Monday, February 17, 2014

Email Marketing

Want to know one of the best ways to keep in touch with customers? The answer is as easy as 1, 2, E…Email marketing, that is!

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to keep in touch with customers. It’s cost effective and, if done properly, can help build brand awareness and loyalty. At a typical cost of only a few cents per message, email marketing is quite a bargain in terms of price and time when compared to direct mail. In addition, response rates on email marketing are strong, ranging from five to 35 percent, depending on the industry and format. Response rates for traditional mail average much lower, barely cracking the three percent mark.

Still not convinced email marketing is for you? Keep reading. Another benefit of email marketing is the demographic information that customers provide when signing up for your email newsletter. Discovering exactly who your customers are—how old they are, what their interests are, what region of the country they reside in—can help you tailor your products and services to best suit their needs.

If you're ready to ready to create your email newsletter, ask yourself the following questions before you begin:

  • Should I use HTML or Plain Text?
    Response rates for HTML newsletters are generally far higher than plain text, and graphics and colors tend to make the publications look far more professional. The downside is that HTML email is slower to download, and some email providers may screen out HTML email.
  • What incentive, if any, am I providing consumers?
    To get customers to sign up for your newsletter, advertise the benefits of receiving your newsletter, such as helpful tips, informative content or early notification of special offers or campaigns.
  • Am I going the extra mile?
    Many studies suggest that email newsletters are read far more carefully when they offer information that is useful to the customers' lives rather than merely selling products and services. Helpful tips, engaging content and humor are often expected to accompany email newsletters.
  • Did I ask too many questions?
    Each demographic question you ask may reduce the number of customers signing up; therefore, it's best to limit the amount of information you solicit or give customers the option of skipping the questionnaire.

Why You Should Establish a Web Presence

Today's business emphasis is on eCommerce. Rapid business transactions and unparalleled access to information has changed consumer behavior as well as expectations. If selling your product online isn’t salient to you, there are benefits to establishing a Web presence for your business. A business website can be as simple as a virtual marketing brochure that you can update on demand with little or no cost. Just having your company’s information available to current and prospective customers can greatly impact your marketing efforts by offering customers everything from pre-sale information to post-sale support and service. E-marketing has lessened the disadvantage that small businesses have faced for years when competing with larger businesses.

To learn more about how your small business can take advantage of email marketing and eCommerce, check out the links below:

Provides must-read articles and information on topics related to eCommerce.

Offers online training, advice on how to set up your eCommerce site, and information and useful links to eCommerce topics.

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