You may think that email marketing is just full of spam messages, and consumers just delete the emails without reading them. However, email is still a very effective, and cost efficient, tool to get your message out to a lot of people very quickly. It’s a truly engaging medium that allows your customers or clients to share, click and browse to their heart’s content, while providing tracking, analytics and insights that are very valuable to your bottom line. In fact, for every dollar that you spend on email marketing you can generate up to $40, according to MediaPost’s Email Insider. So don’t give up on your email marketing — just learn how to keep it fresh, specific and spam-free.


Subject lines matter

The first exposure to your email marketing is the subject line of your email, so it’s crucial that you create something powerful that will allow your email to stand out from the pack. You’ll want to craft a subject line that establishes who you are, and identifies that you are useful, unique, urgent and aren’t spam. That is a lot to ask of in just a few words, but with a bit of creativity you can come up with some subject lines that will definitely improve your open rate. You’ll also want to avoid any subject lines that feel too click-bait, as most consumers now are far smarter and can see through something like that. So keep it specific, useful and urgent, and you’ll reap the rewards.


Target your email

A well organized email list will go a long way in helping you target your email marketing. Every customer is in a different place in the sales process, so an untargeted email will be more like just shouting in the wind. Instead, craft a few emails and come up with some specifics in each that will address each customer and the various spots those customers are in, with regards to the sales process. Most email marketing systems will allow you to segment your email list so you can appropriately target each email to your different customers.


Great photos go a long way

You’ll want to come up with some strong photos for your emails, something that shows off your product or services in a flattering and compelling way. Pick one or two per email, as you don’t want to overload the email with too many images that will make it load slow, or worse yet, be marked as spam. If you aren’t a strong graphic artist or photographer, this is an especially good place to hire someone, as professional graphics go a very long way in providing a professional image to your potential clients and customers.


Keep it short and sweet

Email is not the place to send a lengthy note about a new product or process. You’ll want to keep your emails short, to the point and then link to places on your website where customers can go for more information. To really enhance your emails, be sure to include strong images and visual content, but be sure to size them properly for quick loading in any email system. Use small files with compelling images that relate well to the product or service you’re marketing.


Don’t forget a call to action

Lastly, you’ll want to end your email with the call to action, that is, what action do you want your customers to take next? If the goal is to drive people to your website, then finish your email off with a link to the website. If your goal is to sell a product, then provide a link to make purchasing that product very simple. You’ll also want to add subtle graphic images here like buttons or arrows to really make your call to action stand out. It may also be helpful to offer that call to action in a few different ways, so provide an in-text link, a button and an image with a link embedded. All of those will help drive the call to action home, resulting in a higher click-through rate and more return on your investment for your email marketing.

This article was written by Deborah Flomberg of for CBS Small Business Pulse.


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