email marketingWhile social media marketing gets all the hype, email marketing remains one of the most powerful digital marketing channels available for small businesses. As the holiday season begins, you don't want to miss out on customers. Use the email marketing tips below to help increase your end of year profits:

1. Create the right content. To come up with great content, businesses must understand what readers need to hear from them. Anticipate their questions, then answer them.

2. Choose the right template. The template you have been using for the past two or three years may not be the best template to use now. Your newsletter needs to stand out in customer inboxes that are full of a variety of holiday promotional mail. It also needs to load quickly on any device.

3. Make it mobile-friendly. Be sure that your emails appear as they should on mobile devices, and that consumers can click links and enter information as easily on a smartphone as they can on a desktop.

4. Increase sign-ups. Attract new readers to your email list. Offer discounts and other special offers through the newsletter and invite people to sign up through Facebook, mobile device free-to-scan apps and in-store raffles.

5. Segment your email list. This is a great way to reach your customers with information and offers that are relevant to them. Send store-specific messages to customers who shop in-store, and send online specials to your online customers.

6. Use images to give your email newsletter life. Not only do images make your messages more visually appealing, but they can also be used to support the message.

7. Keep content short. People access email from various devices, and they are less likely to spend a long time reading messages on smaller devices. For this reason, it is best to keep content short, relevant and to-the-point. An easy way to do this is to share a summary of your story and provide a link to more. Lists and multimedia also help to keep content short without compromising the value of the content.

8. Get recipients to open your emails. Find out who is not opening your emails and find ways to connect with them. Some businesses send targeted messages to let contacts know they miss their engagement, and they offer discounts and coupons to re-engage them.

9. Motivating subscribers to act. When you want to get people to read something, register for something or make a purchase, you have to make it easy for them. Don’t put too many steps between your contacts and the call to action. Be sure to link to the right page and make the call to action large and clear.