email marketing success

Email Marketing Success: How One Small Business Stands Out with Email

Because all of us have overflowing email inboxes, a lot of small businesses can’t seem to break through and stand out using email. In fact, I think a lot of you have decided it can’t be done. Well, I’m happy to say that it is possible to enjoy email marketing success – and I have a story to prove it.

One of our clients is a marketing staffing agency called Ceres Talent. It’s helmed by two powerhouses, Sue Keith and Kathy McConnell, who are both smart, funny, creative and very good at what they do. Their marketing emails, which we write, are must-reads for their clients.

Here are the keys to their email marketing success

Don’t overwhelm inboxes

From day one, Sue and Kathy told us they only wanted to send out one email per month. And guess what – it’s the perfect frequency.

Because their list isn’t bombarded with emails from them, the recipients are more likely to open the one Ceres Talent email that lands in their inbox that month. I don’t know about you, but I’m all for preventing email overload!

Focus on super-duper high-quality content

Ceres Talent emails focus on one interesting, unusual and/or hilarious marketing story that we find online. For example, the February newsletter was about one of the hottest destinations for Valentine’s Day – White Castle.

With a focus on quality over quantity, email recipients know they’re going to get something really fun and juicy every month. And they can’t wait to read about it. And sometimes, they forward the emails to people in their network. I don’t know about you, but that’s email marketing success in my book!

Go for the laughs – if it’s authentic to who you are

Granted, marketing is a pretty creative field. We can push the boundaries a bit and go for laughs, but the fun tone of voice in their emails is also very authentic to who Sue and Kathy are. When you read one of their emails, it absolutely sounds like them.

If that’s not who you are, that’s OK. Be you! If your emails resonate with people, that persona is who they’ll expect to meet in real life.

Use email to push visitors to your site

Each Ceres Talent email contains the introduction to that month’s blog post. The intro has a strong hook so that you can’t wait to click over to their blog, Marketing Brain Food, and continue reading.

This is important. You want to give people a way to further engage with you. You want them on your website where they can dig around, learn more about you and contact you about working together.

Use email to reach one specific goal

Sue and Kathy’s email marketing goal is to stay top-of-mind. They want companies to keep them in mind for marketing staffing needs, and they want marketing professionals to keep them in mind when they’re ready to search for their next gig.

Even if the recipients are too busy to read this month’s email, they’ll see the email in their inbox and think, “Ceres Talent – such an awesome company!” Mission accomplished.

Never stop building your list

I am truly in awe of how diligently Sue and Kathy continue to build their email list. Most small business owners do not focus on this – if they even think about it.

Given the nature of their business, they interact with awesome marketing and HR professionals on a daily basis. They also dedicate a lot of time to networking.  If they’ve engaged with a person, they add him/her to their list.

Test your subject lines

Ceres Talent email subject lines are the stuff of legend. My absolute favorite remains “Snails, Nails, and Potato Chips – MailChimp’s Insane Fake Ad Campaign”.  Brilliant!

But no matter how creative we get with the subject line, we always test them. Here’s how it works:

We write two subject lines, and set up A/B testing in MailChimp. MailChimp then divvies up a small part of the email list and sends some emails with one subject line to a group of people. They send the second subject line to another group of people. Whichever subject line garners more opens is the winner, and the rest of list gets the email with that subject line.

This boosts their open rate. Try it.

A client recently told Sue and Kathy that Ceres Talent emails are “click-worthy”.  That’s marketing gold!

Want to enjoy this kind of email marketing success?

Let’s talk! Contact us today.

Photo by rawpixel from Pexels

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