5 steps towards better email marketing

small blackboard showing words email marketing - Suffolk copywriter - Suffolk copywriting

When it comes to getting your name in front of hundreds of people, quickly and cheaply, email marketing takes some beating. It’s one of the main tools in the digital marketer’s box of tricks, and one of the most efficient. With email marketing you can promote products and services, carry out surveys, get feedback, and build powerful relationships with your audience.

So, what could possibly be the downside? Well, it just so happens that email marketing is so great that businesses across the globe are doing it. Their emails are landing in inboxes with dozens of others. You probably get quite a few yourself. And you know that unless they catch your attention in some way, they go straight in the bin.

Let’s look at some steps you can take to ensure that readers value your email communications and wait excitedly for the next one.

1. Greet new arrivals with enthusiasm

If you’ve ever turned up at an establishment, a hotel for instance, you may have been met at the door by a smiling member of the reception staff. They will welcome you, advise you of breakfast times and other services, tell you that nothing will be too much trouble, and wish you a pleasant stay. In the digital world, you need to do a similar thing.

As we have already noted, people are inundated with unwanted email, so if someone makes the decision to receive email from you, the least you can do is thank them and welcome them to the fold. Tell them how much you value them, and how you look forward to serving them. Tell them a little more about your business and what they can expect from your future emails. Depending on the business you are in, you could even encourage some interaction by asking them to complete a quick survey. What services or products are they most interested in? What questions do they have? The answers to some of these can be a rich seam of ideas for future emails.

Show new arrivals that you’re happy to see them and look forward to helping them. Just don’t appear pushy.

2. Deliver great content and get great returns

If you’re going to send regular content to your subscribers make it worth reading and make it regular. If you don’t do this, readers will ignore your emails and may even unsubscribe from your mailing list. Don’t waste time writing emails that nobody wants to read, because in the end, you’re wasting your audience’s time and damaging your reputation. On the other hand, a great email is something that people can engage with, and when they are ready to do business, they’ll come to you.

3. Segment your audience

Depending on the size and nature of your business, it’s possible that certain email communications will only be relevant to a particular demographic. If you’re a department store, is it appropriate to send your male subscribers special offers in ladies fashion? How many teenagers will be interested in reading about mobility aids? Also, where is your prospect on the buying journey? If a customer is clear that they won’t be making a purchase for another six months, they could find it frustrating to receive the offer of a discount that will expire within a week.

Remember that email works both ways. Use it to build relationships, to learn about your audience, and to give the right people the right content at the right time.

4. Strive for excellence in email marketing

When you send an email, you’re asking the recipient to take time out of their busy day to read it. In effect, you’re asking them to invest time in you. Therefore, you owe it to them to deliver something that is worth their time. That something is a well-written email, containing information that will benefit them.

In the first place, you need an interesting or intriguing subject line. There is a plethora of web pages that offer advice on creating subject lines so it’s worth reading several.

The body of the email should expand upon the subject line. This should be punchy, entertaining, maybe even witty. But it should be no more than 200 words long. Leave the long-form copy for your blog.

Don’t forget to provide a call to action. If you’re prospect is interested enough to read your email to the end, they may well feel that it’s time to give your website another look, or to read the full article or to complete your survey. If you’re sending out an email, think about what action you want your audience to take and make it easy for them to do it.

5. Avoid the spam label

You already have a pretty good idea what spam is. Spam is all that email that you don’t have any interest in reading because you know that doing so will bring you no benefit. It tends to be produced by organisations who send out dozens of these emails each day to thousands of people in the vain hope of getting some traction.

Of course, you want your email marketing to be targeted, relevant, and useful but it is important to ensure that you don’t unwittingly fall into the spam folder.

Look out for inactive accounts

As part of your email marketing efforts, you should be looking at who is opening your emails, who is clicking on links and so on. If someone hasn’t opened one of your emails for a while, it’s possible that they no longer use that email address. And if your email provider spots that this is happening with a lot of your emails, it could slap you with the spam tag. Keep your mailing list up to date and delete inactive accounts.

End the relationship with grace

Sometimes, people’s needs change. It could be because of personal circumstances, maybe they found a cheaper supplier. Whatever the reason, if they no longer have a need to receive your emails, the best thing you can do is let them unsubscribe easily. Offer the unsubscribe link at the bottom of each email and tell them you’re sorry they’re going. You might even ask them what brought them to this decision as the response could help you with future marketing efforts.

