Email marketing is a powerful tool for any company, but even more so when you’re running a regional business in a close-knit community. Customer relationships matter—and email can help you supercharge your relationship-building efforts. Off the back of this 66 per cent of consumers have made a purchase as a direct result of an email marketing message.
Creating a standout email marketing plan is a learned skill, so don’t stress—we’re here to help. If you want to communicate and engage with your customers via email, these tips will help you get noticed and make an impact.
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 Skilch, 64 per cent of customers open an email because of the subject line. Needless to say, if your customers don’t open your email—or worse, it gets sent to spam—then the content inside goes to waste.
When writing your subject line, stick to eye-catching and engaging subject lines that are straight-to-the-point. Data from Adestra shows that subject lines with the highest open rates are under 60 characters or over 70 characters.
Here are some email marketing examples with effective subject lines:
Hey [name]! How was your experience with [product/service]?
We miss you! Here’s an offer just for you.
[Company name] newsletter – [Month, Year]
Steer clear of sales speech or OTT statements. Trigger words like ‘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 can also be really effective.
Optimise emails for mobile
Almost half of all users open their emails on their mobile according to Campaign Monitor, and more than a third of Australia’s regional population accesses content on their mobile phone compared to 5% just ten years ago. 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.
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.
Mix up your approach
Promotional and/or relational emails are a good way to test the email marketing waters.
Promotional emails deliver news on 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. Email is a powerful communication tool— helping to build strong relationships with customers and keep them up-to-date with the latest information about your business, so it shouldn’t always be about the sell.
‘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’re more likely to consider your services over another provider.
The takeaway? 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.
Use personalisation in your email marketing
Regional towns tend to have more of a community aspect than metro areas, so it’s important your business builds on this to gain customer trust. However, it’s not also possible to put in the face time you’d like with customers. This is where 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. What’s more, 39% of marketers never personalise their emails. 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 Pocket Office have options to insert a customer’s name directly into an email template. If you want to take that further, set up triggered emails based on customer behaviours or actions, such as an automated ‘Happy Birthday’ email, or an email based on their purchase history.
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.
Don’t be afraid to get creative either. 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.