Grown Up Email Campaigns for Small Businesses

I get it – you want to play with the big boys. You want to be all grown-up! You’ve seen emails from the brands that matter to you and want your company’s emails to look the same.

There’s just one problem, isn’t there? Well, perhaps two:

  • you don’t have a budget (or a yacht); and
  • you don’t have an email marketing department.

The good news? You need neither of those things if you want to create email campaigns your competitors will envy.

Even better news? It’s not rocket science. And, to be honest, that’s because email marketing really isn’t complicated.

The reason those big brands look so impressive within that particular realm of marketing is because they get the basics right. You can too, with these four tips for grown up email marketing campaigns (regardless of how big or small your business is).

Planning your email marketing campaign

Tip 1: Plan ahead – today

How often have you created an email marketing campaign without planning it first?

Thought so. Don’t feel bad, though (well, maybe a little).

The best email campaigns don’t end up in your inbox by chance – they’ve been planned meticulously in order to create the biggest impact at the right time.

Start by creating an email marketing content calendar for the next six months and plan at least one email per month.

Urgency Keyword

Tip 2: Link your subject line to the goal of the email

What’s the goal for your next email? Are you expecting more people to buy stuff from you, or do you simply want them to register their interest in something that’s on the horizon?

Perhaps you want to direct them to a recent blog post you think contains lots of value. Maybe you’d love them to forward the email to their friends to further the reach of your message and brand.

Whatever your goal, the subject line should be the first thing that’s intrinsically linked to it. The keyword here is ‘urgency’ because you can bet your bottom dollar that’s the reason you click on those big brand emails you receive; they make you feel like you could miss out on something, and that ‘something’ will be their goal.

Simple when you put it like that, right?

Tip 3: Realise (finally) that one size does not fit all

If your email marketing strategy looks like this:

  1. Plan.
  2. Design.
  3. Test.
  4. Send.
  5. Boom. Pub.

…it’s wrong.

It’s not how a grown-up email marketing campaign is strategised.

Email marketing is an activity which needs to be focused and which doesn’t come in one-size-fits-all form.

Do you actually know your subscribers? If you look back at the emails you receive and envy from a marketing perspective, they’re effective because that brand knows you.

They understand that you have form when it comes to picking those types of jeans. They know that tomorrow is your birthday. And, they know that now is the time you’re most likely to replace your three-year-old iPad.

This is only possible with data and smart subscriber segmentation. How much time are you spending on that element of email marketing?

2020

Tip 4: Optimise for mobile early like a grown-up

It’s 2020. Most people open your emails on the smartphones.

That’s all you need to know.

Wrapping up

Yes, I know – these tips all feel rather familiar, but there’s good reason for that. There’s no silver bullet or magic formula for world dominating email marketing. It’s so damn simple.

Grown-up email marketing campaigns are attainable for every business. Nobody needs oodles of experience or systems that cost you more annually than your rent.

They don’t even need a great designer or copywriting wizard. They just need you, the tips above and dedication to this wonderful form of marketing.

About 

Mark is one of mailingmanager's email experts. His contributions to this blog openly share the tricks, tips and best practices he's learned while running multiple e-marketing campaigns.

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