Copyright © 2018 Terry Holt & Associates. All rights reserved.
As a local business owner you realize the
opportunities available on the Web, but you
probably do not have the time or money to invest
into a full blown web presence. The obstacles and
costs in building a web site keep many local
businesses on the sideline.
But as a local business there is an opportunity to
exploit the marketing power of the Internet at little
or no cost, and it does not require a web presence.
So how do you start down the road to Internet marketing success? You begin by simply collecting customer email addresses, with their permission.
Permission email marketing is a requirement. It is referred to as opt-in marketing. At all stages of email marketing you MUST respect your customers and
their privacy. Only when they have accepted your request to send information, should you forward email promotions.
How do You Collect Customer Emails?
You simply ask! As a local business owner you are constantly in touch with customers and prospects, either in person or on the phone. As a retail
business you could have a clipboard by your register or pre-printed index cards that your customers can fill-out. As a service business you just ask for their
What's in it for Your Customers?
The opportunity to save money or be notified of special offers. People are always looking for a bargain, and through email you can keep them informed on
the latest deals, in addition you can alert them to new services or products. This is very appealing. And customers will perceive this as a value added
service, that makes doing business with you more appealing.
How Difficult is Email Marketing?
It is quite simple. If you email friends or family, you are quite capable of marketing through email. Initially your list will be small so you can manage it
through the use of your current email client like MicroSoft Outlook. You place your customer emails in a "group," compose a message, and hit the send
button. Not exactly rocket science. (Note: Make sure you use the "blind box" feature.)
But from the start, you may want to consider using a professional email management service like ConstantContact.com. They have a service that is free
for lists that are under 50. Their next level handles up to 500, and cost only $15 per month. A service like Constant Contact simplifies the management of
your list. These types of services offer features like tracking, reporting, templates and customer support. In addition, they automate the process of people
opting out of your list. An important factor with permission email marketing.
What Results Can You Expect?
Think about the potential profit from simply keeping your customers informed. This is not invasive advertising, but permission marketing, where your
customers have willingly given their consent to receive your advertisements. It is like they are saying, "Please allow me to spend more money with your
If you already have a web site then you will also want to add an opt-in box. Give your site visitors an opportunity to join your promotional list. Many will.
As a local business owner there are opportunities and there are golden opportunities. This one is solid 24 karat. It's simple, direct and very profitable. And
yet few local businesses are taking advantage of email marketing. Why not lead the pack.
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In Canada, educate yourself on new Canadian Spam Laws before using email as part of your marketing - more info