Email marketing can seem overwhelming, but it has many advantages over other ways that you can interact with your audience. One important reason to have an email list is that it’s a marketing channel that you can control. You control what goes on in each email you send. You control who you’re sending it to. So it’s very different from something like posts on social media or how your website appears in search engine results, where the platform’s algorithm is controlling what people see. With an email campaign, you have a one-to-one direct line with a potential client or customer.
Second, a mailing list also helps you build relationships with those potential clients or customers. It’s a way for you to offer a glimpse into how you work, the services you offer or the products you sell. So you can really make it relational and present yourself as an expert through these emails.
And the third reason is that emails help you to stay top of mind with past and potential clients or customers. So, for example, maybe you are a web designer and someone is working on a website and they sign up for your email list. Then they decide they want some help. Guess who will be at the top of their mental list? The person who has been sending them useful emails about web design.
People often receive hundreds of emails each day, so how can you rise above that inbox noise? Here are a few tips to make your emails stand out so that you can consistently reach your target audience:
1. Remind People Who You Are
Chances are you’ve received an email from a list you joined, but there was no context to remind you where or why you signed up in the first place, so you immediately unsubscribe. When you send out emails, use your brand name or your name in the “From” field (whichever would be most recognizable to your audience) and be sure to include a clear link to your website.
It’s also important to include your brand elements (logo, color palette, font styles, tone of voice) in your email marketing to build brand awareness and recognition.
For best deliverability, ensure that you are using a verified email from your private domain (like yourbusiness.com) rather than an email from Gmail or other generic email providers, so your emails are less likely to be marked as spam.
2. Create a Click-Worthy Subject Line
It’s important to keep in mind that when someone receives your email the only things they know when it lands in their inbox are who the email is from and what the subject line says. Make sure your subject line is compelling enough for them to click through to read your email. Coschedule has a great resource for scoring your potential subject lines. Type in your subject line and get a score then play around with adjustments until you have a winner.
You can also add an emoji to give your subject line a little pizazz and help it stand out among a sea of emails.
Remember to be true to your email and give people a glimpse of what’s inside. Developing that trust with your audience is crucial. If they click through, make it worth their while.
3. Build a Welcome Sequence For New Subscribers
Use your email marketing platform’s client workflow automation software to create a welcome email sequence for new subscribers. These are emails that are sent out automatically at predetermined intervals after someone joins your email list. This is a great opportunity to start providing value to your subscribers.
Have a blog post your audience might find useful? Include that in an email. Have a toolkit or free resources you can share? Include that in another email. The more value you provide, the more likely your subscribers will stay on your list and open and engage with your emails. This is your chance to make a great first impression!
Here’s how to create an excellent welcome sequence:
- First, decide how many emails you want to send.
- Start with what information you’d like to share with your subscribers and what actions you’d like them to take (visit a blog post, follow you on Instagram, etc.)
- Next, decide the order in which the emails make the most sense.
- Finally, decide how much time should pass between each email.
There’s no one right answer here, it depends on your brand and your audience. You can test out a sequence of emails for a few weeks or months, then make changes and look at the data to see what works best for your audience.
Once you’ve warmed up your audience by providing some valuable information, you can consider including an email with a sales pitch for a product or service. You may even want to include a discount to reward your mailing list members.
4. Decide On The Frequency Of Your Emails
Do you want to send out weekly emails to your list? Monthly emails? This will depend on how often you have valuable information to share. Never send an email just because “it’s time.” Wait until you have a plan for how you want readers to engage with your content.
The best email frequency can also depend on your particular audience. To find out what is best for them, you can do some informal testing to see if your audience responds better to short, frequent emails or too long, less frequent emails.
You may want to split your list into two groups and send weekly emails to one group and monthly emails to the other. Check to see which group has the least unsubscribes and which has the most opens and clicks, then move forward with that timing for everyone.
For email marketing, it’s important to be consistent, but not annoying.
5. Test Your Emails Before Sending Them
For each email, you create, be sure to send yourself a test before emailing your list. Check that your subject line is compelling. When it lands in your inbox do you want to click it? Next, click each link in your email to make sure they send people to the correct website page.
Pro Tip: Check your email on both desktop and mobile devices to make sure it’s readable and looks great across devices. After you’ve tested your email, you can send or schedule it with confidence.
But most importantly, continue to add value. Now that you have an email list, don’t just let those emails languish, do something with them. How you do that can look different depending on your business, but just keep moving forward!
Ready to learn email marketing for independent business owners? Get our Email Marketing Ultimate Guide.