Right now, especially during a slow economy, internet marketing is something your company should be doing. There are many forms of marketing on the internet and more new methods to come. Recently I did a blog on how many people are on the internet and what they do while there. If you haven’t read that article yet, please do so HERE.
Create Your Customer List
What can you do, right now, on the internet to improve your business. Do you have a customer list? Do you have names and addresses in an organized system? If not, then arrange a customer list and if you don’t have your customer’s email address, get it. You can send a snail mail piece or make a phone call requesting their email address. But, why would they send it to you? Because you are going to offer them either a free gift or special coupon or valuable tips for doing so. A suggestion of this would be “We are collecting our customer’s email addresses because monthly, we will be sending out a newsletter with our specials for that month and helpful articles.” Most everyone wants a free gift, cents off coupon or just more education. As you create your customer list, you develop a large piece of your future in internet marketing. An updated, current customer list is pure gold! Keep in mind your offer should be compelling enough that your customer will be happy to provide their email address.
Your Customer And Email List
After you have a customer list in place, then you will choose an email auto-responder service. While there are many to choose from, the one I suggest is Aweber (learn more here). These services allow you to have an email list or several lists at a time. For instance, if you own a florist shop you might want to have one list for people that send flowers to someone on particular holidays alone and perhaps another list for people who visit your shop routinely and yet another list for customers who have no defined shopping pattern. You can then fashion special emails that target one particular audience or another. Then you can also create emails that are broadcast over all your lists. The client that purchases for particular holidays may get a special on Valentine’s Day, but may also get a sale that is broadcast to the entire list that encourages the use of a coupon for special potted houseplants. The other thing you can do is set up specific emails to be sent at routine times. Perhaps you start collecting new customer emails and five days after they enter your shop the first time an email goes out that says, “Welcome to our shop, we hope you found exactly what you were looking for. As a new customer, you will automatically receive 15% off or $15.00 off any purchase of $60.00 or whatever you choose with the attached coupon that expires within 30 days. etc, etc.” Then you can set the auto-responder up with preplanned emails that go out two weeks with a “Did You Know?” How to keep your fresh flowers lasting longer than ever, or, how to tell your potted spider plant needs re-potted. Do you see how cultivating your email list could increase your business? Talk about “top of the mind awareness!” You will cultivate that customer relationship to the point that they wouldn’t even think of using someone else!
Using Your Opt-In List
Do you have a website or a blog right now? If you do, you can take the auto-responder a step further by creating an opt-in list. For instance, the same florist shop with a website can set up a form to collect name, address, phone and email address. To encourage customer participation, offer a free newsletter, or a video series on how to arrange wild flowers or how to create bouquets that are stunning by using colors based on the color wheel and contrast. They sign for your free gift and receive your gift by email instantly from your auto-responder and then go to your new customer list so they receive your new offers. These customers have chosen to be on your list….give them value!
Converting Emails to Sales
You create the emails for your list one time and each new customer added to a list starts at the beginning. You can use different offers for tracking purposes to see what emails are converting into new sales. Continue to modify and utilize your tracking information to determine what is working best and then choose to do the things that work repeatedly. The point is, you do the hard work one time and then let the system work it’s magic! Converting emails to sales is your key to success in this method of marketing. Internet marketing is a venue that you can use to replicate actions that work time and again…with one time set up on your part! If you aren’t using some method of internet marketing….then you are missing a lot of customers that will find someone that is! Grow your list, grow your sales!