Email is the marketing category generating the highest return on investment (ROI) for marketers. For every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI. But some businesses are still reluctant to take the leap. They think of email marketing as just pestering people to buy their product.
Email marketing can be a useful tool both for gaining business and running one. Integrate your website with your email marketing software. Allow people to sign up for email lists and, using a fancy thing called RSS, you can even take the hassle out of building each email by hand. RSS can pass information from your website to your email system to auto generate and send emails. Tricks like these work great for companies to cost effectively communicate their message.
Keeping a file of potential seasonal hires and subcontractors is a must to fill jobs and contracts quickly. But a digital database of potential applicants you can email automatically takes it to the next level. Add a signup form to your website and allow job seekers and potential bidders to sign up for alerts. Then you’ll effortlessly grow your contacts. You can even sync the email system with your website to send out job and bid postings each time they are added.
When your employees are scattered across multiple states it’s not always easy to quickly make a company wide announcement. Upload a list of employee emails to an email marketing system and open up a fast line of communication. Take it a step further and create an employee portal in your site to house the announcements in a password protected permanent location. Then, set the email system to send out emails to employees when announcements are added to the site.
If you’re regularly adding your completed work to your website, pairing it with an email newsletter is a no-brainer. Creating content for a newsletter is the most time-consuming part, completed projects are great a great way to engage with potential and past customers. If you’re adding them to your site you’ve already done the heavy lifting. Now, automate your website to send all your cool projects out to your email list. Consider sending these same emails to customers, vendors or prospects to easily keep your brand top of mind. Even if they don’t open the email they’ll still see your business name and the title of your recently completed project, that’s the equivalent of an ad in their email inbox.
If you’re constantly clearing up misconceptions about the application or usage of your products, an educational newsletter may allow recipients to connect the dots. Email them out to free up the phone lines. Then go one step further and add the topics to your website as well to create a resource for prospects, employees and customers to find specifications on their own whenever they need them. It’s also a good way to get found on Google!
You could start by shopping for a email marketing service but that’s putting the cart before the horse. Before you can send an email you need a list. The quickest way to gather a list is to export it from your billing software if you have one. Next turn to your own email account and those of your employees. Export a list of all your contacts then sort the list into clients, prospects and family or friends. Before uploading your list to your email software consider deleting duplicate addresses.
Don’t send mass emails from your normal email, you could get marked as a spammer and your email could be blocked from delivery. Not to mention there’s no automation if you send it from your personal email account, and tracking is nearly non-existent. You’ll need to choose an email marketing software and set it up. You can absolutely do this on your own or hire a professional to assist you through the process. Email marketing services are usually online and billed monthly. MailChimp, my personal favorite, is free up to 2,000 subscribers. Other services commonly start at $9 per month and increase depending on the size of your email list, number of emails you plan to send and additional functionality you may want.
It’s a common courtesy to send an email asking people if they want to opt out of your list before you start your campaign. Tell them exactly what they’ll get on the newsletter, how often you’ll send it and how they’ll benefit from your message. You only want to talk to the people who want to hear your message, not annoy your friends.
Continue building your list at conventions, tradeshows and networking events. Ask people if they want to join your list. Ask customers for emails if they’re starting business with you or paying a bill. And don’t forget to add an email sign up to your website, better yet, put it in a pop up ad for maximum results.
Even if you don’t think you want to market via email right now, gather email addresses from your clients and prospects in an organized way. Email is the currency of the web. Think about it! When you sign up for something online, what’s one of the first things you have to fill out in the form? Your email address. Each email you gather from prospects and clients, even if you don’t use it today, can be an asset to tap into tomorrow for a quick, cost effective contact.
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