Updated: Mar 27
Let's face it, the world we live in is changing everyday, and at a pace most of us are scrambling to keep up with. The number of stores closing over the past decade is astounding, and for one reason. Today everyone is buying online, and if you want to succeed in today's marketplace, you have to stake your claim on the world wide web and drive customers to you. This is the 2nd most important thing you can do to grow your business.
Email marketing is the one thing that brings the greatest ROI (return on investment) of any marketing or advertising you can do. When asked what was one thing they wish they had done differently on their journey to monetary success, over 90% of all online marketing gurus stated that it would have been to start their email Contact List earlier.
As a website designer and online marketer I can tell you this is the hardest thing I have to get through to my clients. I have one client that's excellent at adding names to her Contact List even though she uses a rather unorthodox method of form for collecting this data. But she will tell you in a heartbeat that the customers who follow her, are loyal customers and buy from her, are the ones on her list that receive her newsletter.
Another client has over 2,000 followers on Facebook and not one name on a email Contact List. I shudder to think what her success rate would be with an email Contact List.
WHAT IS EMAIL MARKETING?
It's quite simple: You collect names and email addresses from every potential customer you come in contact with. That becomes your email Contact List. You only need two things: their name (first and last) and their email address. Most people interested in your work are happy to supply their information in exchange for being the first to now what's new from you. Your Contact List is the holy grail. It's yours, you own it, not like Facebook and other social media where you do not own your followers. If Facebook goes down, and several social media platforms have done just that, your list of followers with them are gone as well.
Email marketing gives you the broadest reach of any advertising and allows you to engage in a personalized way, even greeting customers with their first name. Since the email will remain in their inbox until they open it, you will be speaking directly to your customer at a time that is convenient for them. And every email goes both ways. It's a reminder for your customer that she needs a special gift for aunt Rose or that she wanted to ask you a question. All she has to do is click a button and send you an email.
In addition, your Contact List will ...
Let your customers know what's new in your line of products or services.
Share your calendar of events you will be participating in so they can join you there and maybe bring a friend to buy.
Make your customers aware of any sales or specials you may be promoting.
Build excitement about an upcoming Flash Sale by telling them when the new products will be available and what to expect.
Pass along tips and tidbits such a how-to articles that may be of interest to your customers, providing even more reason for them to open your email.
Ensure that your most loyal customers are in line to purchase your products.
Another great benefit is that your recipients will help you build your business by passing on your message to their friends and other potential customers they think might be interested in your products and services as well. They will then also get your message directly in their inbox. This is important in the growth of your business.
WHY IS EMAIL MARKETING MORE IMPORTANT THAN SOCIAL MEDIA?
Of the plethora of mediums out there ... Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest just to name a few ... online marketing gives you to a much higher ROI and a much higher success rate. Here's an example:
If you have 10,000 followers on Facebook, only 200 or 2%, have a chance to actually see your post. The main reason for this is that Facebook controls the outcome in the news feed in favor of paid advertisers.
If you send out a newsletter to 1,000 potential customers from your email list, at least 950 (allowing some that land in Spam) will receive your message.
That's an incredible difference.
HOW DO I BUILD AN EMAIL CONTACT LIST?
Start with friends, family and acquaintances, and any business contacts you have. Most email marketing companies want you to have permission from anyone you add to your list. Remember, for every one person you have on your list it will multiply simply because they will help you build your business by forwarding your emails to their friends, and so on. To help you get started, you will find attached a form you can print to have at your business or events for your customers to sign!
Once you have your list started, you are ready to grow your business by sending out your first newsletter. There are any number of email marketing companies out there where you can store your Contact List and send out a newsletter anytime you wish. But remember, I said this is the 2nd Most Important way to Grow Your Business. You need to know what the number one way to grow your business is ... and that's to have a website.
DO I NEED TO HAVE A WEBSITE?
The answer is a resounding Yes! A website gives you and the company you are building credibility while serving as a central place your customers can find you and see what you are all about. It's your little dot on the world wide web that is yours and secures your place in the ecommerce world today. Having a website is extremely important, but like the gurus say, if you don't a website as yet, definitely start an email list now.
If you have a website, most providers allow you to store your contact list under Customer Management on the site, and from there, you can send out your newsletters directly to your customers. By using an email Sign Up! form on your website, and you have all seem the "pop up" forms, those names go directly into your customer list without you having to do a thing. There are other providers such as MailChimp that gives you a little more graphic leeway, but in todays's fast paced world, a quick, easy to navigate newsletter is important and the one from your web provider may be sufficient, especially when coupled with the ease of new contacts automatically collected.
SO LET'S RECAP ...
Regardless where your business is at this moment on the success scale, you need to start collecting names and email addresses in your Contact List of potential customers. If you have a website and are capable of sending out a newsletter on your own, great. If that is not the case as yet, get that list started anyway. You don't want to be sorry that you, like the gurus, didn't start it sooner.