The fact that ups and downs in the economy are completely normal occurrences doesn’t make the downs any easier to endure. A thoughtful business owner knows that things are never as bad–or good–as the present moment appears, and therefore prepares accordingly.
But, when times are tough, what more can a small business owner do to cope with sagging sales?
Historically, a company’s best source of sales is the existing customer base. Marketing studies have shown that it is up to seven times more costly to replace a customer than it is to keep one. Previous customers have already “qualified” your business and deemed you worthy to do business with. It should not be as hard to get them to become repeat customers because you’ve already impressed them with your operation the first time (haven’t you?).
And this management of customer relationships–which in the past was difficult and expensive–has been transformed into a science with the advances of the digital age. And the Internet has made it cost-effective as well. It’s as easy as sending e-mail. E-mail marketing is a very affordable marketing tool for a small business.
In fact, if your small business is not using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program, it is falling behind, because so many small businesses now use e-mail marketing as a normal part of business operations. E-mail marketing keeps you in contact with your best customers–so you know what they need, and they know you’re out there and ready to help.
You only need two things to get started: a valid e-mail contact list of your customers and a reputable e-mail marketing company to help execute a plan to suit your needs.
As for building a valid e-mail list, put some care into that as well. For a free white paper on how to build your list CLICK HERE. Remember even a mailing list of lets say 40 people can be a ‘huge’ gold mine. If you build up a terrific relationship with your prospects, this list can make you more sales then a list of 500. And it will grow continually anyway.
But, when collecting contacts’ names and e-mails addresses, be up-front about what you are doing. It’s not a secret, and you shouldn’t act like it. Give people the opportunity to opt-in or opt-out of future communications. If you are providing something of value in your communications, they will not want to opt-out anyway, so the risk is minimal. Develop a regular e-mail newsletter and publish helpful information. If you solve a problem for a customer, you become known as a problem-solver, not just a seller.
Buyers are becoming accustomed to the new rules established by Internet marketing. It is flattering to be catered to. It feels good to have merchants who seem to know so much about what buyers want and need, providing just the right solutions. And the proof is in the sales figures.
E-mail marketing is an inexpensive way to deepen relationships with customers and drive up sales, no matter the economic conditions.
Creative Intuition offers an easy to use e-mail marketing system that can get you up and running in no time. You can pick from several generic templates or have us create a custom branded template to give your e-mail more bang for the buck.
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