Email is a powerful tool for a local business owner. It amazes me how many choose not to use this as a fundamental building block to grow their business.
If I think about the local businesses I’ve given my email address to, it’s pretty well aligned to best practices about how to acquire customer emails – namely, offer them something of value, such as a deal, special discount, advanced notification of a sale, a limited time offer, tips and advice, exclusive events, best practices, education, or laughs. Plus, it’s always nice when a business sends me a special offer for my birthday. The local businesses who’ve won my trust (and who’ve kept it) are restaurants, electronics and sporting goods stores, golf courses, my favorite places to buy clothes, and a couple of local shops that sell goods that feed my hobbies. Why do I willingly give out my email address? I assume these businesses treat their existing customers well and want them to return. It’s drives loyalty and repeat business.
So don’t be afraid to ask for one’s email. And if you get it, make them glad they did.
Where it gets even more interesting is when you leverage your email list to help grow your business in other ways. Consider the AIDA (Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action) marketing funnel, where your job as the business owner is to build awareness for your business (Yelp, Google Search, Facebook, Twitter), develop interest (website, blogs, videos), create desire (price, limited time offer, convenience, free samples, etc.), and finally, drive a desired action (make it easy to purchase, subscribe, contact, visit, park, etc.).
Review sites and search engines are typical places where consumers find out about new businesses (your business). Can you use your email list to help you better manage your Yelp or Google+ review pages? Absolutely. Can you use it to help you grow your business on Facebook? Definitely. For more on using Facebook to grow your business, check out my blog post – Why Facebook is a critical component of your online marketing growth strategy.
For many businesses big and small, emphasis on growth is viewed as the need to acquire new customers. But too often business owners neglect taking care of the customers that already know them to bring them back on a more regular basis. Email provides that opportunity. Just don’t abuse it.
For a free marketing assessment and tips on how to use email, mobile, and Facebook to grow your business, give us a holler, we’re here to help. Happy Marketing to all.
Posted by: Rick Kawamura