Talk Directly to Your Buyers Via Branded Emails

Talk Directly to Your Buyers Via Branded Emails

A recent article in Renovation Contractor magazine stated that businesses embracing email marketing enjoy 40% higher revenues on average. For most entrepreneurs, that’s a number that can’t be ignored.

Top Sharing Tool

The world of social media offers an ever-increasing variety of tools and tactics, but the simple fact is that email was the first online sharing tool, and it remains the most widely used.

While many of us use email to keep connected with family and friends, email has also proven to be a very valuable inbound marketing tool for small businesses with modest budgets.

The Money is in the List

The cornerstone of every effective inbound marketing strategy is your database of current contacts. Use social networks to funnel new users to your website or blog, then capture new leads by offering free incentives or exclusive deals. For optimum results tag and sort your contacts according to buyer profiles, matching target markets with the products and services your offer.

On average, 20% of your email database will stale-date each year, so it’s crucial to keep it current by scrubbing bounced addresses and refreshing email contacts on a regular basis.

Authenticating all email addresses will help prevent your emails from turning to spam, so it’s best to ask permission as part of the sign-in process. In Canada, that’s a best practice and the law.

Email Builds Brands

In today’s business environment, email trumps traditional communications. Archaic marketing tools like the dreaded cold call, and expensive print media and postal costs have been replaced with branded emails that are dynamic, direct and highly engaging.

When used strategically, branded emails share targeted messaging timed to reflect client profiles and user algorithms. And from a budget perspective, email is by far the best buy for your buck. It costs marginally more to distribute an email campaign to 4000 contacts, than it does to reach 400.

Tools of the Trade

Smart marketers are using engaging emails to:

  • say thank you for recent work
  • distribute monthly or quarterly e-newsletters
  • email appointment or service reminders
  • send personalized renewal notices
  • promote special offers and discounts
  • invite referrals and reviews on social media

Remember to keep your content engaging so your audience will stay subscribed — and even better — forward your emails to others. Always link back to relevant content on your website or blog. Use a responsive template to accommodate mobile devices, and integrate auto-responders to provide follow-up emails at preset intervals.

The Numbers Have It

Another key feature that pushes email well above traditional telemarketing and snail mail as a must-have inbound marketing tool, is that emailing platforms such as Constant Contact and MailChimp provide unprecedented user analytics. This means you can track who receives, opens and clicks on the content you’re sending out.

As a smart entrepreneur you’ll use these stats to shape and schedule follow-up campaigns to effectively engage your buyers.

Studies show that for every dollar invested in email marketing, businesses enjoy a $44 dollar return. By my math, that’s an investment worth leveraging.

Why You Should be Using Inbound Marketing Tactics to Build Your Small Business

Why You Should be Using Inbound Marketing Tactics to Build Your Small Business

Most small business owners aren’t marketing in the year in which they’re operating — words of wisdom from online marketing guru and venture capitalist, Gary Vaynerchuk.

Many entrepreneurs are still spending the bulk of their advertising dollars in traditional media such as print, radio and ad mail. But as he illustrates, if a carload of people are driving past your billboard, the driver has his eyes on the road, the rest are surfing their mobile devices. So your investment is lost on them!

The same goes for newspaper advertising. Browse through your local daily and you’ll notice that it’s mostly editorial. Gone are the days when ads balanced out the news. Papers are running half-page ads promoting their inbound marketing and SEO services. That’s because we’re accessing our news online and in real time. So why would we wait 24 hours for it to arrive on our doorstep? And why would we invest our advertising dollars in redundant media?

Change Is Hard

To be fair, the online marketing landscape is changing so quickly and radically that it’s hard for many small business owners to keep up.

Those I talk to feel like they’ve got one foot on the dock and the other in the boat. They know they’re not spending their advertising dollars as effectively as they could be, but at the same it’s easier to stick with what they know.

If they’ve been in business for at least a decade, print brochures and newspaper ads, radio spots and ad mail are still their go-to media. And the bulk of their annual marketing spends that are directed by commissioned media reps who push contracts across the desk — or coffee-shop table — to be signed without a spec of strategic planning.

The result is shotgun marketing. The bang can be big but short-lived. The reach can be wide and broadly targeted. But the disconnect with your consumer is real. So one must do this repeatedly to convince a consumer to connect. Traditional media makes it so much harder to convert a cold lead into an engaged consumer.

Change Is Good

Conversely, if your potential customer is browsing online to find a solution that fits their needs, effective targeting can mean they’re only a click or two away from landing on your website and providing you with their email address. Just like that a cold lead converts into a valuable prospect and you build your business.

Cost-wise, it’s hard to print anything – from business cards to billboard – without spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars. If you’re not aware of how much you can buy in online ads and social media with the same amount of money, you’d be smart to find out.

Change Is Constant

Take some advice from someone who started her career BEFORE computers and mobile devices – at work and at home. Never stop learning and exploring.

The internet offers a wealth of resources and tactics to tap into. With a bit of time and tech, you too can become an effective inbound marketer. If you’re part of a team, ask the youngest in your circle for advice – they’re consuming these online tools with their morning cappuccino.

Smart business owners will hire an inbound marketing professional to help navigate the options, develop strategy and roll out tactics that cost less and target better. User analytics will prove where your money is best spent.

So change has come – big-time. Start inbound marketing today!