Think that you can just rely on Facebook or Instagram to provide you with your future clients… then think again! Who controls those accounts? Not you! Not only can your account be closed at any time, but you are also subject to their algorithms which determines who sees what, when.
With email marketing, it’s yours, you have complete control! Email marketing should be an integral part of any approach to get new business! Don’t put your future all in the hands of another!
So, what do I need for a basic email marketing plan for new customers?
- A Lead Magnet.
- A Series of Welcome Emails.
- Prospect Nurturing.
What you can use for a lead magnet will vary between industries but offering them to go on your newsletter list probably will not be enough. The lead magnet needs to be something of perceived value that you are giving away in return for their email details.
If you are a retail business you could either require them to provide their details to get access to a discount code, or you could have a discount club, where in return for handing over their contact details, they get access to ongoing discounts off products.
Examples in the service industry: If you are a painter for example, you could offer a report on the 5 key questions to ask before choosing a painter, or 5 tips on how to look after your houses exterior to make the paint last longer. The first example is centred on transparency, trust and credibility and the second is based on adding value and credibility.
If you are a wedding co-ordinator, or provide a wedding venue hire service, then you might offer a lead magnet on a topic such as, 10 ways to save money on your wedding or 10 questions you need to answer before organising your wedding. Your topic can be centred on getting them ready, before requiring your services.
An effective lead magnet will address a problem that your target market is likely to have, without solving the big problem that you want to solve with your product or service. The problem could be a sub-set or a precursor of the problem that you are going to solve.
Most lead magnets take the form of a PDF document, but they could also be video, mini course or even a series of emails.
A Series of Welcome Emails
The very first thing that you need to do is deliver the promised benefit via your lead magnet. If you don’t, they could become quickly annoyed and you lose your opportunity.
At this stage there is a lot of goodwill as you have given them something of value for free, so they are more likely to be receptive to a series of emails. Over the next two weeks, I would recommend emailing them between 5 and 7 times. During this time, you want them to get to know you better, build trust, credibility and establish how you may be able to solve one, or a number of their problems.
Within your emails you could include:
- Ways in which they can become further connected and get more information, such as via a Facebook group.
- Other ways they can gain additional information from you, such as videos or a blog.
- Introduce to them to your solutions.
- Invite them to ask further questions.
- A backstory on your business, how it came about, who is behind it, what you are passionate about, what makes you different and so on. The more they know about your business and what it is about, the greater the likelihood that they will want to do business with you (assuming they like what you have to say!).
- A case study on how you solved a client’s problem.
- Feedback from happy customers!
Once the initial welcome strategy is complete, you want to move into a consistent flow of contact. At this point your prospects can be considered in a similar light to your existing clients and receive the same or similar emails. For ideas on content, I suggest you check out my article “Can email marketing help any business?”.
How often you send emails depends on the nature of the business. For some, every two weeks may be right, for others once a month. If you leave the gap too long, then you run the risk of being too infrequent to make a difference, but equally you don’t want to be too frequent that you become annoying!
Whatever you do, make the greatest proportion of your emails about adding value to them rather than selling to them. If they feel like every email is an ad, then they will turn off. Conversely if they find your emails useful, then they won’t begrudge when you send the occasional sales email.
As much as possible, try to make your emails interactive, which means including a call to action. Get them to click on a link to read an article, watch a video or listen to a podcast. This makes it more interesting for them, but also gets them accustomed to interacting with your emails. When your sales email arrives, you want them to feel comfortable about clicking on a link to purchase!
Accept that not everyone will stick around, you will lose some of your prospects, but that is unavoidable. Ultimately it is about having a quality database rather than a large database. The better you understand your target market, the better you can serve them and the more loyal they will become.