Updated: Apr 29
A quick guide on all things email marketing: how to boost your audience and network!
For small business owners and entrepreneurs, finding the best tools to promote your brand, and gain new clients and engagement is really important.
Now, I’m sure we all know the wonders of social media and how it can help us virtually get the message out there. From Instagram to Facebook to Twitter and beyond - these widely used platforms have become a necessity in today’s business world. But to ensure the growth of your business, you cannot depend on these media channels alone.
Often overlooked, email marketing continues to be a crucial tool in the digital marketing industry. And if Morpheus from The Matrix is telling us, then it must be a pretty big deal...
Did you know that email users will frequently check their personal accounts, around 20 times each day regardless, at work, home or on their phones? According to e-commerce and online marketing company Oberlo the estimated number of email users globally for 2023 is a whopping 4.3 billion users...that's half of the entire world's population!
If that's not mind-blowing enough to change your mind, I don't know what is! Regardless of how big or small your business is, email marketing is a fantastic opportunity to increase your visibility and connect with viewers.
So don't go anywhere - read on to learn the top 10 tips for email marketing.
1 - Who is your audience?
Know your target audience!
First things first. Before you can start thinking about creating a great email, you have to know exactly who your target audience is. Make sure you really hone in on who you are going to write to. Keap highlights knowing what qualities best resonate with your audience - and how this can help you position your brand and business in the most effective and appealing way.
Figuring out your target audience will help you with:
📣The type of language, or jargon, you use
📣Specific buzzwords or phrases to catch their interest
📣Style and structure of the email
📣The range of topics and content they like
2 - Grow a good-quality email list
This goes hand-in-hand with point no. 1.
Once you know who you are writing to, you can focus on growing that list of people. To get the maximum impact from your emails, you have to make sure you have an email list that consists of a network of good quality, engaged customers. A tool you can use to grow your email list is by using pop-up forms or opt-in forms on your website. This can be a great way to catch more emails from viewers who are browsing on your website, increasing rates of conversion. You can even provide an incentive or promo offer with it to boost interest.
Take a look at this opt-in form used on the homepage of High Profile Club that does just this, by offering a 30-day free membership trial to attract viewers.
Marketing automation system company eSputnik's opt-in form on their homepage, which then comes with a pop-up form for viewers to enter their details if they click 'Try Now'.
Another popular tool to grow your list is by featuring gated content, which partially hides content behind a virtual 'gate'. Viewers are required to enter details like their email, to gain full access. This filters through viewers who are really interested in your content and services, improving your list's quality.
Global Women Magazine showcases this well on their website. Although there is free access to articles, halfway through each article the viewer is presented with a form requesting for the viewer to either sign up or log in if they want to continue.
3 - Refine your strategy
Planning, planning, planning! One of the most common mistakes is to start an email marketing campaign without a clear strategy. Think about:
💻The main goal - what you want to achieve
💻How many emails will be sent
💻What kind of email will best deliver your goal - monthly newsletters, weekly or bi-weekly updates?
💻Tone of voice
Identifying these details will make a huge difference to your long-term results.
Jonny Nastor, marketing consultant and founder of business podcast Hack The Entrepreneur breaks down effective strategy into 3 types of email, each with different intent:
Engagement - new leads who have signed up will be the most engaged. This is your chance to grab their attention! Think about introducing your brand, encouraging the viewer to take action, and giving a sneak peek of what's to come.
Selling - the main method to expand your business. Your leads will already be interested in your services, and 'sold' on what you can provide. It's time to look to change the relationship you have built, from a friend > loyal customer.
Segmenting - dividing subscribers into smaller segments based on specific criteria. A great way to create a more personalised experience. I will explain Segmentation fully below, in Point 7.
For an effective email strategy that succeeds, Jonny recommends using all three types of email to shift the relationship of your leads from 'Stranger > Friend > Buyer > Loyal Customer.'
4 - Add your personal touch
According to a recent study featured in Forbes,75% of individuals are more likely to purchase from a company that has personalized services like knowing their name or purchase history.
🎵Let's get personal, personal, I wanna get personal 🎵(I hope I wasn't the only one that read that in Olivia Newton-John's voice...)
Taking this forward, aligning emails with your personal brand and taking time to create a personalised feel can go a long way; particularly important for small businesses that rely largely on 1-to-1 customer relationships.
Michelle Morten, digital marketing strategist and founder of SavvyEntrepreneur emphasises this importance. It's easy for readers to tell if emails are generalised and automated, or personal, sent with clear intentions and purpose. Viewers who receive a personalised email are more likely to open them, take an interest and open the next one. Michelle suggests test-sending emails to yourself to preview what it would look like from a receiver's point of view.
Here are 3 main benefits personalisation will bring:
✅ Increased conversions
✅ Increased customer loyalty
✅ Providing a more useful, enjoyable service to your clients
P.S. Make sure to add additional contact links like your LinkedIn enabling easy access for potential leads to find out more about you. Read our guide on How Do I Create a Good LinkedIn Profile? to ensure your profile reflects you in the best way.
