Now that we’ve setup a website with perfect SEO and great content, we need to market that site and your brand.
The first step is to begin building your Permission Marketing list(s). I suggest you use Constant Contact (www.constantcontact.com) but there are a ton of other email marketing services available to you. Within Constant Contact you can establish one or multiple lists of contacts. Depending on your business, you will likely want to categorize these lists into focus areas. Perhaps you have Event Planners, Churches, Schools and Corporates. You would create a list for each of those then, using a number of methods, you’d build each of those lists up over time. For example, a sign up box on the homepage of your website would invite visitors to enter their email address then select the list they want to join. You can also add people, or your own lists directly into constant contact but BE PATIENT! It’s tempting to copy lists from other sources, or even buy lists for instant gratification. DON’T DO IT! Permission based, targeted lists allow you to specifically target groups or individuals without being too generic and with a very high click through rate, and minimal UnSubscribes.
Permission Based Marketing is exactly that – a list of people who have either asked you to contact them, or have agreed to be contacted therefore giving you Permission to email them. These people will anticipate your emails, and will not feel abused when they receive them. You want this. You do not want people feeling used, or interrupted by these emails. Interruption Marketing is old school thinking. It suggests that you just have to keep pushing your message as often and to as many people possible then eventually – they’ll give in. We don’t have that kinda money, time – or attention span in our industry!
You are building an audience of people who not only want to hear what you have to say, they will begin to respond to your emails with their wallets! Now that you have these separate Targeted lists, , you can begin creating email campaigns that will be tailored to look the part depending on the list that particular email is going to. For example, you might do a Halloween campaign that goes to Event Planners. You’d start with a simple Halloween template (included in Constant Contact) and offer 3 levels of Packages for Halloween events. An email like that might take you 30 minutes to create, 10 seconds to Send – and cost ZERO! But BE CREATIVE!! “Hey, buy this stuff because I have way too much in stock” is not going to work.”What’s in it for me” is typically the question people are asking when opening your email. They’re looking for the carrot or the free prize. So don’t disappoint them! Give them something for free – advice, a coupon, discount, or something much more creative. Think of your American Airlines Frequent Flier statement. Of all the junk mail you get, this is likely one you always open with anticipation. It’s marketing – but you bought in and anticipate that statement each month but they’ve hooked you with the free prize. If they take it away, you’ll call them and say “hey, I didn’t get my statement this month”… make people treat your email marketing with the same urgency.
You are probably already doing some local marketing, and some of you even on a national level by way of trade magazines, referral sites, etc. Not sure what your budgets are, but I assure you these methods we’re discussing will be cheaper, more effective AND will give you trackable or Quantifiable results.
Get your entire staff in on the process as well. Perhaps you can reward a person who brings in the most contacts, or comes up with the most effective promotion. If they are fully vested in the process, they’ll support it as well.
Back soon with Part 3!