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. (↑)
As usual the law will affect regular businesses only. Spammers don’t care.
The One Big Chance: The inbox Goes Mobile
It is a trend that people are connected to the Net and to their email inbox more often and on multiple places. You don’t need to wait till it’s raining and people stay at home at their desktop computer. They take their email everywhere, anytime.
That’s an opportunity, isn’t it.
But you need to be prepared for it. Do your commercial emails display nicely on those mobile devices with the tiny screens? If not, change that.
Thanks to the fact that most if not all social media and networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and G+ as the latest star, connect to your email inbox to some extent. I.e. even the young generation knows what email is. It does not main that they like to consume email but email has one big advantage over the walls on Facebook or the Twitter and Google Plus streams.
It’s an archive, one can sort and use filters. It’s much easier to find a specific message in email than on social media
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…
Written by Carlo Leon Guerrero,
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Carlo Leon Guerrero
Despite all of the new ways to promote yourself and your products on the internet, email marketing still remains an essential part of any online marketing campaign. A newsletter is a great way to promote yourself, and your products. Let’s take a look at what you should do with your newsletter to ensure that your subscribers will keep reading it.
Entertaining, and Informative
Your newsletter should be both entertaining and informative. Obviously, you’re going to want to send out sales information to your subscribers, but if that’s all you send out, your subscribers will stop reading your newsletter very quickly.
It’s a good idea to send out entertaining and informative content in each email. If you find something interesting that’s related to your niche, pass it along to your subscribers. Entertaining videos, funny comics, and interesting news stories all make great content for your newsletter.
Of course, send out some promotional information too, just make sure to add additional value for your subscribers with entertaining and informative content.
Clear and Concise
If you want your subscribers to keep reading your newsletter, you have to keep it clear and concise. Don’t make your readers sift through a wall of text to find the interesting, or useful information in each email.
The harder they have to work at finding the useful information in your email, the less likely they will be to read the next email you send out. Stick to short paragraphs and bulleted lists. Be sure that your content is clear, and easy to read, and your subscribers will be more likely to keep reading your newsletter.
If you’re sending out a strictly promotional email, be sure to include all of the necessary information for your readers. If you’re telling them about a sale, make sure you mention any exceptions tot he sale in the email.
Use bulleted lists to give your readers all of the details about your sale. The easier your sales copy is to follow the more likely your readers will be to absorb, and react to it.
Email marketing can be tough, but if you keep these tips in mind, you’ll have a successful newsletter.
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