Small businesses use email marketing right behind Facebook, linking to other websites and Twitter. It’s a convenient and very cost efficient method to keep your business in front of hundreds, if not thousands of people on your email list, and social media circles.
So, if you know how to write effectively without getting too wordy or start to self promote yourself shamelessly, your business can do a pretty good job at getting some business from those eblasts.
Pegleg Web Designs sends out eblasts twice a month. I used to do it monthly, but gosh darn it – I just love putting them together sooo much, I’ve decided to amp it up to twice a month. But, I did notice a little statistic with my Google Analytics: Every time I blogged or sent out an eblast, my bounce rate on my site dropped like a rock. This meant that people were interested in staying on my website alot longer than usual. Why was that?
It was because my eblast or my blog had some meaningful, insightful, interesting and relatable content for the people who were reading it. So, here is where we get to the good stuff: What does it take to write a good eblast? What components are especially important to keep in mind?
1. A compelling subject header. Wait – let me rephrase that. A compelling subject header that doesn’t have words in it that will prompt your email program to stick your eblast in the spam folder. Yes, sad but true. Words like, “free, offer, promotion, deal, and discount”, will all trigger your eblast to go directly into someone’s spam folder. And, I might add that these aren’t the only words. No, no, no….there are ALOT of words, some of which I really can’t put into print on this blog, if ya know what I’m sayin’. On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will open your eblast. This is the secret to the power of the headline, and why it so highly determines the effectiveness of the entire piece. Here is a good guideline to follow:
- Be USEFUL to the reader
- Provide him with a sense of URGENCY
- Convey the idea that the main benefit is somehow UNIQUE; and
- Do all of the above in an ULTRA-SPECIFIC way.
2. Hello, my name is…..? Introduce yourself. Either use your logo or type out your company name or place your handsome/beautiful face on there so people know who is sending this awesome eblast. Eblasts can become pretty mundane if you keep using your logo in the header all the time, so mix things up a bit and put your logo at the top of the left sidebar along with links to your social media sites, blog, and Pinterest (my newest addiction). The header can be about the subject of the eblast and include the subject line within the header somehow so people don’t feel misled when they open up the eblast. Use some cool graphics to provide a visual about the content to further draw in the reader.
3. What’s This About? The introduction paragraph should get directly to the point, yet engage the reader so you’re discussing the information with them on a personal level. Don’t get too excited with the “urgency” factor. Personally, I HATE it when someone tells me to ACT NOW or else the dog gets it. If you have a promotion and it has an end date, let the reader know that upfront, so they can further read what the promotion is and act upon it if your quick witted writing skills have paid off to make them read further.
4. Quick Witted Writing Skills. So, now we’re at the meat of the eblast. What’s the benefit of the eblast? It better relate to that subject header or else I’m gonna be pissed. Here’s the bottom line: People like to be educated. People like to hear, “What’s in it for me?” People like helpful and insightful information as it would pertain to their business. If I constantly wrote about web design, I would not only be boring myself to death, but my readers as well. Plus, there is only so much you can write about web design. Thankfully, my business offers more than just website design, so I’m able to talk about all sorts of topics that affect EVERYONE’s business – especially if you are a small business owner and are struggling to keep swimming with the bigger fish. In addition to your writing abilities, visual representation pretties up the eblast so it looks more professional looking, and it breaks up the text which is much easier on the eyes. Stay away from cartoons! Use high end stock photography or check out Google images if you need something for your content.
5. Shorter is better. Along with your quick witted writing skills, you need to be to the point. Eblasts shouldn’t have an ongoing scroll factor causing your finger to get cramped up and be put into a splint…..trust me – it happens.
The take away is that eblasts DO work if they are done effectively. As long as you don’t get hundreds of unsubscribes (and trust me, you’ll get a few of them), you are going in the right direction. Lastly, which email service works best? That’s hard to say. I am loyal to Constant Contact. Not only do they make designing your eblasts simple, but they also offer the ability to use your own code, and provide some great stats on open rate, click rate and bounce rate.
Lastly, analyze the effectiveness of your eblasts by the click rate in your stats. The open rate doesn’t tell you much because even though people may view it in their email software program preview pane, it’s not considered fully opened until you know people have been clicking on the links you’ve offered up in your eblast.