Whether or not you have an online presence, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of email marketing or follow up marketing.

Email, or follow up, marketing is important because a really high percentage of your site visitors, won’t buy on the first visit…. It’s really important to get your first time visitors to return to your site – particularly when they are ready to make a buying decision.

This is why it is important to the business to capture the contact details of visitors, so that follow up messages may be sent to encourage return visits to the website. This is called a ‘Lead Capture’ process and it generally maps to email marketing campaigns.

A high number of site visitors who visit a site will opt-in for information and follow up messages – if they see something of value. Your site visitors may not be ready to buy just yet, but they may need more information to make a buying decision. By putting in place a Lead Capture process, you are creating a strong foundation for target marketing.

But What About Spam

Many businesses downplay the importance of email marketing because they don’t wish to be labelled as SPAMMERS.

As long as you follow the correct practices and provide valuable information to your Target Audience – this concern can be greatly reduced.

It’s also important to be realistic and understand that a lot of subscribers will just hit “delete” instead of reading an announcement.

However, just the simple fact that your visitors have requested more information increases a businesses chances of making an impact (and sales).

Email Marketing Advantages:

The main benefit of Email Marketing is that it is inexpensive and, when implemented correctly, follow up messages will ONLY go to customers or interested prospects.

When an email marketing campaign is designed (including making it as personalized as possible), a business can give increased visibility to its products and services. Email marketing can also result in a quick responses that help to increase traffic to your website.

Beyond this, email marketing can be utilized to introduce new goods and services, cross sell and to create brand recognition. A well design email marketing campaign also affords your customers the opportunity to present feedback (which also improves customer loyalty).

Common Email Marketing Mistakes

One of the biggest email marketing mistakes I see is a business that tries to ‘do it for themselves’. The business will create a lead capture process but try to manage subscriptions manually. Or… the business will try to send messages through their desktop email system.

Both these approaches are fraught with issues.

1. Manually manage the subscription process

In my experience a number of subscribers will use an ‘aliased’ email address and if you are managing your subscriber list manually, it is often difficult to find the email address that was used in the initial subscription process. This can cause a lot of angst for both the business owner and the subscriber.

2. Sending mail through your desktop mailing system

By desktop mailing system, I’m referring to using your MS Outlook (or other) email client.

The biggest single issue with this approach, is that the email messages are either sent through the ISP or hosting mail servers. What many businesses do not realize is that your ISP and hosting provider limit the number of outgoing messages on an hourly, daily, weekly and monthly basis.

Once a mailing list reaches a certain size – these limitations become a big roadblock to a successful marketing campaign.

Should A Small Business Use Email Marketing?

Even with the deluge of emails people receive today – email marketing can be incredibly effective. As you can see, the importance of Email marketing and the potential positive impact it could have on your business is considerable. If you avoid the mistakes noted, and gather contacts carefully, you’ll be well on your way to improved visibility and sales.

Charly Leetham is a Small Business Coach and Online Business Implementation Expert and I help small businesses take their business online. Charly provide services to solopreneurs and small business who wish to sell or promote their products and services online. Visit Email Marketing and the importance to small business for more information
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