Small Business Email Marketing
Why A Small Business Should Be Very Much Involved With Email Marketing
Today, most people turn to the Internet to locate LOCAL products and services. Long gone are the days when people would pick up the Yellow Pages first to find what they need (sidebar: it is/was very expensive to advertise in the YP). Think about it… when is the last time you picked up your Yellow Pages? The Internet is the first place people look when they need to find just about anything. It has truly become an integral part of our daily lives.
With billions of LOCAL searches being performed online each month, the Internet has officially surpassed the printed Yellow Pages book, newspapers, and other traditional marketing methods when it comes to overall effectiveness. Online marketing has even gone beyond the computer, and mobile phone Internet usage is growing at astonishing rates. The global connection created by the Internet has changed the way the world communicates, gathers information, and markets products and services.
While the technology is fascinating, this global connection has also created problems for some local business owners.
- Local businesses are struggling to get new, and repeat customers
- Business expenses keep rising, while profits are not
- Some local business owners are barely staying afloat, yet they are still not utilizing the power of the Internet marketing
- Some local business owners prefer to spend thousands of dollars on traditional print advertising methods, which are far less effective
- Some local business owners are catching on with the power of the Internet and leaving their competitors in the dust
- Most consumers have traded in their Yellow Pages for a more comprehensive online search
- Newspaper sales are down… everywhere
Wouldn’t you agree that whenever you need information or need to find a product or service your first thought is to go online?
The Internet is the new age marketing “must have” for all businesses. If a business wants to continue to grow and get new customers, creating an online presence is no longer an option – it's a necessity. The Internet provides several powerful avenues to help businesses continue to get more leads, more customers, and more profits. This is great news, but many businesses are being left behind when it comes to online marketing. Their competitors are implementing online strategies that allow them to dominate their local market. If you are not establishing a strong online presence, your chance of connecting with local customers is greatly reduced. Without it, you're just letting money slip right through your hands.
There are different online marketing avenues that allow you to connect with local prospects consistently. In order to really connect with your local prospects and customers, there are several online marketing techniques you can use to generate a constant stream of new business. Connecting with your local customer base is crucial today, and business owners are scrambling for all of the business they can get.
What better way to get new customers than to go where they spend a majority of their time? You may be thinking, “Well, I have a website, so I'm already online.” A website is just one small step in the world of online marketing. Yes, having a website is an important step every business should eventually take to get an online presence. So in order to really connect with local consumers, there are several things you should consider, but email marketing is at the top of the list.
Email marketing is the ideal marketing tactic for small businesses. There are so many benefits to it and so few drawbacks that the smallest of companies are doing it these days and almost all are finding great success by doing so. Marketing by way of email is a lot like direct mail marketing and in many ways it’s like the marketing techniques used in newspapers and magazines. In that way the basic concepts haven’t changed much since the early days of modern advertising, over two hundred years ago.
The concept involves capturing a person’s attention with an eye-catching image or a snappy headline. Once they’ve been lured in… the finer details of the advertisement are revealed to them. For example, you’ve no doubt had an experience (or a few hundred experiences) in which you were flipping through a paper or magazine and were stopped by a large “FREE.” That’s hard to resist. Whatever was being marketed, there’s little doubt the message got across to you because you would have wanted to find out what exactly was free and what the catch was.
Email marketing does just that. A snappy subject line gets people to open the message and then the body of the email will follow through on a sales pitch. As email applications became better and the internet grew faster, the message bodies of these emails became full of graphics and now they often resemble their magazine equivalents. The difference is they can hold limitless amounts of information.
Email marketing refers to any of the email messages that are sent out in which there is intent to gain, maintain, or increase customers. Typically a small business would sign up existing clients for a newsletter, and then every week or every month they would receive an email with updates about what’s new, what’s on sale, and what special promotions are going on.
The great thing about email marketing, and one of the big reasons why it appeals to so many small businesses, is that it’s relatively inexpensive. Compared to the thousands of dollars a magazine ad could cost, the money spent on email campaigns seems like nothing. In actuality, if the email campaign takes a bare bones approach to things, the cost could be virtually nothing.
This low cost allows the smallest of businesses to be on the same playing field as the largest of corporations, at least where the email portion of the campaign is concerned. That’s a huge plus over other forms of marketing. Magazines have already been noted as being expensive, but other ways of getting the message out can cost a lot as well. Newspaper ads, television, and even radio, for instance, can cost more than a lot of small businesses can stand.
Small businesses of virtually any size should join the ten’s of thousands already doing it, and get into email marketing. The question most companies end up asking themselves is “Why?”
Well, email marketing is the type of thing you’ve likely been exposed to thousands of times since buying your first computer. It’s the advertising you receive to your email inbox that comes from businesses you are connected with or from others who happened upon your address (spammers). As for the reason companies should jump on board with email marketing? Well, in three words: Because it works!
That is of course the biggest and most important factor to consider, and there is all kinds of research out there to support the notion that it’s effective. Firstly, every year more and more companies start taking part. At the same time, every year the companies that have already started up email marketing campaigns decide to increase their efforts by investing more time and money into that part of their marketing efforts.
