Christian entrepreneurs should always be looking for simple proven strategies to grow their business and engage customers. Email marketing is a great tool to do both of those goals easily.
We discussed what an email marketing campaign is and how to think strategically about it. In today’s article, we are going to discuss the major parts of an email campaign and introduce some tools to help you get started on email marketing to engage your customers and grow your business.
Before we get too much into this, let me pull out the spiritual side of things. Email marketing is about building relationships. The more your customers understand who you are and what your business is all about, the more they will feel they can trust you. When they realize that you actually care and do business differently because of a higher purpose, you may just be the bridge that brings them one step closer to knowing Christ.
The first tool you need in your email marketing toolbox is a way to collect emails. You can collect emails online through your webpage, social media or even on someone else’s webpage. If you read our article on the power of email marketing, you saw that you must start with a strategy.
The basics of the strategy is to know you customers well enough to know what you can offer to entice them to give up their email address to you. It can be a giveaway, coupons, reports, newsletter, etc. It needs to be something that would help your customers and they would find it valuable.
Ways to collect emails
Get a clipboard and a piece of notebook paper. Draw columns with the title ‘name’ and ‘email.’ You can also get phone numbers if you plan to do any text messaging. Have your cashiers fill out the form so you can read the email address and name.
To take it up a notch, you can create a ‘fancy’ sheet using Word or some other office type software. Show on top of the page your ‘enticing offer.’ Again you can have your customer service representatives fill out the information either by typing or by hand-writing.
Next you can create a free Google form online. It is really easy to create if you have a Gmail account. Just go to your drive and create a simple form to collect name and email address. Again, make sure to point out the benefits of joining. You can have this on a tablet at your location, customer representatives can input the info or customers can. You can even put a link to the form on your social media accounts and your webpage.
You can use a simple contact form on your webpage. It is best to create a new form and put it on a new page. Your webmaster can help with this. You just want to show the benefits of joining with your enticing offer and have a place where customers can fill in name and email. Make sure when you get an email, you respond with the benefits and congratulate the new ‘member of our family.’
The best way is to use an autoresponder. There is a slight learning curve, but it is well worth learning if you want to use email marketing. Basically, an autoresponder allows you to collect information online, store it in a date base, send out messages regularly and even automate sequences of emails. (more on autoresponders below)
Email Campaign Communication
Once you get an email, you must communicate. Always use a simple ratio of no less than 6 to 1, I would even go as far as 12 to 1. That ratio represents how many times you send some helpful, valuable information compared to how many sales pitches you send.
That being said, if you send a newsletter, make the ratio in each newsletter. Put 6 helpful articles, information and research to one of your product sales pitches.
Whatever you do, make it a regular occurrence, especially the first week. When I am coaching clients, I suggest the first couple of week sending some helpful advice every two days. Then, on the last day of those two weeks offer to help in a relevant, non-threatening way.
The last email goes out and tells subscribers what your schedule is moving forward. For instance, if you have a monthly newsletter, you will simply mention that it was great to get to know them and you will be sending monthly newsletter and as always, “if you have any questions, we are here to help.”
You may be wondering what to send. Make it simple. The first email welcomes them to the email list and delivers the enticing offer that was promised. The next email is a helpful tip, tool or article relevant to your business and your customer. The next email tells a simple story about your business and asks a question like, “how can we help you better?” You can repeat this pattern followed by a relevant offer and an ‘ending’ email mentioned above.
Email Campaign Automation
The first suggestion I have in automating is using an autoresponder. I don’t want to make this article super long, but I found a great walk through that shares examples and even free tools for email marketing using an autoresponder. He suggests using GetResponse which is one of my favorite autoresponders.
If you choose not to use an autoresponder, your automation can be done in a few ways. You use Google Forms, and can create a section 2 that delivers your enticing offer after someone enters their information. If you collect emails manually, set up an internal system. Have a customer service representative or sales person, know what sequence to send out. They should have a check sheet for each customer that lists customer, email address, email sequences and date sent.
Automation only works if you put it into practice. There are ways to use your online calendar to remind you about sending these. There are tools the plug into your email that can send emails in a sequence. There are even CRM’s that will remind you about dates and set up email templates.
If I was starting out and did not have an autoresponder, I would use Google tools to help. I would create the form, collect the info. Use that spreadsheet to track sending email. Use a Google doc for my email sequenced templates and use boomerang connected to my email to schedule the emails. We have an entire training on using Google tools that you may find very helpful. Click here to learn how to maximize your business using free Google tools.
Email marketing is a powerful tool if you know how to use it. For Christian entrepreneurs, it could be the system that creates a connection with customers to build a bridge to knowing Christ. Make sure you start with a solid strategy and if you need help hire an affordable Christian business coach. The business coach should get the system set up, show you how to update it as needed, and you can run it from there with a simple system.
In our next article we will discuss the parts of a well written email and walk you through a simple step-by-step email sequence to help make your email campaigns a success.
Relationships with solid, caring Christian entrepreneurs help build relationships to Christ. #ChristianBusiness #ChristianEntrepreneur Click To Tweet