Most important marketing tool, your email list
The small business owner is often overwhelmed by the who, what, how, why, where in regards to marketing your business in both the digital and traditional space. The easy answer (and the most cost effective answer) to this headache is to focus your time and energy on building your email list.
The email list is the catch-all easiest way to stay in touch with your target audience.
Kim Garst, a social media goddess, says "The relationship and the money is in your email list."
What does this mean? Let's break it down into the relationship and the money.
Business, sales, social media, networking and any action that is being done in order to generate cash under your brand is all about the relationship. We've all heard it time and time again: People buy from those they KNOW, LIKE, and TRUST. And to build that level of credibility with your target customers you are building a relationship.
The email is a simple and cost effective way to nurture and build that relationship by offering valuable information that would be of interest to your customer. I heard a great analogy related to how the email nurturing philosophy works.
Tomatoes.... yes, think of your relationship with your garden. You plant your tomatos and nurture them over the course of the summer months. One day you show up and you have a nice, plump, bright red tomatoe that is ready to be picked! Fantastic! You see a number of green tomatos that aren't quite ready to be picked. What do you do next? You grab the garden hose and you water the tomato plants, maybe pull some weeds and you continue to nurture those plants until the green tomatos are that nice, plump, bright red color and pickable! BTW - this awesome analogy is not my original thought, I did love it though. You can thank Josh Parkinson for this one!
Your customers are those tomatoes sitting on the plant that need some good old fashioned TLC. Nurture them through your email marketing campaign in order to get them nice, plump, bright eyed and ready to buy from you. Nurturing your email list means adding value to your customers. Give them knowledge that is going to make them want to learn more from you. Answer the question that makes them scratch their head at night. Offer them a freebie of sorts. Give your customer a reason to want to open the next email that comes to their inbox with your name as the FROM.
Now that you have got your customer nurtured, it is time to generate some sales! Yes, the money factor - that's why we are in business. After you have built the trust and know that your customer is opening your emails and values the information that you have shared its time to ASK for the sale. Start with a small offer that does not knock them off the chair when that customer opens your email. Rather include an offer for your product or services that is a reasonable price point and builds on that level of comfort and trust that you have already built up. They are comfortable proceeding with this purchase because you have already offered so much value to them.
After the purchase is made, its time to circle back to the nurturing emails and continue to build and maintain that KNOW, LIKE and TRUST before you ask for a bigger purchasing decision to be made by your customer. It's actually a repeating cycle: nurture, nurture, nurture, ASK, nurture, nurture, nurture, ASK, nurture, nurture, nurture, ASK. Feel free to add or remove a couple nurtures within your campaign.
Now that you know what you want to do, it is time to build that list!