Build Relationships with Email Marketing

If you’re not using email to keep in touch with your customers, you’re missing out on the most effective marketing tool available. Take charge with these simple steps.

As a small business owner, your ability to forge close relationships with your customers is a significant competitive advantage. One of the best ways to maintain these relationships is with email. In fact, a survey from online marketer Ascend finds that email remains the most effective type of digital marketing—and the least difficult to execute.

Here’s how to make the most of this powerful tool:

  • Start with a strategy. Ask yourself what you want it to achieve, says Mark Orton, of Riverside Business Coach, a Hudson, NY-based business consultancy. Are you drawing potential customers into your store? Announcing new products? Driving traffic to your ecommerce website? Each of these requires a different approach to motivate your readers to perform a specific action. Once you have a strategy, decide on frequency, subject matter, and style.
  • Build great lists. Make clear to your customers what they are signing up for "Building a Key Marketing Asset: Your Email Database". Wherever you request customer email addresses—on your website, in printed material, or in your place of business—include a brief description of what subscribers should expect to receive, whether it’s discounts or other promotions, advice, or news. As your list grows, you might consider segmenting—sending different information to different groups based on their interests. You can even use your mailings to ask people what they want to hear from you.
  • Develop your content. You must continue to capture your customers’ attention, so don’t wait too long between mailings. Develop a frequency or “cadence” that fits your schedule and your readers’ expectations—not so frequent as to be intrusive, nor so rare that your company falls off the radar. Orton suggests creating an editorial calendar, so you can take advantage of upcoming events or seasonal demand. Also: don’t focus too much on selling. “The worst thing you can do is think of email as a sales opportunity,” Orton says. “It’s really about developing and deepening your relationship with your customers.”

     

Email is a powerful communication tool for businesses of any size to remain in touch with their customers. Optimum Online Ultra 60 and Ultra 101 packages let you enhance your business’s image with up to 15 personalized business email addresses for everyone in your company.