We have all made a resolution at some point, to lose weight, get more exercise, read more books, but when it comes to running your business what should you resolve to do in the New Year?
At SynaVista we help businesses succeed through effective marketing. We work closely with our clients to leverage the most cost-effective marketing strategies that fit their business. But there are a number of things that businesses can do on their own that will contribute immensely to their success and give them a leg up on the competition. So we thought as we roll into the new year we would share some of our observations about simple things businesses can do for themselves to get ahead in their marketing.
Number one is build an email list. Many businesses have started this and stalled or simply don’t know where to begin. Wherever you are in the process, get serious about it this year.
Self-proclaimed experts have written off this tried and true tool as obsolete, left in the dust by social media, but nothing could be further from the truth. It is one of the most trusted forms of online communication and it remains a part of consumers daily lives. In fact when measured as a marketing tool by sales per dollar spent, the Direct Marketing Association’s statistics show email outperforms social-media advertising 3-to-1.
A list of subscribers is a captive audience that is actively interested in the products and services you offer. They have allowed you into their lives by opting into your list and they represent an opportunity to increase your sales but more importantly it is an opportunity to build a relationship with them. Unlike tools like Groupon or other deal programs where you essentially rent someone else’s list and can only interact with the group by offering discounts that are unsustainable for any business, having your own list allows you to broadcast value beyond simple sales and promotions. You can provide important information, news and views that are relevant and entertaining to your list that position you as an expert source of trusted information.
But how do you get the ball rolling and start a list of your own?
First, use your website. Make sure a sign-up call to action is prominent and the form to opt-in is simple and has limited fields. Don’t try to gather too much information when you are beginning the relationship. Start with just their name and email. You will have the opportunity to get more information from them when you make them an actual customer.
Once your site is ready to accept subscribers look for opportunities in your day-to-day business operations. If you have a retail location with a point of sale system, add emails to your data collection. Also make it easy for customers to fill out a card to give you their address. Use in-store signage to promote exclusive benefits available only to subscribers, and don’t forget the human factor. Train your employees to share the benefits and teach them to encourage customers to subscribe.
If your business operates a fleet of vehicles, make sure your website is prominent on vehicle signage and, again train and equip your employees to encourage customers to opt-in to your list. Sell the value of the deals as well as the information subscribers will have access to.
Most importantly, be creative and look for unique opportunities. No one knows your business like you do, so examine every interaction with customers, online and in-person and look for opportunities to connect.
So this new year resolve to build your list. The simple act of devoting energy to building it will add momentum to your marketing and it will provide a tool that will be valuable for many years to come. Using your list will take strategy and planning but without a list, your opportunity to use email marketing is dead in the water, so get started.
When you are ready to start email marketing with your list, contact us to discuss your strategy. We can help you with campaigns, content development, landing pages and integration with social media to get every ounce of value out of your list.