Effective marketing boils down to this: Find an audience, figure out what they need or want and then deliver it. Email is one of the best mediums to help you do just that. And it isn’t always about selling them on a product. In fact, that isn’t at all where you want to start.
First and foremost, you want to build a relationship with your readers. You want them to get to know you. You want to help them out so they start to like you and trust you. Only then will you be able to make an offer and have them pull out their wallet and buy it.
Secondly, pay attention to your stats. Programs like Google Analytics can give you a lot of information of where your readers came from, what page the landed on and where they were on your site when they joined your list. Your email service provider should also have statistics that show how many people opened your email (deliverability) and what link(s) they looked at (Click Rate). That data, along with your ideal customer demographics, will tell you a lot about your audience - who they are and what they are interested in.
Secondly, pay attention to what your customers are saying. As you start to email your readers, they will (hopefully) reply and get back in touch with you. If they are asking questions, it means that they want more information - and it also means that others probably have the same question. This is both a good buying signal and an indication that you may want to spend more time on this topic.
It can also be helpful to ask your readers for suggestions. Keep the questions open ended if you want a lot to work with. Consider having your readers fill out a simple little survey. It’s quick and easy to do with Google forms or a free service like SurveyMonkey. You get some good data and you get your readers to interact. Having them contribute builds a sense of community even via email.
Last but not least go back and look at the past emails you’ve sent. Pay attention to open rates, click through rates and unsubscribes. If a large percentage of readers opened the email, that’s a good indication they were interested in the topic. If they clicked links to additional content, that’s even better. If, on the other hand, not many people opened the email or clicked on your links, or if you got a lot of unsubscribes, that might be an indication that either the topic was wrong or your language and overall message didn’t click with your audience.
Email marketing is one of the most powerful tools you can use to grow your business - both for attracting new customers and for building relationships with your existing customers. Implementing these tips can help you accomplish your goals. If you’d like some more tips for taking your email marketing to the next level, grab a copy of our FREE Blueprint for Success: Email. Get it here.
To your success!
If you are not currently using an email marketing program, I recommend Constant Contact. It's a great tool for small businesses - easy to use, great list management tools, and helpful metrics for tracking your results. Click here to get a free trial.
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Laura Olson-Oxley is an entrepreneur, coach, speaker, marketing and business consultant, and sales professional. She has over 25 years experience working with small businesses in a variety of industries, focusing on strategic business growth through effective marketing and advertising. Also a strategist, numbers nut, project manager, and life-long learner, Laura looks at the big picture to analyze and recommend the most effective tools to take businesses to the Next Level.