welcome, or your content isn’t interesting to them.

This goes back the reason #2 that might have caused you to open an email in your inbox. The timing was right – it offered something that you already had in your head as a need. Unfortunately, you can’t read minds. You never know when the timing is right, you never know when the reader might need the solution you are offering. This means you always need to be emailing. You constantly need to be lobbing balls over the net, and eventually, the reader will hit one back.

You need to test and monitor. Your audience will tell you by their reactions.

Everything Measured Improves

Everything you read about effective email marketing campaigns throws around confusing terminology. Here’s the bottom line:

  • How many emails were sent?
  • How many recipients opened it (open rate)?
  • How many recipients clicked on your CTA link in the email (click rate)?
  • How many sales resulted from the email (conversion rate)?

Your email provider will likely have reports that you can view that show you how effective your emails are. When you monitor your results, you’ll quickly see when you hit the mark and providing valuable content to your readers. The more engaging your email content, the more sales will result. It’s all about building a connection and offering something of value to your audience.

Is All This Too Much To Handle?

But You Know You Should Be Doing It?

I hear that a lot from my clients. “I know I should be sending emails to my customers, but I just don’t have the time!”

I get it. That’s why I started this business 18 years ago…to help small businesses get their marketing done with little to no work on their part. Because you’re busy running your business!

Email marketing is no joke. It should be in the top 2 choices for consistently communicating with your customers and bringing in sales weekly. If you DON’T have the time, energy, or techy-know-how to send relationship-building, sales generating, money-making emails to your customers, click the button below to see how we can help.
There is no pressure and no commitment. Just a simple, Done For You solution for busy business owners like yourself. Customized to your needs. It all starts with a simple conversation over the phone. Click the button and do something good for your business and your life.

Let’s Chat
Michael Thibault
Michael Thibault

Michael Thibault

Known as “The Done For You Marketing Guy for Restaurants.” International Speaker on Restaurant Marketing. Published contributing author of 4 Marketing Books. Industry expert on Google Searches and Review Sites. Recovering Independent Restaurant Owner and Caterer of over 21 years. And, all-around good guy.

Follow Us On Social Media