7 Tips for Creating Flawless Emails for Your Business

Is email marketing or lead nurturing part of your business marketing strategy, but you’ve found creating great emails to be a challenge? If you’re a local business who wants to improve the quality of your emails, check out these seven email marketing tips. They’ll help you to create flawless emails that not only look and sound great but also work to convert more of your leads into customers and help you to retain more existing customers.

1. Write Succinct and Compelling Subject Lines

According to a recent study, email subject lines should be about six to ten words in length. Subject lines should capture your audience’s attention and give them a reason to open the email by addressing their wants and needs. Popular subject lines are often:

  • Actionable: “50% Off [New Service] — Call and Book Yours Today!”
  • Educational: “Want to Try Yoga? Check Out This Beginner’s Video”
  • Local: “[Location] Neighbors: Enjoy This Buy One Get One Free Offer”
  • Inclusive: “Join Us This Weekend at the [Company Name] Open House!”
  • Newsworthy: “[Company Name] News Flash — [New Location] Opening Saturday”

2. Create Cohesive and Engaging Body Copy 

Your email’s body copy should reflect the email subject line. After all, your readers opened the email based on the subject line; thus, a cohesive message that supports the email subject line needs to follow. (Email copy that strays from the subject line might also be construed as a “bait and switch” tactic to your readers and relegate you to their spam folder.)

When it comes to copy length, keep your message as succinct as possible but don’t exclude any vital facts your readers need to know. As with your subject line, keep the wants and needs of your audience in mind when writing body copy. How does your product or service benefit them? What does your audience have to gain by doing business with you rather than with your competitors? What is your company’s value proposition? Answering these questions can help you create dynamic messaging that helps convert more leads into customers and encourages current customers to keep doing business with you.

3. Include a Strong CTA

The body copy should conclude with a direct call to action (CTA). Effective CTAs let your readers know what their next step should be after they’ve finished reading the body copy. Some CTA examples include:

  • “Request a free quote!”
  • “Download your free ebook.”
  • “Redeem your coupon now.”

4. Proofread Your Email Before Sending

You’ve heard that the “devil is in the details,” which is why you should always proofread your emails carefully. Something as simple as an outdated phone number, misspelled name, or a typo in your brick-and-mortar address can confuse your audience, and put you in a bad light, too!

A good editing tactic is to read your email out loud to yourself. Does it sound too wordy? Does it include relevant dates, instructions, or other important information? Do all the links, including your CTA button, open the correct web page? You should also ask a business partner or trusted employee to read the email after you’ve proofread it. A second pair of “fresh eyes” can often catch the minor mistakes and typos that you might have missed.

5. Ensure Your Emails are Professionally Designed

What does design have to do with email writing? What your email looks like is just as important — if not more so — than what it actually says. Refrain from using too many colors, outdated fonts, low-quality images, or large photos that may not download quickly. Also, make sure to add alt text to the images in your emails in case they don’t load on the page, and avoid putting all of the copy in your image. You should test your emails to make sure they’re readable on tablets and mobile phones, too.

If you lack design skills, consider using an email template like those that are available with email marketing or lead nurturing software. If you have more in-depth needs, hiring a professional graphic designer who knows email best practices can be worth the investment.

6. Be Cognizant of Audience Values

Be sensitive to the values of your audience and refrain from being offensive or controversial in your messaging. Your email content should always be related to your business and refrain from topics like politics or religion (unless you’re a political or religious organization), and other sensitive subjects.

7. Comply With the CAN-SPAM Act

Did you know that there is a federal trade law regarding email marketing? Known as the CAN-SPAM Act, this law is designed to protect consumers from deceptive email practices, such as sending emails with incorrect subject lines. Law violations can cost up to $16,000 per email, so take the time to learn what you can and cannot do in your email marketing. The Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection published a Compliance Guide for Business to help companies comply with the law. According to the guidelines, your emails need:

  • Accurate header information
  • Accurate subject lines
  • Identification as ad
  • A physical postal address
  • Easy-to-find opt-out information

The law also states that as a business owner, you need to honor a recipient’s opt-out request within 10 business days. You’re also responsible for any actions that third parties make on your behalf, so make sure you’re monitoring any email marketing vendors you’ve hired. If you have any doubts about whether or not your email marketing complies with federal law, seek legal advice.

With a little time and effort, you can give your emails the polish they might need to stand out with your audience and help you to retain and close more business.

Do you use email marketing and lead nurturing in your business? What kinds of emails do your leads and customers respond to the most? Let us know with a comment!

Amy Neeley

Amy enjoys helping small- and medium-size businesses (SMBs) navigate the online marketing world with tips, trends, and best practices they can use. She has written for Fortune 100 companies, non-profits, and SMBs, and her articles have been featured on sites like Yahoo! Small Business Advisor, MarketingProfs.com, and other industry publications. Amy can often be found walking her dogs, Lola and Marlo, and keeping up with the news via Twitter.

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