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June Issue Feature: Digital Biz Series - You've Got Mail

6-21-2017, Mobile Electronics Magazine -- Marketing techniques are not one-size-fits-all. How a business approaches marketing and customer retention varies depending on a lot of factors, including demographics, location and niche. When it comes to customer retention through email, business owners must find a good balance in order to avoid alienating customers by sending too many emails. To make email marketing effective, a strategy has to be implemented that takes into account subject lines, content and graphics that emotionally engage the consumer.

Jon Dewar owns Modern Media Geeks, a company based out of Kingsland, Ga. to help businesses with online marketing. Dewar has worked with businesses in a number of industries and acknowledged the difficulty of finding the right approach.

“It’s a massive deal. Email marketing as a whole is not a strong sector. Any good email marketer will tell you, you want the email to be sent at five or six in the morning so it’s at the top of the inbox,” Dewar said, noting that most people turn off their alarm in the morning and then pick up their phone. “It’s a fighting chance you’ll be opened instead of swiped.” Use engaging graphics that spark an emotion, Dewar said, and choose a catchy title. “Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, Wix has one—any of those are fantastic,” he said, naming a few providers that help create attractive emails. These providers also offer templates that make it easier to design an email that’s both eye-catching and informative.

Client Connections

The first and most common method of collecting email addresses is at the point of sale. Dewar recommended that an email address always be gathered when the sale is made. “We have to register you for the warranty. What email would you like to use?” Dewar said. “You’re not imposing on them, but you have that information now. Build your list if you need to reach out to them for any reason.”

An opt-in feature on a business’s website can also help gather email addresses if the business provides a newsletter. However, there are some key factors to remember: never send so many emails that you’re spamming customers, send email only when necessary and always provide quality content. Don’t rely solely on electronic means to make a personal connection with your customers.

Not everything can be done through email. Kimberly Trainer, president of Car-Tunes, Inc. in Greenville, Miss., believes that a personal connection will help to keep a business top-of-mind. “Our customer is our best advertisement,” she said. “When a customer comes in, I can talk about anything—the weather, their car, their kids. Whatever. That may not have anything to do with what they came in for. When you connect, they keep coming back. That’s something you can’t really do through an email.” A downside to email marketing is relying on it too much: Don’t miss out on making the personal connection in-person.

Car-Tunes has been collecting email addresses for six to eight months, according to Trainer, but they have yet to implement email marketing tactics. “It’s a nice idea to use in addition to what we’re doing, but in today’s digital age, there’s something to be said for someone coming in and we take care of what they need,” she said. “You will be on their mind. They need that extra technical, professional environment. You can’t get that through a computer.”

Sean Davis, president of Tip Top Customs in Morris, Ill., noted that Tip Top has utilized more than one approach when it comes to email marketing campaigns. “In the past, we used Infusionsoft and Businessworx to handle our email marketing campaigns. Both programs were great at letting us choose how often we would send emails out to current customers.”

Davis added that a newsletter campaign is set up several months ahead of time and the emails are sent automatically. “This helps keep us consistent so we don’t have to try and find the time to do it every month,” he explained. “It also lets us set the amount of emails customers will receive each month so we know we are not bombarding them. I have found that one to two emails per month works well and keeps our opt-out numbers low.”

Read the rest of the piece HERE.

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