Consistent communications with your customers are what build that foundation. Just like communications at the Farmers Market, at your farm stand or on social media, this builds trust.
Email is one of the best means of communicating with an audience consistently. During the slow months when you aren’t at the markets or hosting a farm stand, email can bridge the gap and allow you to reach your customers and stay top of mind. Your email audience chose to be on your list. They asked for more information from you so keep them informed.
Give customers a VIP experience, such as letting them be the “first to know” because they are on your email list, or get special offers, or get first dibs on ordering. Make them feel special.
That’s why I encourage all of my clients to start building an email list sooner rather than later. Email can be your best lead generator, salesperson and revenue generator.
However, time, money, and level of tech-ability are usually what my customers say holds them back from really diving into email marketing.
I am here to help show you that it’s easier and more affordable than you think.
Email marketing services make setup easy for any level user while being affordable to get started.
The mistake I see many clients make when they are just starting out on a shoestring budget is that they use Outlook or Gmail to send all marketing emails.
According to the FTC, who enforces the email CAN-SPAM Act, a marketing email is any message “primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service,” It would be safe to say if you are sending an email about your business or products, consider it to be a marketing email.
I beg you, do not use the route of using Outlook or Gmail, there are affordable options for starting an email list and complying with the laws.
Email marketing services provide you a way to send out general emails to your audience, protect those on your list, and offer your products to your audience in a way that complies with email laws.
These programs offer plenty of benefits aside from the legal benefits:
- Your emails are less likely to go to spam
- You can view who and how many people open your emails
- You can see who and how many people click on buttons or links in your emails
- You can track analyz collect emails and allow people to opt-out of unwanted emails
- You can make beautiful looking emails easily without needing to be tech-savvy
- You won’t be limited to how many emails you can send out at once
Why you shouldn’t use your personal Gmail or Outlook email account:
1. Permission to be added to the list. An email marketing service assures you have permission before allowing someone to be added to your list, this is the best practice to ensure you have someone’s permission to send them an email. This is not a legal requirement but an excellent practice.
2. This includes all the required email information necessary to comply with CAN-SPAM laws. I highly suggest everyone read the CAN-SPAM act to be sure you know the laws. It’s short and easy to read. Email marketing services are great at ensuring the required information is included in your emails, without having to manually add it each time.
3. Not knowing who opened or clicked on your content. Or not knowing if anyone even opened or clicked on your content. This is really important information you can use to see what your readers respond to best. You can see if people are reading your emails, which emails people open most and compare them to your industry (these tools are in most email marketing service plans).
4. You cannot track and analyze data to improve your emails. Very similar to the above, having data to see how well your email performs and what people are clicking on is important to your email efforts. If you think people are interested in a topic and you don’t get any clicks on that topic, this data allows you to try something different. Information such as which devices your readers are on (mobile or desktop) allow you to ensure your emails are set up for that audience. The day and time your emails perform best. There is a lot of data you can use to make your emails perform better. You’ll get savvy to these things as you progress, but make sure your email marketing service allows you to track data.
5. Limits on the number of recipients. Providers like Outlook and Gmail limit the number of recipients you can email in one day, to help prevent spam and keep accounts safe. With an email marketing service, designed to send mass emails, you don’t have a limit on how many recipients you may send to, and these systems have code in place to help minimize your SPAM score.
6. Did someone say they didn’t get your email? There is no way to track delivery of an email if you sent it from your personal email. But you sure can with an email marketing service, you can see when it was sent, if it bounced and when they opened the email.
7. This increases the chances that your emails go to spam. Email marketing services have developers who build emails with behind the scenes information needed to increase the likelihood your emails will be delivered to your audience’s inbox.
8. Tracking and housekeeping of your list. Using Gmail or Outlook does not allow you to track analytics, collect emails, or allow people to opt-out.
9. Just an Email. You cannot create beautiful emails with images and pleasing format, and this is very important when you are selling products. And again, Email marketing companies hire developers to create these emails in a way they will more likely be delivered to your audience’s inbox.
10. Protect the people on your list. Sending emails from Outlook or your Gmail account might expose your entire to being compromised. With an an email marketing system, recipients cannot see other recipients’ email addresses and each receipient receives their own copy of the email rather than mass copied on one email.
It’s tempting to use your personal email when on a shoestring budget, but the consequences can cost your business if you don’t follow the rules. Email optimization and delivery can be impacted. Along with lack of data to help you grow your business. Having an email marketing system can help you grow your business and save you time managing email, and email marketing systems are affordable, even for your shoestring budget.
Use this chart to help you find the best email marketing system for you.
And you can sign up for the free 5-day email course to help you get started building your email list to grow your business and increase your revenue.