Smart Marketing Basics

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The following is a list of all entries from the Email templates category.

Email Marketing Best Practices for Your Small Business

As a 20+ year marketing veteran, and founder of the website, (templates and tips to get small businesses marketing fast), I often get requests for email marketing tips on how small businesses owners and marketers can avoid their outbound emails being considered as “spam” by propsects they reach out to. 

The two main things I ask them to focus on are: 1) developing and managing a quality list, and 2)  creating compelling messages and content that resonates with their list recipients. 

List development
It is important to seek out list sources that let you filter against a variety of demographics and job titles, so you can reach someone who is as close to your target customer as possible.  Generic lists to an untargeted mass audience will lead to a high number of spam blocking and unsubscribe requests.  The more targeted you get, and the better your open rates and click through metrics will be. 

Focus on quality contacts, versus quantity.  A bigger list isn’t always better.  Requiring your targets to “opt-in” to your list, versus you spamming them without permission, will lead to a better email responses.  For example, having  a form on your website, or including an offer in your outbound emails, that ask them to sign up to receive your content, leads to a better quality list.  Additionally, asking your list contacts to re-opt in on a regular basis, say annually, guarantees that you keep your list clean and healthy. 

Lastly, be sure to use a legitimate email service provider, whether its Constant Contact, MyEmma, or proven marketing automation vendor, that can provide you with master unsubscribe capabilities – this is a must-do to keeping your email reputation clean!

Content and Message
Another key factor to avoiding high levels of unsubscribes, is to be sure you provide relevant and compelling content to your email recipients.  This does not have to be an expensive or daunting undertaking.  At, we advocate marketing your thought leadership by developing case studies, customer win announcements, and providing other business insights, such as a top ten list of tips around a certain topic (these could focus on the basic services that your company offers). 

For example, if you are a small business providing accounting services, you could create a “top ten list for year-end tax planning” email message and provide relevant action items, and a call-to-action to get more insight through a free consultation. 

Content development seems to be a big obstacle for small businesses to undertaking, but it can easily be done (we offer templates to help with this).  All a small business has to do is look at their daily business activities for ideas. 

Hope this helps, and I would welcome your comments and insights.  For more help on creating compelling messages for email marketing, check out our low cost templates available for download by going to:
Email Marketing Templates for Small Businesses

Email Messaging Templates for Small Business Marketers

Most small businesses are created to solve a specific customer problem, fill a gap in the marketplace, or to turn a passionate hobby into a commercial business.  However, it’s simply not enough to get your product ‘production-ready’ for shipping, and ‘sales-ready’ for customers. You must generate demand for your offerings with your target customer.  See below for more insights, as well as a link to more information on some new templates that can help you.
For small business marketers, email marketing provides a cost-effective approach to targeting your markets, either by industry, organization type, specific user profile, or by geography.  Additionally, email marketing is extremely measurable, allowing you to course-correct if you are not getting the results you want.  Email marketing also allows you to test out new product ideas, marketing messages, and promotional offers to test groups, before launching them in full force to the mass market.  It’s easy to see why email marketing can give you a lot bang for your ‘small business marketing’ buck.
Developing a program that incorporates email best practices and effective messaging concepts is critical to your small business success.  Not only will you need to invest in some email system infrastructure, you must invest time into developing a solid marketing message that incorporates the three C’s.  Successful email campaigns require clear, concise and compelling messages that articulate who you are and the value you provide. In order to pass the ‘so what?’ test with your readers, your email message must: 1) quickly identify with the reader and their particular pain or need, 2) promise sufficient value or a compelling benefit, and 3) provide a follow-up step or a call to action for the reader to take. 
Creating successful emails messages is a lot like cooking – it’s important to use the right recipe of ingredients for the end result to turn out well.  For email campaigns, your recipe should include an attention-grabbing headline that commands your readers’ attention, followed by a subhead that helps begin your conversation and persuades them to read the introductory paragraph.   This first paragraph must identify with their pains or challenges, and offer up a value promise that will appeal to them.  Use quotes or industry research to help build credibility for your offering and to validate your message.  Featuring a “call-to-action” is critical in any email you send out, because you want to give your readers to take a “next step” to take to get more information.
Don’t worry if you aren’t a good cook!  Low cost email templates are available that can make this task easy for any small business looking to promote new products, new services, special events or promotions. recently announced a new series of Email Templates that can help small business marketers to easily structure effective email messages (read press release). Rather than using “trial and error” tactics, small business marketers can now quickly create professional emails using easy-to-use, low-cost templates. Email Templates can be used to promote a new product or service, customer win, special event, and special promotion. For example, the New Product email template walks users through creating each message component, such as the headline, introductory paragraph and the call to action. An illustrative example is included with each template.  These Email Messaging Templates are now available for only $6.95 each, and can be downloaded by going to: Remember, in this era of SPAM, your message must resonate in seconds with your reader!  Keep your content short and simple, with the goal of getting your reader interested in learning more about what you do.   When it comes to email performance, a clear and compelling message will always trump fancy design or graphics. 


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