If you run a business, then as well as having a great website, you’ll also need a mailing list. But once you have one set up it can be difficult to know what to actually send in your emails and how often to send them.
So, to give you a few ideas, here are my top tips for sending emails that your clients – and prospective clients – will love!
Set a Schedule
There are so many different opinions on how often you should send email campaigns, but my biggest tip is to go with what works FOR YOU! If you don’t think you’ll ever keep up a weekly email then don’t even start to send them weekly. Consistency, even if it’s only monthly or bi-monthly, is better than sending out something 6 weeks in a row and then not again for another 6 months! Set yourself a schedule and work out what you are going to write about each issue and stick to it. You can always add in special extra emails if you need to for holidays and events, but don’t set yourself up to fail.
Segment your List
There is nothing worse than receiving an email asking you to become a client when you already are one – trust me, I’ve received those before and they’ve made me wonder why I bothered in the first place! All email marketing tools allow you to segment your list into any categories or groups that you set. So, having one segment for existing clients and another for prospective clients may work for your business. You may also have a segment for a specific type of product or even let your subscribers choose their own interests when they sign up for your newsletter. Whichever way you use them, segments allow you to target your email list more effectively and stop you annoying people by bombarding them with emails they don’t want to read.
Personalise your Emails
Make your emails personal. Include merge tags that take the name of each subscriber from the list and add them automatically to the email text. It only takes a few seconds, but reading an email that says “Hi Tony” rather than “Hi Customer” is so much more inviting for recipients. You can even place names within the text so that it reads like you are actually speaking to them. But be aware – too many name placements can look sleazy!
Share your Knowledge
If all you ever send to your clients are sales emails then you’ll quickly see a drop-off in reader numbers. Of course, your emails are there to drive sales but that shouldn’t be their only focus. What does your business do? What knowledge can you share with your current and prospective clients? Do they look to you for advice? Can you send a FAQ email? Add a call to action at the bottom of the email and it still allows you to advertise what you do, but sharing knowledge is a great way to become a trusted source and future business associate.
What is your email newsletter for? Why are you sending it? If it’s to drive people to your website make sure you include prominent links to your site throughout the email and not just in the footer. These can be text links to a specific blog post or a more direct call to action for a new product or service you are offering. Decide what you want the focus of your newsletters to be and stick to it every time you send one out. For example, my Web Goddess clients receive a monthly email with tips on maintaining their own website and I focus on a different topic each month (with the next newsletter being all about email marketing it will link to this blog post!).
Make it easy to Unsubscribe
Not only is this a legal requirement for businesses here in the UK, but it is also good business practice to stop emailing a client if they ask you to! Making sure there is an easy way for recipients to remove themselves from your email list is imperative if you want to maintain a relationship with them. They may just not have time to read emails but still come to you to buy something. It’s imperative that you also gain express permission to add someone to your mailing list. Collecting business cards at a networking event and adding everyone to your list is not only illegal, it will also put you and your business on the wrong foot with those people. The same goes for mass emailing people you ‘meet’ on Linked In or any other social media platform.
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Now it’s up to you to start sending emails to your clients that they’ll love – or at least won’t bin as soon as they arrive in their inbox!