This article is provided in partnership with Constant Contact.
There’s nothing wrong with owning a good business.
But if you want to be the owner of a great business, the kind of business that inspires and unnerves its rivals in equal measure, you need to be a little ambitious.
Actually, you’ll need to be more than a little ambitious.
You need to focus on not just finding new customers but inspiring repeat customers too. And to turn one-time shoppers into loyal customers, you need to cut through the distractions of social media notifications and text message alerts and engage with them on a meaningful level.
To do that, it’s helpful to heed advice from an expert in that area, namely, Constant Contact’s, Dave Charest, senior manager of content and social media marketing.
(Photo courtesy of Constant Contact)
1. Create A Personal Experience
When it comes to engaging customers, email marketing has proven results. Actually, email is almost 40 times more effective for acquiring customers than social media.
Successful email marketing starts with getting to know your customers as people, not sales transactions. From there, ask permission to keep up the conversation through email. Once you have the green light, strive to personalize your messages and offers as much as possible.
“The key is to provide a great experience for your customers,” said Charest. “If you’re able to personalize these experiences, even better. When you wow your customers, they’re going to talk about it with their connections online and off.”
2. Be Consistent
When business is brisk, it’s easy to put marketing on the back burner. On the opposite end of things, it’s just as easy to overwhelm customers with too many messages.
We’ve all deleted emails from senders we’ve forgotten about or didn’t recognize. And we’ve all had that sinking feeling when we realize we’ve shared our contact info with someone who doesn’t understand how many emails are too many.
Because of these two extremes, your customers won’t hesitate to unsubscribe from the mailing list of a company that they can’t easily recall or one that stuffs their inboxes. Ideally, you want your customers to view your business as a trusted friend who shows up at the right time with the best advice and offers.
Charest recommends monthly emails where you provide additional value to your customers in the form of helpful information and a staggered approach to promoting sales or events with one announcement email two weeks out, a reminder a week later and a last chance email a day or two before the promotion ends.
3. Track Engagement
Email marketing is also super helpful in tracking customer behavior and providing you with the info you need to refine your messages so you can turn one-time shoppers into repeat customers.
“When it comes to email marketing, you’ll want to look beyond the opens and clicks in your email to see what is actually translating into sales for your business,” said Charest.
Look at the specific content they open and share and the offers they redeem. They’re all clues into what customers want. When you track your results, you’ll create more targeted emails, which boost results. Keep it up and watch how the cycle continues as your business thrives.
Take Your Business From Good To Great
Use these tips as part of your email marketing strategy to encourage repeat business and build customer loyalty. With email you can reach your customers where they go every day — their inbox, and start adding more sales to your bottom line.
This article was written by Mario McKellop and Alaina Brandenburger via Examiner.com for CBS Small Business Pulse.
For more information on email marketing, visit Constant Contact.