Category Archives: Email Writing

How to Keep Your Emails Out of the Spam Folder

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Email marketing is potentially quite rewarding, an effective way to stay in contact with clients and with leads. As with anything, though, it takes some strategy and foresight if you want to steer clear of major obstacles—and as far as email marketing goes, the most major obstacle of all is the spam filter.

Simply put: People won’t like receiving low-value, spammy emails, which is why most email programs have sophisticated algorithms to detect spam and send it directly into a separate folder—keeping inboxes clean and uncluttered. That’s good news for email users but bad news for marketers, whose well-intentioned emails may inadvertently run afoul of these spam filters.

So what can you do to keep your emails in inboxes, where they belong? Keep reading for a few practical tips.

How to Avoid Getting Your Emails Flagged as Spam

To keep out of the way of those spam filters, here’s what we recommend:

Don’t buy an email list. If you’re sending emails to people who didn’t ask for them, it’s likely that they’ll flag your messages as spam. Only send marketing emails to customers who actually opt in to your email list.

Avoid conventionally “salesy” language. Spam filters will weed out any emails that seem like they’re strictly selling something—so using subject lines with “sale” or “free” can get you in trouble. Likewise, “30% off” and all-caps subject lines are destined to get your emails discarded. Focus on providing real information and value, and describing the email contents in non-salesy terms.

Don’t send image-only emails. While some images are fine, you also want to include text. Why? Some spammers have tried to use image-only emails to outsmart spam filters, so messages that only contain images may be discarded automatically.

Provide options for unsubscribing or for receiving fewer emails. Again, if you want to avoid getting your emails flagged as spam, it’s smart to allow readers some say in the emails they receive.

Segment and personalize your emails. The more specifically you can target your message to a particular audience, the more likely it is that people will want to read it rather than mark it as spam.

Strategize Your Email Marketing

Of course, the best way to make sure your marketing emails hit their target is to consider a robust, integrated approach to content marketing—and that’s something Grammar Chic can help with. Ask us about it today. Contact the Grammar Chic team at www.grammarchic.net, or at 803-831-7444.

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7 Content Marketing Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make in 2017

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Many of us are still in the leaf-turning phase of the new year, eager to identify and implement key areas for personal and professional change. Perhaps some of your own resolutions include improvements to your company’s content marketing endeavors. And if not—well, maybe they should.

There is never a bad time to revise your content marketing mechanisms—to be more strategic about consumer outreach, relationship-building, and thought leadership. Getting more serious about content marketing can yield many benefits, and the good news is, making constructive content marketing resolutions doesn’t have to be anything too nebulous or complex: It can be as simple as learning from yesterday’s mistakes.

With that in mind, we’ve got some suggestions for you: Some content marketing mistakes we’ve seen before, and ones we encourage you to learn from as you move forward toward bigger and better content endeavors.

Mistake #1: Blogging Inconsistently

Anyone can resolve to start a blog. Even writing that first post can seem pretty easy. Maintaining robust and regular blog content, though, is another matter altogether—yet it requires consistency for you to keep your audience engaged, increase our search engine exposure, and develop your brand’s authority.

Mistake #2: Making Grade-School Grammar Mistakes

Be honest: Have you ever posted a company blog that interchanges your with you’re, or that mixes up their and there? These aren’t just little errors. They make your business look shoddy and unprofessional. Make sure you have a skilled editor proof your content before it’s posted.

Mistake #3: Overlooking SEO Opportunities

You don’t have to be a technical whiz to fill in the meta description for your company blog post (WordPress and other content management systems will offer you a place to do this), or to include a few judicious keywords in your posts and your titles. Don’t forfeit these opportunities to tell the search engine what your content is all about.

Mistake #4: Missing Email Marketing Opportunities

Remember that when you post a really good entry to your blog, it’s something you ought to be promoting everywhere—and that includes in emails. Your email marketing list is a great place to turn when you want to get attention for a new piece of content. Spread the word, and make sure you’re conveying real value to your readers.

Mistake #5: Misusing Social Media

Your Facebook and Twitter accounts aren’t just for promoting your latest products or sales, though that’s certainly a good use for them. You should also be using them to spread meaningful, value-adding content, though—not just your company blog posts, but curated content from other industry resources, too.

Mistake #6: Poorly Formatting Your Content

Are your company blog posts difficult to read—or difficult to skim? Sub-headings, lists, and bullet points can really make life easier for your readers. If nothing else, shorter paragraphs are generally recommended.

Mistake #7: Not Offering Value Through Your Content

It ultimately comes down to what you’re writing about: You should be developing content that truly makes life better for your readers, answering their questions and posing actionable solutions to their problems. Otherwise, why would they bother?

Content development happens to be our strong suit—so if you’re looking for a hand in making big content improvements in 2017, give Grammar Chic a call at 803-831-7444, or visit us at www.grammarchic.net.

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Filed under Brand Management, Content Marketing, Content Writing, Email Writing, Social Media

How to Get Your Website Ready for Holiday Sales

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As we’ve mentioned already, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are huge sales days in America—and you ignore them at your own risk.

