Email marketing is a great tool for generating sales and acquiring new customers because it is easy, fast and efficient and very affordable, yet many small business owners are overlooking this tool as a medium for generating sales. Typically within minutes of sending out an email you can expect either your phone to start ringing or website inquiries in your email box from those interested in your product or services.  The key to generating sales with email marketing lies in creating a successful and sustainable email marketing strategy.

Here are five steps for launching a successful email marketing strategy that will help you generate new sales and acquire new clients and customers.


Step 1: Collect Email Addresses

Your first step to a successful email marketing strategy requires you to start collecting email address from everyone – prospects, customers, and those that you meet at networking events. Building a quality list of your ideal target market will keep your pipeline full and sales consistently coming in.  Also, just like direct mail, there are list available for rental of your target market that you can use to get started on your campaign.

Step 2: Utilize an Email Marketing Software

Utilizing an email marketing software, such as Constant Contact, will help you build and segment your list, ensure that your email get sent out and provide you with the opportunity to send out professional emails that stand out.  You will also be able to get statistics on who opened your emails and who clicked through your links so that you can follow up with that person.

Step 3: Craft an Irresistible Message

Your email campaigns should never be just about selling, but about delivering value to your customers by providing them with useful information.  This allows you to stay top of mind in front of prospects, customers and colleagues so when they or someone they know needs your product or service, you are the one that comes to mind first, because you have kept in Constant Contact with them. An irresistible message can be tips that they would find useful, best practices, new trends that are happening in your industry, announcements for successful projects you have worked on. Starting with your subject lines, your message must be one that will grab their attention so that they would be willing to take the next step an open your email.

Step 4:  Always Include a Call to Action

In order to maximize response from your email campaign, it must always include a clear call to action. If your email is around a specific topic, it would be best to tie the call to action to the topic or a specific offer.  In order to boost conversions of the number of recipients that click through your call to action to the number that actually contact you, it is best practice to send recipients to a specific landing page that reiterates the call to action or offer in your email.

Step 5: Timing is Everything

As you launch your email marketing strategy, you should test different dates and times to see which day/time combination provides the highest open rates and conversions.  A recent survey by Get Response found that very little emails were opened on the weekends and Tuesdays has the highest open rates. However, these findings may not necessarily be true for you, and it really depends on your target market.  Finally, don’t be discouraged if you sent a few emails and you did not get the results you were seeking, there is a marketing rule of 7, that states a consumer must see your advertising at least 7 times before they buy from you.  I have had prospects on my email list that have purchased from me 2 or even 3 years later, because I have stayed in front of them and provided them with valuable information. I built trust and demonstrated value and knowledge and the timing was right. Remember, people buy when they are ready to buy, not when you want them to buy, so timing is everything.

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