By: Barbara Roman, Owner of Roman Art and Marketing
Many small business owners and entrepreneurs toy with the idea of sending out email promotions but often have a tendency to procrastinate. Being a small business owner means wearing many hats and having more to do than time to do it. Overwhelm sets in and with that, paralysis.
The last thing an overly busy business owner needs is one more thing to do. Unless it’s something that can be done in increments; say twenty or thirty minutes at a time. Especially if it can bring in more income which could pay for more help and/or inspire you to re-think the time you spend elsewhere and spend some of that time promoting your business via email. In any event, this method of marketing is an extremely powerful tool that most business owners can benefit from and creating it is easier than you might think.
Below is a 5 step plan to help you get you started quickly, easily and effectively:
- Take this project in small increments – perhaps 20 or 30 minutes at a time. You know the old joke: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
- Consider the type of information you feel would be beneficial to include in each promotion. For example, perhaps a short note from you with your photo, an article containing helpful information for your reader, a list of upcoming events or resources, and a special discount offer. (Make a list of your ideas and don’t limit yourself. Brainstorm as many ideas as you can; good ideas can come from bad ones so list them all. Then hone the list down).
- Sign up for a free trial to a reliable, template based, bulk email marketing system. After continual and extensive research and testing, the link above is the service I use and highly recommend. If you’re tempted to use an email service provider such as Hotmail, Gmail, etc., that's not a good idea for promotional emails. In an effort to keep spammers out of our InBoxes, Spam filters scrutinize emails coming from email services which are intended for personal use and will often throw these emails into the Spam/Junk folders if they contain promotional content such as the use of sales words like discount, % off, sale, huge savings, etc., along with many, many other types of things that can trigger spam filters. However, emails coming through bulk email service providers can be given more latitude, depending on the service. If you’re going to spend your time and effort creating a promotion, you want it to land in the InBox and be seen.
- Take a look at the different templates available within the bulk email system. Try not to be distracted by the colors and particular photos used in the template; those can easily be changed to whatever will work for your business. Some questions to ask yourself are: would a sidebar or half sidebar serve you well, how many sections will there be, and where will you place images.
- As an industry service, I’m happy to give a free, no obligation twenty minute marketing session so you can start out on the right foot for your particular business. Contact me and we can discuss strategy and any questions you may have.
As always, I wish you the best with your email endeavors.
Barbara Roman, is an award-winning graphic designer and award-winning strategic email marketer with 20+ years' experience. She works with clients at all levels, offering training, consulting and coaching services to help businesses and entrepreneurs across the country achieve the best results possible. As an industry service, Barbara professionally sets up businesses with a 60 day free trial of a web-based email marketing system that she recommends and provides a tips sheet to encourage success. Contact her here for yours.