Even with these two significant dates quickly approaching, though, there are still ways to ensure that you’re ready to take full advantage of them. In fact, some basic tweaks to your company website can provide you with the opportunities you need to lead customers down your holiday sales funnel.

Here are the website touch-ups we recommend.

Ensure Mobile Friendliness

Mobile friendliness is always critical, but especially so during the holidays, when a lot of people are going to be shopping for gifts from their phones and their tablets. Look at your site on multiple devices to make sure it’s readable and easy to navigate—and if it’s not, go into your CMS dashboard or talk to your webmaster to activate mobile readiness.

Create Guides for Your Holiday Products/ Services

Provide holiday shoppers with an easy way to view all the items you’re pitching during the holiday season. A YouTube video or a simple photo catalog can be effective in showing what you have on offer. The point is to give your viewers a way to quickly and clearly see your holiday specials, without having to wade through each page of your site.

Create Landing Pages

It’s wise to promote specific holiday specials on social media, as well as AdWords, etc. As you do so, you want to provide links to targeted landing pages for the specific product in question—not just your home page. Creating Cyber Monday and Black Friday landing pages is so important for capturing leads.

Emphasize Consumer Trust

Provide shoppers with plenty of reason to trust you, and no reason to doubt your legitimacy. Put reviews, star ratings, and testimonials front and center on your website, if they’re not there already.

Craft a Unique Value Statement

Really, this is something that’s important throughout the seasons; when someone visits your site, they should immediately understand the unique value your company can offer—what’s in it for them to choose you over a competitor. You want to craft something like an elevator pitch here—something short, something specific, something memorable.

That’s something our team can help you with! Contact Grammar Chic today to start the process—but act soon! The holidays will be here before you know it. Reach us at www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

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Filed under Content Marketing, Content Writing, Email Writing, Social Media, Web Content

Make Your Email Marketing a Summer Success

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Here’s a phenomenon you may have noticed: During the grueling hot months of summer, you’re much more likely to get out-of-office auto-responders from the people you try to reach by e-mail. It’s not that everyone’s avoiding you. It’s just that everyone’s on vacation—or so it seems, sometimes. Certainly, the summer season is touch-and-go when it comes to emails, which may tempt you to pack in your email marketing campaign for the summer, perhaps revisiting the ol’ email list when September rolls around.

That’s not an illegitimate temptation, nor is it necessarily a wrong one: Certainly, there is an argument to be made for scaling back on your marketing emails during the summer months, if not disbanding them completely.

No matter how many marketing emails you send over the next couple of months, though—just one or a baker’s dozen—we encourage you to implement some simple tweaks to your strategy, which can make those emails much more enticing to your recipients—and thus, likely to get opened and acted upon.

Get Your Marketing Emails Ready for Summer

Keep those subject lines succinct. A lot of your readers may be getting those emails while they’re waiting in line for movie tickets, a plane ride, or a trip down a roller coaster. They don’t have time for epic-length headings. Shoot for subject lines between 30 and 50 characters—never any more.

Cozy up to emojis! Summer time is fun time, right? There’s no better season to adorn your subject lines and your email messages with a few tasteful smiley faces or other festive icons. Don’t go overboard, and don’t sacrifice actual words for emojis, but do feel free to use them as they fit.

Resist the temptation toward click bait. Drop two swimsuit sizes in a week’s time may seem like a tempting promise, and if your product can actually deliver it, then good for you! Don’t fall into the trap of making cheap promises that you know you can’t keep, though, nor of writing subject headings that aren’t actually relevant to your content. You may get click-throughs, but you’ll also get a lot of annoyed customers.

Don’t let your emails fall into the junk pile. Nobody has a lot of time to sort through their junk folder, so avoid letting your emails end up there. Cut down on spam triggers, as we talked about in this previous post.

Need some further assistance getting your marketing emails summer-ready? We can help you strategize, write, format, and send. Reach out to Grammar Chic today at 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.

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Filed under Business Writing, Email Writing, Writing

This is How to Write a Compelling Email Subject Line—and Boost Your Open Rates

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Report after report and study after study suggests that email is the most effective digital marketing tool.

So if you’re not seeing much of a benefit from your email marketing program, you’ve gotta wonder why.

Maybe the reason people aren’t responding to your emails is because they aren’t even opening them in the first place. Obviously, that’s a problem. A low open rate means your email marketing strategy is dead in the water.

Your open rate is even more significant than your total subscriber number. Think about it this way: Having 1,000 subscribers who all open your emails means much more exposure for your brand than having 6,000 subscribers but only a 2 percent open rate.

No question: You’ve got to get your emails opened. And the best way to do that is to tweak your subject lines—but how?

Tip #1: Make your subject lines longer.

Both the conventional wisdom and the natural instinct is to make your subject lines short and snappy. We’ve offered that very advice in the past. But one new study suggests that maybe longer—like, 60-70 characters, if not more—is the way to go.

Perhaps the rationale is simply this: When you’re working with just a couple of words, it’s hard to offer more than salesy platitudes and generalities. But if you give yourself more space, you can actually convey value and specificity to your readers.

So maybe it’s worth trying long subject lines for a while, just to see how they work.

