I have been fortunate in learning email marketing from some top marketers such as Jimmy D Brown, Marlon Sanders Jeanette Cates,Ray Edwards,Armand Morin and Connie Ragen Green and following the blogs of hyper communicators such as Chris Brogan, Danny Brown, and Guy Kawasaki.
The one element that I have discovered as common to all of them is the concept of building an ongoing relationship. You can also see it as continuing the conversation. Some use their blogs to communicate and some use both the blogs and email marketing. Few keep the comunication lines open by doing only one thing. Some have an email sending out the posts as they are published.
Small business operators and professional practices often have monthly newsletters to keep the contact up. This is a good idea but can be missed or thought of as out of sight, out of mind. Regular communication with your clients can best be accomplished by mailing on a much regular basis. This need not be cumbersome but can be made simple by using a series of messages that go out on specified dates after the initial visit or contact. You should build a series of messages initially and then add broadcast messages once or twice a week. This can be sequenced to operate so that the messages are mailed on a schedule that you have planned out. For example in the first week you may want to write every other day and then decrease the frequency to every third day and so on. You can also determine what time of the day it is mailed.
Using an email service or autoresponder automates this and gives you valuable information on what your recipients do with the message. For example, do they open it, is the address accurate, do they click on a link in your mail . I use Aweber and have found the service to have a very high deliverability rate. Part of this is due to having used permission-based opt-ins that are confirmed by the recipient initially. All recipients under this system have the right to opt-out of your mailings if they wish at any time under the provisions of the CANSPAM rules.
Plan your schedule and write up a series of messages in your autoresponder and load them into your autoresponder. The service will then send out your messages and you will not need to do this manually. Just set it and forget it. Your initial messages should start by thanking them for their signup and then follow up with valuable content. You should not be trying to put an offer in every email but rather allowing to let them get to know you or your business. You may talk about issues of general interest in your market and then check your open rates to determine which messages are opened the most and revise those that are being ignored. You can test different subject lines. You could use a message to your list that you build up in order to ask them questions or give them free surprises. Example could include such items as an e-course , PDF Report or an ebook on topics that you are being asked every day by new clients and the public at large.
These are just a few ideas on how to mail early and often to grow your business or practice and build a good foundation of trust.
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