As small business entrepreneurs, we often find ourselves crunched for time and resources on a daily basis. Getting our bi-weekly email newsletter out the door can be challenging enough, let alone having time to test, optimize and segment it. But, I’m here to tell you, making a few small (and fast) changes can produce big results in engagement with your emails, social posts and more.
If you look at the open and click-through rates of your emails/newsletters, you may be wondering how you can improve upon either or both of them. Content is the #1 most important factor, which I’ve covered extensively in other posts, but besides providing killer content, you can make the following small changes that may produce big results:
Try adding the following: (Points coordinate to the numbers in red in the image of our own VR Buzz newsletter header below)
1. Preheader Text – This is the first line of text or copy in your email. The preheader serves as a secondary subject line and gives your readers more motivation to open your email. It’s powerful because it shows up right after the subject line in the inbox – essentially turbocharging it.
2. Table of Contents – A table of contents helps your readers navigate your content quickly and easily to find what’s most interesting to them vs. trying to scan through chunks of content. Anchor link your table of contents directly to each section of your email – This makes it super fast for your reader to jump to each piece of content that interests them the most, and gives you the intended action.
3. Alt Text (not shown in image) – Almost all email browsers “turn off” images by default, hence, our pretty pictures don’t initially render until the reader clicks the “display images” link. When an image isn’t displayed, alt text is the copy that shows up instead of your image. Instead of your alt text reading something like, dogfood.jpg, (if you don’t actively change your alt text, it’ll use the name of your image), you can change it to reflect not only what the image is, but the action you want taken, like: Save 25% on Dog Food, or Win Free Dog Food for a Year! This is way more action-oriented and will get you more click-throughs. To learn more about alt text check out this post.
4. Social Sharing Icons – Social sharing icons in your email/newsletter allow readers to share your message/content with their social networks on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. This is a major opportunity to get your content in front of tons of new eyeballs and get some new prospects and customers. At VR, it’s as simple as inserting those social icons in your email with a simple click in our email editors. You can learn more about that here.
5. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Pinterest Links – Unlike social sharing icons that we talked about above, another simple, but effective tactic is to include links to your social networks so your readers can connect with you there, as well. If you have a Facebook page, Twitter handle or your biz is on Pinterest, include them in your emails. Your readers will likely follow, like, pin and engage with you. Including your social sites in an email is fast, easy and allows you another channel to communicate and engage with readers – Win-win.
6. Provide an Incentive/Offer – Many readers join your mailing list because you promised to provide them something of value. Besides informative and educational content, people want discounts. Send out coupons, offer special discounts and notify readers of upcoming sales. We recently launched our new Coupon tool that allows you to create a coupon you can share via your social networks on Facebook or Twitter. You can also share it in an email, making it fast and easy to get your discounts and offers out to all the places your customers and prospects may be interacting with you. See the sample below:
What small changes can you make, or have you made in your own email/newsletter that delivered results? We’d love to hear about them!
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