Many local businesses, especially small businesses are reluctant to embrace technology. They like to play by the old rules – they use pamphlets for advertising (that is, if they advertise at all).
Maybe they have a facebook page somewhere – but they are not active on it and have very few (if any) subscribers.
Local business need to step up their game if they hope to survive and thrive in today’s competitive market. Otherwise they will simply be gobbled up by the big fish! Here are some pointers on how email marketing can help local business to substantially increase their sales.
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1) Having email access to people enables you to compete with the burgeoning online market.
People spend a substantial time of their time on the internet – be it in front of the computer or on mobile devices. They are constantly being bombarded by (often invasive and obnoxious) ads. No wonder people do most of their shopping online. This is deplorable for local businesses – they are totally cut off from the supply-demand chain!
Email marketing enables these businesses to enter the playing field. If people come to know that local businesses are offering them great deals, they are happy to patronize them.
Who really wants to wait 2,3 or more days for a product to arrive when they can pick it up in their very own town or neighborhood within minutes?
Besides, online shopping is not really fun – people cannot really get a feel of the product on the internet. They cannot touch it, feel it, try it on, test it – virtual can never replace the physical. Also, if the product/service turns out to be substandard or faulty, there is a very cumbersome replacement procedure. Returning the product and getting it replaced takes another couple of days at least. The truth is – people want to buy from local businesses but these businesses are just not taking enough initiative to get on potential clients’ radars. They have zero online visibility and hence, people are ordering products from thousands of miles away when they can find them in their own backyard!
2) Email marketing is cheap as chips.
What do local businesses do to advertise? They usually buy some expensive banner. This is not the smart way of doing business any more – especially if you are a small business with limited resources. But the internet is great at levelling out the playing field. Local businesses can use internet marketing to create a buzz about new products, coupon, sales, offers, add on services and a lot more. This method of promotion is really cost effective and yields phenomenal results. According to the experts, businesses make 44 dollars on every single dollar that they spend on email marketing!
3) Email marketing is very easy for local businesses to implement.
However, it is best not to approach people for their email while they are shopping. This is obtrusive and ruins the experience. Instead, ask people to REVIEW your business at the cash register. Ask them if they would like to spare a minute of their time to help you improve your business. People are more than willing to give suggestions if you ask nicely! Simply ask them to put in their email (and phone number too, if possible) at the end of the form. Not only will you gather emails, but you will also get a ton of priceless feedback from your customers.
4) Do NOT use paper forms.
Opt for tablets instead. It looks much more sophisticated and classy. Paper forms belong in the past century. Most people find it difficult to write on sheets of paper while standing up. Also, the email addresses entered on paper forms are barely legible (people are in a hurry!) You will lose out on a lot of emails just because they are impossible to read or because you read them wrong. All these problems are addressed through the use of tablets.
You will extract a much better response from people if you give them a small gift in exchange for ‘REVIEWING’ your business. It can be anything from a coupon, discount voucher, membership card that entitles them to special offers, free sample, free quotation or consultation etc. People like free stuff, so make a small upfront investment and reap rewards in the long run.
Needless to say, it is best to complement email marketing with mobile marketing (actual phone numbers). If local businesses are willing to get a little bit tech savvy, they can skyrocket their earnings within a matter of days.
Want more? Check out Inbox Blueprint 2.0 coming on April 18th, 2016! It’s great for local businesses, affiliate marketers or ANYBODY who wants to step up their email game!