While sales and advertising are very important, many businesses don’t realise their biggest marketing asset is freely available.
It will help you reach the people you need to reach, who in turn will spread the good word about your business. And I am not talking about Google, Facebook or Instagram. What is this biggest marketing asset? It’s your customer database – it’s your client list – it’s your address book.
If there’s one thing to do in 2018, it’s to use your customer list to remind your customers just how great your business is, and why they should keep coming back. It will enhance the customer experience. Yes, I know, you’re busy. But regardless of your industry, your customers are only one email away. Email marketing remains one of the most effective forms of marketing today.
Now is the perfect time to send out a greeting for the New Year, perhaps with a special offer. You could also provide an update about your business, such as new location or new offerings, what you’re planning for 2018, introduce a new staff member or send a photo of a beautiful sunrise if you’re in tourism.
Here is a simple 5-step guide to get started:
- Decide to create an email for your business. Decide it is going to be worth spending some time on it. Have a think about what type of email you are going to send, i.e. is it an offer or an update? Think about what you want people to do when they read the email, this is your call-to-action (CTA). Draft your message and think about what type of image you need to go with it. Don’t underestimate the importance of the image – it’s what people respond to first.
- Export your list from your accounts package as a CSV file* if you don’t already have a list in a spreadsheet. Open it in a program like Excel or Google Sheets and go through it to ensure contact names and email addresses are correct. This is known as “cleaning” the list.
- Create an account with a service like Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor, and import your list. Mailchimp will let you create a free account and send out emails for up to 2000 contacts for free, too. Both of these platforms have terrific start-up guides, and email templates which are easy to use and are also mobile-friendly. Check out this post for more.
- Spend more time on crafting your message and your call-to-action. Take a photo (or arrange for someone you know who is good with a camera to take a photo) or search stock photo libraries to purchase one. Read your email out loud. Do a spell check. Test it with others including people within your business and outside of it. Spell check again.
- Now that it reads well, how does it look? You’ll reduce the chances of people reading it if it’s too wordy or busy. Make sure there is enough spacing between lines and paragraphs, and there is enough spacing around the images, too. Your image needs to be close to the top to grab people’s attention. All good? Now, SEND.
*CSV = comma separated values