Assuming that you as a small business marketer already have a list… there are really just two key objectives to focus on:
– Keep the prospect engaged
– Make your company the top contender when they’re ready to buy
Some people may feel these two objectives are somewhat at odds with each other, but let’s see how we can get it all to work out.
To keep the prospect engaged you need to consistently mail them. At least every 2 weeks, but for most businesses once per week is now more desirable. This is due to the fact that your average prospect now receives so much email that once every 2 weeks means you’re half-forgotten unless you provide truly exceptional content.
So what content does engage the average customer? I believe that a carefully crafted mix is the answer
– Industry news
– Learning articles
– Special offers
– Tips & tricks
– Re-purposed content from other if it’s really excellent and relevant.
Say, as a business owner you decide to email once a week, then every week choose one thing and do it really well, or mix it up from issue to issue. As an example:
Week 1: Learning article. This would be the only content you provide that week (the monthly learning bulletin…)
Week 2: Industry news combined with tips and tricks (If you’re in fashion you may talk about the latest fashion show, if you’re selling forklifts talk about the latest trends or trade show)
Week 3: Special offer. It works best if people on your list get offers before others or get a special discount.
Week 4: Borrowed / repurposed content (it’s a great way to put spotlight on other businesses that help you out)
Planning these emails at least a month out is a great idea, gives you peace of mind knowing that your email marketing runs on ‘autopilot’.
Be the top contender
So that leads us to the second objective: Make your company the top contender when your prospect is ready to buy….
Well, if you send them a consistent stream of valuable learning, some great tips and tricks, you keep them up to date and provide some really great offers…. You have already done 80% of the hard work.
However, what you must do to complete this part is make it really easy for your prospect to get in touch, to take action. Phone, email, social media channels and ordering pages are all important ingredients. Make sure in every email to include at least one form of ‘next action’ device or you will be robbing yourself of most of the great opportunities that present themselves within your prospect base.