Email marketing for small business is seriously by far, the most powerful and least costly method around. It is very easy to build a list of customers and potential customers, particularly from your website.
By building a relationship with your customers, they will get to trust and know you and more likely to buy from you again and again and email is a great way to do it.
At its most basic and at no cost, start with and excel spreadsheet, but I highly recommend you use an email database management system like Aweber. I personally use this in my business and it is very cost effective and relatively easy. It also comes with the ability to send newsletters.
The topic of email marketing, creating lists and communicating with your lists is huge, but here are a few tips to get you started:
Use your list right away
One of the biggest mistakes people make is to focus on building the list and neglecting communicating with the list. Make sure you begin building that relationship with your subscriber right away. Send them a welcome message. Send them value in the form of links, downloads and information. You may want to have an email template that brands your business, but if not, text is OK. In fact, text gets through most spam filters.
Create a communication plan
Make sure you’re communicating with your subscribers on a regular basis. An autoresponder is a wonderful tool because it enables you to create and schedule your messages in advance. You can basically set up all of your email messages on auto pilot – do it once and when someone is added to your list, they all receive the same messages in the same sequence at intervals you set. Aweber also does this.
Each new subscriber can receive the same messages in the same order, regardless of when they signed up. This gives you control over the relationship-building process and it is completely automated. You only need to set it up once. Also remember to offer valuable content, not just promotional messages.
An autoresponder automates the process, including the subscribe and unsubscribe management. You don’t need to hire anyone to manage the task for you. Your time is free to build your business in other ways.
Partner with others to grow your list
Once you have your list building and management process smoothed out, consider partnerships. You can really boost your subscribers by partnering with other relevant business owners. For example, the website owner who markets to pet owners might partner with a website that sells pet toys. They can help market your opt-in list by including a link to your form in their newsletter and vice versa. You can support each other to succeed. I do this successfully on my travel blog.
Your list can mean the difference between thousands of prospects. It really can launch your business. If you don’t have list, start creating a plan to build one. You’ll be glad you did.