“It Always Works!” – Basic Email Marketing Tricks
While the main use of email marketing is to drive traffic to your web site, there are other important reasons that emails can be used in promoting your home business. You should use them, and use them often, as part of your overall marketing strategy (you do have one, right? A written plan on how you’re going to let other people know about your online business?)
Why market with email? Because it really does work. – Email Marketing generated ROI of $43.62 for every dollar spent on it in 2009! And this is amazing!
Strategy One: Brand identification. Brand identification is one of the fundamental concepts of marketing, and you can use emails to contribute to yours. Brand identification is letting people know who you are, and what you stand for, by creating an image in their minds. This is literally gold in the marketing arena. We pay more for Nikes, not because they’re always better than competitors, but because of the image that advertisers have created for us.
So how can you use email to do this? If your business offers games for toddlers, then you will want emails that have a light-hearted touch, with fonts and graphics that appeal to young mothers.
Does your firm appeal to young consumers who like things that are unusual? Or who like funky humor? Then let your fonts and graphics play into this. Are you sending out information about your consulting service? Then conservative colors and fonts should be used.
The tone of the writing you use, and even the topics you include in each email communication are building up an image of your business in the minds of those who read them. Try to be consistent, and reach your target audience (people who are most likely to buy from you) with content that appeals to them, and you’ll see response rates grow.
People Must Like Those Pretty Fonts. Almost 60 percent of e-mail users have the ability to receive HTML e-mail, which gets twice the response rate of text e-mail. In 2009, 90 % of all email marketing was in HTML format.
Use your emails to tell customers about special updates and products: in the old days, businesses put up flyers or sent direct mail ads; now modern businesses talk to their customers by email. This is a highly effective marketing strategy, because Sally may be glad to hear that there’s a special on her favorite skin care product, or your customers might like learning about this month’s best buy.
This will work best if you also spice your emails up with good, helpful information. Are you a Mom who is also gardening enthusiast selling specialized seeds online? Create an email that offers some gardening tips, and people will welcome your updates that come with it.
Use Your Emails To Build good customer relations. This is one of the most effective uses of emails, since if they are used to positively build up your reputation for service and attentiveness, you will see sales and customer retention go up. Customer service is a big buzzword in marketing circles for a good reason: people will simply go elsewhere if they believe that they are receiving better service (or value) elsewhere.
From the autoresponders that you send when clients fill out an order form, confirming that their order was received and is being processed, to the product updates you send your email list, the quality of your communications can go a long way towards creating positive customer relations. Grammatically correct, polite emails that let those who inquire know that you will contact them shortly, and provide them with contact information in case they need to reach you immediately, can be a powerful marketing tool.
Use your emails to answer customer questions, and overcome objections to buying from you. If your emails are polite, answer client questions in a clear, easy-to-understand manner, and give them the information they are asking for, you’ve probably just won a customer! You can also send out articles that help address common customer concerns to bring down barriers to buying from you (for instance, an article in a monthly newsletter that discusses how to fertilize your plants correctly would be a natural for the Mom marketing her exotic seeds online).
This is one of the untapped arenas of email marketing. So many web sites have ‘frequently asked questions” sections, or information on how to find what the client is looking for. Why not use your emails to offer this information in a lively, informative manner? It may be just the push that gets a potential client to click on your site, and decide to buy, if they discover in that same email that you send that you are offering a special holiday discount, or are adding extra products at a great price on your web site.
Use Your Email Signature EVERYWHERE. Whether you are sending an email to your Aunt Mary, or are participating in an online email discussion list, always, always include your web site URL and email address in your signature (unless the online list rules forbid this). This is automatic advertising for your business, and is an effective method of letting people know that you’re online, and ready to receive requests from them.
Send Greeting Cards. If you have a regular email client list, they will most likely welcome a friendly greeting card from you during holiday time. This is a great method of helping them remember you, to wish them a happy season, and to let them know about seasonal promotions.
They key to success with this method, of course, is that these are from your opt-in list; they know you, and have agreed to receive regular communications from your firm. Don’t try this with strangers, or they will be offended, and accuse you of SPAMMING them.
Hold a Contest. You can use email to hold a contest, and to offer prizes to winners. This is one method of increasing interactivity, and to increase interest in your newsletter or ezine. Encourage contest participants to get others to sign up as well-and watch the interest grow.
Create your own newsletter, online course, or ezine. Want people to perceive you as an expert in your field? And to market your online business effectively? Then you will want to consider creating your own ezine or newsletter. This is a highly effective email marketing tool for several reasons:
-It helps you build your email list
-You can place your own ads in it, and promote your services or affiliate programs
-People will see your web site address, your logo, and a link to your programs in each email that you send them. They will open the emails, because you are providing them with articles and information that they want (unlike SPAM, which gets deleted immediately).
By using email as part of an overall marketing plan, you can help people form a positive image of your business, improve customer relations, and help get the word out about your business. It’s a valuable marketing tool that can bring in more visitors-and help your sales.
Next lessons are coming! See you later!