Email Marketing: The New Hope for Small Businesses?

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Email marketing can save a small business literally thousands of dollars in printing and postage costs. However, a shotgun approach to email marketing can be detrimental. A well thought out strategy much be researched and outlined for any email campaign to be effective. Here are a few ideas to consider:
Be sure your intended recipients have “opted in”
The first rule of effective e-mail marketing is to ensure your list of recipients have opted in to receiving e-mail marketing communications from your business. It is actually very easy to generate a good list to work from. Start with asking your current customers for their e-mail address and extending an invitation to receive your e-mail updates.

Be sure to include a section on your website where people can sign up to receive your e-newsletter. And, offer an opportunity for customers to sign-up at your cash register, at trade shows, or any other venue which you have personal contact with potential consumers.
Recommended Reading:
1. How Can Email Marketing Benefit From Shopping Card Abandonment?
2. The Ways in Which Helpdesk Software Can Benefit Your Online Business

Use a professional service provider

There are a number of professional email marketing service providers who offer e-mail templates, distribution and even spam checking for a minimal monthly charge. Constant Contact is one of the more popular providers, but there are a number of others as well. Research your options and choose the provider which best suits your needs.

Make your e-marketing piece short with added value to the consumer

Email boxes are literally saturated with junk mail, e-newsletters and various other communications. People tend to not want to read through tons of text. Make your message quick and to the point. Include useful, value added information such as helpful tips, coupons, new product overviews or special offers.
E-newsletters are an excellent method of keeping in touch with “current” customers so your company will continue to be on the forefront of their mind – just be sure to make each and every communication meaningful so they will look forward to receiving your e-newsletter on a regular basis.

Track results

Many email service providers offer the opportunity to see how many people received and opened your e-newsletter. Keep track of this and watch for trends. An increase in opens may indicate your content is appealing and making an impact. A sharp decrease can be a sign that you need to adjust your message. If you include an offer or coupon, be sure to track how many people took advantage of the offer.
Email marketing provides a cost effective opportunity to reach new customers and maintain your relationship with current customers. Just be sure to take time on the front end to properly develop your “opt-in” list, and outline a strategy. Most importantly, watch and gauge the responses you receive and adjust your marketing message accordingly. Good luck!
Author Bio: Gina Smith writes freelance articles for magazines, online outlets and publications on behalf of a number of companies,
Smith covers the latest topics in the business, golf, tourism, technology and entertainment industries.

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