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The Basics of Email Marketing

Email marketing can be a versatile and cost effective way to boost customer retention and increase sales.

Create an Image for Your Company

Email is an effective means of communications, and many people prefer email to other forms of communicating, online or otherwise. Advertisements are often lost in traditional mail because most people review their mail once a day and retain only what they think is important. Ads are usually glanced at and dumped into the recycling bin. Consumers typically check their email several times a day and often save emails to read later. Your advertising has a higher probability of being read when you use this low cost tool.

Use marketing emails to deliver special offers, announcements about your business, and comments that detail your expertise. You could take a national news story and explain how your business is involved in that trend and include a discount for those who act now. Email offers the advantage of immediacy, so it is always wise to include a link to your site where customers and potential customers can learn more. It also creates a lasting impression so be sure that your grammar and punctuation is correct.

Go Slow With Email Marketing

While most people read email and few mind receiving emails from local businesses or companies they do business with, too many emails creates fatigue. Daily emails are probably too frequent, and quarterly emails are probably not frequent enough. Somewhere in the middle is just right for you. Restaurants may find success with weekly emails that include notes about specials. Yoga studios may find that a monthly email reinforces their brand without bombarding customers with too much news.

Many small businesses use a service such as Constant Contact or iContact which maintains the mailing list for them and allows them to focus on content rather than the technical details of email marketing. To do it yourself, you will need to include an opt-out feature in every marketing email that you send and you will need to devote time to managing the list.

Use email to keep in touch with existing customers and potential customers for a very low cost. You may find this is the most cost effective way to reach your audience.



Michael Carr is a small business expert who has been involved in the successful development of three small businesses.