I came across an excellent post this morning on Search Engine Watch about the ongoing power, importance and effectiveness of Email marketing as a Practical Marketing Strategy for small business. While many marketers and small businesses in Victoria are searching for the latest and greatest Like, Pin or Tweet which will instantly bring thousands of customers to their door, the reality is Email Marketing is still king when it comes to building a relationship with your customers and prospective customers.
Email is still the most reliable way to Reach Customers
- 92% of adults online have at least 1 active Email account.
- 72% of those check their Email 6 or more time per day.
Reality Check – Email Marketing is still the most cost effective and profitable marketing vehicle available to small business, helping them reach their prospective and loyal customers with highly targeted campaigns which ultimately leads to greater sales. Source: http://blog.icontact.com/blog/email-marketing
Most Internet Users Still Prefer Email
- In 2012 77% of users prefer to receive permission-based commercial messages via email. Up from 72% in 2008.
- Only 4% say Facebook is is their preferred way to get promotional messages.
- While just 1% prefer Twitter.
Email Marketing Works
- 66% of surveyed Internet users made a purchase based on getting a promotional email.
- 67% of marketers plan to increase their email marketing budgets this year.
Email Marketing enhances Social and Local Marketing
Integrated Marketing Online for small business means utilizing all of your marketing vehicles in a unified strategy for reach and building relationships with your customers. When you have built a large and responsive Email list you can launch campaigns via Social Media or directly on your website with speed and ease. Communicating new initiatives and promotions with your list first magnifies the impact of all of your other marketing projects.
Practical Strategies for Email Marketing Success
Here’s your To Do list for Releasing the Potential of your Email Marketing:
- Build your List.Perhaps it goes without saying but if you aren’t building a list you need to start doing so today! Get an Opt-in Box on your home page and give readers a compelling reason to sign-up. If you already have a list take time to review it now. Many times businesses have worked with a webmaster who was savvy enough to put an opt-in box on their website but the owner failed to follow through by having a marketer manage it. There’s a big difference between Web Design and Internet Marketing and it’s important to have the very best you can afford managing each function. If you fall into this category it’s time to get proactive with our list. Clean it up and start communicating with your customers. Don’t worry if you have a bunch of opt-outs when you send an Email to a list who hasn’t had something in months or even years. They’ve moved on and that’s OK. You want interactive people on your list not a bunch of deadwood. Once you have cleaned and organized your list it’s time to start growing it.
- Collect Emails whenever and where ever you can. Put a poster or even a sign-up sheet near your cash register.
- Offer a “Free” draw for people who leave their Email address on comment cards. Collect business cards in a fish bowl.
- Be sure to have a line for Email on your sales orders and a check box to confirm you have permission to mail to customers who purchase from your business.
- Their are plenty of incentives you can offer customers to join your list – involve your staff – make it fun and watch your list grow!
- Start a Newsletter. This is the fastest and easiest way to get your Email Marketing off to a good start and a great way to keep it moving. When you write and send a monthly Newsletter it provides continuity and gives your customers a reason to stay on your list. Plus it’s a gentle and easy way to keep your business ‘Top-of’Mind’. No matter what your business you have interesting and news worthy items of interest to share. It may seem like the same-old to you but not to your customers. To avoid starting and stopping or missing deadlines it’s often a good idea to create 3, 4 or more newsletters in advance. Some marketers even prefer to crate a whole years worth all at once and then leave a few spaces for current events. This is another great opportunity to draw on the talents within your staff. Find someone who is keen and excited to be part of your business and your industry and give them the job. It’s a good idea to reward them with a bonus for taking on the task.
- Build a Library. Monthly Newsletters are great for continuity and building trust with your list. Now it’s time to shake it up. Sending additional Emails in an apparently random way will create even stronger bonds with your list. Share informative tips and helpful advice. The more useful the information in these Emails the better. Think of these as articles. Get in the habit of writing one a week until you have 100 stacked up. It’s important not to overwhelm your list so send these at random intervals. Auto-Responders can be set up to stagger Email sends at different intervals to achieve this.
- Measure to Manage. I believe it was Peter Drucker who said, ‘You cannot manage what you do not measure.’ These can go by different labels – Stats, Metrics, Numbers… it really doesn’t matter what you call them the important thing is that you are monitoring, measuring and reviewing Email you send. One of the classic mistakes many entrepreneurs make is jumping to false conclusions and making assumptions about their marketing. They go by Gut instead of the Facts and it can be the kiss of death. The key point here is to suspend all judgements and let the Fact – the data speak for itself.
Key Points & Conclusions
In todays ADD Internet world Email marketing may seem old and boring but it remains one of the most effective Online Marketing tools for small businesses. The return on investment from Email has been proven. It’s tried and true yet many small businesses aren’t even asking their customers for an address so they can begin building a list. It’s time to get your customers to Opt-In.
Like any marketing program, online or not, Email Marketing isn’t a magic pill which will answer all of your Marketing wishes but it’s essential for your Small Business Marketing Strategy. Email Marketing is an integral part of a Dynamic Online Marketing Strategy. Once implemented and systematized you will find that launching any marketing campaign be it Social Media, Mobile, or anything else your success will be magnified by reaching out to your list first.
Call me now at 778-440-5444 or send us a message at email@example.com to schedule your free online marketing consultation.
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