Yesterday I read an article in Inc. magazine that said 62% of small businesses don’t have use email marketing. Wow – that blew my mind. This got me thinking – do small businesses realize the importance of email marketing? Let’s take a look at a couple of the pluses:
1. Keeps your brand in your customer’s mind
Often times I find that when I send out an e-newsletter a client will email back or call and say, I was just thinking about you. I would really like to do XYZ for my company. Plus, if you offer a wide range of products or services, an email newsletter can introduce them to your other offerings.
2. Helps build a relationship with your customer
If a customer has never met you, you need to build their trust online. How does one develop trust towards a company? You talk about what you know and who you are. Why did you start your company? What is your mission? As future customers get to know you, they will develop a perceived level of trust.
3. Free PR
In your newsletter you can toot your own horn. Talk about that recent award you received. Link to new articles or products on your website. This gives you credibility when a 3rd party thinks your great, too.
4. Email analytics
Log into your email client and view what your customers are clicking on. It can help you narrow your service or product offering. For instance, one of my clients found out that a new jewelry piece she had an email newsletter got clicked on way more than 3 other pieces. This is now leading us to feature it in a new upcoming print ad in a magazine. So, think of your email newsletter as low cost market research.
5. Positions you, the small business, as the expert
This goes back to #2. When people read articles they like and believe in, this builds trust and positions you in their mind as an expert.
Through the above, email marketing can increase your sales by helping you better target your customers and staying fresh in their minds. Plus, as you build that level of trust with your customer they are more apt to use your service and recommend you. And aren’t referrals the best form of flattery for a business?
But remember email marketing should just be one part of a larger marketing program. It can be tempting to put all of your energy into email newsletters, because after all, they are rather inexpensive. But the most effective marketing plans use a variety of advertising – online ads, print ads, pay per click, direct mail, TV ads and radio – to drive traffic to their business.