How To Make Your Small Business Sound BIG

It’s Sunday night. You’re a small business owner, and you haven’t yet invested in marketing automation. That means you can’t deliver triggered content in milliseconds: You have to write email copy yourself.

Don’t be discouraged. It’s not like you have to write an entire white paper. In fact, you’ll be making it easier on yourself — and the reader — if you use graphics.

Just make sure that whatever you do write is well-crafted and offers a service that solves a business problem.

Here are the components of a marketing email:

Subject lines — Some experts think you use your company name as your subject line. They’re wrong: Few small businesses have that kind of brand equity. It’s better to grab attention with a line that speaks right to the reader’s needs.

  • Keep them short and punchy.
  • Communicate urgency.
  • Test what works.
  • Don’t get cute.



From Lines — These are often more important than subject lines. They tell the recipient where the mail is coming from.  

  • Identify your company, and use the same name every time.
  • Don’t use personal names or nicknames unless you’re from Ben & Jerry’s and you’re Ben. 

Pre-headers — The pre-header is a line of copy you place on top in the preview screen — as a preview. It too can determine whether your email is read. Tell them what you’re offering, and keep it short and sweet. 

Teasers — Do you send an email newsletter? Many small businesses do. Here are two unbreakable rules:

Don’t oversell. Selling has its place, but readers are jaded with overstatement. 

Is this a newsletter? Don’t dump an entire article into the email itself. Write a short blurb, and provide a link to a landing page containing the full article.

That teaser is your call to action — you have to persuade the recipient that this is worth clicking through.

Some rules: 

  • Write short, punchy CTAs.
  • Make sure they’re relevant.
  • Write clean copy (no tongue-twisters).
  • Throw in a little humor. Don't overdo it.

Better yet, forget this is supposed to be a marketing email. If you’re a real small business, personalize the email yourself — like a salesperson would. And do the same with the follow-up.  



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