The Internet has afforded small business the opportunity to connect with their customer in brand new ways. If you’ve got a website up and running for your business, congratulations! But don’t stop there! Email marketing can help you engage your customer and make a lasting impression. Whether you’re a local business, a service provider, or an online entrepreneur, you can make good use of email marketing.
Here are answers to some of the most common email marketing questions that small business owners have, with expert advice from Dave Kearney, CEO of Boomerang Email Marketing Solutions.
Does email marketing really work?
A lot of small business owners are intimidated by the idea of marketing through email and wonder how they’ll make it work. But email marketing is easy and well worth the effort. Kearney says it’s extremely important in keeping your name in front of your audience:“Your business is just a small piece of what your customers are doing. You’re the expert there to help them with what they need,” Kearney said “Email marketing allows you to be in front of them in an active way. You can help them live their life with your expert advice.”
Where do I get started with email marketing?
The first place to start is by building your email list. Without the email addresses of your target market, you’re stuck in the water. Kearney has several ideas about how small business owners can build their email list.Brick and mortar business owners can accept business cards in a jar on their front desk and add the email addresses to your list. You can also use a sign-up form on the front desk and have your staff encourage patrons to sign up for the email list. If you’re a service provider or online entrepreneur, you can offer a free report on your website to encourage visitors to sign up for your list. “As long as you’re consciously trying to get email addresses, you can build a list,” said Kearney.
What’s the best way to connect with customers through email?
“Be useful!” says Kearney. Your email marketing messages should be about information and advice that will be helpful to your audience, and not just a sales pitch. If you send sales message after sales message, you’re going to get a lot of people unsubscribing from your list.Don’t send out promotions to buy all the time! Instead, focus on sharing your expertise. Tips, recipes, articles and advice all go over well in email marketing. Kearney shared an excellent example of how to think about email marketing: “I don’t buy a newspaper to read the ads. I buy it to read the articles and if I happen to see an ad and take action – it’s a byproduct.”
Your helpful content should be the centerpiece of your email marketing messages, with promotions and advertising on the side. Keep giving great content and you’ll be able to build a loyal customer base!