*|MC:SUBJECT|*

M A R C H   2 0 1 9 

CC: Your Customers

What's going on with your email list? If I were to tell you that your email list is one of the most valuable things you have as a business, would you believe me? It's true!

Unlike social media where you are at the mercy of the world's largest companies (actual footage of me when Instagram & Facebook went down last week), your email list belongs to your business and you alone. Of all the ways you communicate with your customers outside of your physical location (or when you're not having a transactional relationship with them if you're business is service-based or online), email has the highest conversation rates and ROI. In fact, 55% of companies generate 10% of their sales by sending emails. That's huge!

But... it's not easy to consistently engage your customers through email. The reason why it's so effective is also the reason why you've got to make sure you know what you're doing when you're sending them.

It's personal.

To even get someone to open your email (and ps, thanks for opening this one), you've got to make a connection before they even get to the content that's inside. Here are some golden rules.  

MAKE IT HAPPEN

#1 Know Why You're Sending Them 
Ok, this sounds obvious. But, is the reason so obviously for your gain that it's almost embarrassing? This isn't going to work. The people that give you their email addresses trust you to give them valuable information. If you're going to promote a deal or special, give it to your email list first and let them know they're getting a sneak peek. 

#2 Be Consistent But Don’t Overdo It
It used to be standard to send emails no more than twice a month, and on a Tuesday or Thursday to get the best open rates. This is no longer true. Truthfully, as much as we love to have specific guidelines for how something works best, this was never really true. If you provide content that's relevant, valuable, and provides the information you know can help your customers or gives them some kind of exclusive, it doesn't matter how many times a week you email them, what day it is, or what time of the day you send it. But, you do have to send emails consistently. Plan what you're going to send and what you'll say months ahead of time. You may think you don't have the time, but can you really afford that after knowing that for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you're generating an average of $38 in revenue? 

#3 Consider Automation
Remember when you signed up for this Markeating email and then, a few seconds later, you can got an email from me in your inbox? I respect you enough to tell you that I didn't send that manually... which at no point lessens my intent to sincerely thank you for trusting me with your email address. Automation is a beautiful thing but should be used wisely. Be selective with what you use it for.

#4 Design for Your Audience
50% of emails are opened on a mobile device, but still, because they're mostly created on desktops, we design them for someone who's reading on a computer. Don't make this mistake! Make sure your font is big enough, content flows easily and you design it in a way that gives a smartphone user a good experience. 

#5 Stay Out of the Spam Folder
Even though you're using an email marketing platform to send your mass emails (we recommend Mailchimp), set up your emails so they resemble a normal email as much as you can. Don't have your designer create a .jpg file and then paste that into your email so you're just sending one big image. Also, don't use clickbait subject lines that don't tell your reader anything about what's inside. These are great ways to get flagged. Use actual text, optimize photos so they don't blow up someone's inbox for being too big, act normal, be cool. Here are some other things to avoid.

Ps, answer the question posted on my Instagram Story + you could win a $50 gift card later today! 
@creativsocial
SPOTLIGHT

Out with farm to table, in with Field to Fork.

DETAILS
Ambrose Family Farm on Wadmalaw is hosting a benefit dinner together with The Point, a local nonprofit that serves less fortunate women in the Lowcountry. The chefs of the nearby Tomato Shed will be cooking up a 5-course meal with ingredients sourced right from the farm. Buy a plate for $125 to attend on March 31st!

WHY IS THIS COOL?
While the whole farm to table thing has been around for a while,  its meaning since the movement's early Chez Panisse days has... stretched. Most of us still don't really know where our food comes from all the time, but at this event, you'll be surrounded by it. What's that, you don't care where your food comes from? I get that it can be a luxury to think about those things when you're hungry, but this is cool because when people source their food locally (and actually local, not USDA definition of within 400 miles or within the state local), everyone wins. Fewer dollars go to supply chain and middlemen, keeping food costs down; higher margins mean more money to put back into the community through orgs like The Point, the environmental impact is lower and you're supporting real people in your own community. Also, Ambrose Family Farm has some of the best sunset views around, so that's very cool, too. 

Got a promotion coming up that's a good example of local marketing? Let us know.
THE WORD

Nobody likes a know-it-all, especially when their use of buzzwords like these run rampant. Don't overdo it with adding these words to your daily vernacular, but now you know. 
clickbait [CLICK-bayt] 
Content, usually a text link, that's sole purpose is to attract the attention of readers to get them to click on it. I wouldn't quite call it a practice, but it exists because whoever is on the other side writing whatever's on the other side of that link is more concerned with the quantity of people that click or visit their website than the quality of what they're writing and its value to a specific audience. Clickbait headlines and link texts are also often grossly exaggerated and sometimes, they're completely irrelevant to what you'll find once you get to where it takes you.  
POST THIS
WHY DID YOU START YOUR BUSINESS?
Share some history with your fans and followers today. I'm sure if you think about the beginnings of your business, or back to the days when you were new at your job, you'll have a story come to mind that makes you smile. Can you dig up some relevant old photos you can share, too? Even better! Giving your audience context of where your brand and its people come from makes their experience with you more personal. 
SHARE THIS

Know someone who might like some monthly marketing inspiration? Pass this on.