MailChimp www.mailchimp.com is a popular low-cost email marketing tool that makes it very simple to send emails , but also helps you send your legitimate emails to avoid hitting the spam traps. Given that MailChimp is free to start with, and the paid-for functionality starts at £6.50 a month, not using it is frankly bonkers.
Using other tools such as dotMailer, ConstantContact, Aweber, etc are also fine, as they are also email great marketing tools. If you're not using a tool like any of these, then MailChimp is a great place to start because it is so affordable for pretty much any business.
So here are 3 simple ways to get more business with MailChimp (or any other email marketing tool).
1. Send the email!
Lots of businesses have years of customers in their database, but have been too afraid to send something out! If you do have years of email addresses, just target customers you've had in the last 12 months, and just send them a quick hello. Just ask how they are doing.
You'll get some replies, and perhaps some business from it too. Don't make excuses, send an email and see what happens.
2. Don't sell in every email
If you just send emails when you have a special offer, you'll train your database of contacts to never open your emails .
So take the time to send them something useful. Perhaps some advice to help them, a useful template, a useful checklist, or a few seeds of inspiration.
The idea is that you're sending them some value, and you might do this 5-10 times compared to 1 sales email. This moves you away from just selling all of the time.
Coming up with ideas of what to send is really hard to do, I know that. Since this is so hard to do, most businesses don't do it.
That means you'll stand out. What if you stand out from your competitors? You'll probably get the business.
Life is busy, you're just making it easier for your customers to think of you first when they are ready to buy.
3. Send a great offer with a deadline
When you do send out a special offer, give the customer a reason to act now. That's usually with a deadline, but often with a degree of scarcity too.
e.g. You might offer a free hamper (or perhaps a large discount – e.g. 30% off, or free design work, or something of real value) for the first 5 customers to place an order within the next 48 hours.
Don't take any more than 5 orders, stick to your word that you're committed to just 5 customers and just 48 hours. Given them a specific time of day that the deal ends, such as 1 hour before closing time so that you can process the order before you go home.
You don't want the deal finishing at midnight. You'll be forgotten and the deadline is somewhat wasted.
You may need to experiment with deals to get this right, but it should give you some extra sales. The worst that can happen is that you'll get 0 sales. So there's no excuse to try it!
So there you go, more sales with email marketing (and MailChimp if you want to get started). Actually send an email, don't always sell, but make compelling offers to get that sale.
Dan Harrison is a web developer who specialises in extending WordPress-based websites. As part of Dan's business WP Doctors Ltd www.wpdoctors.co.uk he spends a lot of time using email marketing to get more business, and teaches the Southern Entrepreneur's MailChimp training course.