5 - Nail that subject line!
Your subject line will make or break the first impression of your email from a potential lead. A killer subject line can significantly increase your chances of being read, so make sure its a good one!
Stephanie Fleming from Ready To Go Copy suggests trying to attract your target market or audience, by using specific words your viewers would likely look out for, or use themselves. She recommends keeping it short - long subject headings tend to lose the viewers concentration. Lines that keep it succinct have higher opening rates comparatively.
Coschedule offers an email subject line tester and a headline analyser that breaks your title down into structure, grammar and readability giving it an overall score. This is a great tool when playing around with ideas for subject lines or headlines.
Let's look at a bad example first:
Ouch. That doesn't look so good.
Some easy things to pick out here are the use of unnecessary words, making the headline twice as long as it needs to be! We would suggest anything between 8 - 10 words as the ideal length. Try to choose more unusual or uncommon words to convey the same message to catch someone's gaze.
Ta-da! With a few simple changes, we have reinvented this headline to read much simpler, more effective and score higher. Nailed it!
6 - Short and sassy
Following on, focus on keeping the main body of the emails relatively concise. We all get masses of emails every day. Viewers are likely to become easily distracted - so keep your email to the point, with a clear message and content your readers are interested in. Otherwise, your email will find itself sitting in the trash folder before its recipient has even begun the second paragraph. Make sure you highlight what it is you can do for them, how you can help them and get them to the solution quicker.
Canva offers a wide range of templates for email newsletters, headers and other online marketing formats to help you find a more effective visual way to convey your message.
Check out these two examples:
7 - Segment your emails
Particularly for businesses that offer more than one service or product, segmenting emails separates the content that may interest some readers and not others. This can mean something different for everyone - it depends on what your customers' interests are and what you aim to achieve with your emails.
Entrepreneur and marketer Neil Patel advises a general method to segment your emails by the following:
Customers who have purchased from you vs those who haven't
Those who have subscribed to your regular newsletters
Daily email list receivers, or weekly, monthly
This can help you make your content even more relevant and tailored to the audience you send it to.
8 - Make use of virtual booking services
If the nature of your business sells services such as consulting or coaching, then you rely heavily on communicating and speaking with your client. Nowadays, a lot of this is done remotely - taking place online through virtual calls or conferences. Make it easy and accessible for your potential leads to book an appointment with you straight away.
Virtual booking services like Calendly can be used as a link in your email for readers to easily sign up and chat with you, if they like what they see. Additionally, Calendly has a Google Chrome extension that allows you to add available timeslots directly into your email.
Just like this:
9 - Optimise your emails for mobile
Did you know that as many as 46% of all emails are opened on mobile devices? Accounting for nearly half of all email opens, it is definitely worth optimizing your emails to be mobile-friendly and responsive. Think about how many potential leads you would be losing out on if they can't read the content or see images you have sent, or if they can't open the link to find out more about your business!
Email marketing platform Mailchimp suggests sticking to the motto "one eyeball, one thumb, and arm's length", referring to the readability of the email's design for viewers who may be skimming through the content, or reading on-the-go.
Some key points for email mobile-optimization:
✅Make sure you have mobile-friendly email templates, which differ from the usual laptop formats
✅Images that are too big will take longer to load. Choose images less than 1150 pixels - most mobile email readers are within the range of 320 pixels
✅Optimised calls-to-action. Ensure that your calls-to-action are mobile-friendly and that
readers can click on a link straight away to find out more on their mobile device.
10 - Efficiently manage larger email campaigns
If you want to and grow your business, you will need to think about scaling up your email marketing campaign (if you haven't done so already). As an entrepreneur or small business owner, when you are sending large quantities of emails - maybe into the thousands - it can make all the difference if you use an email delivery platform. SendGrid is a cloud-based platform that assists the delivery of marketing and business emails to make it easier to manage and keep track of the emails.
One great tool that SendGrid offers is the analytics in real-time to enable you to track your email campaign results. Showing statistics like the emails delivered, opened, clicked and bounces, this makes it easy to read and understand the numbers efficiently.
All in all, spending that extra time on your email marketing will completely change your customer experience, which will only help you grow your business further.
What are some ways you use email marketing to help to expand your business? Drop me a comment and let me know!
Do you need help with your email campaigns? As well as helping with your personal branding and PR, we can help you create amazing email campaigns that will engage your database and help you sell more. Get in touch here!
Would you like to learn how to create content to share on your social media as well as with journalists so you become more visible, more credible and more influential? Sign up for 30 days for free!
About the Author
Katie is a Hong Kong-born journalist at High Profile Club. She holds a BA in Liberal Arts at King’s College London, with interests in global media, communications and sustainable development. Having grown up in Hong Kong, Katie speaks 3 languages and is well-attuned to working in an array of cultures and environments. Find Katie on LinkedIn.