Email Isn’t Dead: 5 Tips for Your Small Business

Now that 79% of the U.S. population is on social media, is email still an effective way to reach new and current customers? Yes. 

According to MarketingSherpa, 96% of customers still want promotional emails from businesses where they shop. And, McKinsey Insights reports email is almost 40-times more effective than Facebook or Twitter in new customer acquisition. 

That doesn’t mean you have to choose between email and social media—both play a role in your marketing plan. The key is to use them effectively. Here are some tips to get the most from your email marketing efforts.

Tip 1: Make it easy to opt in or opt out.

Create multiple opportunities for customers to sign up for emails. Some businesses have a visible sign-up on their home or contact pages. And they use their social media platforms to link to it. Others send a welcome email to new customers inviting them to opt in. In either case, tell them what they’ll get by signing up—access to special discounts, first looks at new products, how-to tips.

The unsubscribe link at the bottom of your email doesn’t have to be dead end. Give them the option to “update preferences” instead. Let customers decide on the frequency and type of email they want. For example, one study found that 86% of customers want emails monthly and only 15% want daily ones. With this information, you can segment your email lists and retain your subscribers. 

Tip 2: Make a long story short.

How many emails do you receive in a day? Chances are, the answer is “too many.” The same is true for customers. So use their time wisely by getting to the point. Start with a subject line and a preheader that give them a reason to open it. Maybe it’s a special sale or a video on how to get the most from their recent purchase. 

Once they open the email, make it easy for them to digest your message. Use short paragraphs, subheads and bullet points to visually break it up.  Images or video links can also make it more scannable. Remember, you don’t have to fill every corner. White space can make your email seem more manageable. 

Tip 3: Get up close and personal.

Not every customer needs to get every email you send. Segment your email lists so you can personalize your message. For example, give your VIP customers the first look at a new product or service. Customers who haven’t bought in a while might get a “we miss you” discount on their next purchase. Birthday emails are a unique opportunity to speak directly to an individual customer.   

Don’t underestimate the power of personalizing email with the customer’s name. One study found that just using the person’s name in a subject line can increase open rates by 26%.

Tip 4: Take it for a test drive first.

Not sure which way to go with an email? Don’t guess, test. Many email platforms give you the option to do A/B testing. That lets you send two different emails to a sample of your email list to see which one gets the best response. The results will help you make better decisions before you send it to everyone else.

Marketing guru, Neil Patel, offers this beginner’s guide to A/B testing. You’ll find a list of best practices to follow and how to interpret results from the test.

Tip 5: Learn from triumphs and trip-ups.

Emails are a dynamic tool. What works today may not tomorrow as customers’ tastes evolve. That’s why measurement is important. Stats like click-through or conversion rates help you track their performance. Look for trends over time before you react to the results of a single email.

Hubspot offers six email metrics you should consider, based on your objective. See why they question the value of common measures like open rates. 

Email marketing is not dead. It still offers unique advantages making it a valuable tactic in your marketing program. See if one of these tips helps you keep your emails going strong.

Get TheWire Delivered to Your Inbox

The trends, insights, and solutions you need to grow your business.

By signing up, you’re subscribing to our monthly email newsletter, The Wire. You may unsubscribe at any time.
Your information stays safe with us. Learn more about our privacy policy.