A year or so ago, I set up online court booking for my tennis club. The club demographic is from 18 – 75 (yes people still play tennis into their 70s and quite well). One of my biggest concerns was the system required the user to have an e-mail address to register for an account.
Worldwide, there are 3.7 billion email users. I’m not sure how many of these users play tennis, but I am certain that all 375 members in our tennis club – without exception – have an email account.
For you this means that you should not ignore email as a method of reaching your client base.
Email marketing has a bad reputation. Usually, because we get spammed all the time with offers we don’t want.
We can normally tell if an email is a spam message by simply reading its title and often, we click on the message itself to confirm our suspicions. This is exactly why spam works. It’s designed to get our attention so that we click on them.
Yes, even the crappy badly spelled ones.
So imagine if you could send an interesting email to people who actually gave you permission to send them an email. This is known as permission marketing. The receipents of the email in this case have given you permission to send them an email newsletter.
Using this privilege carefully can be of great value.
Writing, Writing, and Yes More Writing
Before you jump in and start blasting off emails, you need to have an e-mail list. Start building trust by sharing accurate and relevant news, keep yourself visible on social media, ask for people’s permission to join your email list, and then deliver.
Over time, they may become customers or refer you to someone else.
Sure tell them about special offers and new services, but don’t sell too hard. Go back to basics and start writing.Personally, I read about 3-4 emails weekly and they keep me up-to-date on a variety of topics.
Nothing to say?
Of course you do. Weekly emails don’t have to be complicated. Tell people about what you are doing, your holidays, your goals for the business, some new tool you discovered, or share some research that you think will be of interest to your audience. Still feeling stuck? Share some links to interesting articles online.
However you may choose to do it, remember that the goal is always to connect with customers and increase their loyalty to your brand.
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But First… The Tools
I believe in the power of tools to make life easier and in order to do email marketing properly, you need tools.
I use MailChimp. The best part is, it’s free to get started. MailChimp and similar email newsletter tools allow you embed forms (like above) to encourage people to sign up and they give you options to create smart looking emails, manage your lists, and automate your email management.
The bottom line is you need a tool to effectively do email marketing. Test a few out, see which one is easiest and the best value for you and your time.
To the right is a list of some of newsletter tools you can use:
Email List Size
The size of your email list doesn’t matter when starting out. Whether it is 10 or 10,000 people, your approach should be the same. Write in your own voice, share useful information and news and do it regularly.
How it looks and how you grow it are all in the details, but I strongly advocate that you start an email list.
If you’re looking for more ideas, sign up to mine above and see what happens even in the automation end of things. You can always unsubscribe later.