Do you have a way to consistently communicate with your prospects and customers? Creating an email newsletter or ezine is an extremely cost-effective way to remind people about your company and your products.
The US Direct Marketing Association estimates that permission-based email marketing provides a return on investment (ROI) of over 4500%. In other words, every $1 spent on email marketing results in $45 in sales. That is more than double the ROI of the next most effective marketing method, direct mail.
How does one take advantage of this inexpensive and effective marketing method? Here are a couple of pointers:
The most basic elements of an email marketing system are a mailing list and a newsletter. Get people to subscribe to the newsletter, and that’s half the work done.
A newsletter helps keep your customers and prospects aware of you. Every time they receive a newsletter, they at least have to decide whether to keep it or delete it. It reminds them that you exist.
Your newsletter should be published on a schedule, regular as clockwork. You’ll need to decide whether you want to publish it once a week, twice a month or once a month, or on some other schedule. This depends on your business and your customers. Too often, and they might get overwhelmed; too seldom, and they’re likely to forget who you are.
You need to collect email addresses. The easiest way to do this is on your website. You’ll need a simple form which asks for the visitor’s name and email address. You can ask for more information if you like, but the more you ask for, the fewer subscribers you’ll get. At this stage, you want as many subscribers as possible.
You need to offer something of value in exchange for your visitor’s email address. Your newsletter alone could be valuable – maybe it’s “chock-full of special offers, subscriber-only discounts and special 2-for-1 vouchers“. You might offer them a free consultation or a useful report or white paper.
Use an autoresponder service to automate the process of adding names and email addresses to your database, and just as importantly, to handle unsubscribe requests.
You may find it valuable to segment your list. That might mean that you maintain different lists for prospects and customers. You can still send them the same newsletter, but you might want to send out special offers to customers only.