If you haven’t tapped into effective email marketing for your business yet, you are missing out on one of the most powerful ways to develop a relationship with your past, present and future clients.
The strongest lead any business has comes from referrals and email marketing is a great way to stay top of mind for past clients and our personal/professional networks.
Before getting into ways to jumpstart your email marketing, we need to look at common mistakes people make when developing a relationship through email:
- Generic Newsletters. The most common mistake we see is signing up for “canned” email services that produce the content for you. There is no shortcut to developing a relationship with customers, it is like any relationship in your life. People know when they are receiving genuine, thoughtful content and when it’s just from some paid service.
- Another common mistake we see is that businesses are trying to just talk about themselves and get information out about their company or organization, rather than providing the recipient with something of value to them. Do you have a friend who always talks about himself or herself when you are with them? Probably not. Because you don’t want to be friends with someone like that.
- Lack of strategy. Even in the largest corporations, we see that most people are running around putting out fires and never put a lot of thought past the next email they are sending. This lack of strategy is what separates the good from the great in the world of email marketing. If you plan to succeed and have a strategy to follow, your chances for success are that much greater.
- Finally there is always poor design or too much content. Tell me what you want to tell me in less than 10 seconds, if I want to know more, I will click to read more. Remember, not everyone is going to be in the mood to read every email you send. However, if they can tell what you are sending them has value to them, they will still stay engaged with your emails in the future. You develop a trust that what you are sending is worth considering reading.
Of course, email marketing isn’t effective if you don’t have anyone on your list of people to email. We find that either businesses have tried unsuccessfully to utilize email in the past due to the reasons above, or, they have never tried reaching out to their past clients and in many cases, they are sitting on a goldmine of email contacts and don’t even realize it. There are three places to look for untapped contacts.
SOURCE 1: PAST CLIENTS
We find that some of our clients have email addresses collected in some fashion, but have never done anything with them. Usually they are stored in a database of past sales or sign ups. We also find that people have stacks of business cards they have collected, but never done anything with.
SOURCE 2: BUSINESS EMAIL ACCOUNT
One of the best places to start is by exporting all of your email contacts into a CSV file (this can be done using outlook, gmail, etc). Once you have all your contacts exported, you can go through them and take anyone out that you feel wouldn’t want to hear from you. This is a great way to jumpstart your list.
SOURCE 3: LIST PURCHASING
List purchasing has varying levels of success, the key is knowing if you have a very niche target audience. For example, we recently collected all of the email addresses for Division 1 College swim coaches in the US and emailed them for one of our clients that provides a training facility for teams. It produced a 40% open rate and 6 teams inquired about booking travel to our client. We then paid to send a sponsored email blast out to all swim teams through a publication and produced an additional 9 leads. These two emails within one week alone produced a total of 15 leads, which is 115% of the total leads for all of last year!