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Here are 4 reasons why you may be putting off starting an email marketing campaign, and 4 reasons why you should get on it.
1. I don’t know what to say
There’s more to talk about in email than “buy my product.” People sign up for email lists because they want:
- Product updates, news on new products, information on how to use the products they have, and how other products can provide solutions in their lives.
- Alerts to deals, sales, or subscriber-only deals and specials.
- Articles about topics related to your product, brand, or company. As a business, you are a community leader with the voice of authority. For example, a clothing store can write advice about fashion trends; a hardware store can send DIY weekend instructables.
2. I don’t have the time or money
As a business owner, you’re concerned about committing to a project that requires staff to run it, or outsourcing to a copywriter or social media strategist. (Mission Suite offers a package to run your entire email and social marketing campaign for you.) But after the time devoted to getting started, an effective email marketing software package can help you organize your campaign so you shouldn’t need to devote more than a few hours a week too it. The software will offer tools to manage your contacts and templates to get you started.
3. I don’t have anyone to send it to
It’s true that the best way to build your email list is through slow, persistent gathering. Do not buy email address lists, you will only be branded a spammer, possibly have your IP blocked, and buying lists may be illegal.
It’s best to ask for email addresses by training staff to emphasize what the list will do for the customer. “You can get coupons in your email if you sign up for the newsletter.” “If you’re enjoying this event, sign up for the newsletter to hear about the next one.”
Other ways to gather emails include:
- Place a clipboard by the register.
- Set out graphically arresting postcards with your website and Facebook.
- Put Facebook and Twitter buttons on your website to drive traffic to the sign-up form (for which your ESP can provide you the code).
- Offer incentives for sign-up like a coupon code, white sheet, or other bonus.
4. I don’t think an email list is an acceptable return on investment
Email lists are a cheap form of advertisement. You can get started with a small list for a low monthly cost, or even free. You pay by number of subscribers, and any reputable ESP won’t ask you to commit to a contract longer than one month.
The biggest time commitment will be the start-up: customizing a template, drafting your first experimental emails, and testing them. Start gathering email addresses now, so when you’re ready to start emailing, you already have a list.
After the initial hurtles, you can spend a little time at the beginning of each week or month planning your email campaign, and schedule releases with your ESP.