Guest author Angie Picardo, staff writer for NerdWallet.com
If you are a running a small business, marketing is often an integral component to bringing awareness to your operation, products, and services. While there are various types of marketing strategies that small businesses can employ, e-mail marketing is often looked over in favor of more traditional methods like poster or mail advertising, sign & billboard, and buying television and radio space. But why do you need e-mail marketing?
E-mail marketing offers a larger reach in audience at a low cost to small businesses. E-mail marketing also provides small businesses with the ability to communicate instantly with potential customers and clients, while simultaneously driving traffic to the business website. Information received through e-mail can also help businesses understand the needs and desires of prospective customers without having to employ expensive research, trial and error, and learning from long term mistakes.
While there are many great advantages to e-mail marketing (↑), there are a few things business owners should know before fully embracing this type of marketing.
Don’t become a spammer – First and foremost, do not send out constant e-mail blasts to your customer mailing list or spam networks that might potentially attract new clients. Unless there is a good reason for your business to communicate with customers on a weekly basis, anything more than a couple of e-mail blasts each month is probably too much. No customer likes receiving a large amount of junk mail, and if you inundate them with ads, promotions, and other communication, they will ignore you at best or choose a competitor at worst.
Distinguish yourself – Consumers sign up for e-mail lists and marketing promotion updates all the time. Some consumers will spend the first part of their morning deleting 20-30 spam e-mails and other promotions they simply do not have the time or care for. Part of this has to do with the content in the subject line (the first thing a customer will generally read before opening an e-mail), while other consumers are simply tired of receiving the same old, lame product promotions that seem too good to be true (and generally are) before reading the fine print. Savvy e-mail marketers will know who their audience and target markets are, approach them accordingly, and distinguish themselves from other companies (even those who are not competitors) that also send out constant, bulky e-mail ads.
Get Legit – Make sure that when you send out advertising and promotions they are sent from your site’s domain name. Sending e-mails to prospective clients from a Gmail or Yahoo! Mail account looks unprofessional, so sending mail out from a legitimate e-mail domain account will enhance your credibility. Correspondence sent from credit domains will be noticed by prospective customers and will statistically increase your chances for making a sale.
Know your marketing – When marketing via e-mail, it is important that you stay consistent with your other marketing campaigns. Further, it wise to have a firm grasp of who you are targeting and what they require. Having solid experience in marketing will benefit you here, but for those who are new to such an endeavor should read up and get as much research under their belt as possible. Watching the behavior of your competitors can be beneficial, and noticing the types of e-mail marketing you receive as a consumer can help you learn what to do (and what not to do).
Be easy on your customers – If you make it easy to subscribe, you will significantly enhance the amount of people that will sign up for e-mail notifications and announcements. Posting a subtle hyperlink on your website, blog, or Facebook page will allow customers a quick and easy medium to subscribe for your e-mail notifications.
Edit – There’s not much to say here; be grammatically correct, succinct, and precise with what you want to say to customers.
Share – Any e-mail you send out to a prospective customer is shareable, but making content on your website sharable is a great, indirect e-mail marketing strategy. By making content e-mail-able, customers will do the e-mail marketing for you. If you create a page or post a blog that is newsworthy or of which becomes highly acclaimed, visitors to your site can e-mail each other the content. This not only promotes your website, product, or service, but helps increase your traffic as well.
_______________ Angie Picardo is a staff writer for NerdWallet. Her mission is to help consumers stay financially savvy, and save some money with the best online savings accounts. (↑)
Welcome to the 28th edition of email marketing tips on February, 9th, 2013.
After having put to sleep for more than two years, it’s time to wake up the carnival, again. I also have done some housekeeping:
All obsolete tips, broken links, etc. in the legacy editions 1 through 27 have been taken care of and are deleted now. Only evergreen, good tips from reputable sources have survived this procedure.
Interestingly it was mostly copywriters’ tips which had to be removed. Most of them just have disappeared from the web or their sites have got in too bad a shape that I don’t want to link to them anymore.
The good news is that we had some well known experts contributing here in the past.
You’ll find expert advise in those past editions from authorities like:
Since I started this carnival in 2008 the Web and the relevance of blogcarnival.com have changed. However, let’s see how it goes in 2013.
Here are the tips of the day.
tools and strategy
The next two tips are quite interesting because they are quite opposite to each other. At first Ioan shows us how to use your blog to send out emails for free. Then Mike suggests to re-purpose your ezine content on your blog.
Ioan Draniciar presents How to Use Your Blog to Create a Free Viral List Building System (↑) posted at Lazy Cash Making Formula (↑), saying, “If you follow my blog closely, you’ll notice a pattern. I post an article on my blog every time I learn something of real value from internet marketers I respect and follow. We all have to learn from someone and it should be from somebody who’s an authority in our niche. Brad Gosse is an awesome internet marketer, a straight shooter, honest and someone I can really trust.
I picked up this little gold nugget of information from Brad and added a little twist of my own to it in order to make it more effective. This method can help you tremendously when it comes to getting repeat visitors to your site.”
John’s comment: Indeed, you can put an email signup form from Feedburner on your site. However, you are very limited with this approach. But, hey, it’ free and it might get you started.
