Email is a very effective way to communicate and market. These four email marketing tips will serve you well selling your services or organizing a school fundraiser. The key is to keep it short and very cordial, especially when sent to people you are not close to. Most of us have been emailing since at least 1992. Email is not a novelty or passing fad. The Direct Marketing Association of the United Kingdom released a report in 2012 on the effectiveness of marketing channels. Over 90 percent listed email as very important to their marketing efforts.
If you’ll follow these four basic rules, email will be your most valuable marketing and communication tool.
- Start with who, what, where, when, call to action
- Keep it short, respectful, grammatically correct, and include white space
- Be careful with the forwards, canned stuff, and big group emails revealed
- Develop a professional signature and Vcard
Who, what, where, when, and call to action
Just like in a newspaper or magazine article, you’ve got about three sentences to answer those four critical questions and 60 seconds to grab the reader’s attention. In an email, you also must be explicit about the desired action.
This applies whether asking a group of friends to dinner or a sales campaign.
By the way, on either one include only one call to action. Here’s an example:
Dear Parent Volunteer Board, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Our next meeting is Monday, November 28 from 9:00 am to 10:00 am at the Panera New Garden. Discussion points include website pages, the Grammar School fundraiser, and forming the legacy committee.
Please confirm your plans to come. Also, let me know if you have any questions or additional agenda items.
[Additional information up to a page can go below the last sentence above, if truly relevant.]
If you want the recipient to open an attachment, tell them what and why. Like this – The agenda for Monday is attached as a PDF file. Please print, read, and bring with you.
Short, respectful, correct, and white space
Short means don’t send an email that exceeds what basically appears on the open screen of a desk top computer, i.e. about one 8.5 x 11 page. Half a page is better. Most people are now reading email on a mobile device. They won’t scroll long.
Respectful means treat email like you would a letter or phone call. Use Dear, Hello, Best Regards, Thank You, Hope you are well, etc. Never use profanity or anything you don’t want your mother, spouse, or child to read. Assume everything you send out onto the net is fair game for forwarding, Tweeting, and posting.
If you failed composition in school, take a quick tutorial online on how to use punctuation. I like Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips. If you want to get serious, invest in Grammarly. For a monthly fee you can have it edit your writing.
Yes, it’s important. You don’t need to use the Queen’s English but basic sentence structure and punctuation are just good manners and communication practice.
White space, please! Hit the enter button every few sentences. Keep your sentences short and punchy. Avoid run-ons and semi colons. Adjectives are good only to a point. Creating space between thoughts and using bullets make emails look easier to read.
If you are using photos or graphics, keep the size small. You’ve got about 600 pixels at best for the entire email. Use a JPEG.
Be careful with the forwards, canned stuff, and big group emails revealed
Emails should feel more like an “I thought of you” note versus a sales pitch. This is why forwarding should be done ever so carefully. Begin the forwarded message with something like this – Dear Bob, I thought of you when reading this because it explains the parenting concepts we discussed the other day…
Canned stuff is either cut n’ paste sales-type information or long stories, often not fact checked. You should always fact check claims and information you’re not quite sure is true.
If you are sending an email to a group of people larger than five, blind cc. There are very few reasonable exceptions. It’s just bad etiquette. 1) Some people gather the emails and put them on lists. 2) The reply all causes congestion and confusion, if there’s a date or other plan in the works.
If you are coordinating a date or ideas, receive all the replies and summarize back to the group. You can always use a Doodle Poll for meetings or Survey Monkey to gather input.
Whatever email program you use, it’s easy to create a simple signature line and virtual card. Avoid quotes or miscellaneous images. A short “tag line” is good if your company name does not imply what you do. Upload a nice headshot of your self, not taken by you. Invest in the $100 to have a photographer capture a flattering image of you. Do not wear a hat, unless it’s part of a uniform. The point is to offer vital information. For example,
Barbara Smith | LeBleu
(336) 596-7834 | [email protected]
What are your email pet peeves and/or best practices?
The words and images you choose to present your service or product are vital to success. West 65 Inc. helps small businesses and organizations create digital and print marketing content with proven return on investment. Give us a call at (336) 596-7514 or contact us by email.