Who reads emails anymore? You might be surprised. Although texts and social media are the preferred means for staying in touch with family, friends and fans, email remains one of the most effective ways for businesses to develop relationships with prospective customers and keep them coming back. During the pandemic, businesses increased their investment in email marketing and were so pleased with the result that they have upped their budgets for 2023.
Benefits of email marketing
According to research by Litmus, an email analytics company, on average for every dollar spent on email marketing businesses see a return of $36. That ROI is well above most other forms of marketing.
One of the reasons email is such an effective marketing tool is that it is more enduring than a pop-up ad or video. Repeated contact via email helps you to develop a relationship with the recipient, to demonstrate long-term value, and to build trust. Yes, recipients can unsubscribe from your emails—and many do. The ones that remain, though, are the ones who have the potential to become and remain clients.
Email allows you to establish a rapport with the recipient, to communicate in a way that feels more personal and immediate, and to more precisely promote your brand. Whether you communicate weekly, bimonthly or monthly, your messages will help keep you top-of-mind for when recipients are ready to choose a designer for their project.
Strategies for email marketing
Like any kind of marketing campaign, email marketing requires a budget and some planning. You want to determine in advance who your target market is, why they would want to receive information from you, and what types of messages they are likely to respond to.
In developing your plan, keep in mind these tips from email marketing experts:
- Develop your email contact list from inquiries received through your website, blog, social media channels, inquiries and referrals. Don’t use generic purchased email lists.
- Segment your lists into new contacts, repeat contacts, prospective clients, current clients, and former clients. Develop different messaging for each segment that appeals to their status in your marketing funnel.
- Focus on establishing and maintaining a relationship with contacts as you would with personal relationships. Stay consistently on-brand to instill a sense of familiarity and trust.
- Practice good email etiquette. Always include an unsubscribe link at the bottom of each email. Don’t spam contacts or send too many emails. Respond as promptly as possible to questions or complaints.
Best practices for creating effective emails
Finding the right words
A well-crafted email needs to be engaging, to the point and highly readable. If writing copy is not your strong suit, engage a freelance writer or a PR or marketing firm to produce emails for you.
Most recipients are likely to read your email on a mobile device, so keep the design of the email mobile-friendly. Keep sentences and paragraphs relatively short and simple. Don’t waste readers’ time with superfluous or trivial information.
As with a news article, start with the most important and/or engaging information first, but give recipients a reason to keep reading. For example, “I’ve just discovered three great new products that will liven up your living areas. Let me tell you about them.”
Connect the dots. Show or explain to the reader why and how the information impacts their life. Let them know you “get them” and want to be of service to them by providing information they will value.
Show rather than tell
Use images to attract attention but don’t overload the email with images, which can affect download speed as well as readability.
Link to your website or blog to share multiple images or more in-depth information. This also helps to introduce contacts to more of your services and boost your search engine rankings.
If you’ve recently had a project featured in print or online, cross-promote to reinforce your professional status and validated recognition of your talents.
Always end the email with a Call to Action, whether that’s to contact you, to get more information or learn more about your services, or to take advantage of a special offer. Prompt readers to get more engaged and let them know you have more to offer. Your emails should be active rather than passive.
Offer additional resources to increase your value, such as a weekly or monthly e-newsletter, how-to guides, insider tips, or case studies.
Email marketing is especially well-suited to interior design businesses, where developing relationships and keeping up with developments in lifestyles and tastes is so important. The technology may be old at this point, but you can make it fresh by enlivening it with current news and trends.