(On the other hand the author uses email marketing services from getresponse.com on his site. I wonder why?
John’s comment: Personally I am not a fan of pretty, content rich ezines but there are certainly plenty of use cases for them. Saying that, I find it a good idea to put those ezines online for public viewing and indexing by search engines. Thanks also for the descriptive screen shots, Mike.
John’s comment: Good examples and guidelines for a brand building type of newsletter. Also with pretty screen shots. Nishada lists and explains six important features of such a newsletter. Miss one and you diminish your ROI.
John’s comment: The article I have picked here is from 2010 but still relevant. After a short discussion Mark calls out 6 way you could send more emails to your subscribers without too much risk of annoying them.
Zach Bulygo, How to Keep Email Marketing Manageable (↑) posted at KISSmetrics - Tips, Tricks and Resources for Analytics, Marketing and Testing (↑), saying, “It could be argued that email marketing is a better and more effective form of marketing. Unlike TV, print, and internet ads, email marketing is opt-in, so people are willing and want to read your email messages. Unfortunately, many companies get overwhelmed and abandon their email marketing efforts. How can you set up an email marketing initiative that is relatively easy to undertake and maintain? Well, cover the basics first.”
John’s comment: Zach provides three ways for getting the creative juices flowing. And he discusses them in context of recent real world examples and shows why they work.
Email marketing is more important than ever. It's a very cost effective means to stay connected with your customers and prospects. And you do not only want to stay connected, you want to build a relationship with your members.
While social media platforms like twitter and facebook allow you to be present as a business, as a marketer, they very often change the rules, … You don't want to be at their mercy. Build your email list. Start now and continue to grow it.
Update on Feb. 8, 2013: All old editions 1 through 27 have been cleaned up. Outdated tips and broken links have been removed.
Email Marketing Tips - Edition 28, Feb 9, 2013
Includes: (*) Use Your Blog to Power Your Email, (*) Power Your Blog from Your Ezine, (*) Email Marketing for Startups, (*) The Permission Gamble, (*) Keep Email Marketing Simple
Email Marketing Tips - Edition 27, Oct 27, 2010
Includes: (*) Behavioural Targeting, (*) Sharing via Email vs. Social Media, (*) Tips to Improve Your ROI, and more …
Email Marketing Tips - Edition 26, Oct 14, 2010
Includes: (*) False idols: 4 beliefs that can hurt your email marketing, (*) Keyword Research for Email Marketing, (*) 12 Email Marketing Tips For Small Business, (*) 7 Books About Email Marketing, and more …
Email marketing is supposedly dead. I love it when I hear people say this, because it usually comes from one of the people that pound their list everyday with a the “latest greatest offer” for that day.
Email marketing should be dead for those folks because it gets old really quick. Think about it, if this is the latest greatest offer, does that mean that yesterday’s offer now stinks. And what about tomorrow’s offer? Etc. etc.
But, if you are taking really good care of your list community your emails will be welcomed. Here are a few ways to increase the open rate of your emails with strategic use of the PS.
Many people will scan down to the PS in an email, just like they do in a sales letter. So why not make yours powerful for pulling in prospects and profits.
For each tip, be sure to include in the PS the link you want your reader to click. (I know that sounds so obvious, but you should see what I see sometimes…
7 Universal Laws for the Email PS
The Law of the Recap - Since many people scan to the PS of an email for the bottom line, this is a good place to review what you have said in your email. Here’s a template: This is what I have for you, this is what it will do for you, this is what I want you to do next…
The Law of Scarcity - Remind your reader that their is a limit to what is offered in the email. For example: only 200 lines available for the call, just 17 slots left, only selling 20 more packages, etc.
The Law of Urgency - Best used when you want someone to act quickly. For example: Offer ends at midnight tonight, last chance to register, register before all the lines fill up, etc.
The Law of Colombo - Some of you will remember the great character Lieutenant Columbo, the detective in the rumpled overcoat, played by Peter Falk. He had a way of waiting until someone thought the conversation was over before driving home a point with “Just one more thing…” So an example for our purposes would be: “And, of by the way…”
The Law of Humor - You are allowed to have fun with this, ya know? Sometimes just to do something different, and spread a little good will, I’ll stick a short clean joke. Just Google “short clean jokes” to find ones you can use.
The Law of Oops - Related to the Law of Columbo, this is when you start your PS off with “Oh, I almost forgot…” and then add in something that will get them to click on the link you want.
The Law of Blank - This is a bit silly, but it’s fun and spreads goodwill. Since folks will almost always look at the PS, every now and then I’ll type in after the PS - “This PS left intentionally blank.” It’s funny because now it is no longer blank. I got this idea from the phone company that used to print that on a previously blank sheet of paper in the bill. I am not making this up.
And so now here’s a way to get many more great tips and tools on a regular basis, on my blog at http://JeffHerring.com
You’ll find leading edge tips and tools for Article Marketing, Content Creation, Traffic Generation, List Building, Online Visibility, Info Product Creation and so much more…
P.S.: Perry writes much better copy than I do, therefore, I save you from having to bear with me and urge you to go over to his site and read what he has to say about Google Adwords in 2009/2010 and why you need to get his book.