ClickZ – Driving Your SMB Forward With Email
In my last column, I fielded some key and frequently asked questions from small- and medium-sized businesses when it comes to email, particularly in how email should be considered in a social world. Today’s column focuses on some specifics in other areas that any business owner needs to be aware of if they want to ensure email drives their business forward.
What are some tried and true methods that small-to-medium-sized businesses can use for their email marketing program and what are the big issues that we need to be aware of? Ones that don’t require million dollar budgets or a small army of experts?
List growth. The first and often most challenging thing small- and medium-sized businesses need to do is develop and grow a true permission-based email subscriber list. There are no shortcuts and this requires patience. However, savvy businesses will capture email opt-ins at every customer touch point. Retail presences, call centers, their website, and social media platforms all represent perfect opportunities to capture email addresses in exchange for some kind of value. For some businesses it may be coupons and offers, while for a more B2B business it could be a white paper or valued content. Don’t forget to send a welcome email and set expectations of what they should expect from your brand. Think about it the same way you would greet a possible customer walking through your store front or if they call your 1-800 number.
Frequency. How often you send emails is a crucial element to success and possibly, if abused, brand damage. A worst-case scenario is you gain trust and permission (and the potential for sales) from a brand via email sign-up but you send email campaigns too frequently and your recipients begin to have a negative impression of your brand.
Want to check out the who’s who and what’s what of email marketing?
Read The Buzz.
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