The most compelling reason to use email marketing is to stay top of mind with your customers. Customers rarely purchase on the first interaction. In fact, some statistics say it takes anything from 7 to 21 interactions before the customer is willing to buy from you. Email marketing helps you make those meaningful contacts in a really cost effective way. It is probably the least expensive form of marketing available. Some email marketing tools cost as low as $19 a month for a subscriber list of 500 people.
Email marketing is also effective, once you set up your tool, it takes very little time to write an email and send it out to your customers or potential customers. And, if you want to become a super ninja at email marketing, you can even set-up an autoresponder series which is writing a bunch of emails all at once and then scheduling them to go out over a period of time, totally hands off.
The following are some strategies to help you launch an email marketing campaign.
Get an Email Marketing Service
The first thing you need is a good platform to use. I use GetResponse’s email marketing automation tool. But, why is this? Why can’t you just email your customers from your own email address? The reason is that this is the best practice for online marketing because it does two things for you automatically. One, it allows for double opt-ins. This is when someone signs up for something online and they get an email right away that says something like, “Hey, thank you for giving us your email address. Click the link below to confirm that we can send you stuff“. The subscriber gives the email once and then confirms one more time to make sure it wasn’t some spammer. The second thing an email marketing service does is subscription management. This is the link at the bottom of the email that lets users unsubscribe if they want. Giving users a way to unsubscribe is a good idea because without this, they would mark you as spam and email servers would begin to blacklist you.
Create a List
The next thing you need to do is to create an email list. To do this, you will need some form of lead capture form on your website. This is a form that allows you to capture the names and email addresses of the people who visit your website. The email marketing service you use will usually provide this form. They will help you create the form, manage the names and email, and handle the automatic sending of emails.
Giveaway something of Value
To entice people to give you their name and email address, you need to giveaway something of value. Some good ideas include a free report, e-book or e-course. Have an attractive image of the free report of e-book created. Make sure you assign value to whatever free stuff you device to give away. For example, you could an e-book is worth $47.
Positioning Your Lead Capture Form
Try and position your lead capture form at the top right hand corner of your website because the readers path is from left to right and placing it in the top right hand corner places it right in the eye path of the reader. Also, make it a different color from the rest of the website so that it stands out. However, avoid screaming colors like red. Also, don’t use the word “Submit” on the submit button. Use something like “Free Download“, “Get Your Free Report Now” or “Subscribe Now“. Submit is kind of a negative word.
Setting up the Autoresponder
You want to be consistent with your autoresponder. It needs to go out on a regular basis. It is recommended that you do this at least once a week if not more. The more they hear from you the more that you are top of their minds. Also, you want to tell the truth, when the first email autoresponder goes out, tell your prospect what to expect. Specifically, how many times in a week you will email and under what circumstances this may change, say, for new product launches or special offers. Just be clear in explaining exactly what your prospects can expect when they opt-in. Also don’t be boring. Don’t send out constant pitches for products. Send out good information that your prospects can use because the law or reciprocity kicks in sooner or later. Give them such great free information that they will be overwhelmed by your products and services.
Finally, once the campaign is up and running, you want keep monitoring the progress so that you can learn what’s working and take any corrective action necessary. One thing you may want to do following you first campaign is to divide and conquer, that is, refine your email list into highly targeted groups and tailor your communication to each of these groups. I hope that you found these tips on small business email marketing helpful. Now go sell something.