Thursday, October 7, 2010

Optimize Your Marketing Efforts Without Hiring a Team of Know-It-Alls


10:33 PM |

One of the keys to success for every small business is a really smart marketing program that keeps existing customers in the fold and continually incites prospects to join. The program should include the most cost-effective ways to raise brand-awareness, leverage your expertise and share deals.
Although many are still hesitant to move away from snail-mail or the telephone, others are rapidly discovering that email marketing is one of the most effective means of generating sales.  Research conducted in 2009 by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) found that email outperforms all other forms of direct marketing.
If you’re new to email marketing, or want to crank it up a notch, here are three tips to help you build and grow your email marketing list without having to look for additional budget.

1. Leverage Marketing Programs You Already Have

No one can opt in if they don’t know you have valuable information to share, so don’t forget to:
  • Include a line in your email that links to the sign-up page on your website.
  • Bring a laptop to trade shows and ask those visiting your booth to sign-up for your emails.
  • Keep sign-up cards by your store’s register.
  • Refer listeners to your website in your radio ads.
  • Include a link to your sign-up form in your email signature.

2. Make it Easy to Opt In

Once people are on your site, make it as easy as possible to opt in by having a very visible link on the home page and on every other webpage. Signing up should take as little time as possible, so don’t ask for too much information at this point and make sure your form is above the fold (what you see on the screen when your webpage first loads).

3.  Don’t Deluge Your Subscribers with Too Many Emails

How much is too much? It depends on your message so set expectations. Let people know what they’re in for before they hit the ’submit’ button. After they’ve had time to digest the information, ask a sample from your list what is the ‘right’ number of emails; they’ll let you know. Otherwise you’ll find out the hard way with an unsubscribe request.

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