So, you’ve decided to invest a little time and energy into email marketing for your small business. Great! Maybe you’ve already signed up for Constant Contact (we recommend it) and exported your Genbook customers into that account. Maybe you’ve browsed the beautiful, professional templates and are ready to fire one up.

But, maybe you’re still a little unsure of how to create a great email that speaks to your customers and gets them into your business. It can be daunting. Which is why we spent some time gathering a few quick tried-and-true email marketing wisdoms to pass along.

1. Keep subject lines short, simple, and straightforward

Your email’s subject line should quickly and easily convey what your email is about, and, more importantly, the benefit of reading it. Shorter subject lines (40 characters or fewer) fare better because they’re less likely to get cut off in inbox previews, especially in mobile email apps. And since every letter counts, you’ll need to use each word wisely to get your point across. We recommend keeping it simple, straightforward, and representative of the value found in your email.

Check out 11 more great subject line tips.

2. Keep emails short, simple and straightforward, too

We mentioned above that the goal of your email’s subject line is to get customers to read your email. The email itself might have one or several goals: from getting the customer to feel informed and connected with your business, to enticing them to make a new appointment, and beyond.

You’re busy, and so are your customers. You’ll only have their attention for a brief time, so strive to be clear and concise.

Don’t let your important points (be they new services, a new staff member, or a promotional offer) get lost in a sea of unnecessary words that might turn customers off from reading your email. If you have multiple topics to cover, don’t belabor any one for more than one or two short paragraphs. If you need to, link to a longer explanation or description of what you’re communicating — a policy change, a new staff member’s bio, the detailed description of a new service you’re offering — on your website or elsewhere.

3. Make booking easy and obvious

If the goal of your email is specifically to get customers to make appointments — and bringing more customers through your doors is always the ultimate goal, isn’t it? — make sure that the method of booking is easy to identify and follow. Here are just a few things you might try:

  • Add a prominent booking button or descriptive scheduling link to your email.
  • Create more than one call-to-action (CTA) urging customers to book.
  • Make your CTAs (booking links or buttons) stand out from the rest of the text by giving them their own lines.

4. Add a personal touch

Adding the customer’s name to the subject, title, or body of the email has been shown to improve email open, read, and click rates. This is an especially great thing to do if you’re in a service-based (appointment-based) business in which you DO have personal, one-on-one relationships with each of your customers. It can be as simple and painless as having your email marketing application autofill the recipient’s name in the email greeting. Another personalization option is including the recipient’s name (or some relevant detail about them) in the email’s subject line.

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