Email marketing is truly the secret weapon of today’s businesses, big or small. Despite the rising popularity of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, get this: people are still checking and reading their emails!
So if you want to communicate with your prospect or customer, email is definitely the way to go. Before you can engage in email marketing, you need to understand the process fully. The goal of email marketing is to nurture your prospects or people who want to hear from you.
The process of nurturing your leads or prospects looks like this:
Collect prospects’ emails > Use an email list service > Communicate value regularly
This is where your website comes into play. When you have a website, it’s easy to collect website visitors’ emails.
When you get their email address, you essentially have permission to educate them.
Getting Started With Email Marketing
You’ll need a third party provider called an email marketing provider. Some examples – Constant Contact, MailerLite, Aweber, MailChimp and GetResponse.
Email marketing providers (paid or free) let you communicate easily and conveniently with the people on your list. They provide ready-to-use templates and designs for plain email as well as newsletters.
While it is true that your list has given you permission to email them, bombarding your prospects with special offers or promotions will only annoy them and people will rapidly unsubscribe from your mailing list!
What you should do is offer useful tips, advice or ideas ‒ basically the stuff they want. This nurturing process takes time and you can’t rush it.
Simply because someone has given you their name and email doesn’t mean she is going to be a customer today. People don’t buy unless they know what the product or service is. People don’t buy unless they know, like and trust the business or the provider.
With email marketing, you have the opportunity to introduce your products, demonstrate why your stuff is good and build up their confidence in your business. You are slowly warming them up and starting a relationship so that they start to know all about you and how you can help them.
What Do You Communicate?
Communicate real value and this can only be done if you approach it from the perspective of your potential customer.
What are your website visitors’ greatest fears and frustrations? What do they want to know about? Start by putting yourself in the shoes of your prospect or customer.
What would THEY want to see or read when they get your email?
When you start thinking of what they want (instead of what YOU want), you’d be able to create the value that they want to read, see or hear about.
Position your product or service in ways that allow your prospects to be smarter or become, more productive. They could also save money, be healthier or simply have more leisure time if they use your product or service.
Set a schedule
Set a schedule because it helps you plan what you want to say to them. Decide if you want to email them 4 times a year, once a month or once every 2 months.
Some business owners only email their lists when they’re running a sale. Others only email if they have something to say. Personally, these haphazard strategies won’t help you cultivate much trust or loyalty.
Worse, your list will look at your business as a commodity ‒ after all, they’ll only be interested in your products if you have a sale. This means your business will only be perceived as a commodity business where a sale is all that matters.
We switch between sending out newsletters and plain text emails, depending on what we want to achieve with our emails. Sometimes, a plain text email can also do a good job especially if it is an urgent email update like a reminder about an event.
Your recipients will tend to respond more warmly to a plain text email sometimes compared to a newsletter! We’ve always had great open rates whenever we use plain text emails. It’s also easier to craft and send.
When you put your readers first and take care of their needs first, your newsletter will be read. If you keep promoting your products, sooner or later people will get tired of your sales pitch and unsubscribe altogether.
Always ask yourself: “What would I like to read in this newsletter if I were to continue reading?”
When you put yourself in the shoes of your prospects, you will always think of something useful!
This article is contributed by Krista Goon of Redbox Studio, a web design and marketing firm in Penang. Redbox Studio’s speciality is in creating websites with marketing strategy to help business owners increase their online visibility, credibility and profitability.
Krista Goon is an entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience in copywriting and marketing. She also co-founded WomenBizSENSE in 2006, a dynamic women entrepreneur organization in Penang. She was its president from 2012 to 2016 and is currently its adviser. For her work in establishing a vibrant women entrepreneur community in Penang, she was nominated and shortlisted for the Great Women Of Our Time Awards in 2008. She is a board member of the International Association of Business Communicators (Malaysia chapter) and a director for Penang Women’s Development Corporation.