An often over looked marketing strategy is e-mail marketing. Researchers predict e-mail promotions can boost customer acquisition by 7 percent a year and increase sales. E-mail campaigns are almost as effective as organic searches for driving audiences to brands.

E-mail marketing is a cost-effective and powerful tool for small businesses to win more clients, and keep in touch with existing customers. Anyone who has ever shared an e-mail address with you at some point is much more likely to convert into a customer (if he or she hasn’t already) than someone who has never had an interaction with your business at all. Having an established mailing list and consistent frequency allows businesses to gauge what strategy and messaging works best.

Before creating an e-mail marketing campaign, here are some valuable tips that will help you make optimum use of this strategy:

1.Creating and managing the list – The first step in this process is to create a list of existing or potential clients to mail. The easiest way is to have a form on your website/at your physical establishment where people can enter their e-mail addresses and some additional basic information. Use every opportunity possible to build your list: events, web pages, blogs, conferences, point of sale—whatever is most relevant and available. To get people to provide you with their e-mail addresses, you have to offer something that they find beneficial – tips, sales discounts etc.

It may seem that having a large number of subscribers and e-mailing all of them is a good strategy, but not necessarily. It’s far more effective to contact the right people, i.e. those would be interested in hearing what you have to say.

Segment your list to be relevant and effective. Different people may have signed up to receive your newsletters for different reasons. For instance, existing customers and potential clients, the communication to both groups will differ. Edit your content accordingly to ensure that it is customised to meet the requirements of the various segments.

2.Quality and effective content – Your e-mail campaign is only as good as the content. Publish content that is of value to the recipient or else your e-mails are bound to get ignored. If people have signed up for your newsletters, they are looking for information that is of use to them, and not to be spammed. You don’t want your frequent e-mails with irrelevant content to be ignored and finally unsubscribed to. Also, make sure your e-mails are well written and have a personal touch. E-mails that sound automated are bound to be considered as spam.

What are the best possible elements of an effective e-mail promotion?
According to research, there are optimal numbers of images and lines of text small businesses should include in e-mail marketing campaigns to optimize their click-through rates. The numbers vary by industry, but on an average 20 lines and three images per e-mail are recommended as a good standard for optimal click-through rates in an e-mail promotion.

3.Timing and Consistency – Research reveals that not all times are good to send an e-mail blast. Get an idea of the appropriate time to send out e-mails, depending on whether it is work related or personal. This small step could make all the difference and lead to higher conversion rates. Usually, people check their work e-mails first thing in the morning and/or around lunch time on weekdays. For business to consumer e-mails, post 5 pm on weekdays and over the weekends are the best times.

Once you have a schedule in place, stick to it and be consistent. You don’t want to come across as irregular and unreliable.

4.Mobile responsive e-mails – As mentioned in our previous blog post, being mobile friendly in your online communication is extremely important. You should be able to reach people when they are on the go, so you can stay top of mind. Mobile responsive e-mails ensure that despite the device, your e-mails are being viewed properly. Test your e-mail in different e-mail clients and devices because you want to make sure it looks good in a variety of clients, browsers, and mobile devices, and the message is not distorted or lost.
Email marketing is extremely powerful, when done right. It is a great way to increase your productivity and efficiency when communicating with your leads and clients. Follow the simple rules mentioned above and you are bound to see success.