Small Business Marketing by Jillian Shaw Marketing, Advertising & Public Relations for the Small Business

Email Marketing for Beginners

02.24.2010 · Posted in Advertising, Email Marketing

You've Got Mail!

Collect addresses from walk in customers.  Ask your friends if you can start with them.  They may find later on that a product you emailed about is perfect for someone they know and forward it to them.  If you have a website that collects emails or if you have a twitter or facebook, ask for them there.

Once you have a list of one or more emails, use it!  Your email doesn’t have to be fancy.  Just make sure you use proper grammar and have a good reason for communicating with them – like a great sale, an exclusive item or a special event.

You may choose to do a monthly or quarterly newsletter if you have relevant and useful content, but don’t stress yourself out about it.  A simple sale message is enough.  But make what you’re selling interesting.  Give background about the product.  If there’s a history or an interesting story, share it.  Try to make your email more than just a sales pitch.

At the same time, however, be brief.  200-300 words is really plenty, if you even need that much.

A few tips:

The ‘subject’ line is the first thing your recipients will see – make it really appealing.

Don’t put any addresses in the “To:” line.  Always BCC:, that way you’re not broadcasting their personal contact info to the entire list.  Put yourself in the To: and you’ll be able to see how your email comes across.

If you want to get really snazzy, you can personalize emails through Word using the Mail Merge feature.  If you don’t already have an idea how to use this function, however, save it for later and just make your salutation “Dear Friends” or something of that nature.  It’s more important to get your message out, than to hone the details when you’re just beginning.

Be sure to include a way out.  At the bottom of your email, simply write: “If you no longer wish to receive emails from XYZ Store, please reply to this email with “unsubscribe” in the subject.

Be sure to include a way in.  In case the email was forwarded to someone not on your list, you want to have a way to get their information so you can continue to market to them, so include some copy underneath your pitch that says: “If you’d like to be added to the email list, please reply to this email with “add” in the subject.

Depending on th list of emails you currently have on file, this could take as little as 5 or 10 minutes, especially if you have a deal already in the works that you need to promote.  Just do it!

Jillian's Currently Reading: Guerrilla Marketing, 4th edition: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business
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