Email as a marketing initiative seems to have no appeal to most small business owners. While email pours into our inboxes by the hour from the smallest of businesses to mega-brands and retail giants, Main Street business owners dismiss email as a marketing initiative. Why? The biggest reason I hear is because they don’t want to be a burden to their customers’ inbox.
Your Email Message is NOT a Burden to Your Customers (not if you follow some simple guidelines)
If your customer willingly gives you their email address in exchange for some information, in response to an offer, or for some other value, they have given you permission to send them email messages. Your email messages are NOT a burden if you keep your messages relevant, helpful, informative and useful. In other words, if your email serves the people on your list, you’re doing email right.
Restaurant: Weekly specials and discounts. Live entertainment announcements, new seasonal menus, special offerings for those with special diet or lifestyles. Birthday and Anniversary offers.
Massage Therapist: Health & beauty tips for the body and mind. Announce special offers when massage bookings are light for the upcoming week. Massage therapists, yoga instructors, personal trainers, and chiropractors can team up to cross promote each other while building useful and engaging email messages.
Electrician & Plumber: These professionals can team up with one another and provide home safety tips, energy conservation advice, preventative maintenance.
Landscaper: Tips on curb appeal, low-cost landscape improvements you can do yourself, home gardening tips.
It’s a gift when people sign up for your email. It’s a wonderful opportunity to have your own audience who says, “Yes! Send me your info and your offers!”
Customer loyalty transcends price. Being convenient and helpful with good advice and information matters. If you take the approach of being a helpful resource with your email message, your marketing message will be received in the same spirit.
Don’t stress if your emails don’t all get opened. The name of the sender (you) and your message will usually be seen. You’re still keeping you and your business in top-of-mind position. Not everyone is ready to buy at any given time…but when they are, your helpful presence in their inbox will remind them you’re there and ready to serve them. You also stand a much better chance at getting a referral from a member on your email list by keeping in touch.
Email Topics Make Good Social Media Posts
The great thing about marketing your business online is, most of your efforts can be repurposed. A blog post (like this one), can be used in an email and also as social media post. Once the content is finished, the deployment of the message on other media is quick and easy. Each can serve to deliver your marketing message, be shared by members of your audience, and to further grow your list and reach.
Today, a large percentage of people who see your ads in print, your participation in a Groupon deal, or see your vehicle on the road, are going to check out your website. This is a unique chance to acquire a lead ad grow your email marketing list. Your website needs to make an offer of some sort. We call this a Lead Magnet. It’s something irresistible like a discount or some piece of valuable information. Customer interactions of all kinds should include a method to record their contact information.
“There’s money in the list” is the mantra of so many mega-successful entrepreneurs. Why? Because when someone gives you their email address, they are giving you permission to send them your information and offers. We call this Permission-Based Marketing.
A productive customer list is a valuable asset. Your business is worth more to you and also to a potential buyer if you have a list of customers whom you have serves and who respond your marketing.
Statistically, a restaurant email will be opened by about 34% of its recipients. So if you have 1000 people on your email list, 340 people will open your email message on average every time you send. If just 5% off those people decide to come in to patronize you, that’s 17 more tables served. If the average table is 3.5 people and your average check is $20 per person, that’s $1190.00 in sales for every time you send out an email. Does that want to make you double the size of your email list?
Granted, a massage therapist or an electrician isn’t likely to get the heavy response of a restaurant, but the effect will be similar-a few extra bookings, a few extra quotes, a few extra referrals, and A several thousand dollars in extra sales throughout the year.
A big email list can recession-proof your business. In every economy there are winners and losers. Have a big list and there will be a portion of the list who are doing well even in a down economy. Keeping in touch with email is dirt cheap as compared to most any other marketing media.
If disaster strikes and you have a fire in your place of business or if your landlord sells out and you lose your lease, you can quickly reach out to your customers and tell them you have moved into a new location. If you need to make any other kinds of special announcement, you can reach all your customers to let them know with email.
When you have a big email list, you don’t need to spend time and extra marketing cash on loyalty programs, equipment or training. Marketing automation delivers your message and your offers consistently.
Email marketing IS a project. The best way to do it is to schedule several months worth of messages in advance. Although it’s not an easy task, it IS worthwhile.
The good news is, you can get professionally written emails sent to your list weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly for a fee that allows you to come away with a strong return on investment.
To learn more about our Email and List-Building Marketing Program for Small Business Owners, contact us today. There’s no charge for a strategy session.
Andrew Mazer, Founder of Mazer Wholesale, Inc. established since 1986. In 1996, I began marketing my wholesale business online. In 2009, I began helping other business owners market THEIR business online. I am the author of The Business Owner's Guide to Marketing Online, The Groupon Solution, and The One Good Idea Newsletter. Contact me at Andrew@smallbusinessu.org