by Julie Niehoff
If you are like most of the small businesses that I work with, then there is a good chance that you’ve already integrated email marketing as part of your marketing mix. And with good reason — email marketing is an affordable form of marketing and can be highly effective.
In fact, last year the Direct Marketing Association released a study that found that email outperforms all other direct marketing channels in terms of return on investment — ROI for email is 4x that of direct mail.
The businesses that achieve great results and create campaigns that inspire engagement and action are not by chance, though. They are thoughtful about the content creation process and design their email campaigns to elicit a positive response.
Quite frankly, they have to. People make snap judgments about whether or not to read emails based on a quick glance. They choose an email message, give it a two-second glance, then decide if it’s worth their time. If it is, they keep it and read it. If not, they hit the delete key and send the email to the trash—a result that no marketer wants.
If your goal is to inspire engagement and get your readers to take action after reading your next email campaign, here are six ways to do it:
1. Be concise
Having a clear message should be a staple of any email, but it’s even more important when you realize that the vast majority of your readers will be viewing your message on a mobile phone or tablet. Be as concise as possible in both design and content to help ensure that your subscribers have a good experience when they read your email content, and stay engaged from start to finish.
2. Inform to engage
Recognize the difference between telling and selling. Many of your customers signed up for your newsletter because they want your expertise.The key to getting readers to digest the entire newsletter and more importantly, act on it, is to include content that they find valuable Your content should be fresh and address topics of interest. Consider providing tips and other useful information that they will want to pass along to their own networks. Just be sure the information is a great conversation starter.
3. Include a call to action
Before sending your email, stop and ask yourself: What action do I want the recipient to take? That action won’t always be one that has an immediate impact on your business ( buy now!) but it should be the first step in some path toward driving real results from your email marketing. Make sure to include a clear call to action and put it near the top of your email. Tell your readers what you want them to do and make it really easy for them to do so. Whatever the action you want them to take, just make sure it’s loud and clear
4. Target your content
Nothing screams delete more than a generic message. Since you’ve asked your customers’ permission before adding them to your email list, you already know some of their interests and perhaps their past purchases. You’ll see higher response rates if you divide your subscribers into subgroups and send targeted messages specific to their interests.
5. Incentivize your readers
Create deals that are offered to existing customers when they refer or bring a new customer along with them to your business. By elevating the current deals craze to make it more of an insider experience, you’ll be able to widen your circle and engage new customers in a more meaningful way.
6. Offer exclusive access
Invite select customers to participate in private events. Host a private event at your business and be sure to let your top customers know it is invitation-only. Consider including language such as “limited to 50 customers” to reinforce the value while also demonstrating your gratitude for their loyalty. Next time you are creating an email, consider integrating some of these tips and watch your engagement and email marketing results soar.