You send them; you get them. Despite all of the advances in social media and new means of communication, email still remains a vital way in which to communicate.

As a small business owner, you should be totally excited about harnessing the power of this inexpensive marketing tool. If not, your lack of enthusiasm may be a sign that your emails are not operating at full power.

Perhaps it’s time to give your emails a tune-up. Take a look at the following tips for areas you can tackle:

Attractive Subject Line

If you want to become an instant email marketing genius, take some time and study the construct of most news headlines. They inform, engage and pique interest. Your subject lines should do the same. Let’s say you operate a store that sells clothes for young children and you send out a promotional email. Instead of your subject line saying, “Baby clothes”, you could write, “Three products all new moms need.”

Don’t send a novel

Nothing will get your email deleted faster than writing 8 paragraphs to a prospective customer. Time and time again, I see small business owners cramming every bit of data and selling points into their marketing – email being the chief offender. Avoid this urge. Keep in mind that your email may be, literally, 1 out of 100 in an inbox.  Make a brief convincing point and be done.

On a personal note, I don’t even read longwinded emails from my friends and family (shame on me, I know). So get to the point when drafting the content in the body of your email.

Use your signature

The signature area of your email is a wonderful way to throw a few more marketing punches. Add links from your social media profile. Include your company logo. Provide your phone number and web address.

My business partner uses 1 or 2 lines from client testimonials in his signature. Your signature represents an important piece of real estate - build on it.

Make the call

When possible I try to place sales calls in conjunction with emails sent – a dual-prong approach, if you will. This simple action will let the reader know that there’s a human being behind the email – not a spamming program. Also hearing the voice of the sender provides a personal touch.

Email etiquette

Finally, I’d like to quickly touch on a few things that some tend to forget:

  • If sending emails to a group, be sure names within the group are obscured (use blind copy or the “Bcc” area to prevent this)
  • Don’t send large attachments. They can jam up the reader’s inbox
  • Resist the urge to capitalize everything.  In other words, stop shouting
  • Don’t send picture-heavy emails.  Most email programs will not display images automatically
  • Don’t be a stalker.  Stay away from “read confirmations”

Walter Dailey is a marketing speaker, consultant, and creative director for DSV Media, a creative services firm and ad agency specializing in Small Business Marketing for companies all over.  Ask your questions: walter@dsvmedia.com