Email is still at the top of every marketer's list for reaching customers quickly and inexpensively. According to an Experian study, sales emails have eight times more opens and clicks and can produce six times more money than other types of email. And that’s the goal! You want customers to take action by clicking through to your website to make a purchase. To do that, each email blast you send must do the following:
- Have one clear message. It’s okay to send out an occasional newsletter featuring lots of items but for the most part, your email should focus on one product line, trend or offer. You have a limited amount of time to capture their attention.
- Think more photos, less copy. Big photos, that when clicked, go directly to your website for a closer look at that cool product. Your email should take a reader 20 seconds or less to fully understand your message. Every photo should be linked to a web page that will give the reader more information about the product and the option to click to buy. Be mindful that the photos fit within a mobile-friendly email template.
- Test the URLs to make sure they work. You worked hard to put together that email, you selected great photos and loaded it with clickable links. Test those links before you send to make sure they take the reader where you intended them to go.
- Work your subject line. 35 percent of email recipients open email based on the subject line alone. Make sure it’s compelling.
- Include a “Call to Action”. You want to create a sense of urgency and encourage the reader to make a purchase ASAP. You can do this by adding a limited time offer such as “Hurry – offer ends ____” and include an expiration date.
- Measure your results. If you don’t measure your results, you’re wasting your time. Every email marketing company gives you access to a full report on what happens after you tap “send.” You can see how many people opened your email, what they click on, who unsubscribed, and more. Learning what your customers respond to will help you hone your marketing skills.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing not only gives you the opportunity to “speak” with customers one-on-one, but it builds your brand. To engage and connect with followers you must listen by reading what people are talking about and respond quickly and accordingly; interact by commenting, replying or sharing a post; react by answering follower posts and comments in a timely manner – the sooner the better. Smartphones allow you to post from anywhere, so get the app for every social media app you use; and finally, sell through interesting copy and photos. Instead of posting a single item, show it in use. Include people in your photographs who are having fun, and interacting with what you sell.
- Give incentives to people who visit your social media via exclusive content. Train followers to look for offers they can only find on your social media accounts. Think “Tuesday’s Deal of the Day” or something similar. Promote these offers via your social media, website and email blasts.
- Advertise. Facebook ads give you full control of your advertising dollars by allowing you to easily choose your objective, target your audience, decide where to run your ad, determine what it should look like, pick a budget, and more - including the opportunity to run your ad on Instagram as well. If advertising on Facebook isn’t currently part of your ad plan, it should be. Learn more here.
- Use a social media management app. Dashboards like Hootsuite and Sprout Social allow you to sync all your social media accounts in one convenient place so it’s easy to manage, monitor and schedule posts. Most are simple to use and offer a free trial.
Put Impact 8™ to work
We created Impact 8 way back in the 90s and have shared and used it ever since for one simple reason…it works.
- Part one of Impact 8 involves a telephone call to four customers each day. You cannot talk about your company or product unless the customer brings it up first. If you get the customer’s voicemail, it’s okay to leave a message because you’ll make their day. Say something like, “This is ______ from ______. I really enjoyed speaking with you at ASD Market Week, and I just wanted to take a moment and thank you for your business. I know that you have a lot of choices and I am happy that you chose to stop and see us...”
- Part two requires blank note cards and the contact information for four of your best customers. These customers will receive a handwritten note thanking them for stopping to see you at ASD or for their business. The handwritten part is important – it’s the first mail to be opened because we don’t get it very often anymore. Address each envelope by hand, use real stamps, and add your business card. The good standing and positive word-of-mouth you’ll generate will be immeasurable.
Work to build word-of-mouth about that you sell through a unique show experience that’s backed up with email marketing, social networking, and the personal touch of Impact 8. This will take planning and time and consistency, but we promise you it will be worth it.
Contributed by Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender, consumer anthropologists, keynote speakers, authors and consultants who have helped thousands of businesses in retail, restaurant, hospitality, travel, death care, and service industries since 1990. They are contributors to MSNBC’s Your Business, made Meetings & Conventions Magazine's list of Meeting Planners Favorite Keynote Speakers, were named two of Retailing's Most Influential People, and have been listed among the Top 40 Omnichannel Retail Influencers and the Top 50 Retail Influencers four years running. KIZER & BENDER are partners and emcees for the popular Independent Retailer Conference held at each ASD Market Week.
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