Emails are business’ main means of communication nowadays. We keep in touch with our relatives and friends, send requests to our employees and coworkers, ask for favors, share opinions, make compliments or critiques, send our condolences, RSVP — all via email.
As the owner of a small business, you will often use emails to market your product/services, reach out to journalists, speak to customers and so on. This blog post will feature some of the tips and tricks we take into consideration when using email to grow Bablic, we’ll give a few useful tips to ensure your receivers read the emails you send them and click on the links you include.
While Chrome offers a series of useful plug-ins to maximize your email experience (Bananatag, Rapportive and Boomerangs, just to name some of my personal favorites), you can also improve the effectiveness of your electronic communication by writing shorter, smarter, valuable emails.
Take your business to the next level with these 7 tips:
1 ) Specific Subject Lines
Your receivers most probably receive dozens of email every day; it is quite unlikely that they will open each and every one of them. Help them by creating a direct, specific, to-the-point subject line. It’s not rude — it’s helpful! Receivers often don’t even bother clicking on vague subject lines; if you don’t keep them simple and specific, don’t be surprised if your open rates are extremely low!
2 ) One Goal Per Message
The most annoying thing on earth is to receive a long, vague email that aims at touching multiple issues without really getting to a specific point. This rule — one goal per message — will:
1. Make it easier for you to write a winning subject line
2. Increase the probability that your recipient will open the message
3. Ensure you will receive a clear answer to your question/request
If you have multiple questions to ask, you can do two things. Either you anticipate all the issues in the subject line and write the message as a concise numbered list; or you send different emails with different subjects.
The same applies when you’re promoting a product or a service that your business offers. Keep it focused and direct. It’s preferable to market one single service rather than your entire business.
3 ) Increase your CTR
Click-Through-Rates are fundamental when you are using emails to promote your business: you want your recipients not only to open the emails you send, but also to click on the links you include within the message.
How can you make that happen?
It’s easy — along with having an eye-catching design and well-written content, you should ensure the message sparks the curiosity of your readers. Leave some of the information out and they will click on the link to discover the rest of your story. Make them feel as if they were missing out by not clicking that button.
One last tip to increase your CTRs is to make the receivers feel as the main characters of your campaign. If the link leads to some sort of action — Get Involved! Discover More! — they will be more likely to click on it.
4 ) How To Introduce Yourself To Strangers…
When emailing a stranger, you might be wondering whether and how to introduce yourself. For the record: if it’s the first time you ever talk to your recipient, an introduction is vital, and you should not open your message with a direct request. At the same time, it’s important you don’t bother your receiver with a three-paragraph long story of your life.
The trick is to write a general, short introduction you can copy-and-paste every time you need to include it in your messages, but keep it personalized. This intro should not be longer than a few sentences at most and should provide essential information only.
Here’s an example:
My name is Joseph Brown and I’m a marketing strategist at Zebra Strategies.”
5 ) …And More Specifically To Journalists
You need PR for your company just as much as you need air to breathe. You will often attempt to contact reporters to get some coverage about your business, however you will soon discover how hard it is not only to be covered, but most importantly to get a reply!
I’ve been working in journalism for several years now and can give you a golden rule: reporters are human beings, not machines. Before contacting them, do some research about their recent work and the type of stories they usually publish. Once you’ve finished your research, you’re able to contact them with a personalized message.
Personalized messages — as opposed to recycled ones — are definitely going to increase the likelihood that your receivers will reply your messages.
How can you personalize a message to a journalist?
1) Say hi. Don’t ever write anything that sounds like “To Whom It May Concern.” If your reporter is called Paul, say “Hi Paul.”
2) Introduce yourself (see previous paragraph: keep it short and simple).
3) Acknowledge who your receiver is. In one sentence, tell them why you decided to contact specifically them and not anyone else. Compliment them on a story they just published. Tell them you’ve been following them on Twitter for one year.
4) Make your request.
6 ) Brevity ≠ Screw Grammar
Being direct and concise is a priority, true. However, it doesn’t mean you’re allowed to overlook grammar!
A well-written, grammatically correct, proofread message is easier to read and makes a better impression on the receiver. On the contrary, a poorly written email which contains multiple grammar mistakes does not show that you’re busy and too-cool-for-English; instead it shows you’re an unprofessional, uneducated individual.
There is not one circumstance that allows you to disregard grammar. If you are typing your email on your iPhone while running from one meeting to the other, then make sure to include an automatic signature that says “Excuse any typos.” Yet, don’t forget — grammar mistakes are not typos!
7 ) Your Signature Is Your Business Card
If you want to make your receiver’s life easier, one fundamental (and easy) tip is to include a comprehensive signature at the bottom of your email.
Along with the ubiquitous “Best regards,” here’s the information that should never be missing from your signature:
First and last name
Position and workplace
If you do not include these, your receiver won’t be able to easily reach you on the phone and know exactly who he/she’s talking to. How annoying is to have a conversation with an anonymous person? And how annoying is not being able to call them on the phone if needed? Especially when contacting a journalist, you need to give your receiver the ability to contact you.
As a journalist, I personally get upset when I receive an email from someone who doesn’t specify what their position in the company is. Take advantage of the signature to do that!
Furthermore, there are extra details you could include in your signature. They are not mandatory, but could be helpful:
Social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter…)
Your receivers will expect to find a comprehensive signature at the bottom of your messages. Don’t disappoint them.
Let us know how your business does emails in the comments below and remember to share this post if you enjoyed it.