There’s an old saying – dress for the job you want, not the job you have. People that are well dressed and walk with an air of confidence are respected in a way that the guy who shows up to a business meeting in a wrinkled t-shirt and torn corduroys will never be.

This same saying can be applied to your email marketing campaigns. If you want to be taken seriously, you have to dress the part. A prospective client is more likely to take your business seriously if your marketing material looks professional. Here are a few tips that will help your bantam weight business pack a punch worthy of Muhammed Ali.

Choose a Clean, Flexible Template

Your email template is the aesthetic cornerstone of all your email marketing newsletters. Choose something straightforward and clean. Nothing shouts unprofessional like a neon green background with cursive blue text. Stick to white or light colored backgrounds with dark text and you can’t go wrong. Also, be sure to choose a template that you can get creative with by adding photos and videos. Professional doesn’t have to mean boring.

Stick to a Schedule

Sporadic emails are a tell tale sign of a company that doesn’t have it’s expletive together. Find a schedule that works for you (once a week, once a month) and stick to it. For the majority of small businesses, email is the most convenient way to stay in touch with clients and you want to make sure that your clients see you in a positive, professional light.

Keep It Personal

Not taking the time to build a relationship with the people who subscribe to your email list is one of the most common mistakes a small business can make. Show your readers that they are more than just a possible sale by adding as much personal information to their emails as possible. Try to include the email recipient’s name in the greeting of your email (nothing is more annoying than getting an email addressed to “Dear Customer!” You may as well say “Hey You!”). If someone makes a purchase, send a followup email a week or two later asking them how they are enjoying the product.

Your Address Matters

Who would you rather receive a marketing email from – or If you want to be taken seriously, always spring for the domain name and set up professional sounding email accounts. Also, keep in mind what we talked about earlier; it’s possible to be professional sounding while still keeping that personal edge – beats every time.

Double Opt-In

Double opt-in is basically a way to double check that the person who is receiving your emails is actually interested. The last thing that you want to do as a person trying to build a professional looking business is start sending unwanted emails. Whenever someone subscribes to your email list, send them a confirmation email with a link that they can use to verify their subscription. Once they have confirmed that they want to receive your newsletters, send them a thank you email welcoming them to your newsletter community and letting them know what they can expect.

There’s no reason that a small business can’t look as professional as Google or Amazon. It’s all about how you present yourself. The best thing you can do is put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Would you be impressed by the emails you’ve been sending out?