Entrepreneur - - By Alyssa Gregory

E-mail Marketing: Is It Worth Your Time?

emailMany of us design HTML templates for our clients’ e-mail marketing campaigns, but what about for your own business? E-mail marketing can be a viable way to grow and expand your business if you’re willing to put in the time and effort it will take to maintain templates, a distribution list and regular campaigns (even if you limit yourself to plain text e-mails).

In reality, many of us probably already have sign-up forms on our websites, allowing us to collect addresses from interested parties, but then how often do we actually send out an e-mail blast? And what about your own address book? I know I have hundreds of contacts that would probably be interested in the information I would consider sending out. If this sounds like you, it may be time to take a serious look at the benefits of e-mail marketing and what types of messages to send.

The Benefits

E-mail marketing can have a number of benefits for any type of business, freelancer, or entrepreneur. Your mailing list can include current and past clients, colleagues, unqualified leads, prospective clients, friends, past contacts and even people you don’t know.

The focus should be on developing a method of regular contact because it can:

  • Communicate important news to clients/colleagues that they wouldn’t otherwise know
  • Keep you on the minds of potential clients
  • Put you in a position to receive regular referrals
  • Make your sales process easier and more productive
  • Help people get to know you in a light, informal way
  • Start conversations with people you are targeting

What to Share

You may be thinking that you have nothing to share, but an e-mail marketing campaign doesn’t have to be complex. It doesn’t even have to be a formal newsletter; short and to the point can be effective, too.

Information you can send out to your distribution list may include:

  • Site launches for other clients
  • New products or services you are offering or your clients or colleagues are offering
  • Special discounts or limited-time subscriber benefits
  • Client testimonials
  • Products or services you recommend that may be useful to your audience
  • New partnerships or collaborations
  • Surveys or requests for feedback
  • Articles, blog posts and other informational resources

Not Crossing the Line

There are some important things to keep in mind when launching e-mail marketing campaigns. You’ll want to make sure you are sending messages in moderation, when you have something truly valuable to share and not simply for the sake of sending something out. And please, give people a chance to opt-in before you start sending away, and make sure there is a clear way to unsubscribe. Crossing the line and doing too much too often, or sending unwanted mail will do the opposite of what you want it to do and can hurt business.

Stay tuned for my next post about e-mail marketing services for you to consider for your future mailings.

Do you collect contact e-mail addresses on your website? What do you do with them?

Image credit: Nick Cowie

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