e-mailing marketing is often an overlooked way to do this. If you already have an email address or business card it stands to reason you have had some contact with that person already and formed a good impression (unless you’ve bought an email list of course… and therefore do not collect £200 and do not pass GO!).
Think of all that time and effort you have put into building your contact database. It’s probably a mix of customers from the distant past, active customers or people that you’ve engaged with at networking groups. It’s also likely that as time goes by you’re failing to act on and re-engage with these people. Does it feel its all getting a bit awkward to talk with these people again? …well that’s a judgement call for you but remember, there was a mutual interest there at some point. Review those relationships and think about whether you have something meaningful to say to these people again and you will be starting a key re-marketing process.
People are typically a forgiving bunch and understand how hectic our lives can be. People do also remember people so it’s likely they would be happy to be contacted by you, even if some years have gone by. If you’re got something to say, look to re-engage with people that you’ve met in the past. Re-start your relationship and offer them something that you think might help. A little helpful knowledge may just be the starting block to help build your reputation as the ‘go-to’ business for your service or product…
e-mail marketing for businesses
Your business will broadly fit into two categories online; e-commerce product based sales or service based, professional services (we’re classifying social, enterprise and charities etc. all under ‘service’):
emails and e-Commerce based websites:
If you are running an e-commerce website customers may have bought from you and you’ll have quite in-depth information about the type of things they have bought. Use this knowledge to infer what else they might like to buy. You’re in a good spot, you know you have something people want, now its time to develop and re-market to those customers. What you don’t have is a relationship with that person, so it’s likely they’ll forget you even if they love what you have sold to them because its just another shop and people are so price focussed shopping online. But you do have to have the building blocks in place to build that relationship. Download our free ebook to read more detail on these e-marketing techniques for e-commerce shop owners and build your relationship with them.
Service Based Websites:
When you don’t have sell something online, what are the other techniques to gain engagement? Your opportunity to collate customer email addresses is limited. You’ll need to create a more natural tool for building your email database and with this a better way to understand what your customers want. Its much more likely people will be using your website for reference after a referral, through Social Media or finding you ‘blind’ via Search Engines. In which case the percentages for engagement are stacked against you… potential customers may visit you but you’ll be none the wiser* when or who has visited unless you capture their email address. To do this, develop some content that solves a problem these customers have or even an online tool that helps users get answers to their questions. You’ll need a mechanism to allow them to access the tool, either by sending a username and password or by collating the information in a free download or access to that tool by submitting their email address to you. Both routes are great ways to target people and build an audience because you’ll start to understand what they want. You see this technique used here in this blog and hopefully you find the content valuable and be open to receiving the next update?! This is a really simple technique that can be repeated across your website.
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Written by Sam Gardiner
I'm a designer based in Liverpool currently working for E-blueprint. Die hard Bolton Wanderers...Enough said.