Please Stop Email Abuse
Email marketing is great. Please treat your email list like the treasure it is. Your subscribers gave you permission to email them. These are people open and potentially ready to engage with your brand. In fact, according to Hubspot, 50% of people buy from marketing emails at least once every month. This potential could be even higher if people would stop abusing the platform.
I'm sure every country around the world has some version of this legislation in place; in Canada, we have something called CASL (Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation). Compliance is not an option. Please be mindful of this. Please ensure that the persons that you are emailing have consented to receiving your emails. To find out more about CASL, here is the full Act. No, it's not a fun read, so here's also the shortER FAQ version.
Too often, I get emails that offer absolutely nothing of value. Before we write anything for public consumption, we need to ask ourselves, why is this something that will be important for the recipient. Or, if you want to flip it around, look at it from the recipient's perspective, the two questions you should ask looking at it from the reader's perspective are, "Why do I want to read this?" and "What's in it for me?" If you cannot satisfy these two questions, please rethink sending this email.
It doesn't mean that the content that you're producing isn't right for SOME of your audience. This is why segmentation is your friend. If say for example, you're a purveyor of pet supplies. Why would you send your audience tips on how to care for a lizard if they only own dogs? You might however, send that dog owner, an email about the benefits owning a lizard.
The more that you can segment your email list the better. It's an arduous task in the beginning, but once you have your segments clearly defined, you can automate the process. The better the segmentation, the more targeted you can be with your content.
This really ought to be part of the FLUFF portion, but it is slightly different. There's no need to tell people that you'll be sending out a daily, weekly, quarterly, or even annual newsletters/emails. All this does is put pressure on you to send out FLUFF because you feel that you've made the commitment to send something out. Send newsletters/emails when there's something that will add some value to your intended segment to receive. Perhaps normally it should be once a month, but it also doesn't mean that if there's something you feel that they really ought to know, that you shouldn't send something in between these monthly notices.
On the flip side, if you really don't have anything pertinent to your audience for that month, feel free to skip it. Chances are, your audience base won't even notice that you've skipped a cycle. And if someone reaches out to you that you did miss this month? This audience member should be given a gold star, a hug, a gift, an upgrade to a super VIP status because now they've shown how much they value receiving your content.
It's time for another edition of Good Idea / Bad Idea.
Good Idea: Having a CTA (Call-to-Action)
Bad Idea: Having multiple CTAs
An Even Worserer Idea: Having mulitple confusing CTAs
Having a clear CTA is great. If you're promoting an event or a product, that means having a clear button for people to "buy now", or "reserve your seat here" is great. But you might be running multiple events or promotions. Again, segmentation is your friend. And even if the intended recipient might be interest in all of these promotions/events, don't be afraid of sending multiple emails (space them out of course).
Visual aids are great. Stock images are a God-send. But I've also seen emails so cluttered with graphics and stock images that it becomes a complete distraction. Photos and graphics can help to prove your point and break up what otherwise might be a lot of reading. But when when it becomes an assault on your eyes or irrelevant to your topic, you create a disconnect with your message
Authenticity is all the more important when you're a small business. When crafting an email, read it over before you hit the send button to see if there's anything in there that might make it seem like you're not speaking directly to the intended reader. Not only should you speak with them directly, but think about if this would be how you would speak to them if you were speaking face to face with them.