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How to Boost Your Local Business with Email Marketing

Email marketing is a great way to attract new customers, build long-lasting relationships, and increase your business’s sales. Don’t let the ’email’ in email marketing throw you – there’s nothing high-tech about it. What you’re doing is running a mailing list and the only difference is that it’s electronic.

Email marketing is basically direct mail done online. The way it works is that website visitors or offline customers sign up for your list (this is called ‘opting in’). They sign up to receive updates and offers. You then send them email messages to keep in touch and make them deals.

The Dreaded Spam Folder

Here’s the major challenge of email marketing – there’s so much spam floating around on the Web that people might trash your messages. The first way we get around this is by making sure we send to subscribers only. In other words, don’t get names or lists of names from a third party. If they didn’t sign up, they won’t be interested.

The other way is to offer real value. Give them exclusive deals, offers and information that they can’t get anywhere else. As long as you keep the goodies coming, they’ll keep opening your email messages.

Step 1 – Getting a List

The first step is to get a list of subscribers. Email marketing is a numbers game, so get as many subscribers as humanly possible. Some will unsubscribe from your list over time.

You can gather names offline with a sign-up form at your business and online through an opt-in form on the web. An opt-in form is a simple online form that asks for name and email address, and usually says something like, ‘We hate spam as much as you do.’

The best way to get subscribers is to offer a freebie up front. Most people don’t want to give out their email addresses for fear of getting spammed to death. But if you offer something cool that they want, they won’t hesitate. Discounts and coupons also work.

Step 2 – Send Them Messages

Getting email addresses is just the beginning. Next, you have to follow up. Make sure that each message you send offers something of value. When you do this, they’ll start to recognize you as a trusted source of information or great deals.

You also should be careful not to send too many messages. If you bombard them with messages that don’t offer something fantastic, they’ll end up in the trash folder quickly.

Another mistake to avoid is using your list only to sell to your subscribers. What do you think about somebody who only calls you when they want something? That’s kind of what you turn into. Instead, use it to offer valuable information as well as offers.

The great thing about email marketing is that you can automate everything using an autoresponder. This is a software program that manages your lists and schedules messages for you. This makes it even easier to build long-lasting relationships with your customer base.

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