Hundreds of thousands of us send out email newsletters on a weekly (or monthly) basis. We send these out to dozens, hundreds, thousands of customers (or others) in the hopes that they are doing some good.
Guess what? Too often they are useful pieces of digital trash, strewn in someone's email box, quickly deleted or never even read.
Email marketing company Campaigner surveyed 259 small businesses with 1-20 employees. The first report - Small Business Marketing Health Check - focused on how small businesses are succeeding today and the mix of marketing tools they are using. Those findings were published in October.
This second report - Small Businesses Put Email Marketing to Work - focuses on small business adoption, plans, use and requirements for email marketing solutions. Both reports can be found here.
The survey found, that three top challenges faced by email marketers were:
• Concerns that my customers will view email marketing as spamming
• Too many email campaigns are filtered out by spam filters
• Poor response rates
These are definitely valid concerns. What can you do about it?
If you want to at least improve the number of people who are opening your email newsletter, have a compelling subject line.
What that subject line should be, I can't say as it really depends on the content of your newsletter and what your audience wants. But for example, maybe you are a real estate agent and have a newsletter for prospective home buyers on how to buy a home.
Instead of having a subject line that reads, "Bloom County Home Buying Guide" (which is not too bad by the way), you could have something that reads "10 Tips For Buying A New Home".
People like lists and information. But the subject line is what they'll often see first and what grabs their interest.
Second, make sure the newsletter is well designed.
No grammar mistakes, clean, plenty of white space so it's easy to read and nice colors. When you step into someone's house and it looks ugly and nasty, do you want to stay there? Do you want to even sit down? No. Think about your email newsletter in this way - it should be clean and welcoming.
Third. Have great content.
If the content inside is not useful or any good, no one will read the newsletter the second time and they'll definitely not pass it on to their friends. Going back to the home analogy, maybe your home is neater than the White House. But when people sit down to eat the food is spoiled. You'll make your diners sick and no one will return to eat at your house. In the same way, your email newsletter must have great CONTENT that your readers will enjoy and want, time and time again.
Clickz.com is a great resource for all things online marketing and they have a section on email marketing as well.
Ramon Ray is the editor and tech evangelist of smallbiztechnology.com