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What is email marketing? It sounds like a pain. You want to run your business, not spend a lot of time on the computer. But advertising through the Internet has an enormous return on the time and monetary investment, and it can be an integral part of your marketing plan.
You don’t have to chain yourself to your desk or check your phone every five minutes to coordinate a profit-making email marketing program. An effective, affordable email marketing software package, like Mission Suite, can plan your email blasts for the next week or month. Similarly, your ESP can plan your social media posts for you.
Email marketing is easiest and most effective if you set a schedule for the release of your email and social media posts, and stick to it. Customers respond best to companies that have an advertising schedule. Once a month is good for a minimum; any more than once a week is too often.
If you have a lot to say, but want to keep your emails short, consider offering separate types of email lists. Allow customers to opt-in to the product updates and offers email, but skip the calendar of local events, for example.
Target your Customers with Split Lists
Your ESP has analytics that allow you to target your customers based on demographics, hobbies and interests, level of involvement in your brand, and many other factors. This enhances your marketing campaign by allowing you to:
- Track your Facebook user data so you can enhance your email marketing newsletters. You’ll get the best ROI from sending the right message to the right person at the right time.
- Pay attention to who is using your coupons. Can you build a profile of women age 25-40 who prefer to use your coupons on their phones from 3-6pm on Sunday? What kind of newsletter does this customer best respond to?
How to Gather Email Addresses for Your Database
- Train staff to collect email addresses by telling customers what the newsletter can do for them. Provide a script: “Thank you for shopping today at Ombre’s. Do you want to sign up for the newsletter to get coupons and deals? We never sell your information.”
- At events: Offer a raffle or drawing, and ask for business cards or emails. Place a check box on the ballot asking “Do you wish to receive the newsletter?” Offer an incentive such as a bonus download or information sheet.
- From a mailing list: If you already have been sending a customer direct mail, then that established business relationship is legitimate to allow you to send them email. However, it is not legal to put customers on the email list because they have bought a product or you have sent them another type of transactional email. Always allow customers to double-opt in! And include clear unsubscribe information on every email (it’s the law!).
- Hand out graphically attractive, postcard-sized calling cards to promote events, a new line, or anything noteworthy. Include links to your website and social media.
- Place an email sign-up form on your Facebook, Twitter, and website.