Make your community feel warm by keeping in touch

You know that you need to move with the times but – there’s so much to think about

There’s an email that you have wanted to send out explaining a new idea to people you’ve met over the last few months.  You know roughly that it’s to keep in contact with them.  It seems so simple – send out an email.  Yet it just doesn’t get done

 

As a small business you can message easily with group emails

 

It could be a photograph of an event that you’ve organised, industry information.  Whatever you choose to send one thing is for sure – if you keep in touch by email you will be remembered and there is less chance of your potential customer wandering to someone else.

Your clients too could appreciate you keeping in touch.  They may be ‘between cycles’ with you and this can help to keep up the connection.

What’s holding you back?

Here are some possible reasons.

  • The day starts early, you plan out and have a list of things to do. This is on your list – but the phone rings, you are diverted to something else which is urgent. There isn’t enough time –
  • Techie reasons. You’ve started to do this and there are so many questions you’ve given up. You hit technical hitches.  If you are stuck on setting up emailing with Mail Chimp

 

  • Not good enough? You receive so many emails from ‘professionals’ in the business, how can something you create possibly look good enough? Don’t let the ‘Will it look good enough Mind Meanie’ stop you from keeping in touch with your clients. They are waiting to hear from you.

 

  • You worry about sending out too much email

 

  • You don’t want your special clients to get ‘bulk email’

 

  • Your list isn’t organised

 

Here’s how to get your emails out

I want to share with you some of the things I’ve found useful:

Use a bulk emailer for marketing and Gmail/outlook for personal messages.

Gmail our outlook is great for sending personal emails but when you want to send messages to larger numbers of people it’s better to use a bulk emailer because the nature of marketing communications such as ‘newsletters’ updates of blogs, status updates, announcements of new offers, industry information means that they may be sent out more frequently than personal communications such as appointment confirmations, billing, personal proposals etc.  The way servers are configured bulk emails can be marked as spam and it’s not good to have your personal emails marked as spam.

Interruptions

Once you know what you are doing, if you enjoy writing and emailing then you will be happy to set up time for doing this.  Allocate space in your diary and stick to it.  If it seems overwhelming, break it up into bite sized pieces e.g. Set up times for: planning, doing and monitoring.

Delegating

If you know that you are happy to direct operations, but your time would be better spent doing other things then consider delegating this job.  It can be delegated to a member of staff or good outsourced assistant or marketing professional

Technical Hitches

Don’t let the technology overwhelm you.   Find some good help or go online for help. There’s plenty of help available on using Mailchimp. It is a question of setting up some learning time to make yourself familiar with the processes.  If you feel a wave of sleep coming over you the thought of doing this, you can either delegate the job to a VA or get some personal training in using Mailchimp

Organising your list

The people who you decide to send emails to are known as the ‘list’.   To comply with UK Government direct marketing regulations, you must have permission to communicate with them.  Permission is either ‘implied’ because they are a member of your club, community or they have purchased from you.  Express permission means that they have granted you permission to email marketing communications through a subscription on your website, or other subscription form.  You should keep a record of this (Mailchimp will do this for you.)   You should also have an unsubscribe link on bulk emails to comply with the law.

Will it look good enough?

Luckily Mailchimp has a lot of templates which will help your email to look good.

Pictures

Pictures really do lift an email.  The answer is to collect a file of pictures you can use.  Keep a file in your cloud folder of company branding images.  Have company branding to hand in png or jpeg form.

Wording

Use language that appeals to your audience.  By this I mean that unless you are a corporate empire, you will have the opportunity to build your writing style, recognisable as you.  It has more weight than a bland typed document.

Sending individual messages

Once you have created a professional looking bulk email you can always choose to send a limited number with personal messages on them as individual emails.

 

Getting started on email relationship marketing can seem a big step to take.  Doing anything new takes time and effort.  Decide whether as a small business owner you want to do this yourself or get someone else to pick up the thread.  Once this decision has been made you then can decide whether its something you are going to get some training in, learn it yourself, outsource or ask your staff to train in.

Over to You

Taking the decision to send out marketing emails is something that can keep you in mind with your community.  It shows that you are thinking about them.  You can keep people informed of your latest announcements, offers and news by using bulk emailing.  What are your thoughts about using this form of marketing?  Do post in the box below.

 

If you would like to know more about email marketing get in touch  gill@gillianhunt.co

2 Comments

  • Clair

    Reply Reply January 20, 2018

    Gillian, you make a scary project look manageable.

    Breaking down each step is so helpful. I think I can do this now!

  • Gillian Hunt

    Reply Reply February 16, 2018

    Thank you Clair. Planning and organising is certainly something that I have found works for me. For me planning does require some discipline. I’m pleased you have found this useful.

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