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Automate an Email List

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By James Pruitt, Senior Staff Writer

The last two posts described walking the tightrope between spam and genuine engagement. After an initial engagement with an email list, the discussion of further automated conversations continues this discussion. 

Generally, automated emails direct email traffic to a known audience. This audience has already demonstrated an interest in the mission of the business owner. The path has been paved. The rest of the journey should include proper enticements for your already engaged user base. 

Automating an email marketing plan may include four considerations. (1) An engaged audience should direct your goals. (2) The right automation software, (3) Using this software to generate enticing auto-responses, (4) Welcoming new subscribers.

First, engagement with the audience is key to successful email marketing. Remember that once emails become automated, proper routing becomes especially crucial. No one likes robocalls, as we all know. Emails are certainly less obtrusive but still should not cross the fine line into spam. 

Marketers should segment customers to ensure relevance. Recipients should be split into groups based on qualities such as gender, age, or location to ensure that offers stay relevant to each segment within the target audience. Other segments could include classes of customers based on their stage in the sales funnel, whether as a prospect or an ongoing customer. Each segment should stay relevant to the marketing effort. 

Remember that cold leads also have value and can reveal information that may result in an eventual sale. Segmenting cold leads can provide insights about alternate directions for future correspondence.

Even on an individual level, fictitious buyer personas can illustrate the personal characteristics of buyers from a market research standpoint. Construction of relevant buyer personas can inform the construction of emails and help design effective offers. The construction of such personas can humanize the potential target and allow a more detailed construction of marketing content. In other words, the creator engages a human being they have come to understand rather than a cold demographic.

Second, good automation software facilitates the process.  Automation software should not only be usable but also flexible and integral with other platforms. Also consider the potential for client support, as well as simple procedures to optimize email lists. For example, software should make it easy to remove bad addresses and redundant users. 

Third, the auto-responses should continue to engage, and not bother, the subscribers. Auto-responses continue the conversation after the customer has engaged with the initial email. These responses should add humanity to the content of the interactions, and not provide mere cold confirmation of the initial encounter. Consider different classes of auto-responses for different situations and types of customers. For example, post-appointment emails may comprise one list, and post-purchase emails can go into another category. Auto-responses may ask for feedback, further information, or provide deals or continuing information such as jokes, quizzes, or inspirational quotes. 

Fourth, always consider the expansion of the pool of brand enthusiasts moving forward. When plausible, recipients should be encouraged to forward messages and share information with others in their brand segment. However, always ensure that your brand leaves a positive impression. Blasting potential customers with frivolous communications leave the impression of a cheap company desperate for any kind of response. These bad practices may annoy the recipient as well as get you blocked as a spammer. Remember to maintain dignity and professionalism, keeping directed marketing relevant and interesting. In this fashion, customers will look upon the company as a partner rather than a pest.

 

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association hope that this article has not only been valuable but provided some unique perspective.  We work hard to bring you important, positive, helpful, and timely information and are the “go-to” online venue for Veteran and Military Business Owners.  VAMBOA is a non-profit trade association.   We do not charge members any dues or fees and members can also use our seal on their collateral and website.   If you are not yet a member, you can register here:  

https://vamboa.org/member-registration/

We also invite you to check us out on social media too.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/vamboa

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VAMBOA

Do not forget that VAMBOA members receive significant discounts on technology needs.   Check them out here: https://vamboa.org/dell-technologies/ 

 

HOW TO BUILD AN EMAIL LIST

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By James Pruitt, Senior Staff Writer

How can we start potential customers on the journey down the “sales funnel?” For the uninitiated, a “sales funnel” is a marketing term describing the trip of a potential customer from prospect to buyer. As discussed in the previous article in this series, one “Golden Rule” prevails in email marketing. “Avoid spam.” 

So how do we avoid “spam” as email marketers? The most effective email marketing efforts channel is through voluntary opt-in. Examples might be newsletters, online classes, and games. The worst sin would be to purchase an email list, which some marketers do.

Nothing alienates quite like an unsolicited email. For this reason, the most successful marketing efforts piggyback onto existing online communities with an engaged user base. 

Choosing a relevant community sets the entrepreneur on a path to gracefully and unobtrusively distribute a sales pitch. Your own website might provide an excellent starting point. Web design should include mechanisms to collect email addresses from interested parties. Popular methods might include quizzes and surveys, which may also provide valuable information about your client base. Directing ads through social media may provide another outlet for your pitch.

Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube offer special methods for targeting audiences. Each of these platforms offers methods to harvest followers by engaging with relevant topics. A good email marketing campaign converts these followers into recipients of an email list. The importance of an email list comes from the control the owner can exercise. A social media platform can change its policies regarding sales pitches. These changes can interfere with your relationship with your followers. With an established email list, the relationship is between you and your client base.

After the establishment of an email list, marketers should maintain the interest of the recipients. 

First, don’t email every day. Business owners should ensure not to exasperate their audience or crowd their inboxes. This is what spammers do. 

Second, a healthy email list has relevant and interesting subject lines. The message should stand out amidst the flood of offers that crowd the typical inbox. Managing the inbox should involve refreshing the trove of marketing ideas and maintaining an evolving relationship that snatches the readers’ attention. In other words, keep them clicking. We want to keep our message out of the users’ spam or trash boxes. 

Third, the content itself should matter. Ongoing relevant content should stay within the bounds of what the recipient signed up for. Don’t email about golf when your base wants to know about basketball.

Fourth, as subscribers, the recipients should receive special perks and offers. These exclusives may include webinars, audio seminars, or special discounts. 

Email can be a remarkably cost-effective method for disseminating a sales pitch. However, due effort should separate your messages from the regular spam that regularly pollutes most inboxes. Effective strategies to create the email list should responsibly collect engaged users whose interests coincide with the goals of the business. Following the creation of such a list, effective email list management allows a business to control its message while remaining relevant to the user. 

 

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association hope that this article has not only been valuable but provided some unique perspective.  We work hard to bring you important, positive, helpful, and timely information and are the “go-to” online venue for Veteran and Military Business Owners.  VAMBOA is a non-profit trade association.   We do not charge members any dues or fees and members can also use our seal on their collateral and website.   If you are not yet a member, you can register here:  

https://vamboa.org/member-registration/

We also invite you to check us out on social media too.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/vamboa

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VAMBOA

Do not forget that VAMBOA members receive significant discounts on technology needs.   Check them out here: https://vamboa.org/dell-technologies/ 

 

Three Golden Rules to Get People to Read Your Newsletter

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By Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter

 

 

Is sending a regular newsletter at the top of your marketing to-do list? No?

 

Regardless of what type of business you have, in order to keep customers coming in your door, ordering on your site, or calling, you need to stay in their minds and in front of their faces. Your past customers are or were interested in what you do.  They care about what you have to say, and they care about how your business can impact their lives.

 

Email is the easiest, fastest, and cheapest way to keep your business popping into their heads when they need your services. A good email newsletter can help you by:

  • Generating leads
  • Keeping your customers close
  • Keeping you in their mind when they need your products and/or services
  • Opening a dialogue
  • Offering more for your customers
  • Gaining a loyal following

 

The challenge is getting the customer to actually open and read the newsletter. So how can you ensure that they do? Below are three “golden rules” to follow that will greatly improve your newsletter’s impact:

 

1.) Grab Them with A Great Headline

Leave out boring email subject lines such as “ABC Company Newsletter” and be a bit more creative. Take something from the newsletter content and make a fun title out of it. You need to make the reader WANT to open and read the email.  You need to engage their interest.

 

2.) K.I.S.S. (Keep It Short & Sweet or also known as Keep it Simple Stupid)

Newsletters are a place to grab attention to direct the customer to perform an action such as to call you, click a link, buy from your catalog, etc. Keep the actual newsletter content short and the send the customer (via link) to the longer article on your blog or product page on your site. Make sure that the tone is tailored to your audience and that you include colorful and high-quality visuals.  Additionally, make sure you educate a bit (without being too pushy).

 

3.) Quality NOT Quantity

It doesn’t matter how many people you have on your list, if only 1% is actually looking at the newsletter. Make sure that your content is compelling and tailored for the audience you are sending it to. It is better to have 10 people who truly read the newsletter and click your links than 1,000 that trash it without even opening it. Also, be sure that you aren’t OVER emailing people.

 

Try to think about how much email you personally receive and look at the types of emails you click on, which ones you read, the links you click to read or learn more about something. Think about what entices you to read and click and apply similar methods to your emails.

 

In today’s hyper-connected world it can be difficult to engage and have users stop for a moment and pay attention to your marketing message. Follow these “golden rules” and you will definitely see better results from your newsletter campaigns.

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