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Use Email Marketing to Build Your Small Business
Any small business owner knows that marketing can be costly, time-consuming and difficult to measure. What many
business owners may not know is that they can cut
their costs substantially, by using
email marketing to build a list of prospects online. Using the Internet's new tools, you can set
it up once, and then put many aspects of your marketing on auto pilot. That helps you cut costs, save time, and
lets you track your progress.
Step 1: Here's how to build a list for your email marketing
campaigns. Start by subcribing with an email marketing company or auto-responder. There are a number of companies
offering these services on the Internet, but I'd like to suggest two. ConstantContact.com provides a great service for small
businesses operating mostly in one local area who want to build a list that will let them communicate with
customers and prospects using a newsletter, email postcards and online specials. Constant Contact has a number
of tutorials to get you started, which you can try free for 60 days.
Companies looking for an "industrial speed" service might want to consider AWeber.com which lets you build multiple
lists, with multiple automated messages and broadcast messages for one monthly fee. Aweber offers a 30-day trial,
and like Constant Contact, they offer video-tutorials to get you up to speed. You might also want to visit the
websites of competing companies to compare their offering, pricing and ease of use. You don't want to do this
yourself on your own server, however.
These companies specialize in email marketing with all of the problems inherent in this service. They work hard to
ensure that their customers comply with the CAN SPAM Act. They require that you use opt-in techniques to insure
that people who receive your email marketing messages have volunteered to receive them. The last thing you want is
to be labeled a spammer. Constant Contact and Aweber will also help you observe practices that will get your
messages through the spam filters that are widely in use. These companies will also provide you with the code you
need to place a signup box on your site.
Create a giveaway to provide an incentive for people to signup
Step 2: Your email marketing campaign will falter without a list. Offer an incentive for people to
give you their contact information. Whether you decide to offer an email newsletter, special report, audio or video
course, make sure it is something your site visitors will find useful. Even if the material is designed to help
them select and use a product that you offer, make sure it's information they will want, not something designed to
close a sale.
Remember that it takes a number of touches before most people are ready to buy from you. So concentrate on building
trust and establishing a long-term relationship.
Step 3: People need to find your website with its sign-in box for your email marketing to work. So
concentrate on ways to generate traffic to your site. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Optimize your website for Search Engines
- Write and distribute articles to other sites that link back to your website.
- Exchange links with your partners, suppliers, distributors and related associations -- anyone with an
interest in your success. Avoid associations, however, with websites.
- Buy pay-per-click ads on other sites or on search pages using keywords that relate to the content on your
Write a privacy statement
Step 4: Email Marketing won't work if site visitors see you as a spammer. Take steps to
reassure them. Include a privacy statement on your site that let's people know you will treat their contact
information with care. Never share that information with anyone.
Include a way for people to unsubscribe on every email message and remove their names when asked, as soon as
Email marketing can be a great way to stay in touch with your prospects and customers in a cost-effective manner,
but it must be done correctly. Done well it can be a great low-cost tool for small
by Marcia Ming -
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