When it comes to running your business one thing you don’t want to sacrifice is your marketing efforts. Making sure you get the word out about your business is one of the only ways to ensure retention and word of mouth acquisition; email marketing is crucial to your success. As a small business you must rely on getting your clients back in the door by providing a convenient, responsive channel for your clients. I know life can get busy so reminding your clients it’s time to come in again, or that you have a special they may be interested in, is a must! Using email marketing is invaluable – you’re creating a more consistent stream of revenue by communicating with your clients throughout the year.
Effective Email Marketing is getting…
The right MESSAGE
To the right PERSON
At the right TIME
With the right FREQUENCY.
How do you achieve this? The following 6 ways will help you maximize email marketing for your business.
1. Optimize your Subject Line. The “Dos and Don’ts”
Make sure to keep your subject lines simple and as transparent as possible. Vague, misleading, and overly long subject lines are oft ignored and trashed quickly. Keep in mind that your clients want to know exactly what they’re in for when opening an e-mail. For example, are you offering a discount or promotion on a specific service? If so, make your promotion the subject line; “10 dollars OFF Your Next Oil Change”, or “Save 20% on Your Next Purchase”. Any restrictions can be made clear in the body of your email. Also, be sure to avoid using capital letters and exclamation points as these increase your chances of being sent to Spam folders (for more on how to avoid spam: click here). Lastly, slang and acronyms are not the same to everyone so steer clear of those as well.
- Use 5-8 words (boring is better)
- Highlight the benefit of the email
- Get right to the point
- Use excessive capitalization and punctuation
- Overuse terms like “Free” or “Help”
- Use slang or acronyms
2. Make your content relevant and personal.
Readers spend very little time on a single message. You have SECONDS to get your point across and get the reader to take action! You can achieve this by making sure content is relevant and presented in a way that grabs their attention. A few basic notes:
- Personalize your message
- Use [Custom/Greeting Tags] in your emails so you can start your message by addressing them by name, the name of their pet, or by identifying their vehicle, etc.
- Using [Custom Tags] allows you to add information relevant only to that client making it extra personal for them.
- Use relevant images – Images will capture your viewer’s attention over words.
- Images are fun and can be read in seconds.
- Make sure your image and email content is mobile friendly!
Remember the average adult attention span is down to 3-4 seconds & 65% of marketing emails are viewed on mobile devices – just driving home the point above: make sure your content is relevant and personal so you can grab their attention within seconds of them opening it.
3. Include a Call To Action button (CTA)!
Call to actions are IMPERATIVE! Whether you are offering a discount, promotion or simply sending out some fun facts be sure to give your client the ability to schedule with you! Your CTA Button should be obvious – make it big, make it bold and make it visible above the fold! If you’re sending a newsletter filled with information make sure there is another convenient CTA at the bottom of the email as well. It may seem redundant, but this is key in getting your overall message across – which is getting your clients back in the door!
It’s also a great idea to include links or buttons to your social media pages like FB, Google+ & Yelp – this gives your reader options. Maybe they were just in to see you last week and your promotion doesn’t apply to them in the moment for whatever reason – that’s ok – let’s have them like you on facebook.
4. Segment to Get the Right Customers.
Think about your recipients… what do you know about them? A great way to make sure you are getting the right message to the right person is to send your message only to those it applies to. A few notes on segmentation:
- Getting a relevant message to a customer has a far greater impact than generic messaging.
- Demographics such as age, gender, and past purchases/appointments are great ways to segment that also make sure the content being delivered is relevant
- Different recipients require different content. Look at the following for guidance:
- Appointment history
- Want to target customers who have NOT been in for a while – customize your message to them with a special offer for returning to you. Why send an email offering a discount on a service/product if they were just in to see you last week?Again, right message to the right person!
- Recommended Services
- Have clients who have not come back for certain recommended services? Target them with a special offer on the service you previously recommended.
- Appointment history
5. Timing & frequency
Many times the most difficult question to answer is: when is the best time to send an email? The answer is: midweek! Overwhelmingly, research tells us Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday are the better days to communicate with your clients. If you’re ever wondering when you should send an e-mail think back to the last time your inbox was empty. Was it on a weekend when you were busy enjoying your free time? Probably not. Was it during the week after you cleaned out your e-mail inbox from the weekend? Probably! You can’t go wrong with Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
How often you send emails to your clients depends widely on your industry. Some industries (like salons) will send weekly or even daily specials and clients will expect content more often. However, other industries (like auto) should space out email communications to avoid spamming customers. A safe bet here is to communicate at least 4-6 times a year with your clients. And if you’re probably segmenting your communications then you know the right person is getting the right message at the right time.
6. Maximize your marketing ROI! How effective is it?
Well let’s take a look at some of these industry wide statistics: McKinsey & Company estimates that emails are 40% more effective than social media in acquiring customers. While Facebook, Google, etc. are important email is still very much the leader in effectiveness. The Direct Marketing Association averages 4300% ROI for implementing email marketing into your business (DMA members can click here to see the full study)! WOW. Not bad at all. Beyond that compelling percentage by increasing customer loyalty profitability will follow. Long lasting, deeper relationships drive profit to a small business in the form of repeat business and referrals. And what’s at the core of a deep relationship? COMMUNICATION!
So go get started on your email marketing journey & increase your revenue. You’ll thank me for it later.