Effective email marketing

2016-08-16-1471305660-3569244-businessEffective email marketing is all about providing relevant information to your loyal subscribers and if you’re anything like me (or 99.99% of every small business owner I speak with), you spend a lot of time staring at your computer screen, trying to write something your followers will really LOVE. 

Putting together a great newsletter is easily done one month, maybe two but to really do this right, we need to write engaging newsletters, each and every month. Oh, we also need to post great content to Facebook, Twitter and blogs.

Social media has leveled the playing field – great content makes the small guys indistinguishable from the big guys. Today, marketing is ALL about content and according to If you’re not Content Marketing, you’re not Marketing! Wow, this blew me away. This one line says it all.

So, what is content marketing and how do I do it better than my competitors??

Content Marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

Okay, this is important and we need a strategy. This isn’t about promoting my business in emails, blogs, on Twitter and Facebook. This is about being relevant and engaging my audience and a florescent Sale! Sale! Sale! sign is not engaging.

So what should your strategy be? If you have a knack for writing or have someone on staff who does, great! Make sure you allocate the time to market, consistently. Otherwise, look for content providers to help fill the gaps. 

If you’re green, you’re in luck! The Email Tree provides all kinds of great, green content (articles, tips, news, recipes) to help you be relevant and engage your audience. Contact us, we can help!

An example: 

A friend of mine does the newsletter for her yacht club.  It’s not the traditional yacht club, it’s low key and does not even have one yacht.  In fact, I really don’t know why they call it a yacht club!  Regardless, the membership is made up of 85%(ish) people over the age of 60.  

My friend is tasked with getting the word out regarding social functions, kids camps etc. as well as any club news, on a budget.  Where does she turn?  Email marketing of course.  

In her first month of Newsletters, there was a drastically low RSVP rate to the months social function.  Despite announcements in the paper newsletter for months, the 60+ crowd was not looking at their email every 6 minutes via an iPhone.  Who knew?  Ha!!  We did.  

So, being that the senior market is one of the fastest growing demographics in the country, what’s your plan to get them engaged?

For starters, plan ahead.  Think about your parents and grandparents right now.  If you wanted your grandmother’s business, and you should, what would appeal to her?  

1.  A Worthy Offer!! Worthy of a stop at your store when she is next out. Consider segmenting your list into a 60+ list and make separate offers with longer expiration dates.  Massive catalog order companies do this, you can too.

2.  A Double Opt In.  Make them earn it and hopefully they will remember it.  I don’t mean make them jump through 5 hoops, but remember, your list is about buyers and not just having addresses.  

3.  BIG FONT.  Take the time to make your font bigger on a segmented, or not, list.  Make it easy to read and it is more likely to be read.  

Speak to your audience and they will speak to you!

More to think about…

Have you ever been to the Annapolis Farmer’s Market?  I admit, I have not.  Love Annapolis, there is nothing like it.  If you have not been, get it on your list for this fall.

Enter by boat if you can and sweep up into the harbor via the Naval Academy, walk the historic streets, do not miss Harry Browne’s for crab cakes and a fabulous glass of wine, then wander over to Annapolis Ice Cream because you just have to do it!  Another must is breakfast at Middleton’s Tavern and by all means, time this out correctly.

You have to go on a weekend of either an Academy home football game to watch the cadets march through the streets over to the field or during the US Boat Shows.  If any of this sounds even remotely interesting to you, pick up the phone now and call for a reservation at Loews.And oh yes, I got carried away there for a moment…..apparently there is a Farmer’s Market….or maybe two!!!!

News has spread in Annapolis regarding a new plan to bring a Farmer’s Market to Market House right at the harbor.  Currently another market exists just up the road.

So, what do you think?  Is there room in your town for two markets, especially so close together?  If, one day, your local government officials decided to back another market, what would you do to survive?  Would you be prepared to let all of your customers know where you had gone?

Have you built the loyalty it would take to get them to come to your farm?  Think about it?  Have you done all that you can or could a simple but effective email marketing campaign keep your business humming?