Email Marketing Made Easy
Author: Caroline Blatchford - ArticleCity.com
The number of emails which we send and receive each day is increasing at a staggering pace. Despite this increase, many businesses are not using the full potential of emails to promote and sell their products and services.
Recently, I asked one of my team at http://LocalServiceGuide.com to find a restaurant which used emails effectively as a part of their sales and marketing. It was hard, really hard.
Eventually he found an excellent example. The Landmarc Restaurant Theatre in Bournemouth runs a large number of special events. If bookings for a particular evening are slow then Josh Simons, Events Manager, checks his database of email addresses to find customers who may be interested in the event and he drops them a line - by email. The response can be almost instantaneous. A number of events which could have lost money have been saved by this simple and cost-effective approach.
It is easy to see how this approach could be used by pubs with live bands, travel agents looking for last minute bookings, a restaurant with a two for one offer and training companies with places to fill on a course.
Only minor adjustments would be needed to apply the idea to the launch of a new product or service or, as an example, for a heating engineer to offer a special price to customers who have their boiler serviced in the summer.
Now the idea of promoting these sorts of activities is not new and many companies use phone calls, direct mail and advertising to let their customers know what is on offer. The beauty of using email is that it is comparatively quick, cheap and easy to target. The following tips will help you to get started.
• Start collecting email addresses. Ask every customer and potential customer to opt-in to receive your newsletter and mailings about new products and offers. Opt-in email lists are really valuable because the recipients have said that they would like to hear from you.
• Make sure that you comply with all of the regulations relating to storing data and the use of email addresses. Key requirements in the UK include an obligation to notify the Information Commissioner's Office that you are a Data Controller (2006 cost £35 per year), to ensure that, where an individual has an e-mail account, you only send emails to them if they have opted in and every email you send gives the recipient the opportunity to opt-out of receiving further emails from you and each email includes your contact details. For more details go to http://www.ico.gov.uk. If you are outside of the UK, check on local regulations.
• If you are sending out lots of emails, you may want to use a company which specialises in bulk mailings. They can help you to manage your email campaigns.
• Apply usual marketing good practice to your email campaigns - know what you want to achieve, stress the benefits to the customer, monitor results etc.
• Don't abandon all other forms of sales and promotions. Email marketing can be very effective but it should be used in conjunction with other promotional and sales techniques.
If you have not tried email marketing before, give it a go. Good luck!
About the author: Caroline Blatchford is the founder of Local Service Guide which helps people in the UK to find the service which they need. To feature your business on our site go to http://www.LocalServiceGuide.com.
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