When running a small business, email is one of your principal forms of advertising and marketing. Luckily, email is a very powerful way to get people’s attention. This is because people are inexplicably drawn to their email inboxes – sometimes to an excessive degree – to have whatever mail can make it past the spam filter shoved in their faces. Getting a receiver to look at an email is easy, but getting them to actually read it and take some action because of it is much more difficult. One of the great things about writing is that, although the final product reads as a rapid-fire stream of thought, you get to deliberate over your words all you want when composing the email. This means that quality email writing that will draw in the recipient is indeed possible, but, as we touched upon, it is not easy. The following list from Designhill details a few tips to keep in mind when writing emails to market your business.
- Show Admiration – Everyone likes to feel adored, even if that feeling is subconscious. When reading emails, it will always please a recipient and make them want to read more if the content makes them feel like their work is appreciated. For example, you could compliment the recipient on past work and say that you would be honored to support such a successful enterprise (this may be an exaggeration, but you get the idea). This is especially helpful for small businesses, as they are often relatively new and have an easier time playing up the “I have a lot to learn from you” angle.
- Be a Person – Remember that the readers of the emails you send will be real people with real lives, real problems, and real emotions, and that people are more open to other individuals they can sympathize with than they are to faceless businesses. Because of this, make sure to come off as a guy sending an email rather than an organization trying to establish a business contact. Use “I” instead of “we,” and don’t write in a way in which a person wouldn’t actually speak. Of course, it is important to remain professional, but it is equally as important to create a conversational narrative.
- Be Unique – Especially for a small business, which is usually not widely known, it is important to show what makes you different and unique as a company. When writing, consider what your business’s major selling points are and what you worked on the hardest when building the organization. You should not always highlight those points specifically, as you do not want to come off as arrogant, but keep them in mind and try to hint at them with your writing. If possible, you might even want to establish your value by bringing up a niche that only you can fill and suggest a collaboration based on that.
- Don’t be too “Salesy” – Of course, the primary objective of a small business’s marketing outreach email is marketing, but that should not be obvious to a recipient when he or she reads the email. The “Be a Person” point touched on above goes a long way towards masking your monetary motivation, but you should also avoid salesman’s terms like “if you buy today” and “limited-time offer” like the plague. Basically, talking about most subjects directly related to money is a bad idea. Speak to the heart, the actual desires and interests of the recipient, and you should be fine. This advice is especially important to remember when composing the email’s subject header. Again, DON’T misinterpret the “don’t be salesy” approach as “don’t sell.”
- Be Careful With Tone – No matter what the content of an email is, it can easily be ruined by the tone the writer establishes. For example, emoticons should be limited to one per email. Make sure to capitalize the proper letters, be they the first letter of a sentence or a proper noun. Don’t mix up “their” and “they’re”, “it’s” and “its”, and “then” and “than.” Use exclamation points very conservatively. Don’t use text shorthand like “lol.” Stick with a professional-looking font. Don’t be overly-personal in your writing, as it is uncomfortable and awkward to the reader. And, most importantly, double and triple check your email for mistakes after you finish. These may sound like the tips of an overly-anal writing instructor, but their importance when composing marketing emails is actually immeasurable.
These are only a few of the most important tips to composing effective marketing emails. Other tips include keeping your email short, establishing merit, and even spicing your email up with images from a service like graphic design by Designhill. You’ll be surprised by how drastic a difference in rate of return your emails will generate if you can master professional email design principals.