The upshot is, if you don’t provide an easy unsubscribe option, people will simply mark your emails as spam. That’s not great for your digital reputation.

Out of sight, out of mind

If you’re going to engage in email marketing, you have to be consistent and send emails regularly without overdoing it. If you don’t email often enough, subscribers may forget you or whether they ever subscribed at all. They will then have no hesitation in throwing you in the spam bin.

Email marketing services in Ipswich, Suffolk

With more than twenty years of experience in marketing, we can help you with your email marketing efforts by creating single emails and entire email funnels. We can devise campaign strategies, manage your mailing lists, and segment your audience appropriately.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Why Does Your Business Need a Content Writer?

desktop with the words content marketing in plastic letters

In short, a content writer produces written materials that demonstrate to your audience that you know your business. It may seem like stating the obvious, but if you want to do business, you need to give prospects reasons why they should choose you over the competition. Traditionally, you might achieve this by laying out your market stall with delicious and fresh-looking produce, and making passers by an offer they can’t resist. Or if you had a shop, an extravagant window display will get the punters popping in for a closer look. In the online world, the same principles apply but the methods of getting people to notice you are different.

Well-written, relevant content is a vital element in generating interest in your offering. It is part of your content marketing strategy and shows that you are an expert in your field. Furthermore, it as your exquisitely-dressed shop window that cannot be ignored.

Just to be clear on what content is, if you have a website that describes your business, you have content. If you have a blog, you have content. If you post to social media, you are producing content. And if it’s good, if it’s entertaining and if it’s relevant, people will come to you, and come back again and again.

Of course, if you’re a small business, and writing isn’t your area of expertise, how are you going to use content to attract an audience?

Writer for hire!

A content writer could be just the person you need to help you up your game in the world of online marketing. Content writers create web content. They can produce long-form content such as blog articles, white papers, and case studies, as well as scripts for promotional videos. A content writer can also create shorter items for your blog and social media platforms. Moreover, if you want a long-term content strategy, your content writer can devise and deliver this, offering a vital component to your marketing efforts. In fact, according to a report by Social Media Examiner, 58% of marketers said original written content is the most important type of content, outdoing visuals and videos.

Let’s be clear, nobody knows your business like you do. When it comes to delivering your service, product, or whatever, you’re the bee’s knees. And if you have the ability to put into words why you’re the best and how customers will benefit from using you, then you are one truly special individual. In saying that, you are probably incredibly busy and therefore short of time to keep on top of your blog and your social media accounts. So, the chances are that even you could benefit from the services of a content writer for a few hours a week.

But what benefits could hiring a content writer bring you?

Well, for a start, it could help you generate leads. According to Demand Metric, content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing and generates three times as many leads. In short, you get more bang for your buck.

Raise brand awareness

A content writer also helps you create brand awareness. Simply promoting your wares can get boring. Some people just don’t like the feeling that they’re being sold to all the time. Your content writer will produce articles, white papers and so on that demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. Using your website and social media accounts, the writer will promote the content and increase web traffic. This is a great way of getting your audience on your side so that when they are ready to buy, your name will be the first one they think of.

Improve SEO ranking

Whilst you want your audience to love you, your content writer can get search engines to love you too. The writer achieves this by improving your SEO ranking. The more content you produce, and the more relevant keywords appear in your content, the better for your ranking.

Since we’re talking about search engine rankings, it’s worth mentioning that when you publish good content, others are likely to link to it. When they do, search engines give you a hug and send you a little higher up the list.

Increase loyalty and retention

Once you’ve got customers, you’re going to want to hang on to them, and your content writer can help you with this. By creating more personalised content, such as information about upgrades and new developments, your writer can build the relationship between you and your customer. Your customer will stay engaged, and open to new purchasing opportunities.

If content isn’t a key element of your marketing strategy, there is likely to be a rich and untapped seam of opportunity just waiting to be discovered. A good content writer will increase your brand awareness, improve your SEO, generate sales, and improve customer retention.

About Bruce Barbour Communications Management

Based in Ipswich, Suffolk, Bruce Barbour offers a range of marketing communications services. These include content writing, copywriting, search engine optimisation, web design and creation, social media management, and public relations. In addition, we offer expertise in event management, and technical documentation.

Contact us for more information.