Website Newsletter Marketing
Here is one of the most effective, yet overlooked, marketing strategy on the internet. Done well and it will make your hitmeter sing for short periods of time. Make your site 'sticky' and your overall number of hits will continue on an upward spiral.
I am constantly amazed at how efficiently many web businesses work at gaining new visitors while those same companies inefficiently manage the "contact points" between company and customers. Most companies "drop-the-ball" when it comes to communicating regularly with their customers. They just hope their existing customers will translate into repeat business. When it comes to "repeat" business, most companies are passive rather than pro-active. And, when the repeat biz fails to materialize in great enough numbers the business usually fails.
Contrary to what many business owners believe, repeat business is not simply a matter of "doing a good job the first time" -- it is more a matter of staying in the mind of your customers. That is why Coke® does TV commercials. That is why Microsoft® advertises in magazines. That is why your Insurance Agent sends you a birthday card. Even if they already have your business. They do not want you to forget them!
And, you know what? It works! ...it has since the beginning of capitalism.
The smaller the business -- i.e., the fewer the customers -- the MORE effective "customer contact" is as a marketing strategy. Unfortunately, it is just too expensive for most small and medium businesses in terms of costs and logistics to carry forth. Yesterday, that's the way it was. Today, however, it doesn't have to be that way. The Internet makes available to virtually every business a nuclear weapon when it comes to staying in touch with its customer base. But, most small and medium sized business owners don't know where the "button" is. The ones that do know, are often afraid to "push" it. That nuclear weapon is email. ...and, it is the best kept marketing secret on the Internet.
Now, just in case someone is thinking "spam", forget it. We are talking about a Mailing List or Newsletter.
This way you are offering a service to your customer, keeping them informed with the latest information.
Mailing your customers this way is about as "opt-in" as it gets. Microsoft, GTE, Symantec, Intuit, Excite, McAfee -- just to name a few -- all send email to their customers this way. Even your ISP will tell you it is "ok" to use mailing lists and newsletters. And, as long as you place your customer's interests above your own, you will never receive a complaint.
After the one time set up fee it is virtually free to use this communications tool. There are definitely some tricks to the trade, so here are some general guidelines that will help you along on the right track:
- Re-establish your relationship in the mind of the customer. Some people get lots of email. As they quickly browse through it they usually ask the question "Is this from someone I know?". Therefore, make some quick reference to your website and the relationship you have established with the recipient. That answers the question and allows the reader to get on with reading your message. This is also another way to avoid having your message mistaken for junk email.
- Structure your message to benefit the customer. Customers are always asking "What's in it for me?" Your message should include a benefit, solve a problem, contain legitimate news, offer something special. Always look at your message from the customer's viewpoint and ask yourself the question, "What's in this for me? ...why would I be interested"
- Keep your message short. Just about anything can be explained from a web site. Let your email message explain the concept and provide a link to your web site to tell the rest of the story.
- Whether you have 10 customers or 10,000. You will find that staying in touch with them is critical to the success of your business. There is no more cost effective way of generating profits than to intelligently harness the power of email to communicate with your existing customers. And, if you are succeeding without using this strategy, then you are "succeeding in spite of yourself". You will be far more successful if you integrate this strategy with the rest of your marketing efforts.
Here's a question for you...
If all you had to do was write the letter, if the paper, the printing, the envelopes, the stuffing, and the stamps, ...were FREE, would you mail your customers regularly? If you are a smart business person you said, "Yes".
Well, it virtually is free... it's called email. And, any business who unleashes this marketing strategy dramatically discovers the true power of the Internet lies in the fact that your company can stay in direct contact with its customers for free an advantage that has never previously existed in the history of marketing.
Information courtesy of Position Masters – Website Positioning and Web Page Design