Whether you’re just starting out with an email marketing plan, or have been consistently sharing your business’ information for years, there is more to an effective email marketing campaign than tossing together some tips with an image or two. Quality content, shared when the timing is right, is critical in building relationships with your clients or customers.
Sending out emails is a quick and easy way to stay in touch with your clients, but there is most certainly a method to the process of email marketing. Speakers, coaches and other small business owners need to not only share content with a purpose, but do so in a professional way that brings value to their reader’s lives. Your email newsletter is an extension of your business, so its appearance is just as important as anything else related to your company and brand. Here are four simple (but often overlooked) things to check before you click the “send now” button on your next newsletter.
Check Grammar: Misspelled words should be a thing of the past thanks to Word’s spellchecking process; but even so, an occasional blooper will slip through if senders are not diligent about proofreading. Did you know some of today’s most common grammatical errors involve words like “their” and “there” or “who’s” and “whose?” It’s this type of error spell-check won’t likely catch; but your readers might! If you’re not sure if a word should be hyphenated or have specific diacritical markings (décor, crème brûlée), Google it. You can also check it out at Dictionary.com or PurdueOwl.com. Also verify the meaning and correct spelling of a word if it is a homonym (sounds the same as another word). The word “lessen” does not have the same meaning as its sound-alike cousin “lesson.” Sites like Grammarbook.com have a section dedicated to commonly confused words and homonyms.Read through your content. Don't rely on Spell-check to catch commonly misspelled words! Click To Tweet
Add Professional Polish: Any good reporter knows fact-checking is a must when creating a quality piece of content, and the same applies to your newsletter, as well as any other email you send. A content misstep is reporting incorrect details like saying a specific service you are promoting is free when in fact, it isn’t. Even if it’s a service that was once free, things change and prices go up. We’ve all been guilty of this from time to time; but boo-boos like these create an inaccuracy in your newsletter, and credibility-sinking errors like those could have been eliminated with a little fact-checking. Always be mindful to double-check facts, stats, links, the spelling of product or businesses, and if a trademark or registration symbol is needed when sharing information on the Internet.
Another easy edit that can raise the bar on the appearance and readability of your newsletter is converting numbers to their spelled-out version. Numbers 1-10 should always be spelled out (one, two, etc.), but numbers 11 and beyond can remain numeric. However, an exception to this rule is if you have a sentence with multiple use of numbers; then, use all numeric. These may sound like nit-picky details, but following this rule of thumb adds an extra dash of professionalism to your already valuable content. One other exception is when using numbers in the title or headline of your email or article like I have in this one. Studies show using the numerical form of a number gets a higher headline rating and is more effective.
Pick the best Day and Time: According to Mailchimp.com sending out email marketing information on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday continues to be the most popular practice. Mondays are typically not a good choice since most email users are coming back to work after the weekend and doing their best to play catch-up on the work that came in while they were away. Fridays are in the same “non-popular” boat because many readers have their sights fixed on the upcoming weekend, not on reading your latest tip or deal. However, if you receive my weekly tips newsletter, you’ll note that I’ve chosen to continue sending it out on Friday mornings – and it works for me. The bottom line is no industry is the same when it comes to determining the best time to reach readers. Your best bet is to do an A/B test to find the perfect day and time for your particular audience.
Is Your Content User Friendly: Before you click “send,” you’ll also want to take a moment to put yourself in your reader’s shoes and give your content a final once over to make sure your newsletter is user friendly. Does it have readability and skim-ability? Is the content broken down into easy-to-read paragraphs or bullet points? Be sure to send yourself a test email before sending to your list to make sure the information is displaying correctly, reads well and doesn’t look overly busy. If you personalize your emails with names, dates or other data, make sure that data is complete and pulling in correctly. Other points to ponder are details like making sure links are working, there is a clear call-to-action and your content includes eye-catching headings or subject lines. As an added detail you don’t want to miss, make sure you include alternate text on images just in case the images don’t load for some subscribers, and to boost your SEO.Is your content user friendly? Is it readable and skimmable and easy to consumeClick To Tweet
Email marketing is an important part of any marketing plan, and the tips above can help you get the most from your marketing campaigns while allowing your professionalism, credibility and knowledge to shine through.
Also published on Medium.