When you decided to create an online business you inevitably also decided to get into Internet marketing. It can be frustrating at times when you realize that there seems to be so many things to learn about it. It can even be overwhelming especially if you try to download and read every latest tip and trick that gets into your inbox. The good news is that you don’t have to get into every type of Internet marketing strategy. One of the best and still quite effective ways to market online is email marketing.
Email marketing is simple. It allows you to initiate, establish, nurture, and sustain an ongoing relationship with your customers. In many ways it is similar to traditional direct marketing but with the added advantage of being a lot less expensive. There are no stamps, paper, return envelopes and printing costs that you had to contend with in classical direct marketing. And yet you can still reap the same benefits or maybe even more.
Email marketing can be used as both pre-sale and post-sale activities. One key to developing a relationship with your subscribers is to give them free information that will educate them about your product. This builds a trust relationship with your potential buyers and you establish yourself as a credible and authoritative source of information they are looking for. Once you get them to buy, you can increase their life-long value as a customer by continuing to nurture your relationship with them through email marketing. Provide them news, give them loyalty incentives, and send them thank you notes from time to time.
Here are six ways to make email marketing more effective.
1. Use an Autoresponder
Sending out emails one by one is not only a tedious process, it is counter-productive and does not make use of your time effectively. Even just the simple process of responding to initial inquiries can prove to be time-consuming. Moreover, your working time is limited but your business may be round-the-clock. Good thing there is such a thing as autoresponders. An autoresponder is an email marketing software that allows you to send emails automatically to your mailing list be it small or big. You can set it so that it will be triggered whenever a customer contacts you or you may set it to send out a series of emails on a scheduled basis. You may even set it to send notices to your clients on a regular basis. There are many creative ways to optimize the use of autoresponders and they greatly ease the burden of email marketing especially if you have a continuously growing list.
2. Append a Professional Email Signature
An email signature is that information that you usually see on business emails which contains the sender’s contact information. To make your emails look professional, you should append your professional email signature at the end of your emails as well. Most autoresponders allow you to set this as part of a template so that every email that it sends contains your signature at the end. Not only does this provide free advertising for you, it also gives your email recipients a quick way to contact you if they find a need to do so.
3. Start a Newsletter
The value of a newsletter to email marketing is the way that it creates regular communication with the people in your email marketing list. By getting them used to receiving valuable information on their inbox from you, you condition them to anticipate your emails after sometime. This way, it makes it easier for you to send them an email that promotes your business and your products in a way that they will be willing to open and read. It may seem to be difficult to produce a full newsletter every month but if you have the resources and the capability to do so, it will be worth the effort. If not, a weekly short news update or an email with an article containing a valuable piece of information for your customers may suffice. You may also consider outsourcing it to freelancers. Just give them what information you want to send out and they can craft an article email for you.
4. Work with Affiliates
In email marketing, an affiliate is sometimes also called a signature buddy. Choose someone whose business does not compete with your own. In a nutshell, what you do is you ask your signature buddy to append your web address below their own signature whenever they send out an email marketing campaign. In return, you also do this with their web address added below your signature in your own campaigns. This way, you get advertised for free to your affiliates’ mailing list while they also get advertised to yours.
5. Enhance Your Campaigns with Coupons
Whatever it is that you are trying to promote or sell through email marketing, coupons will help you double your success rate in getting people engaged. With coupons you can entice your email recipients to go to your website, read more about your product, or practically get them to participate in any call to action by offering them to redeem a special offer through your coupons. Time and again, even in the offline world, coupons have proven to be great promotional tools for increasing business and sales.
6. Express Gratitude with Thank You Notes
Lastly, a note of gratitude is always a welcome gesture. This shows your customers that you value and appreciate your relationship with them. By sending them a thank you note whenever they buy from you, you reinforce an image that you are not just a sale-hungry company but a professional seller with a personal and human side.