Email marketing is easier than you think. Just don’t tell my boss I said that.

 

These days, technology allows small business owners of all types to reach their target customer easily. Email marketing is a powerful and relatively inexpensive tool to generate more traffic and sales to your website, or bring some extra foot traffic to your store. Whether or not you have tried email marketing for your business in the past, this article will still be helpful to you.

There are many companies that provide user-friendly and effective ways to market your business via email. Many of you reading this have probably heard of or used companies like Constant Contact, MailChimp, or iContact. These are just a few companies that will help you create beautiful emails to send. Plus, your cost can be pretty low (or even FREE) depending on the size of your list.  Let’s take a moment to break down some “do’s and don’ts” to consider when constructing the perfect message for your customers.

 

First, always ask for an email address!

When a customer makes a purchase in your store, you always want to bring them back in the future. At checkout, ask for an email address. A simple form for the customer’s name and email address is really all you need. You can also utilize the customer list on the back end of your Gearfire website to add to or create a new list to market to.

 

What is the best day/time to send an email?

There are many opinions about the best days and times for sending. But, the majority of research suggests that Tuesday or Wednesday mornings generate the best open / click rates. Sending later in the week or on the weekend is a bad idea. Folks like to relax on these days, and are less likely to even look at emails.

 

With any email, less is more.

Never go overboard on your content. People tend to delete lengthy emails without ever reading them. If it looks like there is a lot of content to read, the user won’t want to, because they most likely spend a good amount of time each day reading and responding to emails. Helpful tip: Before sending an email, read it out loud to yourself. Your message should be clear and concise. When drafting your message, type as if you are talking to a friend. Using “fancy” language makes your message seem unauthentic.

 

Good Subject Lines are important!

Studies show that up to 33% of recipients decide whether or not to read an email based on the subject line alone. So make it count. Make sure your subject line is interesting and to the point. If your subject line is too long, it may get cut off, especially on mobile devices.

Use action words in your subject lines. Tell your recipients what’s in the message. A simple call to action in your subject line will increase your open rate. For example, try using something like “Grab the best price on new Sig handguns!” instead of “New arrivals from Sig Sauer”.

 

Make it personal.

With just about every email marketing provider, adding personalization to your message is a snap. You can automatically add your customers’ first names to your message or subject line. This helps the recipient feel like the message was drafted “just for them”. This makes the recipient more likely to open and read your email.

 

Use interesting visual elements.

Adding pictures or graphics to your message makes it visually appealing. This means that more of your recipients will read the message, simply because it looks interesting. You don’t need to be a graphic artist, either. You can find free and beautiful photos on websites like Unsplash, Gratisography or LifeOfPix.

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Add links to your message.

Every email you send to your customer list should be sent with purpose. So, what is it that you are selling, promoting, showcasing, etc.? Make sure the recipient can find it easily. Add a link to the specific item(s) you are trying to move. If you are having a weekly sale on Ruger rifles for hunting season, link to the product, not your home page. You can even create a Department on your website for “weekly specials”, etc. Send your customers directly there for the best deals!

AVOID using multiple links in your email messages. Displaying multiple offers in your message isn’t necessarily a good thing. If the recipient clicks on more than one link, they can get distracted from your initial message, which could result in you losing a potential sale.

 

Read, read, and read again before you send.

Try to avoid sending emails that contain spelling or grammar errors. Read your message multiple times before sending. In fact, it helps to have someone you trust read your message for you. Sometimes, errors are easy to overlook (like typing the word “on” instead of “in”… been there).

 

Now get to work.

You have some solid tips in this post to become an effective email marketer. It may seem like a lot to digest at first, but maintaining the best practices when sending will generate results. I spend a lot of time at Gearfire headquarters marketing our own business via email. So, if you have questions or suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment below!