Why and how to use emails for your online business

Want to grow your online business? Find out why you should use emails – and how to get he most from your email marketing.

Congratulations! You’ve started your own business from home, analyzed the market, defined your buyer persona image, crafted the product, and are ready to earn money. The next step is to find prospects and decide on the channel you’ll communicate with them.

My suggestion for this is email. Email is the most professional way to reach out to potential clients and grow revenue. 

The pros and cons of email marketing

Is email marketing worth doing? It’s very much a personal choice. But to to help you make up your mind whether email marketing will work for your business, let’s look at some of the pros and cons.

The advantages of email marketing

First, here are some of the best things about email marketing.

1) It’s a professional personal approach 

“But I DM my clients on social media”, you may say. Yes, but email is the business-like way of reaching out to people. When sending an email, you are not just someone, you are a professional.

2) It’s accessible from anywhere

Mobile internet, Wi-Fi at home, free Wi-Fi at work or in a cafe. PCs and laptops, smartphones and tablets. We’re all connected pretty much everywhere we go these days. Which means you can reach people anytime, answer by email.

3) Fast communication

This accessibility also makes email a fast way of communication. People check their inbox about 15 times a day (or every 37 minutes), which means that they’ll see your message quickly, and can reply to you easily if they wish.

4) It’s free of charge or low price

Sending emails is free-of-charge. Yet, if your clients’ base is rather large, you can use a cheap automation tool like an email drip campaign

5) Email is flexible

In this case, ‘flexibility’ stands for dozens of options. You can add links, attach files, format the text, send plain-text or HTML-emails, and so on. Everything depends on your needs, preferences, and imagination.

6) You can use single and bulk email sending

If you need to send the whole email campaign to a great number of people, you can do this either through your email client, with the help of a specific email sending web-application, or through a well-crafted browser extension.

7) You can track emails easily

With the help of a browser email tracker, you can get valuable insights about your sent messages – and how recipients respond to them (or not). Opens, clicks, and replies give you important information on the email performance so you can improve future emails.

8) They’re accessible at any moment

It’s much easier to get your message across to someone by email than a phone call. If you want to take something through on the phone, you need to ensure they’re free to answer at that exact time. But you can send them an email at any time ready for them to read when convenient.

The disadvantages of email marketing

On the face of it, email seems to be the perfect way to communicate with your potential clients. But it still has a few drawbacks you need to remember.

1) Email interpretation

When a person doesn’t see the speaker, they interpret the email message in their way and their own emotions. When composing an email, mince the words to not be understood in the wrong way. 

2) It’s accessible to others

While your inbox may be personal, hackers and phishers can have access to email accounts of other people. So be careful with what you write in an email. Highly-personal and sensitive information is a magnet to hackers.

3) Viruses, phishing, spam

These three words are creepy for any person. Your potential clients can not trust unreliable sources (you, if you are reaching to them for the first time). Finally, they can ignore your email without even opening it.

4) It can be difficult to reach out to a person

If you live in the USA, and your potential clients are in Europe, you need to know the exact time they are likely to open inbox.

If your email reaches them at night, till morning, it can get lost in the inbox. To avoid this, schedule the email sending according to the time zone, and no problems!

Is email marketing still alive?

In brief, numbers speak louder than words. 

Email components

As a professional who has their own business, you know that the devil is in details. Every email you are going to send to your leads and clients is a masterpiece. It has a few critical components without which your message won’t be business-like. 

Craft a professional sender’s name

Your visit card in the inbox is your sender’s name. It defines whether your email will be opened or sent to the spam folder. If you are writing to cold leads, present yourself brightly and professionally. Something like Kseniia | Snov.io, Mary from Serpstat, etc. 

Also, remember to make the sender’s name and your email address coincide. It would look weird and non-professional if you are sending emails from mary@company.com while the sender is Gary from Company.

Keep an eye on the email subject line

It is to be short, clear, and informative. 34 symbols are the best subject line length. Experiment with emojis and power words to push people to open the message. Do not confuse them and write something that doesn’t reflect the email content. Personalize the email subject line and avoid spam triggers.

Remember about the pre-header

This part of an email goes after the subject line. Use it to give an extra push for opening. Do not repeat the parts that are already on other email elements. Use it as a medium between the subject line and the email content.

Greet people correctly

The way you greet your readers sets the email mood. You can either greet people in a friendly manner or truly business-like. Have a look at a few examples and choose the best one that fits your communication.

Observe the email content

Your email is to be exciting, profitable, and relevant to your readers. Also, the email body should be short and fast-to-read. If you want your message to be bright and attractive, add colors to it, but no more than three.

