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  • Writer's pictureSundeep Mallipudi

16 Email Marketing Tips for Small Businesses in 2020

Are you a small business owner who is struggling to figure out what email marketing campaign strategy is best to get good ROI?

Well, if you want to know how to create an awesome email marketing campaign strategy that works for you, then continue reading this article.

These are the 16 tips that every small business owner needs to follow for creating a successful email marketing campaign.

  1. Know Your Audience

  2. Grow Your Subscriber List - "Don't Buy Emails"

  3. Set A Goal

  4. Subject Line Matters

  5. Make it Personalized

  6. Try to Keep Your Emails Out of Spam Folders

  7. Use Clean and Crisp Content

  8. Add Relevant Links and Calls To Actions

  9. Use Email Marketing Psychology Hacks

  10. Make it Mobile-Friendly

  11. A/B Test your Email Campaign

  12. Error Testing!

  13. Give an Option to Unsubscribe

  14. Analyze Your Data

  15. Provide Value

  16. Don’t Over Flood Your subscribers with Your Junk Emails

1. Know Your Audience

Well, for creating any marketing campaign, it is always important to know your audience. So, when creating an email marketing campaign you need to first know your audience so you can create an email marketing campaign that is relevant to your audience interests. It is important to understand each member in your subscription list is unique and their interests are different so, you need to craft your email campaign keeping this in mind.

I know you might be stuck with a question about

How do you go about sending the right communication to the right audience at the right time?

The answer for this is to create a persona of your customers using all the data available with you about your customers and then do segmentation of your entire email list into different groups and then create email campaigns targeting each segment of the audience with similar buyers persona.

2. Grow Your Subscriber List - "Don't Buy Emails"

Well, I can understand, as a small business you always wanted to kickstart your email marketing campaign at any cost but you will not have a list to start off with the campaign and the easiest way to get the email list you wanted is to buy them but believe me, it will not give you any results you wanted to get that is because none of the senders has really wanted to see your content and you even don't know if they are really interested in your content or not.

So, its always better to build your own list even if it a time taking process, since it’s not too hard as it sounds. For example, make sure your list is always growing passively with a subscription form that is on your home page, blog page and everywhere else you can provide it without taking away from more important content and also you can do a separate list for people who had signed up on your website or made an inquiry or made a purchase.

3. Set A Goal

It’s always good to have one thing you would like to achieve as your email marketing campaign goal. This will help you to create a more focused email marketing campaign strategy, which will give you a proper funnel optimized results of different stages of the buyers' journey.

Just remember one thing if you've got more then one goal you don’t really have a goal to achieve, so it is always good to plan your email marketing campaign strategy focusing on the key action or engagement that you wanted your readers to take. It's not all about selling something in the email, you can keep your email key action as downloading an ebook or make them watch a video explaining about your product or service. It's all about keeping your audience engaged by providing informative content that is interesting to them.

4. Subject Line Matters

The subject line is the first impression that your audience gets on your email and it is the trigger that makes your audience open the email. The more straightforward you are with it, you can get most out of it, your ultimate aim is not only to get your emails opened once but build a trusting relationship with your audience so your audience opens your emails again and again.

The open rate of your email solely depends on your subject line and if your subject line is no triggering the audience to open your emails, whatsoever is the content it wouldn’t matter. Even if you got great content inside your email and if you cant trigger your audience with your subject like you are not going to get any returns out of it. So always take your time and come up with a unique and catchy subject line that will trigger your audience, which will immensely help your email marketing campaign.

I wanted to give you a few tips to create stunning subject lines:

  • Make it emotional and natural

  • Keep it short and to the point

  • Give it a personality or humor

  • Add it a question or a number

5. Make it Personalized

The most common reason emails get trashed immediately is they aren’t personalized. Indeed, using the person's names in subject lines and the body of the email gets their attention, but there’s more to personalization than that.

Well, we have already seen about segmenting the list and targeting, that is what affects personalization. Each segment of the audience is looking for different content and context from your emails. You can send different emails depending on the age, gender, interest, location of your audience, buyers persona, etc.

And the classic form of personalization is tracking the people left away from the sales funnel and they sending them personal emails reminding them about the product or service that they are interested in and intended to purchase, this gives more personalization and the conversion rate can be made better. Around 75% of people abandon their buying online, and when you target this audience with personalization (since you know the interest and intent of the customer) the open rate of these emails is seen 45%.

6. Try to Keep Your Emails Out of Spam Folders

Well, every spam filter is different from each other, so an email that you have sent might pass through one spam filter but can get flagged by another spam filter. So, a lot of marketing campaign emails are flagged as spam and they’ll never get noticed by recipients.

So what to do to make sure your email reaches the recipient's primary inbox. It is important to abide by CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of NonSolicited Pornography And Marketing) rules like making sure your recipients have opted into your email address, adding your valid postal address of yours in all the emails you are sending out, giving recipients a clear and direct way to opt-out from the subscription, etc.

Apart from that avoid using bolded content, don't use all capital letters or too many exclamation marks and stop using hyperbolic statements.

If you want more information on how does spam filters work and how do we avoid them, read this article by MailChimp.

7. Use Clean and Crisp Content

How many times have you experienced an email that looks like amateur websites from the olden day?

Well, people tend to open your email because they have been engaged with the subject line but holding their interest until the end of the emailer is the bigger task.

So, its always important to have a clean and crisp content in your email. So how do you create this? Use short and informative paragraphs and make sure you use standout keywords and keyphrases relevant to your readers. Include relevant pictures where ever needed, these pictures should portray your message rather than just replace your content. Keep in mind that a few email spam checkers block images considering them as an indicator of spam email.

8. Add Relevant Links and Calls To Actions

Most email marketing campaigns aim to increase traffic to there site, maybe sometimes for a particular landing page or blog post. No clicks mean no engagement, it is as simple as that. Also, try to include visually attractive buttons with the call to action text that allows readers to interact e.g., Find out more! Download Now! Learn More, Get In Touch, etc.

9. Use Email Marketing Psychology Hacks

Well, every person has certain stimuli that evoke an automated reaction for certain things/events/occurrences. That is why using psychology while creating your email marketing campaign would help you create a more effective and higher converting email campaign. There are many psychological factors that make recipients read your content or take action after reading.

The most commonly used one is Fear of missing because people never want to miss anything, especially the ones which are on offers or discounts. That is the reason why time-limited discounts/offers work so well, it just creates an urgency which makes people tend to take action. Apart from these kinds of psychological factors, you can also make a color choice to make sure you represent some sort of emotion in your email, different colors evoke different reactions. Mainly, you can use these color patterns in the "Call To Action" buttons.

Also one of the most effective ways to attract someone to open your emails or even decide to buy from you is the magic word ‘free.’ The concept of free is always getting down to the most essential part of human psychology, where it’s actually hard for most people to resist it. For example, a few years back Amazon, France had introduced a $0.20 shipping charges for a book sale which has not given any boost in the sales rather it was stagnant, but once they understood the technique and they have modified and relaunched their campaign as free shipping which has given them a huge boost in the sales. So it's all about you how you are going to use psychological factors while creating your email marketing campaign.

10. Make it Mobile-Friendly

Today the first thing any person would do after waking up in the morning is to check his mobile and in continuation on average people check their mobile 63 times a day. So, it's a huge opportunity to make use of these mobile trends to reach your targeted audience. In a report, it is stated that 66% of email opens happen on smartphones and tablets. If you aren’t optimized your emails for viewing on these mobile devices, you’re potentially missing out on a lot of opportunities.

11. A/B Test Your Emails

Well, doing A/B testing regularly gives you an understanding of what is better working for you and it is always one of the best ways to enhance your email campaigns. The more you test, the more you get to know about the reaction of your audience on different events and communications which will help you to craft a better email marketing strategy.

It is always better to test it from the audience rather they just give your audience what you think is the best for them, there is always a huge gap between what you like to give them and what actually they want, so never go with your opinion. So it is much important to have data of A/B test emails and then analyze the data to come up with what really works for you. So, now everyone has a doubt of what should we tweak in the emails when we are doing A/B testing.

Here are a few elements of the email you can tweak to do A/B testing:

  • From name

  • Subject line

  • Preview text

  • Email copy

  • Call to action

Remember one thing always test only one element at a time, so that will give you more accurate results to rely on.

12. Error testing!

Well, apart from testing different email elements you should also keep an eye on testing the email content structure is optimized for all the devices. Make sure you send out a few test emails before shooting out the actual campaign.

Make sure you test them on different devices like, Gmail, and Yahoo, and a variety of mobile devices before finalizing your draft so that you will be sending a proper email copy optimized to all the devices and when your recipient views your email in any device he will be shown a properly structured content.

Image Source: Litmus

Also, make sure all your links and CTA's are working properly and any dynamic code that is written for personalization is working or not.

So, take your time to test the correctness of the emailer before you send out the campaign, or it will cost you in losing the credibility of your business.

You can also use tools like Litmus, that tests and provides screenshots of your email in dozens of different emailers, and also the correctness of the email.

13. Give an Option to Unsubscribe

Well, it's always hard to cut off the conversation or to loos a subscriber from your email list by giving them the way to unsubscribe. But if you are not showing the way to opt-out to your user when they want to remove their name from your lists, they’ll simply flag your emails as spam, which will for sure cause you problems in the future.

14. Analyze Your Data

Always keep a close eye on your data, like how many email addresses were undeliverable from the campaign or at which time of the day people are opening your message more or how many people are taking actions on your email or how many people or opting out from your list, etc.

Well, these details will show you a lot about your email campaign performance.

Also if you have Google Analytics on your website, tagging your emails with Google Analytics custom campaign tracking, it can help you understand more about how they are driving traffic to your website/landing pages and you can also track the behavior of the viewers like what pages they are looking for once they are landing on the website.

Once you have all these data you can really make your campaigns more specific to your targeted audience.

15. Provide Value

Although you have all the techniques to make the users open your email and make them engaged with your email content, it will not give you any sort of returns unless you provide the users some sort of value in the email. It can be educational information about your business or a message about and upgrading or new addition of services or an offer/discount you wanted to give out to your customers. And finally, if you are not providing an email that gives some value to the recipient, it will just be one email which will go into the trash one day.

16. Don’t Over Flood Your subscribers with Your Junk Emails

Well, now that you have all the tips in your hand, I know you are eager to get started with your email campaigns, but just hold on and remember you should keep in mind that you should not over flood your recipient's inbox by sending continuous emails there is a high possibility of the recipient getting irritated and will opt-out from your email list. So, give them a pleasant experience with constant and relevant information without just over flooding with all sorts of sales emails.

To conclude, maybe to a lot of small businesses there, email marketing can be tough at times but by sending relevant offers to the right target segments at the right time and giving attention to the minute details that go into an email, you can increase the open rate and clicks rate in your emails and thus increase you ROI.

Thank you for reading through, if you enjoy the article do like it, share it and subscribe to the blog for more updates on digital marketing.

If you want to share some tips that I have not listed above, you can feel free to comment below your suggestions.

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