The big boys do it, but SMBs overlook it. The sales are in your email list. Use it!
If Email Marketing Works for the Big Boys, It Will Work For Small Business
We're always asking you to think about something. With this article again we ask you to think about it:
You recently made a purchase online -- what happened?
- You received an email receipt for your purchase.
- You received a separate email thanking you for your purchase. Take a look at that email. Does it simply say thank you? Or, does it have another sentence or section that says, 'You may also like' - promoting another one or two of their products. Or maybe it asks you for a review, or something simple like asking you to visit their social sites and follow.
And, if you did check out these products, wrote a review or even liked their social sites - we're almost positive you would get yet another message, thanking you yet again.
In a three or so days, you'll probably get an email asking how you liked the product. A week or so after that, another email just to ensure you are still happy with the product. You may even get an email or two with instructions on how to use the product, or warranty information. With each email, you will also see another call to action to look at other products similar or maybe just asking you to sign up for their newsletter. These call to actions might not be a blatant buy-now -- they may be as subtle as a P.S. - check out our website for more helpful information to ....
Eventually you will receive an email that is strictly geared to selling you something else.
The point is the business you purchased from didn't stop at having you as a customer once - they want you again, and again, and again. They are going to keep you in a cycle of emails until you opt-out or stop engaging with them completely - and even then, they will put you into a re-engagement campaign.
It boils down to three types of emails being sent.
- Transactional - that receipt you received for purchasing
- Relational - the thank you and the follow up emails to ensure you are satisfied with what you purchased.
- Promotional - an email to sell you something else
All email campaigns are structured to do one thing - move your customer from one stage of the buying journey to the next.
Email is the channel generating the highest ROI for marketers ~ Venture Beat
Your #1 priority is to determine how you will monetize a new lead or subscriber once you have them in your list.
There are two email send types:
- Broadcast - an email sent to your entire list, or segments of your list - something like your e-news, or maybe a promotion, or an announcement that you want every one to see.
- Triggered - a series of emails that start after a specific action by the recipient - it could be signing up for your list, purchasing a product, or downloading a document.
So -- here it is:
The Money is in the List
Some will tell you that statement is a BIG LIE. We're here to tell you, it is not. The problem is most small businesses just do not know what to do with the list they have. We can also tell you that no list is too small and no list is too big. The two biggest mistakes businesses make are A) they fail to follow up with subscribers; B) they send all emails to everyone on the list instead of taking the time to learn their audience preferences, how they were added to your email list - did they subscribe, or are they there because of a pre-existing or new relationship (they purchased from you). Remember CASL (Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation): It is important to know how your recipients ended up in your database and practice permission-based email marketing.
It is important to stay in touch with your list because your list isn't a list at all - your list in reality is: people! While a list does not require interaction - people do. People need to feel you value their time, their commitment to you and look forward to being nurtured. Think of it this way. You walk out of one of the many Niagara coffee shops one day and bump into Tony. You haven't seen Tony in maybe 5 years. You stop, you chat, exchange pleasantries, laugh about ol' times and catch up on what's new all within a few minutes. You promise to reconnect and grab a beer or lunch next week. Next week you meet with Tony, you catch up more - you tell him a little about your business in general conversation, but you're not selling to him, just catching him up on your life. Tony may be interested in your product or service, but this lunch is about catching up - not selling. So you promise to send him information about your business -- only because he showed an interest and possibly even asked for it. The next day you send Tony the information you promised and so begins the journey. So why not treat those on your email list the same way?
When you bumped into Tony outside the coffee shop, you wouldn't have thrown a flyer in his face and said drop by my store, we'll catch up when you buy from me...
There is gold in your list if:
- you know how to treat the 'people' on that list
- you can lead them through a natural journey of getting to know and trust you
- you can stay in touch regularly
- you can offer information they are truly interested in
All of this is not hard to do, but it does take time in planning out your messages, tools to allow for email marketing (don't try and do it from your inbox) and marketing automation and a strong knowledge of your customers and their buying journey.
Here's a list of some of our other articles on email marketing you may find helpful:
Why do consumers choose to subscribe to a business’s email list?
10 Tips for Maintaining Email Relationships
5 Steps to Engage and Retain Customers with Email and Social Media
Here is a list of 10 pretty powerful email marketing stats - just in case you're not convinced on the gold being in the list.
Debi Katsmar is a Core Certified Constant Contact Solution Provider and an Email Marketing Specialist. She has helped 100s of businesses since 2007 build relationships and grow their businesses through email marketing best practices and marketing automation. She is a strong advocate for CRM systems regardless of the size of the business to help nurture relationships, stay focused, know who is in your pipeline, and know your sales cycle and processes. Contact Debi to learn how email marketing and marketing automation can benefit your business.