There probably isn’t a small business owner or manager anywhere who doesn’t wish at some time that they could do marketing just like the “big boys” do it, with unlimited time to conduct extensive promotional campaigns with precisely targeted messages that dive right for the heart of their customers. The truth is, you can. And it doesn’t matter how big or small your business is either.
The Size of the Pond
If a businessperson doesn’t have as the main objective of his promotional campaigns the development of healthy relationships with customers and prospective customers, the point of the program is lost. Fortunately, with the Internet age booming, not only is building good relationships with your customers possible, it’s easier than ever. This article should be considered your key to make effective email marketing work for you. It doesn’t matter how big your marketing “pond” is, email marketing can make reaching the fish you are after child’s play.
In the world of marketing what you don’t know can hurt you. In fact, the more you know about your customers the better. Further, you should know more about your customers than they know about themselves. It is only this manner can you achieve a level of trust and authority that will make them want to buy from you.
For some businesses this information gathering might take the form of surveys to find out what customers need and want. This information might be easier to gather for some businesses rather than others. For example, a market may be in a better position to know his customers than a small CPA would. With the latter, there might be plenty that a potential client might need to know in order to handle their taxes. As a result, an email newsletter that helps provide them answers could become very popular.
Bating Your Hook
The next step is perhaps the most important, putting together your list. As first this might be a little like fishing in an unknown body of water. You won’t know what is out there until you start looking. There are many lists that can be obtained, but not many of them are good. Unfortunately, getting a list free of charge such as one from the local chamber of commerce might be as easy as one you pay a considerable sum for.
Another method of gathering addresses is by way of your own surveys. When someone enters your business, ask them. Chances are very good that with the right invitation, such as getting a free gift or other incentive, they will give it to you. Just remember that once you have that email address, you have gold, and it must be treated as such.Writing That Gets ReadIf there is a downside to using email to promote a small business it’s the fact that people get email all day long, sometimes lots of email all day long. Much of this is spam that never gets read. And if the reader doesn’t recognize the name of the sender, chances are good that they will hit the delete button.
The key to getting the email recipient to open your message is to convince them that what they have received from you is important to them. whether they first realize this or not. Remember that the subject line is the first–and in many cases the only–chances you have to get them to open your mail. Make that chance a good one by making them a promise that you must deliver on in the email.
These are a few keys to get them to open your message:Use strong, emotional words
Give them what they want
Be considerate of their time
Perhaps everyone who has email has people who send them too much, too often. Don’t be one of these. This only serves to annoy people. On the other hand, don’t send out too little since they will forget who you are. Timing and trust are the keys to bridging this gap. If you get a reputation for both sending only periodic but regular email, you won’t find yourself in the spam folder.
Much of the success that of your email campaign will depend on the uniqueness of your message to your audience. Nothing is set in stone, except for one rule: Test everything. Never send out an email that doesn’t test something, preferably several items. Otherwise, how will you know if anyone received your message?
Testing consumer response is a lot easier than one might initially think. Perhaps the best way is to make some type of offer. Make it easy for them, but offer them something. When an email recipient calls you to request the free gift you offered in your email, you automatically know that they read your message. More importantly, you know that you did everything right in your campaign.