Winning the Email Game: How Small Businesses can Create Effective Email Campaigns

Updated: May 18, 2020

It’s hard to win the email game. Your recipient will spend only a split second deciding whether they want to hear you or delete you. But (isn't there always a but?) email is still a powerful voice for your business, if you play the game right. Here are four tried + true tips to help you win the inbox.

Write short, catchy subjects. Put the “boom” first so it gets seen. Keep in mind that the majority of people receiving your email will be checking their inboxes on their mobile. You've got just 40-50 characters to catch their eye and make them want to hear what you have to say. So, don’t hide the juicy stuff at the end of the subject line where it might get cut off.

Remember your recipient is doing more scanning than reading. Write effective email copy that allows for that. You may be tempted to dump as much compelling info as you can into the body of your email. Don't! Your recipient wants to be able to quickly scan the content, see what matters to them, and act on it. Avoid burying your golden needle in a pile of copy hay. And yes, I love words. But sometimes succinct is better.

Know your goal. OK. So, why are you sending the email? And don't say because you want to sell more somethings. What value are you providing your recipient by sending this email? Your readers get hundreds of emails a day. Why should they read yours? Before you write a single word, understand why you're sending this email. Do you have information to share? A new service that could solve a common problem among your clients? Did you add menu items? Is there an upcoming promotion that will save repeat customers some money? Do you have new research that can help potential customers in their decision making? While you want to achieve a good click-through rate, that shouldn't be the ultimate goal of your email. Providing value and engaging in conversations is key.

Including a call to action (CTA)? Make sure it makes sense to the recipient. If they don’t know why you’re asking them to do something, you’re missing the mark. If you've demonstrated the value to your recipient, connect your CTA to that value. Let's say you have new research that you feel will help a potential customer make an informed decision. Your email copy should briefly highlight the new info and why it will benefit the reader, and your CTA should invite them to download the material. If you haven't established why the material is relevant to your recipient, the request to download will lack context. You'll risk losing a potentially engaged customer.

It may seem overwhelming to try to put so much thought into writing an email. If you don't, though, you risk losing engaged recipients and an opportunity to establish your brand as a resource.

Want more help drafting effective email? Let me know and I'll be happy to help.