Unless you run the only coffee stand in Grand Central station, or have a similarly located and needed business, you need to be reaching out to potential customers on the internet. Your first step was a great website, and your next smart online investment needs to be driving people there. But how? SEO services (and promises) are bewildering… and you certainly paid attention to organic SEO when developing your website, right? Social media also certainly deserves some focus in the ever-shifting marketing landscape, especially if that’s where your target market lives, but it’s clear that more people access email than social media.
One of the key factors in the lasting efficacy of email marketing is the ease of use and measurability. While SEO and Social Media are important and quickly developing tools, even the biggest companies are still trying to perfect their use. Those of us outside the Fortune 500 are generally looking to invest in more proven marketing methods, and email marketing is a good one*.
Email marketing has been a known quantity for almost 20 years. Constant Contact started the same year we did (1998) and we’ve used it, watched it change, and seen it be challenged by Vertical Response, MailChimp and others. But no matter which (reputable) company you choose, marketers still rate email at the top for ROI*. Why? Because done right, it delivers relevant and wanted content directly into the hands of interested parties.
As usual though, “just doing it” isn’t as important as doing it right. You don’t want readers to see one issue, delete, and unsubscribe. Even more so, you don’t want them to associate your company with spam or poor quality (bad graphics, writing or content). Think about “relevant and wanted content” and “interested parties”: getting this right creates an email that doesn’t just survive, but might be forwarded to other potential customers. Find the sweet spot of being in front of people’s faces without being so “In your FACE!”
Who is on your list? Keep in mind that reputable companies will shut you down if you attempt to spam recipients. Embrace this as a good thing: they are protecting your customers from spammers and demanding better from you.
What’s your vibe? Free education will always get you farther than “BUY NOW.” If you connect and convince, people will remember you when they need you.
What are you really saying? With each email, you’re reaching out and reminding people not only that you’re there, but who you are. Be the best you in the fewest words, and give people a taste of the expertise and quality that they can expect when they call.
If you want to keep your focus on honing your skills and operations, you can leave the eNewsletters to us. Just CONNECT with us and we’ll work with you to create an email outreach program you can be proud of .
*Ascend2/MarketingCharts.com, September 2014.
We at CLC support (and provide) SEO and Social Media services and would be delighted to help assess your needs in these areas. This blog is a response to small business owner questions about eNewsletters and financial triage for online marketing.