Email Marketing – Using Technology to Market Your Business
In today’s changing business world, it can be difficult to keep up with the latest trends. It seems that as soon as you discover all the secrets of one aspect of your business, it changes and you find you need to relearn the tools you thought you already knew. Marketing is a perfect example of this. Marketing your business used to be handled in simple ways that involved regular mail and print promotions or perhaps some radio and TV advertising. However, as things have progressed and the internet has become popular, email marketing has become one of the most essential tools a business can use.
In order for email marketing to work for your business, you need an effective strategy. Most of us are overwhelmed with spam – garbage email that we do everything we can to delete, ignore and filter so that we can respond to the important email that we receive each day. As a result, a business must be careful to avoid being seen as a spammer. Not only is your email more likely to be ignored or deleted, it can actually have a negative effect on the reputation of your business.
A good email marketing strategy starts with an effective way of building your email list. Obviously, this should begin with the collection of the email addresses of your existing customers if you don’t already have them. You then need a way to grow this list to include prospects. Business cards collected at networking meetings or talks you give are generally an acceptable way to grow your list. Technically these people didn’t “opt-in” to your email list so some of them may not want to receive your email communications, however as long as you had a good rapport with them and you make it easy for them to remove themselves from your list, there is generally no harm done by engaging in this practice.
Another good source of prospect emails is your own website. In order to entice site visitors to give you their email address, offer them something of value, such as a free article or “white paper” that might be of interest to them. Give-aways and contests can also be good ways to collect email addresses.
As you begin to grow your list, you need to design a nice newsletter template and utilize a system for regularly delivering newsletters to your list. Consistency is important, as is frequency. If you email too frequently, people are more likely to unsubscribe but if you wait too long between emails, they may forget who you are or they may have found a competing product or service in the meantime. Once to twice per month is generally considered a reasonable frequency for most businesses.
The most important thing you can do when writing your email marketing newsletter is to add value. If the entire email is just a sales pitch, you will generally turn people off. But if there are articles that interest them, they are more likely to continue to read your newsletters and perhaps eventually become customers and/or pass your information along to someone that might need your product or service. If you are looking for assistance with developing a professional email newsletter for your company, give us a call at 805-962-8565.