In the pre-Internet days, communicating with your customers took a whole lot more effort. You had to plan a promotion, create the marketing piece, print out address labels and attach them to the marketing piece, head to your post office and buy a bulk mailer or buy individual first class stamps and stamp each piece individually. Then drop everything into the mail. The whole process could take anywhere from several days to several weeks, depending on your use of graphic designers and printers.
But then the Internet rolled around, and everyone jumped on the bandwagon of email. Email is a quick form of communication that allows you to send anyone anything at little or no cost. Of course the problem with email is because of its low cost, everyone does it. It’s not uncommon for someone to get several hundred email a day.
With that kind of incoming messaging, your communications have little to no chance of making it through â€“ and creating the sale â€“ unless you provide your customers strong value and they anticipate and even wait for your arrival.
As a part of your marketing strategy, consider the following when building a campaign.
1. Don’t just send email because of its value to you. Give your customer the value. What do they want to know? What do they care about? They don’t care about the details of your business. They care about how your business affects their lives.
2. Send email on a regular, anticipated time interval. Tell your customers when to expect email from you, and what to expect in the email. “Sign up for my weekly ezine in which I provide you with simple 5 minute tips on organizing your home office.” This gets straight to the point, tells people when they will receive your information, and how they can use your information. People can decide before they sign up if this type of correspondence is for them.
3. Don’t overwhelm your customers. Different industries have different email patterns. If you are emailing to a consumer, they may only open up personal email once or twice per week. If you send one or two email per day, you’ll quickly overwhelm your customer, causing her to opt out of your email. If you email business owners, they may appreciate daily correspondence, and like quick tips to start out their day. Find out what your customer prefers, test your responses often, and give them what they want.
4. Don’t forget about the mail. Just because email is a great system thatâ€™s inexpensive to use, don’t forget that snail mail can be equally effective. Try working the two together. Email your customers to watch for a new promotion you’re about to put into the mail. Send out your postcard. Then email a week or so later asking if they received the postcard, and giving them further incentive to make contact with you.
5. Instead of emailing people with all of your information, offer them choices. Autoresponders are a great way of emailing people only the information they are truly interested in. If you have a new product coming out, give them a chance to sign up on another list that will provide more information. They will receive a variety of emails based on this new product, and their desire for your information.
Above all, keep trying. If something doesn’t work, look at the possible reasons why. Is it your timing â€“ maybe it’s a holiday. Is it the message â€“ refine the way you say it. The important thing is to be consistent, and be willing to change to reach your fullest potential.