Imagine this scenario.
You meet a potential customer or client who is interested in your business. However, for whatever reason, now is not the time for them to buy. Maybe they have several large expenses coming up soon and buying your amazing product is just not enough of a necessity at the moment. Maybe they have a holiday around the corner and they are just too busy to consider hiring your services at this time. Can you be sure that they will remember your business when the time is right in the future?
Now imagine another scenario.
A potential customer or client comes across your business. You have the perfect product or service for their needs. However, you work in a competitive industry and there are many other businesses clamouring for their attention. What is it about your business that demonstrates they should trust you over the competition?
At Bizboost, these are problems that we have encountered many times. Over time, we’ve used various methods to try gain exposure for our brand as well as keeping in touch with potential leads. One method that has been effective is to send a regular eNews.
The term ‘eNews’ is short for electronic newsletter and can be beneficial for your business in a number of different ways. In particular, it can help you establish yourself as an expert in your field (and differentiate yourself from your competitors) and is a way to stay front and centre of your audience’s mind.
Here are our three simple steps to making the most out of this marketing technique:
- Build your eNews Community
The first step to effective email marketing is to build your audience. Make sure that you have an effective process of gathering the email addresses of any person who comes in contact with your business (just make sure you aren’t breaching Australia’s anti-spam laws)
Signing up for an email marketing service can be a valuable way of managing your subscriber list and creating beautiful newsletters. At Bizboost, we use and recommend MailChimp (free for anyone with less than 2,000 subscribers) but there are other options available. Ensure that your website has an opt-in form that allows new visitors to subscribe to your list.
Finally, promote your newsletter. This might include posting a link to your subscribe page on your social media platforms. If your business has a large amount of foot traffic, you might also encourage people to sign up to your newsletter when they visit.
Very few people are excited about giving out their email address so make it worth their while. One key way of doing this is providing free information or services in exchange. As an example, a fitness gym may offer access to a free eBook containing their favourite recipes and tips on eating healthy. An accountant may email all new subscribers a checklist on information they need to collect before completing their tax return. This process can be automated, which means less administration work for you.
- Build trust in your brand
Establish yourself as an expert
Establishing yourself as an expert in your industry can help separate you from your competition. The goal here is to show potential customers or clients why they should choose you and your business over anyone else.
Don’t be afraid to give information away for free. I’m not suggesting that you give away a step by step guide on exactly how to do the service that you provide. However, don’t shy away from telling your audience exactly how to get the most out of your service or product and how it can benefit them. Provide them with information on recent changes within your industry and how it will impact upon them. All of this will help demonstrate to your audience that you know what you’re talking about and that your product/service can genuinely help solve their problems.
Humanise Your Brand
Sending a regular eNews can help show the human side of your brand and business. Building a relationship in this way can help increase trust with your audience. Think of it this way:
You’re in need of a new washing machine. A close friend of yours happens to work as a sales assistant in a whitegoods store (for the sake of our analogy, let’s say the Good Guys). You catch up with her for coffee and ask for her recommendation. She excitedly tells you about the perfect washing machine that will suit your needs. She describes all its features and how much it will cost you.
Compare this to another scenario:
You go to visit the Good Guys to buy a new washing machine. You chat to a sales assistant that you have never met before. After you explain your needs, he leads to you a washing machine and explains all its features and how much it will cost you.
On the face of it, both washing machines may be within your budget and suit your needs. But when it comes to assessing quality, would you trust one person’s recommendation over the other? Of course! You know your friend and trust that she has your best interests at heart.
In your eNews, don’t be afraid to show a more personal side of your business (within reason). Introduce yourself and your staff. Without being “salesy,” demonstrate to your audience that you genuinely want to help them overcome their problems.
Keep your emails regular and consistent. Remember, you want to keep your brand fresh in potential customer’s and client’s minds for when the time is right for them to buy. Have you ever received an email from someone six months after coming into contact with their business? Did you remember who they were, what they did or how they got hold of your email address?
- Promote your Products and Services
Only once you’ve built a relationship with your audience should you ask for a sale. This might be as simple as mentioning in your regular newsletter that you have a current sale on a particular product or an upcoming event that may be of interest to them. Or it could be as simple as mentioning in an article that if they want further information or assistant, they could call for a quote.
Keep purely promotional content to a minimum. Very few people are happy to give up their email addresses in order to be sold to. Failing to provide useful content can quickly lead to more unsubscribers. (This is limited to electronic newsletters. Think how frequently junk mail left in your letterbox is thrown straight into the bin).
If you’ve built a relationship with your audience first, then they will be more open and accepting of receiving promotional emails from you in their inbox.
Remember, your email relationship with your audience is all about balance. Promotional messages should be balanced, if not outweighed by useful information. If you consistently provide valuable information that genuinely helps your readers, you’ll find that your eNews are opened and read more frequently. Staying in touch with your clients and building trust in your knowledge and expertise will keep your brand in the forefront of your leads mind during the buying process.