21 July 2013, by A. Cedilla
How do you communicate with your clients, partners, suppliers and coworkers when you’re scattered in different timezones and countries? Email, of course.
Email is a crucial form of communication in business to keep people on the same page, if not in the same time zone, and it definitely has serious built-in advantages.
It’s fast. Sometimes the time ‘efficiency’ factor can make for some impatient people sending follow-up emails in premature order, or at the most inopportune hours, setting you up for ridiculous expectations and very full in-boxes (people still need to sleep, right? Ever get a follow-up email at 2:30 AM asking about a report?)
It’s cost effective. One click, send to many. No postage and handling, no stack of address stickers, no roll of stamps, or a trip to the post office with a bag of bundled snail mail to stand in line.
It’s easy. Write, check for sense, spelling and grammar, and then send (the middle part isn’t really optional, no matter how tired you are.)
On a personal level, email is an easy way to keep in touch with people. On a business to business level, it helps keep people informed and moving as a unit. On a business-to-consumer level, it is one of the cornerstones of keeping in contact with your market.
With a mailing list, your message can be sent to thousands instantly. Unlike the mass mailing before the internet was created, you don’t have to wait days or weeks for your point to get across, and then same again to get the replies.
With email auto-responders, you don’t even have to be the one doing the mailing and the follow-ups, a convenience many now take for granted.
(As long as you don’t spam people, that is.)
As with all kinds of communication, you only get to make a good first impression once. In face to face meetings, how do you ensure that?
- You introduce yourself.
- You conduct yourself politely and appropriately.
Via email, this takes some fancy footwork. Either someone is recommended to you, they up and introduce themselves, or they have to ask permission to send you anything. If it’s your business, you definitely have to ask their permission to send them anything.
Now email is speedy, but reading it takes time, and true understanding takes a little more. What helps get the point across is brevity, clarity and focus.
- What is the email about? Say so clearly in the subject line.
- Get to the points, and don’t stuff too many of them into the email.
- Order is the first law: don’t ramble, meander or wander off topic
A newspaper has headlines to mark the importance of certain bits of news, and make the individual stories stand out. In email we have subject lines and within the content itself we can use the formatting to present things clearly.
And just as newspapers have subscriptions, you should also offer the same service to your market in the form of a newsletter…an online subscription. When people opt-in for updates and news from you, they sign up to be included on your mailing list.
- A mailing list is vital for any business. It provides a line of communication and promotion with your market, helps you network, invite and update people, build and direct traffic to your site and new offerings, and boost your brand. You can use it to sell things, promote things and share things.
- Industry experts have their followers, and followers build up and make “gurus.” Without anyone listening, you’re just one voice among many.With a mailing list, you have an audience that already expressed their interest in what you have to say.
- Net-working on the world wide web –and making connections is easier when you have a ready list of contacts to bounce your ideas off of. Soliciting feedback, showing that you genuinely care about customer concerns and viewpoints is a very good way of keeping a good relationship with the members of your mailing list.
- You get name recognition, developing your brand with consistent, valuable communication with your market.
- You promote your products and service to the people who want and value them.
- You boost revenue by directing people’s attention to these products and services.
- You can also boost site visitors by directing them to continue reading the articles on your site.
A mailing list helps in the following way: An online business grows by getting more customers. You get more customers interested in buying your products, and getting more people to be aware of your products, your business grows.
So: Get more visitors to your site. Get more people on your mailing list. By doing so, you can check if your traffic is converted into more sales, and you also have a captive audience in your subscribers–one which you can direct your marketing attentions to.
- Using permission marketing, get as many people as you can to allow you to send them updates, promotional info, and useful articles.
- Provide valuable, relevant updates on a consistent basis.
- Learn who you’re talking to by getting as much information as you can about them (breaking things down into specific demographics) so you can serve them better and tailor your information to match their needs and wants.
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