Tip #2: Write in all lower case letters.

All caps screams of desperation, and can be pretty annoying. Mixing upper and lower case—you know, like you would in normal, everyday writing—is fine. But consider: a lot of the emails you get from your friends and family members probably come with all lower case subject lines.

Writing an all lower case subject line can convey intimacy and familiarity, then—and that’s not such a bad thing for your brand!

Tip #3: Provide value—but don’t give everything away.

As for the actual content of your subject lines, something we recommend is focusing on the value you offer—the benefits your email will provide—without getting into the specifics.

Show your readers what’s in it for them to open your email, but not necessarily how they’ll get it.

Example: Try a subject line that promises something like this: “Drive traffic to your website… and turn it into paying customers!”

You’re showing your readers exactly what they stand to gain from reading the email—but to learn how they’re going to gain it… through SEO, email marketing, or whatever else… they’ve got to open the email and read it.

Try some of these tips in your own email marketing—and see how your open rates improve. Talk with us about it by calling 803-831-7444, or visiting www.grammarchic.net.

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4 Things That Will Guarantee your Emails Don’t Get Opened

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Email marketing can pay off big time—but only if you do it right. And obviously, if you’re spending a lot of money on emails but not getting any of them opened by your target audience—if those emails go directly from inboxes to trashcans, contents unseen—then you’re doing little more than wasting money.

So what can you do to ensure that those emails get read? We’ve shared some email marketing best practices before. Today, what we’ll offer is a set of don’ts—some common email marketing elements that are sure to get your messages promptly deleted.

In other words, these are rookie errors—boneheaded mistakes—that will basically squander whatever effort you put into your email marketing campaign. Naturally, we recommend avoiding them at all costs!

Email Elements it Pays to Avoid

  1. Spelling and grammar errors. Yes, it sounds like common sense—but you’d be amazed at the number of business owners who take time to proof their messages but not their subject lines. If somebody receives an email from you and it’s got a glaring error in its subject heading, that immediately undercuts your authority—and all but guarantees your email gets rejected.
  2. Impersonal greetings. Here’s something else that can wreck your subject line—and thus, your entire email: A greeting that’s obviously impersonal and unspecific. Any message that comes with a title like Dear Sir or Madam will look like spam, and likely be treated as such.
  3. Spammy words. Along the same lines, spammy buzzwords located in your subject line will get your emails buried and your servers blacklisted. Avoid saying click here, % off, order now, sale ends at midnight—anything that clearly marks your marketing email as cheap or salesy.
  4. Bombast. Finally: Remember that a subject line is meant to be short and snappy. If your subject line lacks brevity, it may turn off busy readers who’d rather you get straight to the point.

There is plenty you can do to make email marketing a more effective tool for your business—but also plenty you shouldn’t do. Keep these tips in mind as you strive to achieve email marketing success.

For help crafting an effective email marketing campaign, contact the Grammar Chic team at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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Filed under Email Writing, Writing

Why You Should Start Gearing Up for Holiday E-mails Today—and 5 Ways to Do It

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We’re still a few days away from celebrating Halloween, but if you’ve been out shopping lately then you’ve probably noticed plenty of Christmas décor already on display. Big-box stores and retail pharmacies know full well that, for many Americans, the holiday season has more or less begun—and to really make the most of it, marketers need to start getting ready now.

And that includes you. Maybe you don’t have a brick-and-mortar store where you can erect a giant holiday display, but at the very least you can do some e-mail marketing—getting ready to connect with subscribers and previous customers and remind them of your brand in the precious weeks leading up to Christmas.

Remember: During this season of the year, many consumers are very much in a “buying mode.” They’re looking for great products, offers, and deals. And your e-mail marketing efforts can help connect the dots, coaxing customers to your business as they look to spend a few holiday bucks.

You may not be ready to launch a full-scale holiday marketing blitz quite yet, and that’s fine. It may still be a bit early for that, but it’s not too early to start planning and brainstorming. Some tips for doing so:

  1. Think about how your product/offer might change. Remember that during the holiday season, a lot of people are looking for great gift ideas. If you own a jewelry store or a toy store then you’re probably in good shape, but many brands will need to shift their thinking from direct products to gift cards or other gift-oriented ideas.
  1. Play into sales and specials. The holiday shopping season presents plenty of great opportunities to base your e-mail campaign around sales and promotions. For example: Why not take full advantage of Cyber Monday?
  1. Do some spying. Make sure you keep tabs on what your competitors are doing. If you notice them announcing free shipping or other special holiday discounts, you may have to make similar offers just to keep pace.
  1. Put headlines first. As ever, we think it’s critical to base your holiday e-mail campaigns around attention-grabbing headlines. You can even start sketching some now. Our advice: Make them straightforward and value-oriented; if you’re offering e-mail subscribers 20 percent off, let them know it.
  1. Align your content. Even as you send out holiday discounts and specials, you should also be writing some holiday-themed blogs and e-books, perhaps attaching a few of them to your e-mails.

The time to plot your holiday marketing outreach is now. If you need further assistance, just give us a shout: Grammar Chic is reachable at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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Filed under Content Marketing, Email Writing