A lot of time and money get spent marketing a business to create awareness about your product or service. This generates interest from prospective new customers or potential new patients. When someone is interested in purchasing your product or service, it’s called a “lead”.
Sometimes your marketing efforts can immediately convert leads into new customers or patients. These customers or patients not only provide new business, they are also an excellent source of repeat business and referrals.
Other times, leads have to be reminded and nurtured before they convert into a new customer or patient for your business. They show interest in your business, but haven’t made the decision to “buy”.
It’s important to routinely communicate with your customers or patients as well as the people mentioned above who may become a new customer or patient.
Email marketing is a very effective tool to do this. It’s also inexpensive and efficient. This is one Ingredient you don’t want to overlook and many people do overlook this.
Before you can even think about email marketing, you need to have an email database with valid email addresses. So how do you get email addresses to fill your database? Any and every which way you ethically can.
Here is a short list of suggestions:
•Ask new and existing customers / patients for their email addresses. •Have a website sign-up form where people provide their email addresses. •Collect email addresses from all website contact submission forms. •Create unique landing pages for your Pay Per Click Campaigns where name and email address are requested and/or required. •Collect business cards and email addresses at events. •Conduct drawings or sweepstakes where people must provide their names and email addresses. •Give away a special report or ebook in exchange for name and email address. Useful information that gives them something while also serving as a reminder for how you can help them. •If someone call’s your business, ask them for their email address.
What you don’t want to do is purchase email addresses or send email marketing campaigns to a database of people who have never even heard of your business, product or service. This practice is not effective and it will more than likely aggravate the people you send it to rather than spark their interest.
These types of unsolicited emails are called SPAM. Most people really don’t like SPAM and in the long run, all you will do is hurt the reputation of your business by SPAMMING people. You don’t want to be flagged for being spam. If you’re sending directly from your own mail server, like Outlook, your email address can actually get blacklisted.
If there is interest in your product or service and someone is willing to provide you with their email address, by all means take it. As outlined above, there is nothing wrong with asking people for their email address or adding email addresses from people who want to be included in your email database.
As you are collecting email addresses, they need to be stored into a database so they are organized, can be easily maintained and are safe. Your email database has value. The more it grows, the more valuable it will get. As outlined above, this is the place to go to and return to time and time again in order to generate new sales and revenues over and over again.
So what types of email marketing campaigns should you be sending? That’s unique for each business, but here are some suggestions:
•Welcome new customers / patients. •Useful information about your product or service. •Special offers or coupons. •Best wishes for holidays throughout the year. •New products or services. •Testimonials from customers or patients. •Thank existing customers.
Email marketing is an excellent tool to stay top-of-mind in your customers’ minds. However, don’t overuse this tool. If you send too many emails, people will begin to tune you out. They will “unsubscribe” from your email list and you won’t be able to send them future email marketing campaigns. Sending two or three email marketing campaigns per month that are spread out over the month is sufficient for many companies, but some prefer to send out a weekly newsletter. It really depends on how often there is news regarding your company or how often you offer promotions, etc.
Contact us to discuss email marketing for your small business.