“Our newsletter didn’t get any clicks.” When the company first approached us, they weren’t sure why their first campaign fell completely flat.
Reviewing the email, we quickly found the problem—they forgot to include any links to create a clear path to purchase and lead subscribers from the email back to their website. Instead of using an existing template from their email marketing platform, they inserted a flyer as the main body of content and didn’t incorporate any links or clear calls-to-action that would have encouraged readers to engage with their content. As simple as it may sound, unfortunately it’s something we see all too often. How do you keep it from happening?
Identify Your Email Marketing Goals
When you’re mapping out your email marketing strategy, ALWAYS start with your overarching goal which in most cases is getting readers from the email back to your website. That way, they can more easily navigate your content including your products and services which increases the likelihood that they’ll make a purchase. Here are some of our favorite email newsletter examples.
If you want to highlight an article from your small business blog and include all of the content in the email newsletter, there’s no reason for readers to do anything else unless they wanted to share it with their social networks. Instead, try teasing the article with an image, opening paragraph, and call-to-action that points them back to your blog.
Use Design and Content to Engage Your Readers
Once you have a clear idea of what you want them to do when they open your email, you can then start to map out the right content and design. This is usually a case where less is more. You don’t need to include 12 articles and 24 calls-to-action or else you’ll wind up confusing your readers and burning through content way too fast. Focus on the 1 to 2 things you hope readers will do once they read your email and use your layout and copy to guide them in that direction.
With platforms like Mailchimp and Constant Contact, it’s really easy to create an email with a professional look and feel that also matches your small business brand. Like these.
Track Your Performance
After each campaign, review analytics to see opens, clicks, bounces, and unsubscribes so you can start to identify opportunities for improvement for your next email marketing campaign. For example, if your open rate is really low that is likely a good indicator that either 1) your list isn’t great or 2) your subject line isn’t resonating.
Avoiding Common Email Marketing Mistakes
It’s easy to make silly mistakes like forgetting to include a link when you’re too close to the content. Before hitting “send” make sure you read over the email and can clearly identify the primary call-to-action (and most importantly the corresponding link).
[Image: Flickr user Pedro Serapio]