How To Make Email Marketing Work For Your Small Business

Tagged as the cheapest and one of the most powerful marketing tools available for businesses, “email marketing”, gets its value exclusively by its capability to generate leads. Here is a checklist which can ensure the effectiveness of your marketing emails.

Target the right list

All the effort in writing a killer sales email falls flat if it is directed towards the wrong prospects. The key to success in most cases is the targeted audience. An average sales letter to a right prospect is more effective than the world’s best sales letter to a wrong prospect. So take your time in building a quality list and consider your job half done.

Importance of the subject

An email is clicked mostly on two counts; one: if that is from someone whom you know and two: if it carries a benefit bearing subject line, even if it is from someone whom you do not know. So the key here is to make the subject line as beneficial as possible for the reader. You can do this by simply following the rule, “always make your subject line a doorway to an important piece of information which can help the reader in a huge way with his current, immediate problem(s) or which can deliver a huge benefit to the reader. There are many variations to this rule; however this is the primary message that it needs to carry.

In a survey conducted by, subject line with “timely information and implied benefit for quick action” had an open rate of 93%.

What’s in it for your prospect?

One of the common mistakes made by marketers is, the subject line says one thing and the actual mail has another. Marketers get over ambitious when it comes to the subject line, as they have to make the prospect click, but often deliver a non-synchronous message inside. As in the subject line, the message should resonate with the key benefits for the prospect. This will keep the prospect interested in the whole mail and chances are he may become your customer or at least a future customer or a referrer. Remember to not talk about your organization much, instead keep it customer centric.



“Design your document for visual impact,” says Deborah Dumaine, author of Write to the Top: Writing for Corporate Success.


How the mail looks speaks about your professionalism and credibility in delivering the said service or product. Let it have the right amount of content and supporting images, make the layout, display all the relevant information which can make the sale happen. So no flashy stuff, unless required and keep it simple and soothing to the eyes. Today’s users are hooked on to their handheld devices and often check their emails on the move. To make sure that your email opens correctly, create a text as well as html version and check them on different types of popular devices. Do not forget to give alternate text wherever images appear.



Most marketers forget the importance of adding testimonials in their emails and they seldom realize the importance and credibility that it brings to the proportion. So some part of your email layout should have a striking testimony with which the reader can relate and make reference to. This can go a long way in making the sale happen.

“You need to establish credibility and be believable by the second paragraph,” says sales coach Daryl Logullo at Strategic Impact  

Call for action

One of the most neglected areas by email marketers; they are so engrossed mentioning the benefits to the readers that they end up with a clumsy call for action. So remember to make it powerful, straight, urgent and highly beneficial if acted immediately.


“Inform the reader about what he or she should do next,” says Joe Hage at MRA, a branding agency in Syracuse, NY

Emotional and Logical Drivers

Benefits can be categorized into two: emotional and logical, as every marketer will know that man purchases based on emotional reasons and supports it with logical ones, this is what you need to be doing in your mails, it has to have strong emotional drivers to make the purchase and logical reasons for the buyer to justify it.


These are some of the key points to make your emails more effective; however you can modify and be finer or even outrageous with them to make it more effective.

About the Author

Dave Otfinoski, CEO of My Business Assistant or “MBA”, has more than twenty-five years of executive, hands-on experience with small and mid-sized businesses. As CEO of MBA, Dave manages a team of experienced virtual assistants who have extensive expertise in the realms of small business operations, bookkeeping services, website design, SEO, content creation and call center operations. Outstanding client service and quality performance are the hallmarks of both My Business Assistant and the MBA team. We look forward to providing you with the Virtual Assistance that you may require to enhance your own business strategies. Please feel free to contact us at or call us at 800.993.9622 with any questions or inquiries that you may have.