When social media took over the world in a quiet revolution, the business world was not quite ready for the results and the things it was about to experience. However, given the resilience it has shown since time immemorial, it proved to be just what they need to upgrade, cut costs, and at the same time reach a larger audience.
A new dawn
The thing is that social media transformed small local companies into regional empires. This was done through market research through the social media, feedback through the same channel and of course a huge operational capital. Nevertheless, one mode of marketing that came with this hype stood out – email advertising or marketing.
Can Sun Tzu’s art of deception work here?
No, not in my opinion, certainly! He believes that warfare is built on deception and maybe if he were to launch an email marketing campaign, he might succeed in the start but in email marketing, deception does not bring you far. This is what you need to know right from the start. Remember to toss that Art of War book into the fire before you even think of stepping into email marketing!
How does it work?
The questions on many people mind are; what is this and how does it work? Email marketing is a process of marketing your company, its services, and products to your clients, and non-clients through email to keep you relevant and in business. This is done by using a licensed email marketing company who hold lists of customers who have permitted them to send email to them for marketing purposes and your client list, which you can give to them if you choose.
What these companies do is that they draft emails containing the information you want and they have software that can send such email in bulk form to the lists they have. How do you achieve your goal in marketing this way?
1. Reach out to your clients (Don’t deceive!)
The best way to do this is to reach out to your clients by having an opt-in form, which they will fill out and allow you to talk to them through email. On this page, the best thing you can do is sell the convenience of the idea, show them how email advertising which in this case you will call email correspondence with them will save their time and will keep them ‘in the know’ when anything changes.
This page is called a subscribe page and should be on your website such that you get bio data on your clients which will help you get to know your clientele well and even know how best to handle them. Create a profile that is presentable and once you have your lists you can approach a company that does such marketing, and it will use your lists and theirs to make a difference in the marketing world for you.
Basically, do not simply perform email marketing on your clients forcefully with those deceptive tricks such as sending them emails about your promotions and what not without their prior approval.
2. Send interesting catalogues (Don’t scam!)
Your clients’ subscription will remain relevant only if you send them relevant and informative information. You should do this carefully and once in a long while or when need arises, like new stock, sale or a new promotion such that you do not make your clients unsubscribe due to too much junk mail.
Send a neat, color-balanced catalogue detailing the different discount combinations or ranges for every item on the catalogue. What this does is that every time your clients see an email from you, they will find it relevant and actually read the catalogue or better still buy the products.
This catalogue should seek to educate, entertain, or even provoke your clients thinking by asking their opinion on something that is going on in the society or what they think you should change in your product, such that it servers as customer feedback as well as advertising.
3. Email frequently, but keep it relevant (Don’t spam!)
Your lists will be vital in this venture; you will be in a position to know which people you can email frequently without risking people revoking the subscription. This is how you do it, keep it interesting by capturing the imagination of the buyer through good offers and other information.
This way they know that your catalogue means good information that might help them as a person or help someone they know. Research also shows that if your business is established and well known for exemplary service then you are most likely to have loyal subscribers who will not spam your emails or trash them.
This all boils down to knowing your client, read their replies if any or their comments and you will be in a position to know how well your company will be received or is being received by the masses.
Dan Ogden, the author of this post, works at Target Audience Online, a company that provides targeted email marketing services. Besides claiming to be a massive technology fan, he also has a passion for teaching.