Email Marketing is fantastic. It is low cost, instant and very effective. I frequently find that business owners don’t understand the full value of using emails to stay in contact with their customers. As a sales and marketing professional I have been using email marketing for some time not just as promotional tool, but as a sales and survey tool. Perhaps not in the way you may think…
Use an Email Marketing System (such as Constant Contact)
These insider tips require the use of a full-featured email marketing system. A system such as Constant Contact manages your email list, provides easy-to-use templates and measures how many emails are successfully delivered, who opens them and even the links they clicked on. Why this is vital will become clear as you continue reading.
Build Your Email List
Collect email addresses from all your customers as a constant campaign. If your staff have downtime have them call and collect emails addresses from past customers. Even add inquiries to the list or to a separate list. Offer a coupon or special deal in exchange for their email address – it doesn’t matter how you do it, just make sure you do do it!
Provide Lots of Education, How-To’s and Tips
Basically, write interesting enewsletters as the backbone of your email marketing campaigns. Provide educational information that readers will find useful to solving their problems or achieving their goals. It will significantly boost the efficacy of your email advertising.
This is very important: enewsletters should not focus on your company. They should be written from the viewpoint of solving problems or adding benefits to the lives of your customers. A list of products or features is dry and boring without context illustrating how the feature can help the user.
Examples of potentially interesting headlines that highlight benefits include:
- HVAC: Save Money on Utility Bills This Winter by Preparing Your Furnace System
- Chiropractors: Five Tips to Feel and Act Younger!
- Tax Preparation: Three Little Known Tax Deductions to Increase Your Tax Refund
- Investments: A Comparison of Four Investments Opportunities with Moderate to Excellent Returns
Never Finish an Email
Always start an email article in the email and then provide a link so that readers will have to click through to your website or blog to finish reading it. This will provide you with reports of who clicked through to read it which is key for two reasons:
- Knowing what makes customers click through gives you market research at no extra charge! It’s a free method to test marketing ideas and provides a goldmine of information. Compare results with the other emails you have sent out to see if you have a hot topic or not. Use the hot topics in direct mail campaigns or as a guide to adding content to your website.
- Your sales force can monitor the click-through list for sales prospects: these customers were interested enough to click through so they may be worth calling!
Need to test headlines to find out what will attract users to an advertisement or direct mail piece? Test them using email marketing first. Taking similar subject matter, change out the email subject line for different test headlines and see which one gets more opens using the reports. Specifically the open-rate, not the click-through rate.
As a note, make sure to send the email tests with as little variables as possible (at the same time of the day on the same day).
Surveying headlines before committing funds to a campaign has never been so cheap, so fast or so easy!
Use Emails to Promote Last Minute Sales or Specials
Haven’t quite made your sales targets? There is still time with email marketing. Use it to run last minute sales or specials – remember to check the reports on who clicked through and use this to make some targeted phone calls.
Integrate Emails with Social Media
This is where email marketing fits – it is part of your social media marketing. Use it to pull in traffic to your blog and to your social media sites by providing “unfinished” emails to entice click-throughs. Use it to invite people to your Facebook and blog. Plus, when you use Constant Contact as your email marketing system, it will almost automatically facilitate easy links for readers to share your article, interact with your social media and refer your articles to their friends.
In summary, this is just a few of the ways we use email marketing at RESPONSE! But if it sounds like a lot of work, remember that you can always purchase a social media campaign and we will do all the work for you. From writing the articles to analyzing your click-through traffic and editing your website, there are packages to suit every business and every budget, too!