Permission marketing turns strangers into friends and friends into loyal customers. It's not just about entertainment - it's about education. Permission marketing is curriculum marketing. Seth Godin
Many businesses have done just fine without sending emails to customers or potential customers. They’ve grown to six figures without capturing emails on their website. They are so busy working in their business that they don’t have time to send out emails.
Among others, restaurants have collected business cards to stimulate business with a freebie giveaway, but then cards end up in a box somewhere. And they pile up to such a mountain to process, now it would take another employee. And there’s another reason not to do email – more expenses. And for what?
They recognize that emails might help them, but what would they say in them? It becomes another ‘job to be done,’ In a small operation, why add something else to your plate?
Truthfully, you don’t need emails if people know about you and what you offer. Does Apple need to send out emails to stimulate sales – not really? We all know and love their products, so when something new comes out, we’ll hear about it on the news.
Does Target need to send out emails? Maybe. If you use their credit card, they have been collecting data on your purchases, so they’d like you to buy more. From them, not your local grocery store, but come back to us. They want me to know that they have merchandise that isn’t in the store; it’s only online. [they want to compete for the online business]
Does your veterinarian need to send you emails? They might as well jump on the train. They want me to know they’re thinking about my dog, Gracie, during this holiday season. She may need things too.
If you’re like me, you get so many emails to manage you are falling behind if you don’t go through them each day. It’s the modern-day junk mail that came via the mail carrier. As I do from time-to-time, you may find it annoying to go through it all, deleting mail, left and right.
But there comes a time when you need something you saw in an email a few days ago. If you didn’t delete it, you go back to check it out with intent. Your email has become your electronic newspaper, advertisements, and information resource.
It doesn’t pile up on your countertop, waiting to be sorted and trashed. It sits neatly in your electronic mailbox. From there, you can sort it, put it in electronic folders, and flagged for follow-up. That’s a pretty nice trade-off.
What happens when the world has turned upside down?
In 2020, a pandemic has turned our world upside down. The traffic that you expected from the people who know and love you have fallen off the cliff. This applies to all industries, yes, even Apple, Target, and your local veterinarian.
Nobody knows if you’re still open for business or what. What do you do? It’s like starting over – again.
If you’ve got your customers' phone numbers, you could start calling them. And it would work if your database of customers is small. Otherwise, it becomes unmanageable.
If you have that box full of business cards, this might be an excellent time to set up your email system. Depending on how old the information is, you will find that much of it is out of date, or people will be surprised to hear from you. Since you never reached out to them before.
If you are considering a pivot in your business, you’ve got to have a way to communicate it to your people.
Start thinking about your email
If you have relationships with other business people who have many of the same customers you have, now is the time to check with them to see if they have their contact information.
Partnerships are a viable means to start generating sales with the contact information they have. You can work out a compensation arrangement that is fair to all. When you’re scrambling for ideas, start looking at complementary partnerships, how you can help each other through unusual circumstances.
In the meantime, consider how you can start gathering contact information on potential customers, along with existing customers.
The truth is the real value in a business is the size of the customer database. That’s what people buy when they’re looking for new business acquisitions. They want their customers. Amazon bought Zappos for their customers. Facebook bought Instagram for its customers.
What are you really communicating?
Keeping in touch with your readers is a smart strategy. You never know when they will want what you are offering. You’re a problem solver; you’re offering solutions to people who need… Again, the need to stay in touch with a potential customer and existing customers with email is your ability to advertise.
You’re publishing your news, information, and message to your readers. You are like an electronic newspaper, however yours is full of value.
Of course, you’re wondering how often you should be sending out your emails. This is usually a sticking point you want to be the welcome guest, not the annoying pest. The frequency matters. It needs to be at least weekly in not more often.
How often is the newspaper published? Daily.
As long as you are providing useful information, daily is fine. There’s a saying in copywriting; you can’t be too long, only too boring. This is your business; you need to be in front of your audience as much as possible with valuable information.
- E-Mail Marketing For Dummies by John Arnold
- The New Email Revolution: Save Time, Make Money, and Write Emails People Actually Want To Read! By Robert Bly
- The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money, And Stand Out From the Crowd by Allan Dib
- Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising by Ryan Holiday
The Next Steps
Email marketing is essential to all businesses. It works. It is one of the most inexpensive ways to promote your business. Yes, it takes time to master it, but you don’t have to be an expert to start.
It’s fun to stay in touch with people who know, like, and trust you!
Commit to building your email database. Connect with your audience with value to make their life better. Email marketing is one of my specialties. If you'd like to chat about your next project, reach out at Linda@shinyobjectmarketing.com
Linda James Bennett; day 34 of 365 writing an article every day, making you a shiny object in the world.