As an entrepreneur, freelancer, or small business manager, it can sometimes feel like the Internet is moving too fast for your business or organization to keep up! Just a few decades ago, small business marketing was very straightforward and traditional, and small business websites were usually fairly simple. Fast forward to today, and it can sometimes feel like marketing your business requires expert knowledge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), content marketing, keyword advertising, and more.

Why Email Marketing Is Still Relevant

When you are struggling to keep up with the newest and “hottest” social media service or messaging platform, the idea of a 45-year-old platform like email being relevant to your digital marketing may seem absurd. However, email marketing is still very relevant; in fact it’s one of the more effective methods to reach your customers on their mobile devices! It’s also inexpensive and studies continue to show that it remains an efficient driver of online traffic and sales. If your existing email campaign needs a boost, or if you’ve given up on email marketing in the past and are interested in creating a new campaign, there are a few simple but effective ways to increase your open rate that will allow you to reach more of your customers and potential customers with each email marketing campaign.

Make Sure Your Customers Know Who You Are

The single biggest factor that determines whether or not an email marketing recipient opens an email, deletes it, or even delegates it to the dreaded spam folder is whether or not they recognize the sender. Email inboxes usually display both a name and an email address to reference the sender, and you should carefully consider how recognizable each of these identifiers will be to your customers – your customer will likely make a split-second decision whether or not to open the email primarily based on this information. You should consider using an email address that includes the Internet domain you use for your business, even if you normally use a third-party email address for your daily correspondence, as your customers will consider “[email protected]” to be more authentic than “[email protected].” Additionally, the name you choose to display in your emails can play an important role in identifying yourself to your recipients. If you are personally associated with your business, namely the “face” of your business, always use your own name. If you play a more anonymous role in your business and most of your customers wouldn’t recognize your name, then using the name of your business will likely be more recognizable to your customers.

Clean Up Your Contact List

When you invest the time and/or resources to develop a professional email campaign, receiving a poor open rate in return can be disheartening, and may even give you the false impression that your efforts are ineffective. However, it’s possible that your open rate is inaccurate, simply because you have too many defunct addresses on your contact list. We all know from personal experience that people may change their primary email address when they transition from one job to another, move to another Internet service provider, or even when they want to try a new email service. Your email marketing provider should have options for checking your email list for addresses that are “bouncing” your emails. By removing these addresses and cleaning up your contact list, you should see an improved open rate and more accurate statistics.

Be Creative With Your Subject Lines

If you’re still experiencing difficulty boosting your open rates, it may be time to reassess your subject lines. Just as it is important to ensure that your recipients recognize you, it is also important to grab their attention with a catchy and informative subject line! Subject lines are essentially a way to introduce your emails to your readers, and boring subject lines like “March 2016 Newsletter” or “News and Tips From Our Company” could be too generic to catch their attention, or they may simply be uninterested in your content. However, a subject line such as “Beautiful Spring Fashions Come to Life!” is exciting and relevant enough to inspire more of your recipients to open your email.