When writing a good product description, do not focus on features only: describe the benefits instead. To better demonstrate your product, take advantage of attachments like videos, pics, or gifs. They are more informative and engaging.

Insert a CTA

The call-to-action is the brightest spot in your message. It catches the eye and pushes a person to make the desired action, conversion. A conversion might mean filling out an online form, completing a purchase, or downloading a piece of content.

Red is the best for the CTA button. However, if your email is in shades of red, use another color for it that will stand in the background. 

Remember about the sign-off

This is the final lap of the email body. Choose the neutral options that fit your communication. If you are reaching out to a cold lead, As ever will look weird.

If you are greeting people with Hi, All the best or Have a nice day are much better. Remember that farewells like Looking forward to hearing from you or leaving this part empty is non-professional.

Add an email signature

Signature is the concluding part of the email that in brief provides information on who you are and how to connect with you. The perfect professional email signature is seven lines long at the maximum.

Add the most important information to yours: your name, company, position, phone, email, website, and links to social networks.

How to reach out to potential clients through emails

So you’ve got a list of prospects, composed a few follow-up emails, and are ready to send them. There are three options for business people to send emails.

Send emails through the email clients

The first option to spread your business offer is to simply send emails right from Gmail or any other email client. For this, you don’t need any extra instruments. Just compose an email, add the recipients, and click the Send button. 

Simple, but not reliable. To add a personal touch to every email, you will have to manually add the information about your prospects. Thus, you’ll have to spend too much time. Moreover, your recipients will see the whole list of people you’ve sent your email to. A special browser extension will help you avoid this.

Use a mail merge extension

Mail merge extensions like GBlast or Gmass allow you to send email campaigns right from Gmail. Write an email, personalize it with variables and the fallback text, add the recipients, schedule the email sending, and click the Send button.

Finally, every email will be sent to every person individually. This tool also allows you to track the email performance together with clicks and opens. The email tracking gives you insights into when the time for a follow-up has come.

Send drip emails

Drip emails are the ones sent to people as an email sequence in response to the recipient’s interaction with emails or according to a schedule.

To send this type of email you need a special email drip campaign tool. Depending on the tool you are using, you can automate all the processes, from cold outreach to sending multipurpose targeted campaigns.

This way you don’t have to spend time controlling and managing the email sending. The best thing about drip emails is that there are free tools on the web. This is the perfect option for startups and entrepreneurs who are tight on budget.

And now, make your choice and choose the email sending option that is the best for your needs and budget. 

Email marketing best practices

To do email marketing properly, here are a few best practices.

1) Create a buyer persona image

With it on board, it will be easier for you to compose and send emails right. Think of their timezone, pain points, personal and professional interests. Then, create a profile to visualize your potential clients.

2) Verify your email lists

Whether you generate leads on your own or buy a list of email addresses (which is a bad option), always use an email verifier to check the validity of your recipients’ addresses. It will guarantee low bounces and a high sender’s reputation.

3) Be short and relevant

There’s hardly anyone who will spend 10 minutes reading a long-form email. Try to not go beyond the limit of 150 words. 

Source: MindTools

4) Have one aim

The whole email sequence serves the only one aim, to convert. Yet, every email has its own goal. One email, one goal, one CTA. Easy-to-remember.

5) Use shortcuts

To save time when composing emails, learn the shortcuts. They are very handy and time-saving.

6) Add an unsubscribe link

Respect your readers and give them the right to be forgotten. Otherwise, the spam complaint rate will grow. And you don’t need this.

7) Don’t be too pushy

Email frequency, this is what I mean. According to Marketing Sherpa only 15% of online clients want to receive emails daily, while 33% would be glad to see new emails weekly.

When creating a buyer persona images, think of this point too, and add it to the profile. Reach out to people from Monday to Friday, from 11 am to 4 pm. 

8) Automate

Sending emails from Gmail is time-consuming. Professionals prefer email marketing automation tools that help them save time and set their hands free. Use them to avoid manual work. 

9. Ask yourself seven questions

Before launching an email campaign, make sure you can give clear answers to the questions below. 

Is your email:

  1. Necessary and appropriate?
  2. Easy-scannable?
  3. Structured correctly?
  4. Containing a clear and persuasive message?
  5. In a communication style your audience will expect?
  6. Attractive, informative, and relevant?
  7. Mistake-free and friendly?

If your answers are “Yes!” to all the questions, you are ready to send emails and start using email marketing to promote your business.

Helen Holovach brings you the best articles, guides, and research on marketing, incorporating the latest statistics and trends in the marketing world to make sure every campaign you run is a success.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema