There are several ways to market by sending email messages. When companies first begin marketing through email, most choose to establish an email newsletter that potential customers "sign up" for. Offering a email newsletter can be a potential way to develop a long-term relationship with your customers and potential customers.

One mistake companies that are new to email marketing make is to only send to potential customers "offers to buy." Heavy-handed sales pitches are not always best. Depending on how much investigation and research your buyer does before making a purchase in your industry, a person who receives your email newsletter may not be an immediate buyer. They may purchase after receiving 2, 4, or even a year’s worth of your newsletters.

Your staff should create and follow an editorial schedule before sending email "blasts."

My Experience

I have helped companies get up to speed with an email marketing program by training their writer or newsletter coordinator, signing them up with a white-list email delivery service (I recommend iContact) , preparing their mailing lists and helping them establish an editorial schedule.

I also help train staff on how to track email readership. Unlike a newspaper, where the editor has no idea which of his newspaper’s stories are popular, a service like iContact allows you to easily see which stories are popular.

iContact also helps you identify which people on your list regularly read your newsletter. Why is this important? Let’s say you want to offer a Starbucks card in exchange for completing a survey or watching a demo. It is smarter to only offer this freebie to people who are actually interested in your product! This eliminates people who only want the free coffee, but who never intend to buy.

Gathering a Mailing List

I also help companies identify ways they can ethically collect email addresses from interested and qualified potential customers. This is often done by:

  • Adding a Call to Action to their website pages
  • Collecting email addresses from trade shows through giveaways and contests
  • Collecting email addresses through an online contest aimed at your target market

TIP: In your email messages, only send "Blurbs" (or citations / summaries) of your newsletter articles with a link to read the full story. Then publish the full article on your website. In this way, an email recipient does not have to scroll through stories that do not interest him or her. They can pick and choose what they want to read (which will likely only be one newsletter article.)