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How to Use Email Marketing in a Local Business

Many small, local businesses wouldn’t think that email marketing has something to provide them. They think that internet marketing for small business consists of just putting up a static webpage and an address on a business card. In the real world though, internet marketing can be so much more than that, even for a small, local business. If a small business effectively gets into email marketing, they could see a substantial growth in their business through that single marketing method alone.

The first part of using email marketing is a strategy to collect email addresses. Email marketing is completely a numbers game. The more addresses that you can gather of prospective customers, the more profitable your email marketing will ultimately be. This is no different than the direct mail marketing that many companies used to, and a few still, engage in.

There are many ways that you can gather the email addresses of clients and customers. Many people do this using the time tested method of offering entry into a draw of some kind in return for contact information. Other stores will simply ask for an email address when a person is checking out at the till. Some stores will gather them primarily through their website. They might offer an incentive for a person to provide their email address, such as a coupon for a significant discount at the store location.

Once you’ve got a list of email addresses assembled, you need to know what to do with it. One of the worst things that you can do is bombard your customers with constant emails that are filled with advertisements. In order to stay CAN-SPAM compliant, you need to give your customers an option for opting out of any email list that you subscribe them to. If you send them ads every day, you can be sure that they will unsubscribe.

Instead, try to make your emails interesting. Make them something that a person would actually want to read, or provide some valuable information within them. This can get people to not only stay subscribed, but to also open and read your emails. This is the goal. If the email just goes in the trash it isn’t doing you any good either.

Marketing in email should be subtle. You might talk about the industry that you’re involved in, or provide some tips. For example, a home theatre company might talk about the latest products released by a big company, or provide some tips for optimizing the picture on your TV. This is going to make customers realize that you are truly dedicated, and one of the best in your industry. Then, when they do need a product or service, they will think of your local business.

You can use email to let people know about events that are happening in the store once in a while though. You could let them know if a clearance sale was happening, for instance. Its a good idea to try and come up with other ways to get people in the store other than just trying to sell things to them. For instance, you could send out an email to let everyone know about a customer appreciation day where you are going to have coffee and donuts available to your customers. In a local business situation, the real goal of email marketing is to get people to come down to the business. The more creative ways that you can come up with for doing that which involve methods other than direct selling, the more successful you will be at filling up your store thanks to your email list.

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3 Comments Published

Jerry / 26 July 2011 / Reply

Many small business owners never used direct mail to keep customers informed about their small business either. Many owners spend all their time letting their business run them instead of using wonderful tools like email marketing to put more money in their pocket.

All small businesses need to keep in touch with their customers if they really want to prosper in the long-term.

Anna Garnier / 5 September 2011 / Reply

Great blog content. I am very new in IM and I recently started a blog where I help people who want to start their own online business with the help of my mentor Marc Milburn.
I can put your information to good use.
Thank you very much.

Brad / 6 November 2011 / Reply

I met with a client yesterday and we were discussing this very topic. Email marketing is a critical step in achieving a complete marketing strategy for a local business. Simple email capture, a few simple auto responder message, timed campaigns and great content to keep your list informed. Not a lot of work but massive returns.

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