How to Get Started Sending Regular E-mails to Customers


E-mailing potential customers is one of the most effective and efficient ways to grow your business. The goal of e-mail marketing is to send a targeted message to people, from whom you’ve obtained permission, to turn those recipients into paying customers. The message engages the potential consumer by explaining your product or service and encouraging the recipients to make a purchase, usually in a more subliminal way.

E-mailing potential customers is one of the most effective and efficient ways to grow your business.“You are positioning yourself as an expert in your area and building brand authority,” said Ryan James of Startup Savant, an online magazine for small business entrepreneurs, by small business entrepreneurs.

“Email marketing is a conversation between you and your customers, and it’s your job to provide informative, engaging, and valuable content that they look forward to seeing in their inbox,” James said. “Make them smile, make them laugh, whatever you need to do to build up a relationship. It’s worth it.”

Let’s get one thing straight — e-mail marketing is not comprised of you “clicking all” on your contact list on your iPhone’s mail app and writing, “Hey, what’s up? Come check out my business.” It does have its nuances, meaning a solid working knowledge of the process you must go through as the business owner is necessary. Here are a few tips on how to get your campaign going:

  1. Set up a business e-mail address. In order to make your business seem as credible as possible, James recommends setting up a business e-mail account through your web hosting service, or the provider of your website. The e-mail address usually comes included with a hosting account with services like BlueHost and GoDaddy.
  1. Capture e-mail addresses. If you are using the aforementioned services, then you likely already have a website, which is great. Having a functioning, updated website is a basic need of any new business, large or small. Furthermore, James has found that if you have a website and you are not obtaining e-mail addresses from online visitors, you are letting money slip right through your fingers.

“The most important thing is to begin building your email list by collecting the emails of anyone that you do business with and anyone that visits your website. Even if you don’t do anything with them right away, they are always there for you to market to and build a relationship with later,” James said.

OptinSkin and HelloBar are two great plug-ins for websites built with your basic WordPress that create simple e-mail opt-in boxes that will help conversion rates improve drastically in the long run.

  1. Choose a software. Remember the casual e-mail mentioned above you are forbidden from sending? Even that is more work than what you will be putting in with investment in a good e-mail marketing software package. You can save time and sanity with services that will reap exponential returns.

“These cloud-based software applications cost anywhere from a few dollars a month to thousands of dollars a year depending on the size of your email list, but when used correctly they will allow you to make that investment back many times over,” James added. Studies show that for every $1 you spend, you get about a $43 return.

  1. Content and timing are the two main aspects you need to nail to have a successful e-mail marketing campaignCreate a schedule. Content and timing are the two main aspects you need to nail to have a successful e-mail marketing campaign. To choose the frequency of your message, you need to think like a consumer. How often would you want to see e-mails from a company? Probably not too often, or messages from that source will likely start to go straight to the junk mail folder. James and his colleagues agree that e-mails should be sent relatively infrequently, unless you are doing a special promotion. You want to stay on your customers’ minds, but not annoy them — so once or twice a week is probably more than sufficient to start for a new small business.
  1. Prepare your e-mails. Chances are, you’ve known since childhood that you don’t do your best work when rushed. Planning complete, high-quality messages ahead of time will reap much better results. Then, with the marketing software package, everything else is done for you.
  1. Track and optimize. In order to tell if people are reading your e-mails and taking action, you need to track the message’s open rate (the number of people who open your e-mail), click-through rate (the number of people that click the link in your e-mail to your website) and conversion rate (the number of people who visit your website and become customers). From there, you could optimize those metrics by testing, for example:
  • The headline to see if a more attention-grabbing subject would result in more people opening the e-mail
  • The body to see if using their first name in the introduction results in higher click-through rates
  • The timing to see if your customers prefer longer timespans between messages

Now you’re ready to start your basic e-mail marketing campaign. Once you begin and get comfortable, you can look more deeply at other factors such as deliverability methods and segmenting your audience. However, using just the above six tips, you are all set to grow your business starting now.

 

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