One of the biggest obstacles that people face when marketing is…themselves!
I can’t tell you how many times I have had discussions with people who have decided to do or not do something to market their business based on the way they feel about it and not on the data presented right in front of them. Every week I talk with business owners who are hesitant to use more aggressive email marketing tactics simply because they don’t like getting “those type of emails.” But after some discussion, they reveal that the emails they do enjoy are from companies they are already fans of.
That’s the point. You can’t hesitate to start an email marketing program just because you think people won’t want to read your emails. Your customers are waiting for you to email them!
Don’t believe it?
Take note of the research. In a landmark email marketing study conducted in 2009 by Marketing Sherpa*, it was revealed that of those polled, an overwhelming number of people preferred using email to get their information over both traditional postal mail and even the phone.
Can you see the opportunity here?
Start Taking Action
First of all, who do you want on your email list? The answer is anybody and everybody! It’s good to start with former and current clients. Do your best to get as many email addresses as possible. If someone has purchased from you before, they are much more likely to do so again. In addition, statistics show that it can be as much as 5 to 6 times more expensive to gain a new customer than retain an existing one. So your email communications serve a fundamental business function right from the start.
But…you might ask…what if they unsubscribe? Good! That’s right, good. Each time a person unsubscribes from your list they are helping to make your list more efficient. I would much rather market to 500 people who were fans of my business than 5000 people who could care less. A smaller, more targeted list is your overall goal, but you can’t know who wants to hear your message until you put it in front of them a few times. This is why you need to start building your list as big as you can from all of your existing clients and contacts.
See the Big Picture
Email marketing is not a single event. Building an effective email list is an ongoing process and as you are doing this, you need to test, test, and retest your email marketing messages. Experiment with new marketing copy from time to time, switch from basic text to formatted designs with graphics, or try a contest to encourage those on your email list to take some sort of action in order to receive a reward. Mix it up and use the data you get to make changes and focus on what works. (Note: Always use an email service provider like Constant Contact or Aweber). The more valuable your email content is to your subscriber, the larger the response. Speak to the people on your list, provide value, and let them know you care about them as past, present, and future clients. Build a relationship with them just as you would if your business was on Main Street.
The Bottom Line
It’s okay if you don’t like getting emails that look like marketing (or even selling). But you are not in the majority. Email marketing works and statistics show it is only getting more effective. If you’re not building an email list right now and using email to market your business then you are losing money. Your job in marketing your business is to actively and regularly communicate with current and potential prospects and email is the most effective way to get this done. If you’re still hesitant, or even confused—hire an expert to help you. People are waiting for your email.