There are many benefits to email marketing for small businesses, but you know that. What’s tough about email marketing, however, is that your communication skills can make or break those benefits.

Email gives you the opportunity to connect with existing and potential customers, engage them with helpful resources, and introduce them to your services or products. When done right, email marketing can increase customer loyalty, maximize your marketing ROI, and drive more sales.

But to do it right, you have to be a good communicator where it counts, or your message won’t hit the mark. Keep in mind that “how” you say something matters just as much or more than “what” you say. Here are some tips on how to be a good communicator in email campaigns.

Be Authentic

Folks opening emails from your small business don’t want to be treated as if they’re dollar signs. Instead, they want authentic communication. Perfect your brand’s voice by talking to people on a human level. Maintain an authentic tone that relates directly to your audience. Provide meaning instead of superficial promises. Remember, the best brands are really just people that happen to be associated with your product or service.  For instance, a simple check-in email from Hazel at Canva feels authentic and personal for a few reasons: 

  • Sender: The email comes from Hazel, not from Canva in general
  • Tone: The tone is easy-going and friendly
  • Format: It’s mostly text, giving it a friendly feel
  • Timing: The email was sent at just the right time – when I hadn’t been in the Canva app in a while and need an introduction to newer features to pull me back in.


Engage in a Conversation

Tone and voice matter in emails. They humanize your brand and allow for genuine dialogue that occurs naturally. Don’t be afraid to engage in a playful email conversation that syncs with the rest of your brand. This approach expands brand loyalty.  Custom Ink does a solid job of connecting with their audience on a personal level.  The conversational, fun tone in this email paired with a personal message from their CEO makes their brand feel authentic, creating a customer experience that stands out in the inbox.


Show Your Brand’s Personality

Put a face on your small business’s brand and let its real personality shine through. You can cater to your buyer personas by posting the content they enjoy while making it relatable and fun. Cultivate a voice that delights viewers. Most folks prefer a connection rather than just information. Buffer, for example, takes something as mundane as a receipt and infuses their brand’s personality into it.  The way they position their message makes the customer feel like a valued extension of the Buffer brand.


A Little Transparency Goes a Long Way

While you don’t have to go as extreme as Buffer does in living up to their core value, “Default to Transparency,” being real with your customers can go a long way to win their trust.  A great example is this email from Magic Beans.  While Magic Beans made a mistake in an email send, they took the opportunity to give customers access to the people working behind the scenes – both their Founder, Eli and their Marketing Whiz, Kate.

magic beans

Focus on Quality Instead of Quantity

Sending strong emails that are not only conversation and on-brand, but match the interests of your audience will give your small business an edge while building trust. As a matter of fact, the quality of engagements are much more important than the quantity of engagements.  So, if you’re sending out lots of emails with low engagement, take a step back from your email marketing strategy to see if you can increase the relevance and value of each email for your audience – even if it means cutting back on a few sends.

Follow these tips, and your marketing message will communicate the voice and tone of your brand while keeping your readers engaged.