As a small business owner, you might not think you have the time or the know-how to create an email marketing campaign. It’s an extra hat when you already wear so many and it takes a touch of technical, writing and design skill.
Well, you’ve got little excuse on the technical front. Modern email marketing programs like Mad Mimi make it a lot easier to create and monitor your campaigns. I promise. If you don’t believe me, check it out yourself.
What if email marketing was a gift?
Would it make it easier if you thought of your email marketing as a gift to your customers? Like a little extra bonus just for being your fan. Email campaigns keep your brand in the minds (and inboxes) of your most valued client base, and create a platform for engagement, entertainment and best of all, increased sales.
When you think about your marketing as a gift, it can takes the edge off. Let’s say you’re an artist who’s a full-time mom. You love your art. You have a unique style and unique voice and a small group of fans. That’s great. But, you still have to make a living and the idea of selling yourself like a used-car salesman makes you feel a little sick.
Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. In a lot of cases, your potential customers are already interested in what you have to offer. They’re interested in you or how your art makes them feel. Give them something that reminds them that you’re out there and have something they’ll love. Artists like to buy from artists. Maybe your marketing material includes links to great tutorials online. Maybe your emails give tips to other artists about how to schedule their days and get work done.
Get personal. Share what you know. Invite them to be part of the tribe.
If you’re unsure about what to do with your email marketing or your campaign has stagnated, take a look at these tips:
Make the offer worth the open
Email boxes overflow quickly, so offer exclusive savings they won’t find anywhere, and make sure the discount is prominent and easy to redeem. Good email marketing software makes it easy to target your audience. The more personal and targeted you can get, the better.
Example: Private Sale Just for You (I’m Serious)
Share your knowledge
Establish yourself as a thought leader in your field by giving expert tips and advice. At first glance, this might seem a little counter-intuitive. Why would I tell someone else how to do what I do? Well, because you want them to know that you’re good at what you do. Want to prove to someone you really know how to paint and you know what works and what doesn’t? Show them. Teach them.
Example: If you’re a plumber, offer tips on ways to winterize pipes.
Invite them to your party
Create buzz for upcoming events by promoting them via email. Encourage subscribers to invite their friends and spread the word. Chances are good that your subscribers care about some of the same stuff you do (and have friends that care about that stuff, too). If there’s a big art expo happening nearby, tell them about it—especially if you’re going to be there.
Example: Friends and Family Sale!
Lead them in
Link customers to specific areas of interest on your own website or to other mentions of your work. Has your book been reviewed in the NY Times? Tell the world! If you don’t have any mentions and you’re just getting started with your own website, share other relevant stories with them from other places online. Be sure to add what you think about it to your email.
Example: Check out Amazon’s review of my latest book, and add your own!
Establish your expertise
If you’ve participated in any interviews, panel discussions or research, provide links within your email campaign. Maybe you have quotes or commentary from existing customers and clients. That works, too. Give your subscribers a chance to learn more about you and what you have to offer—from someone else.
Example: Watch me on “Good Morning, Houston!”
Introduce new products
Your email campaign is the perfect place to inform your customers of what’s new, fresh and exciting. This is a little more look-at-me marketing, but it’s worth it. They’re interested in what you’re doing. They want to know if you’re offering something new or something special for them. Your subscribers are your first-level of fans. Offer them exclusive access to new stuff.
Example: Preview or Beta version? Free download for subscribers only.
Email marketing is a way to communicate directly with your audience, nearly instantaneously. Seize the opportunity to build a fan for life, one catchy message at a time.
If you want more advice and ideas about marketing your business, check out some of the great articles on Mad Mimi’s blog. Especially this one: 3 Simple Ways to Give Your Email Newsletter Personality (there are llamas).