Email Marketing – 4 Reasons Every Real-World Business Needs to Grasp the Nettle
Every real-world business has some web presence and most have a website but many do not use email marketing. Is your business missing a wonderful marketing opportunity by failing to ask customers for their email addresses?
Are you failing to serve your customers?
1. Your Customers Are Online
We all spend an increasing amount of time (and money) online. Your customers are online and are almost certainly checking out your online competitors.
You know your customers and their needs better than anyone else, yet you are failing them by omitting to send them regular updates of your services.
Your business has made changes as it has developed; talking to your customers using email is just another change that you need to make to serve them better.
2. You Know Your Customers’ Needs Best
You know your customers and their needs better than anyone else, but you are failing them by omitting to send them regular emails. You are failing them by not providing email solutions to problems that you know they have.
You have built up relationships with your customers, but relationships are constantly changing and if you value those relationships then you need to follow your customers’ new communication habits: If they want to read emails then you have to send them emails.
3. Your Customers WANT to Buy Local
People understand the value of buying local and of using local services wherever they can. You can serve customers’ needs better than some company at the backend of nowhere in China, but you are not reminding them of that fact, so they will forget.
People still value conversation with someone in a real-world business, but you have to get them into your store first. You can inform customers using emails about new products you sell or new solutions that are now on the market.
4. Some Customers Will Go Without because They Cannot Buy Local
Not everyone is happy to give out credit card details over the Internet. Some people will only use cash or to enter the PIN for their card physically using an in-store device. These customers will not buy the things they need rather than buy online.
These people are your dream customers, but you have to communicate with them and most will use the Internet and email, especially for business communications.
If you are not communicating with customers by email they will not know what you can do for them and will go without the small luxuries that you can provide.
How Do You Serve Your Customers Better?
Email may have been around since the dawn of the Internet, but it is still here and it is the method many people prefer to use to communicate with businesses. Customers between the ages of 35 and 54 have a particular preference for email for business communications.
You need to use email to reach your customers because then you will be able to talk to them whenever they are ready to listen. People read emails on smartphones, tablets and home computers so they will be able to read your messages wherever they happen to be.
Your Email List
The first step is to collect your customers’ email addresses: The easiest way to do this to place a simple sign-up box on your company website. You can collect all the email addresses manually and pay an employee to enter them into a spreadsheet, but most people use an email management system that keeps track of people who have given you permission to email them for a very low cost.
You will also need to set up promotions in-store and in the local press to encourage past customers to give you their email addresses in exchange for a small prize. Entering names into a draw is one great way to do this. The prize for the draw might cost $500, but if you get 2,000 email addresses then it is a good deal for your business.
You can use an email marketing company and autoresponder providers to send out a series of automated messages. All you have to do is to put together a newsletter and it is sent out to everyone on your email list automatically.
Becoming Your Customers’ Favorite Email Contact
You need to have something to say in your newsletters or you will just irritate everyone on your list. This means that your marketing will actually have a negative impact: the more irritating messages you send, the fewer people will want to hear from you.
You need a unique voice that customers actually want to hear.
There has to be a WIFM (What’s in it For Me) in every single email you send. Your customers must benefit by opening them. It might just be a joke or an entry into a draw but there has to be something good, something to make your customers happy. If you can make your customers smile, then you are halfway to solving their problems.
Making the Change
The sooner you put a plan into place to start collecting customers’ email addresses the sooner you will be able to improve the services you provide to them. It will be a long process that you can speed up by encouraging people to visit your website and use the sign-up form on there. Running website-only promotions such as surprise 10% off days or announcing free coffee days will help speed up the process of collecting customers’ contact details.
How will you collect your customers’ email addresses? If you have any more ideas please share them in the comments below.