You simply get better results with email marketing than with other advertising mediums. When it comes to marketing effectiveness, the proof is in the pudding, so to speak. Statistics show that email marketing consistently outperforms direct mailing, yielding returns as high as five times the return offered by a direct mailing campaign. Email marketing allows you to advertise specifically to your customers. Email marketing provides for you the ability to customize your messages to each recipient, creating a personalized feel for your campaign. This type of flexibility is proven to be effective at increasing response rates, and you can't get that through direct mailing.
You save money on print marketing expenses when you go paperless. Email marketing allows you to skip the printing and mailing processes, saving your business money on graphic design, paper, postage and handling. Additionally, think about the number of direct mail advertisements that are tossed in the garbage without a second thought. That's money down the drain, especially when you consider the much higher likelihood that your email will be opened and read.
You are able to track your results with email marketing. Very few other marketing methods provide for real-time information about your campaign's success. With email marketing, you'll know exactly how many of your emails were opened and read, and how many recipients clicked on the link within that you may have provided. This puts you in the position to make immediate changes, if necessary, so as to tailor your email marketing campaign for optimal effectiveness. Unlike traditional advertising methods, email marketing campaigns allow businesses to see exactly how effective their emails have been. Companies can do this by logging into their email marketing software and literally see the exact number of people who viewed their message and then the percentage of those people who followed through by clicking a link within the email. The statistics go far deeper than that as well, including things like how many sales resulted from each click.
Those numbers, aside from showing a company that their email marketing efforts are paying off, can do a lot more things as well. These other things are those that make this form of marketing even more appealing and gives more reasons for other companies to take up the practice. The beauty of seeing those numbers so quickly, easily, and clearly, as well as being able to trust their accuracy, means that companies can tweak their ads regularly to see which technique works best.
Email marketing is fast. Not only is it possible to create and launch an email marketing campaign in a relatively quick period of time, but you also see fast turnaround times. Statistics show that eighty percent of your responses will occur within the first three days of sending your email, compared to three weeks using traditional direct mail.
Also, the best reason to get into email marketing is that it’s cheap. It’s amongst the most inexpensive forms of marketing and can be started up by sending only a few emails at first.
Another reason why any business should consider email marketing is the fact that it allows easy targeting of their desired demographic. Everyone who signs up is a legitimate lead.
One of the most valuable assets a business can have is an opt-in list, via their website to capture legitimate leads. What is a legitimate lead and how does it work?
An opt-in marketing list is where a (customer or potential customer, but it's most often somebody who has visited your website) gets an option to allow their email address to be placed on an email list that a company sends out… this is a legitimate lead… someone who wants to be on your list. This is very different from spam since an individual places their email address on your list with their permission.
An opt-in list is brilliant for small businesses because the people who receive your emails are actually interested in receiving them. You can keep in touch with them on a regular basis via correspondence with your business occasional emails - no more than twice a month, usually, and only when you have something of worth to say or offer - which can detail everything from the current goings-on within your business to deals, and offers, and promotions. Many businesses offer special promotions to those who join their opt-in list as an incentive to get on the list, and stay on the list. Close relationships with customers generate brand loyalty, which is what every business owner desires.
Ways to begin building your email list include asking for email addresses as a normal transparent business request. If you have a brick and mortar store you can do this as well. Just put up a sign indicating that you have an email newsletter that gets sent out on a regular basis, and then ask everyone to give you their email address so they can begin receiving your messages. Of course, this works even better on your website, assuming that you have one. You would be surprised at how many people who see a blurb on your website asking them to give you their email address actually do it! If your product or service is good, they’ll want to be updated about sales, promotions, and new things.
Another way to build your list is to ask for an email address when making a sale. This is almost a standard practice of many businesses. Again, this can be done within a brick and mortar business as well. Whether it’s during the making of a sale or while signing on a new client, you can ask for their email address and whether or not they’d like to receive your updates. On the checkout page of a website sale though, this practice is even easier. Chances are the customer has already entered their email address as a part of making their purchase, and so asking them to check a box if they want to receive emails from you is a simple thing. As in the other example, many customers genuinely want to receive your emails and will give their permission.
One more way for people to give you their email address is to offer them an incentive. People don’t always want to hand out their email address for nothing. A good way to get it is to offer a contest or similar incentive. That way they will have to give you their email address and permission to send them emails, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to take part, or win.
Also, word of mouth advertising has always been seen as one of the best forms of advertising around. With email marketing, the people receiving your message can spread the word with a click of a button. It’s already a common practice for people to email good deals to their friends, and the better the deal the more it will be passed around.
Most local businesses are somewhat familiar with email marketing, but have not considered using this method within their own businesses. This is a mistake because email marketing would dramatically reduce their marketing costs while bringing in more business at the same time. Email marketing is one of the most powerful and cost-effective marketing tools that a business can use to connect with local customers and prospects. This can create a constant stream of new customers as well as repeat business.
Email marketing is an incredibly effective method for gaining new customers and reconnecting with your current ones. The costs are minimal and the returns are fantastic. Email marketing gives you a venue through which you can establish your credibility as an expert in your niche. The emails you send should be informative, giving your readers valuable and educational information and resources. When they are ready to make a purchase, they’ll remember the detailed advice you’ve provided them, and would be more likely to turn to you for assistance.
Email marketing is one of the services that we provide… please give us a call.