Email marketing to your current customers is one of the most efficient marketing tools you can use. It is much cheaper to sell to your current customers because they already know you, like you, and trust you. But like most things in business, you must have a plan to get your customers and prospects to provide you with their email address. This article outlines a method that is used by many of the most successful marketers.
To make this as simple as possible for your sales people, we are only asking them to do one thing—get the customer’s email address. If that’s not possible, or if the customer does not have an email, your staff should try to get a physical mailing address.
The offer: To persuade customers to give you their email address, your salesperson should say, “Would you like to provide us with your email address? Let me tell you what you will receive.”
- A discount coupon for 10 percent off your next purchase,
- A chance to win a $100 gift certificate in our monthly drawing,
- Our weekly email specials with coupons you can use for future purchases.
Getting the email address: The customer could be asked to join in several ways:
- A postcard mailer announcing the offer
- At the time of purchase (point-of-sale offer)
- A face-to-face request
- A request on the back of every business card you hand out
- Putting the request into every advertising tool you use (catalogs, newspaper, TV, etc.)
Gathering emails: There are three ways I would recommend:
- A notebook computer at the checkout register that allows them to opt in via your website
- A guest book they can sign at the front of every store
- A short form they can sign opting in to your email list
I use Constant Contact to gather my emails, but MailChimp is another great option. They are both affordable and easy to learn. They provide an online solution to sending out your customer emails. Both offer a 60-day free trial. Other advantages include:
- Free personal coaching and support
- One-click editing
- 400+ email templates
- LinkedIn and Twitter links
- Email list storage
- Anti-spam checker
- Auto responder feature
- Easy-to-track results and see who opens and reads your email.
Remember, we only want to market to those customers who have given us permission to market to them.
First, it’s the legal way to market. Second, more laws are being passed every day limiting this type of marketing because of spammers. Both Constant Contact and MailChimp force an opt-in procedure that is traceable and provides an easy way for recipients to opt out.
Once you have your email list, be sure to send out weekly coupon offers and other useful information. I classify what I send my clients as either deposits toward goodwill (educational information they view as useful) or pitches (opportunities for the recipient to buy something from me). I try to email at least twice as many “deposit” emails as “pitches”.
You should use the auto-responders provided by both Constant Contact and MailChimp. They allow you to automatically send a series of emails to anyone who signs up for your emails. Be sure to read this issue’s article “Using Auto-Responders to Upsell” for the method I recommend.