I am quite frankly astounded at how many people come into my office that don’t already do email marketing. Email has been around forever, yet plenty of businesses still aren’t taking advantage of it.
I know a lot of people don’t want to do it because they feel like it’s an intrusion of other people’s inboxes. They feel they’d just be peppering people with junk they don’t want to see. To that belief I have a point the finger right back at ya. Gosh, what were you thinking? Why would you even think of sending an email with a bunch of crap in it? Yes, everybody gets a lot of junk email. Here’s the thing though, the emails that you send don’t have to be junk, you can actually send something worthwhile.
Email marketing isn’t a virtual stick that you poke people with to remind them that you exist. It can be utilized for a variety of purposes. It can be an amazing compliment for bloggers, it’s perfect for businesses offering regular promotions and when done correctly, automation can help improve your close ratios and free up time for your valuable staff to do other activities. Think about your own inbox: When your favorite store emails you a 20% off coupon are you going to call it junk and delete it? Of course not! You’re probably going to use it. This is a new concept called NOT SUCKING, and it really works.
Even if you don’t currently use emails to talk to your customers — even if you don’t even plan to use email marketing (even after my whole Not Sucking pep talk?) — you still need to get their email addresses. Why?
While you may not have need to communicate with your customers right now via email, there will be a time in the future when you need to. Maybe you will have your own 20% off sale. Maybe you will want to thank your one millionth customer, or maybe your business will have become so successful you need to move to a bigger location. Regardless of the reason, when you come to that point where you need to communicate with your customers you need to be ready.
Start now. You can collect emails from customers, prospects and associates — really anyone willing to receive emails from you. You don’t have to use them right away, but when you do incorporate email into your marketing campaign, that collection of emails will be gold. If you don’t collect emails beforehand, you’ll be starting from scratch.
Don’t buy a list of emails and start spamming the heck out of them. Don’t be that guy. That guy has green stuff between his teeth leftover from lunch and nobody’s going to tell him about it. Also don’t just collect a whole bunch of business cards from every meeting and trade show you attend and throw them into an email list and start spamming them either. Just because you had the opportunity to shake someone’s hand doesn’t mean they want to opt in to your email list.
I am not strictly forbidding you from buying a list or sending out a mass email to people you don’t really know. I’m just saying — be respectful. What’s the Golden Rule? Treat others the way you want to be treated? Yeah, let’s follow that one. When you get a list of new people you want to communicate with, make friends with them first.
Knock on their door and offer a gluten-free dairy-free sugar-free apple pie (who knows what kind of food intolerance they might have?). Or better yet — shovel their driveway. Pretty easy to make friends when you have a shovel or a snowblower and you’re willing to help other people out. Touch base with your potential new friends from time to time and be a friend.
Don’t email them every other day and ask them if they want to buy something. That’s not how you make friends, that’s how you get your domain blacklisted. When in doubt, follow the guidelines laid out by the CAN-SPAM act.
Now that we’ve eased our collective fears about spam, it’s time to talk automation. Some people think that every time you send out an email you have to create the entire thing from scratch. I admit — I was one of those people. I literally had a person on staff that did nothing but create the exact same email promoting different blog posts on repeat…
Then I found MailChimp RSS-Driven Campaigns, and it rained Skittles. I did a happy dance, ran around the office in my imaginary superhero cape whooping and distributing high fives. Then I had to sit back down and find another, more rewarding, job for my human email maker.
You can publish information on your website and MailChimp checks in at set intervals to see if there’s new stuff. If it finds said new stuff, MailChimp will automatically format an email using a pre-made template and populate it with the new information from your page. Then MailChimp automatically sends out your sparkling pre-made email to your mailing list. Pretty convenient, right? No copying, no pasting, no continual formatting just the initial setup and then you get a magic email that sends itself.
Go ahead, do your happy dance. Here’s how to get started with rss email automation.
Every time I see that statistic I think to myself — what type of glitter covered unicorn poop are these people selling via email that has such an amazing ROI? And yet this same statistic hasn’t changed in YEARS.
At MayeCreate we include email marketing as a part of most clients’ online marketing plans. Most of our clients sell services, which can make it a bit harder to track the effectiveness of an email marketing campaign, but when MailChimp (or other similar email services — we are not sponsored by MailChimp, we just like their product) costs less than $30 a month it may only take a few sales to reach a ratio of 44:1. Yeah, it’s literally one of the cheapest marketing activities that you can engage in, and as long as you can get concrete numbers, it can be measured with ease.
I shall now shimmy off my soap box in the hope I have possibly buffed away part of the chip on your shoulder stopping you from engaging in email marketing. It works, it’s inexpensive and if you’re not sending crap to people who don’t want it, email marketing is a great way to generate leads and return business for your company.
Monica is the creative force and founder of MayeCreate. She has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with an emphasis in Economics, Education and Plant Science from the University of Missouri. Monica possesses a rare combination of design savvy and technological know-how. Her clients know this quite well. Her passion for making friends and helping businesses grow gives her the skills she needs to make sure that each client, or friend, gets the attention and service he or she deserves.
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