Are you using Email Marketing to Grow Your Business?

Are you using email to grow your business?

It not, why not?

It is one of the fastest ways to get information out to your customers. Remind them of an approaching holiday. Tell them about a new product. Send them some information that applies just to them at just that moment.

Emails can be effective because, if written well, they can get  your message across quickly, straightforward, and allow you to make a personal connection with your customers.

Just be careful that your emails don’t make the customer feel like they are always being sold to. Do that too much and your emails will be deleted without being opened.

You may be thinking, everyone sends those emails blasts. No one will actually read what I have to say.

Think again.

It’s all in the way you write them. Like most of you, I get hundreds of emails daily. Each morning, I go through the list and delete everything I don’t want to bother opening. Some of those that I really get tired of receiving daily go into my spam folder. Others are just deleted.

Creating a personal touch with your emails can make the difference between your customer hitting delete or opening them.

Here are some tips to build and maintain the relationship with your customers

  1. Keep it short and sweet.    Most people don’t have time to read long emails, so they skim for the “gist” of it, and often miss what your message is really saying. Keep your messages short and simple and they will get the message quickly.

    This is why emails can oftentimes be much more effective than those html newsletters that we send via Constant Contact, Aweber, etc. They serve their place and can be effective if used for what they are intended but they shouldn’t a good old-fashioned, well-written email.

  2. Email often.   If the only time you email your customers is when you have a product or service to sell, they’ll feel like they are simply customers and they don’t have that personal relationship with you.

    Write in the first person, with personal stories or anecdotes will help build trust with your readers, and they will then read those messages that are actually selling or promoting something.

  3. Ask what your readers want and need. Then, DO IT. Don’t create an email survey unless you actually need it and plan to use the results. There is nothing worse than feeling like you’ve taken time out of your day to complete a survey and the suggestions aren’t acknowledged.

And one more thing – always remember to never spam your subscribers. Only send emails when you have something to say. This may sound like it conflicts with the tip to email often. But it doesn’t. You can email often but make sure those emails have value to the customers you’re sending them to.

Email marketing can be very effective but like any business-building tool, you need to have a plan and a goal you hope to accomplish when you send out each one.

More about Branding “YOU”

In my last post about Branding, I talked about the secret of Branding that most people forget — You are your Brand.  Be Yourself.

Another  example of someone who did exactly that through the years is Mike Wallace.  His personality was his brand.  Questioning.  Sometimes abrasive.  But getting the story in an entertaining way that made people want to know what Mike Wallace would ask next.  Morley Safer, a co-worker on “60 Minutes”, said that Mike was the same way when not in front of the camera, sometimes abrasive, always asking co-workers questions.  Mike Wallace was a unique individual, that those of us who watched “60 Minutes” through the years, remember well.  By being himself, he created his own unique brand.

How about you?  Have you ever taken a minute to think about how much you’ve grown up over the course of your life and what kind of Brand you create for yourself, and for your business, with your personality?

If you haven’t, take some time today and surprise yourself.

Sometimes we may feel like we’ve grown older while making  no real changes  in our lives.  But if we think about it, we realize that probably is not true.

Haven’t  you grown  from a dependent small child who needed to be held and comforted to an adult who can stand on your own?  From a child whose personality was pliable to an adult who was molded by experiences, chance encounters with people who influenced you, what you’ve read, what you’ve learned, and what you decided for yourself.

Think about it another way.  As a child when someone asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” what was your usual answer?  A teacher? A railroad engineer? A pilot? Or even I don’t know.

Think about what you would say if someone asked you that same question today.

Now ask yourself, what’s stopping me?

The Secret You Need to Know about Branding Your Business.

You are Your BrandI have never been an out-going, party-loving person. I’m basically an introvert who enjoys working alone and wants to do what is ethical and right regardless of the consequences. You may think that is not a good personality for building a business or creating a brand for your business.

But my mother told me something many, many years ago whenever I hit a bump in life where I had to make a choice between what is ethical and right and what would make me popular. She said, “To your self, be true. Just be yourself and you’ll always be able to live with yourself.”

I’ve found that to be true. It was demonstrated one day when, as an adult, I overheard someone say, “Joyce doesn’t talk very much. But when she does, we listen.”

I’ve carried my mom’s motto forward as an entrepreneur creating a series of businesses during the past 30+ years and always found it to be true.

There are hundreds of books out there on branding your business and creating an image for the business. And most of them miss the one thing that I’ve learned through the years.

I AM MY BUSINESS. YOU ARE YOUR BUSINESS.

So how does this relate to branding?

A good example is Apple. The company has a new CEO, Tim Cook, but he did not create the brand as we know it. Steve Jobs did that, not with a design by committee branding team that made the decision that we want the public to think of our company as this or that.

Steve Jobs created the company, and the image of that company, through the force of his personality.

In other words, Steve Jobs was the brand for Apple. Everything that we think about Apple today is a direct result of who Steve Jobs was. He was innovative. Driven. Aspirational. These adjectives apply equally to Jobs and the company we know as Apple.

Now he, and a design team, could have decided that they wanted Apple to be known as “warm and cuddly.”

But he didn’t because he knew that isn’t who he was. He was a good enough marketeer that he could have convinced the world that Apple was warm and cuddly — for awhile. But it would have been phony branding and the real personality of Steve Jobs would have come out occasionally and conflicted with the “cuddly” brand. As a result, he would have lost trust.

Some people say that Apple is a perfect example of successful branding that can never be replicated. But, that’s not true. What Jobs did with Apple is the most traditional branding model in the world. He didn’t sell anything or produce products that he didn’t believe in and couldn’t stand behind 100%. He didn’t need to worry about whether he was being true to the brand with what he or the company did because everything he did was genuine. He didn’t need a script when he talked about a new product or the company because what he said was true.

I think about what my mom told he frequently. What it means to be myself and how I am my business. I know what I am — introverted, shy, but honest and ethical even when making hard decisions. I know that I will make the decision about my business that is right for me because I know that my business is me. I am the brand for my business and my loyal customers have discovered this.

I could simply tell them everyone I meet and communicate with that this is who I am, tell them I do these things but I could also tell them that I am the embodiment of Sarah Palin or Hillary Clinton. But that doesn’t make it real.

One of the first things I learned as a fiction writer was “Show, don’t Tell!”

This applies equally to creating a brand for your business. You have to live who you are, not just talk about it. I feel that this is the most important thing to keep in mind about branding. Substance is what matters. A person, an organization, a business should be the image they hope to project.

The only branding tip you really need to know is “Live the Brand.” And that should be easy because you are the brand. You are your business.