Give me one good reason you shouldn’t do email marketing in your local business and I’ll give you five better reasons why you must.
For starters, you must build a list of people to stay in communication with. If you don’t have a list of people to do business with, then you have no one to give you money.
Second, once visitors come to your website or Facebook page, it’s critical you get their email so you can stay in touch. If you’re an attorney, a plumber, a dentist, or an HVAC company, there’s just no reason to visit your site repeatedly. If you don’t get your visitors’ email addresses, then count on losing contact with them forever. That’s a high price to pay considering you spent money to get them to your site.
Even if you have interaction with people on Facebook, you should still collect your customers’ email addresses. Facebook allows you to stay in contact with your clientele, but they also limit your ability to do so because they want you to pay for it. So capturing your Facebook fans’ emails is important because Facebook is always looking for ways to charge for advertising to your fans. If you have your fans’ email, you don’t always have to pay Facebook.
Third, you can send time-sensitive announcements to your email list and get an immediate response. Doing that with television or newspaper advertising isn’t possible. The flip side to that is email doesn’t always have high open rates. In other words, maybe only 20 percent of your list opens and reads your email. If you’re bad at email marketing, your open rates may be only 5 percent. If you’re good at email marketing, your open rates may be higher than the average. We’ll discuss ways to achieve higher open rates shortly.
Fourth, people like watching videos on the Internet and you can email videos for free. Emailing a video is powerful because people would much rather watch a video than read. I found that out after getting a much higher response comparing a text email and one with a video in it.
Fifth, accessing the Internet by mobile phone is a growing trend. Want proof? Watch a crowd of people and see how many use their mobile phones. They use it to check Facebook, listen to music, use GPS, play games, and of course check emails. Mobile phones are quickly replacing computers for surfing the Internet. So keep in touch with your prospects because they’re on the Internet checking emails with their phone.
Now, let’s talk about strategies to get people to read your emails.
After much testing, I have found two important rules for getting your email read. First, it must be entertaining. Yet, the most important element of an email getting read is the subject line.
Subject lines are to emails what headlines are to newspaper articles. The headline creates curiosity on behalf of the reader to read the article. The same is true with an email. You can actually test subject lines to see which one gets more opens. You would be shocked at the differences.
Now let’s say you have list of 1,000 people. You could do two things from here.
One is test the winning subject line against another and send them to 100 more people. Then email to the remaining part of the list with the winning headline.
Or, simply use the first winning subject line and send the rest of the emails to the remaining people on your list. Using the winning subject line, you could count on approximately 455 people opening your email. Had you not tested and instead sent an email with the losing subject line, only 311 people would open your email.
Here’s why this is even more important.
Let’s say your offer made an immediate profit of $30 for every buyer. Let’s also say your stats are such that for every 10 people who read your email offer, 1 buys. With the winning subject line, you make $1,380 — 455 readers x 10% response x $30. Using the loser subject line, you make $930. Using the winning subject line, your profit is $450 more. Yet, testing cost you nothing to do. Think what not testing would cost you.
Hypothetically, let’s say as a dentist your patients have an average lifetime value of $5,000. Further let’s say 50 percent of your prospective patients use you instead of another dentist. The patients coming from the winning subject line therefore yield you 70 more patients. Over their lifetime, that’s $350,000 you would’ve missed out on had you not tested.
When you create your email, make it fun to read. Don’t bore your clientele with constant sales pitches and hard-to-understand text. If you want to convey a sales message somehow, then make it short, sweet, and attractive.
For example, if you’re a dentist then you might try an offer for a half-price teeth whitening and mini-exam. The patient comes in and might just need additional services. If anything, you could ask to schedule the patient for a checkup . You then have a new customer. While he or she is there, you will hopefully have a referral system in place where your new client can also bring you additional patients to grow your business.