In economically turbulent times, it pays to be resourceful. These days, savvy VARs are making sure to maximize the marketing value of every customer contact. No matter how seemingly insignificant, each interaction with prospects, leads, or confirmed clients is another opportunity to make a sale.
When it comes to marketing methods, emails are a low-cost, high-impact means of getting your message across virtually for free. While blanketing your entire address book with a generic, slapped-together spam message is a surefire way to annoy and alienate your contacts, a smart, targeted marketing email can pay big dividends.
So how can small and medium-sized firms make the most of their email communications with clients, leads, and prospects? Use these simple tips to help maximize your email marketing impact.
Own, don't rent. Some marketing gurus recommend renting email lists to achieve the widest distribution possible, but the emerging paradigm holds that a targeted approach that emphasizes current relationships and interested prospects is more likely to pay off for professional services firms.
Craft an offer they can't refuse. It makes sense to put a substantial amount of thought into developing a concise, irresistible subject line. This will help your email incite curiosity and compel recipients to open and view the message. Most experts say that the body of the email itself isn't nearly as important as the subject line when it comes to achieving a high click-through rate.
Segment, target, and personalize. The more narrowly you can slice and dice your contact list, the more likely it is that your email marketing campaign will be successful. Try several different systems to compartmentalize your contact list into smaller subgroups that make sense.
Develop custom click-through pages. Once you've taken the time to slice and dice your contact list into more manageable subgroups, create targeted click-through landing pages that will hold particular appeal for each group. Special offers, industry-specific services or product offerings, or geographical proximity are all angles that you can use in your custom click-through pages.
Make it easy to opt out. Nobody likes unsolicited or irrelevant email offers. Be sure to stick to industry-defined best practices when it comes to offering painless unsubscribe and opt-out functions.
Even though it has garnered a bad rap in some quarters, email marketing is an efficient, cost-effective way to connect with your prospects and clients. What's your firm's email marketing strategy? How do you plan to utilize email marketing in 2009? Talk back in the comments.