One of the basic tenets of effective sales is achieving multiple touch points with your leads - that is, keeping your brand and product in the front of your potential customer's mind, and quite literally, their face. This tried and true tactic is becoming more and more rare as marketing becomes less personal.
Remember the best salesperson you ever dealt with. Did they follow-up with you? Did they send you a follow-up letter (or email) and give you a call? Did they offer relevant information that would help you make a more informed decision?
When we sell products and services online, we lose the face-to-face familiarity that good salespersons are so effective at cultivating. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t establish that kind of trust. One very effective way to do so is through email marketing in the form of email newsletters.
Email newsletters, sometimes known as e-newsletters or e-blasts, are currently seeing an increase in effectiveness. We all use email, and we all appreciate good email. Email from trusted senders, or lists that we signed up for, are especially viewed as more beneficial than spam email, online ads and other more intrusive marketing venues.
According to Custora, “Customer acquisition via email has quadrupled over the last 4 years.” In the report, though email doesn’t convert as highly as organic search and pay-per-click, it’s still the third strongest advertising source, with more return than all social media channels combined. According to the research group Forrester, “Thirty percent of transactions by repeat customers start with an email from the retailer, and an additional 30% type the retailer’s URL directly into a browser.” In an article on HubSpot titled “‘They Said Email Was Dying’: How BuzzFeed Revived the Email Newsletter,” email’s effectiveness is reviewed in the form of BuzzFeed’s strategy that began in 2012. They’ve seen a huge increase in daily traffic and interaction due to their email newsletter campaigns, and the trend has continued to grow.
Personally, I have seen email become a more effective tools over the last several years. Not only do I see a better open rate on the lists I have managed, but I am also seeing much better interaction as well. This is likely due to that inherent personal touch that is one of the strong qualities of newsletters. That, and the focus on quality content has improved interaction greatly, likely due to the emphasis on producing quality web content over the past few years.
The obstacles associated with sending out your news, information and offers may seem a bit overwhelming at first. Can you code HTML? (Those fancy looking emails with embedded graphics and a variety of fonts take a bit of code in the background to make them look nice.) Do you know what your customers are really interested in talking about? How do I prevent my email address from being blacklisted (or worse, your domain)? What is this internet schmiggly-wiggly stuff the whippersnappers are talking about anyway? Getting started is definitely the most difficult part.
First of all, find yourself a good email service (here at Creative California we use MailChimp). If you’re a self-starter, you can work your way through their systems and get your first email template set up. Next, build your list. DO NOT buy an email list from a third-party reseller. Your list should be built off previous clients and future leads, all of which have given you permission to contact them. If you send unsolicited email, you run a strong risk of getting your email marked as spam – it’s very easy for Gmail users to flag unwanted emails as spam – and eventually blacklisted. This means that your regular emails even may not be delivered to various contacts.
Once you’ve got that down, develop good content. Research what your customers would like to learn about. Educate, inform, or just send something interesting. Add some sort of personal flair – nobody likes bland informational emails. Throw in an exciting offer, some links to your site, social media and more, and send away! Your first few emails may not see much return, but over time, you’ll get better at creating them and your list will grow – and you’ll see positive return on your efforts.
Of course, here at Creative California, we are very experienced in sending out emails, building lists and more. So don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation and we’ll show you how we can help improve your rate of positive customer contact, which will result in you closing more sales. And then of course, we can all celebrate and enjoy our cup of coffee.