Ever get the nagging feeling that your email marketing is stuck in a rut?
It’s frustrating, isn’t it?
You want to break free from your routine and try something new. But you’re short on time, you already have a system, and — if you’re being really honest — you’re a little bit afraid.
Because what if your new ideas fall flat?
Thinking about your emails from your subscribers’ point of view makes things simpler. What are the people on your email list looking for? How do they want to receive your information?
Any changes you make should focus on strengthening relationships with your contacts and rewarding their loyalty.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas to consider:
1. Spruce up your email design
When was the last time you gave your email design an update? With over half of all emails now opened on a mobile device, your email contacts need messages that are easy to consume quickly and easily — on any screen size.
Start with a mobile-friendly email template. Add your logo at the top and use your brand colors, so it’s easy for readers to tell your message is coming from you. Then, keep your message concise. Recent data shows that messages with three or fewer images and roughly 20 lines of text result in the highest click-through rate. Think a picture, paragraph, and a call to action.
Here’s a great example from Treat Cupcake Bar:
Find more email design best practices in our new Email Design Guide.
2. Embrace a less is more mindset when sending
Be honest: how organized is your mailing list? Are you adding contacts to one big list, or have you taken the time to organize contacts into groups, or segments, like customers versus prospects or donors versus event volunteers?
We recently discovered the number of contacts you send to can affect your email open rate. Sending a targeted email to a smaller group increases the personalization of your message and provides readers with information that’s more relevant to them.
Get the most out of your email contact list with these segmentation techniques.
3. Add video
Emails with video have been shown to receive a 300 percent higher click-through rate than those without. Videos are easy for your subscribers to consume. They’re educational, entertaining, and often a nice alternative to written content. Especially if you have an online business, a video is a great way to go behind-the-scenes and introduce your staff members.
Even if you’ve never created a video before, your smartphone could be all you need. Consider creating a short thank you video just to remind your audience how much they mean to you. Or share your industry expertise through a live stream, and then email the recording out to your email subscribers.
Check out how Bisque Imports adds video tutorials to their emails:
Try adding video to your email marketing strategy and check your reports to see if your engagement increases.
4. Extend your email’s reach
Do you have an active social media presence? Make your latest email newsletter available to your social following using our new Social Share tool. With Social Share you can create and schedule a series of social posts for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Don’t forget to add a join my mailing list to your email, so your social subscribers can join your mailing list if they haven’t already. You can find step by step instructions here.
Additionally, you can reach potential new customers on Facebook using Constant Contact’s tool for Facebook Advertising. Using “lookalike targeting” you can promote your email to Facebook users that have similar traits and interests as the contacts in your Constant Contact account.
5. Share your story
The biggest advantage small businesses have over their larger competitors is their personal connections with customers. You know your customers in a way larger corporations don’t — and your customers want to know about you as well.
You can easily bring storytelling to your email content. What if your antique store sent an email with pictures and highlights from a recent buying trip? Wouldn’t that persuade shoppers to come to your store and see your latest products themselves?
If you own a gift shop and you shared your employees’ favorite gift-giving memories, don’t you think your subscribers will think of your store the next time they want to give something special?
Beyond written stories, look for ways to incorporate visual content like photos and videos. Or, consider recording conversations with your employees, customers, or business partners and starting a podcast.
You can listen to our own Small Biz Stories podcast for inspiration.
Break out of your email marketing rut
It’s never easy to break the mold and try something new. Use these five ideas as inspiration to take your email marketing to the next level.
Remember the most important changes you can make are those that directly benefit your audience. If you’re unsure what your email contacts are interested in, go straight to the source and send out an online survey to find out.
You can find more email marketing advice here: Email Marketing Best Practices: 125 Links to Help You Be a Better Marketer.