Tried, tested and been around for ages, the good old way of communicating with your customers via email is probably still the best way of connecting with them, specially if you are looking at a long-term relationship as you grow your small business.
You might ask why in the age of social media and lightening communication that can reach millions in a minute, must you rely on snail mail to deliver your message to a limited number of people?
There are many good reasons for this but let’s just start with my own experience.
My email marketing in a way started many years ago when I started telling my friends about my newfound passion. “Are you looking for a summer dress?” is what I wrote when I sent them individual emails. No brand name, no social media handles, no email platform. Just simple communication using gmail which brought me my initial business. I got more business through word-of-mouth as friends forwarded my email to their friends and the going was good for about a year after which things started slowing down and I knew it was time to reach more potential customers.
Besides giving my clothing a brand name and adding a social media presence, I started participating in markets and shopping bazaars around Hong Kong. I used an ordinary visitor’s book at the fairs where I asked interested customers to write down their email address so I could keep them updated on new styles. This was the unconscious beginning of my Email marketing database.
Today that list has grown to a sizeable database that is managed by an email marketing platform. I have created a decent newsletter template and send out this newsletter twice a month to my audience giving them news, interesting findings and updates on my events. As the business of email marketing has rapidly expanded, people are getting more and more wary of receiving “news” that they don’t need. But this also tells you that if they are regular subscribers then they are definitely interested in you and your brand. Today or tomorrow the interest to sale conversion will happen. And till then you need to continue to arouse their interest through high quality, meaningful and valuable content.
Let’s look at some other reasons why you should invest in Email Marketing –
- Top of Mind – Being consistently visible to your audience through regular newsletters will keep you on top of their minds if ever a need arises. Remember to offer genuine value if you wish to increase or even retain the database. Top of Mind can also lead to word-of-mouth advertising.
- It’s cheap – There are many email marketing platforms like Mailchimp, Mailerlite and others who offer the initial minimum number of subscribers or a limited number of emails free of charge! Use these free tools and others to get started and dive straight into your customer’s inbox.
- Relationship marketing – Have you been an email subscriber of a brand that talks to you regularly, gives you life hacks, sends you updates on latest offerings, makes you feel good about yourself? This is called relationship marketing wherein the business or brand creates a long-term meaningful relationship with a customer. Its always easier and cheaper to get a repeat purchase than find a new customer.
- Personalisation – You can now send personalised emails to different customer segments based on their specific tastes and interests. Email marketing platforms allow you to create these lists separately thus offering you an opportunity to create meaningful content that talks directly to your customer making them feel valued.
- Build your credibility – Writing professional emails using your official email address and offering a permission-based list with an opt-out option for subscribers ensures that they build trust with your brand and the value that you provide.
- Increase in sales – Building this relationship over time with your subscriber can help increase sales as it makes it easy for them to purchase from a known brand whom they can trust and can talk to at the touch of a button. You can sell to prospects, boost referrals, engage with loyal customers and even touch base with those who have not purchased from you in a while using different touch-point options built into these email platforms.
- Database is your asset – Last but not the least this database is your own. You do not have to depend on external social media platforms to build your followers who can suddenly disappear based on the whims and fancies of the bots and social media platforms. The database that you slowly build as you grow your business can become an important asset, one that you can leverage if you ever have to sell or transfer your business.
So now can you think of an excuse to NOT start Email marketing? 🙂