Email might seem like the ‘family car’ of online marketing sometimes. It’s been around a long time, it’s dependable, but it’s not flashy or attention-grabbing like some of the ‘newer models’ (like Instagram, Twitter and TikTok) are.

But writing off email marketing would be a mistake. It is a well-known problem that the true return on investment for social media for your business is hard to calculate. And it’s also equally well known that for most of us, checking our emails happens two or three times a day (if not more).

So, on those two points alone, it’s worth spending time on your email marketing. The question is, how best to do it. Here are some of the steps you can take to build an effective email marketing operation.

In the Inbox

First things first: get the basics right. The email should tell the recipient who it’s from (i.e. at the ‘From’ label) and also the topic before they even open it.

For the subject line avoiding spammy titles or those that create false urgency is also advisable. So, avoid shouting at your customer with things like ‘LAST CHANCE to get 30% off’. It works very occasionally, but soon, people get tired of it and tune out.

Proofread Everything. Twice.

Proofreading is also crucial. People tend to trust brands with spelling and grammar mistakes less than those who do not make those mistakes. Its why credible news organisations spend millions of dollars in salary each year on editors and proofreading. Spelling matters. Do not shoot yourself in the foot with easily avoidable mistakes.

Calls to Action

Before you write an email, ask yourself this quite simple question: what do you want the recipient to do once they’ve read it? That deceptively basic query drives everything else.

If it is to buy something from an online store, photos should feature in your email. If you are offering a free quote for something, you should show them what the ‘end product’ looks like if they book your service. If you want them to book an appointment with you, include your availability and what they can expect in a 45 minute or hour-long consult.

Start with the end goal in mind and then start writing.

Admin and List Maintenance

Part of the goal of email marketing is to develop an ongoing point of communication with the people who receive your emails. That means you have to have a list. Maintaining that list and keeping on top of it are key to having a good email marketing operation. Extra data can also help you write better emails and have higher converting campaigns.

Do you get more subscribers over summer? Is there a spike in interest in a particular part of the country because of some factor unique to that location? Keeping track of things like when people sign up and where they are can help answer questions like this. Once you know the answers, you can target your future marketing and business development in a smarter, more efficient way.