In this post, I want to run through “marketing by email to get closer to your customers and prospects.” The purpose of writing this is to give you a clear idea of the things you need to implement to have success.
We will run through the benefits of an email marketing strategy. And some of the mistakes I have made over the years that you can avoid from the start.
I began marketing by email in 2005 when I wanted to get closer to customers in one of my businesses. A lithographic, digital printing and graphic design business. The purpose was to inform clients of additional support and services that we could provide.
It was a pretty good result from the start (on the basis that I had not done any before), but it soon became apparent that reaching more customers than before was just “scratching the surface.” The real benefits came when I created a clear strategy of exactly what I wanted to achieve with each campaign.
I quickly moved onto creating an email strategy that spoke to my clients directly. Discussing the issues they faced in their business and the solutions we could provide which increased the ROI (return on investment) from my efforts.
Move forward several years, and thousands of hours of learning and implementing with web design, social media, pay per click advertising as a digital marketing consultant, I now provide email marketing solutions to businesses.
Having got caught out in the beginning when I tried to shortcut the process by purchasing a “valuable” email list from a company; I can tell you that didn’t end well.
Why the acquisition of a database is a mistake for your business!
Sending emails to an audience that “knows, likes, and trusts” you and your business (either through an opt-in system or agreeing to receive information from you) will always be more successful. If you Send to an audience that does not know you is detrimental to your business. Sometimes called interruptive marketing and annoys the audience, which in turn makes you the enemy.
Some things to consider with purchased emails:
- Companies that provide lists sell the same list to as many companies as possible.
- Their focus is on selling their list, not your success.
- Their selling point is that the list of emails is clean (that’s not the same as a list of willing buyers).
The fact is if you have ever received emails out of nowhere (you know the ones you consider as spam) they are bought lists. How do you feel about the email? Would you take action and click a link in the email?
So learning from experience, I decided it would be beneficial to my business to spend the budget on creating a list of emails rather than buying them.
This created two jobs to focus on and attend to:
- Growing the list
- Communicating with the list
Marketing By Email – “The Purpose.”
Let’s get to grips straight away with the use of email marketing, and why your business should be using it as part of your marketing.
Marketing by email has been around for many years and is still one of the best ways to get to customers and prospects.
I Use Email marketing for:
- Building an audience in my target market.
- Cultivating an audience of prospects.
- Delivering valuable information to prospects (not selling).
- Building “know, like, and trust.”
- Selling my marketing and business solutions.
- Sending offers and cross-sells.
If you are going to use email to get to customers and prospects you need to be clear – this is an ongoing commitment to give value consistently. It’s a waste of time and effort to build an audience, send an email and then not follow up.
Don’t fall off your prospects radar
If you fall off the prospect’s radar, you can guarantee your next email will be put in the spam/trash.
Without a strategy that clearly defines how many touch points (communication steps) are needed to implement a campaign. The type of messages you will send, and the clear message you want to convey. You will inevitably lose focus, miss deadlines and lose traction.
The fact is if a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. That means there are no shortcuts; you have to put the work in at the beginning to reap the rewards at the end. If you’re looking for a silver bullet, with a limited input and maximum output marketing system – stop reading this now!
If you have an established business, cast your mind back to the beginning. It took some time to build a client base so that you can reap the rewards. So it makes sense that it will take some time to build an audience and have success with email marketing, but it’s well worth the effort in the end.
Email Marketing Strategy – “A Clear Vision.”
When considering email marketing as a tool to reach prospects, convert them to customers, and sell. Starting with a blank sheet of paper is daunting.
Consider the following before you write a word:
- Who are the ideal audience – Age, Sex, Job, location, and interests
- How will you get their data – web form, in person, at an event, your database, social media
- What problems do they face that you can solve
- The cost of creating and implementing the campaign?
- What do you consider a good ROI (return on your investment)?
Email Marketing Campaign – “The Structure.”
Now that you have completed the groundwork it’s time to start building your campaign. The best place to start is to come up with your headlines, your soundbite – “the subject line’.
The email subject line has one single purpose – to get the email opened. So it makes sense to create subject lines that speak to your audience about the things that matter to them.
The subject line must include keywords that grab attention, summarize what the email is about, and give them a reason to open the email. All this in as few words as possible.Email Headlines 55 characters long tend to earn the highest number of click-throughs.Click To Tweet
If possible get personal by using their name in the subject line such as; “Steve, learn ten secret steps to emails that guarantee new customers.”
Get the reader to take action
Once you have all your campaign headlines agreed, it’s time to move onto your email content. Email content has one single purpose – to get the reader to take action and click through to your web page. The content of your email needs to follow on from your subject line, be long enough to give the reader interest, and have a call to action.
The web page that they land on is as important as the subject line, and the email content in creating a friction free environment (“it’s a no-brainer).
When they arrive on your web page, landing page or blog post, it should deliver the answer to their question. Also giving them the opportunity to either buy your product or service (remember, this cannot be in your first email, you still need to build rapport).
It makes sense when crafting your campaign to bear in mind that each email and landing page should be working your way closer to asking for the business.
Email Marketing Tools – “Making Life Simpler.”
Now that I have explained the purpose, vision, and structure of marketing by email, the real magic begins.
Using a CRM (Customer relationship management system) or email autoresponder system will allow you to put a system in place. A system that automates some or all of the engagement. When you start to craft your campaign, it slots into your system and with a given set of rules can activate the communication to the reader without your physical input.
There is a multitude of systems available today with different costs involved depending upon your budget, the size of your business, and at what stage you are in your marketing.
To begin with, if you are a new business I recommend an “email autoresponder” system such as AWeber or Mailchimp. Autoresponder systems allow you to do everything described in the post above (and more). If you already have an established business with a large database of customers and prospects, it will still work for you.
Choose your system well
When you want to get sophisticated, you should move onto a CRM system that not only manages your customers and prospects. It allows you to automate your emails, as well as to put even greater personalisation into your marketing.
I hope that this post has given you a great insight into “marketing by email” in your business. If you would like more information on email marketing or digital marketing tactics, sign up for my email list below.
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