Tag Archives: small business

Weaknesses of Email Marketing

18 Aug

Marketing isn’t such an easy business. You’ve worked long and hard to establish your brand/business. You’ve tried many different mediums (posters, radio and TV etc.) You may have burned your fingers before and so out of respect I will be honest with you. There are faults of email marketing that we have to address.

1. Email does not keep secrets.
Once people sign up to your newsletter and start receiving communication from you, they will start to take you seriously. Sometimes,they will even share some of the information on their professional/social networks or forward your emails. Even one newsletter could get people talking about you for a long time. Worse still, they will buy from you. So if you are not sure you want anyone knowing about your business, email is definitely the last medium you want to use.

2. Email is highly discriminatory.
Your annoyingly capable email marketing solution will show you how to segment your market. In a short span of time, you will be able to target each with very specific information that will capture their interest. It will also send personalized automated emails to your subscribers and will reduce the amount of time you could have spent doing this. And then they will start viewing you as an expert or market leader,buying from you and putting all sorts of pressure on you. Might not be the kind of thing you need right now…

3. Email kisses and tells.
There will be no hiding how your campaign is fairing, what with the detailed statistical reports that are available. And they are so simple to interpret, you won’t be able to work on intuition anymore but on raw facts about your subscribers.

But what runs chills down my spine is that you will have gained such a loyal following, you’ll be forced to have a successful business. Pooh!

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EMAIL MARKETING TUTORIALS – PART 1

5 Aug

For the past two months, we have focused on email marketing facts, figures and case studies of email marketing success stories. Over the next six weeks we will delve into the basics of email marketing and what it offers for your business.

Contrary to opinion, email may be the most famous medium of communication in East Africa. It is still however, an infamously underutilized and misunderstood business communication tool. This is why,starting next week, we will discuss the various ways in which you can use email marketing in your business not just in marketing but customer relationship management and public relations. I will also discuss some of the work we are doing with small businesses since our launch two months ago.

Would you like us to address any specific material related to email marketing? You can post it in the comment area below or through our contact page.

To keep updated , you can click on the RSS tab or subscribe to our blog by clicking the ‘send me the info’ button on the top right.

Till then-all the best!

Beryle

FOUR MARKETING LESSONS FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS – CASE STUDY FROM IKEA DENMARK

31 Jul

I absolutely love Talefod’s “campaign signature” for IKEA Denmark’s email strategy – Listen Before You Talk. Because it says you should limit your assumptions about your customers. That your business should function with customers at the helm. This is the FIRST lesson.

In the first issue, we saw how IKEA Denmark in association with their agency Talefod employed an amazing email marketing campaign that utilized Epsilon’s email marketing platform and other open source software. In the following post, we saw how this email campaign increased sales by double digits in only two weeks.

There are many lessons we could derive but here are three other essential things we could learn:

2. Your existing customers are your BEST prospects.

Your existing clients have already done business with you and are more likely to purchase from you again. In the two months of propagating the gospel of email marketing including our software, Email Studio, the golden question is always,”How will we get more people to subscribe to our email newsletter?” The underlying assumption seems to be that email marketing success lies in acres and acres of email addresses. In marketing, this is an interpretation of the majority fallacy i.e. to be successful a product or service must appeal to everybody or a majority of people. IKEA Denmark’s campaign, was targeted at existing clients (members of the loyalty programme). This makes sense – if you had already purchased a sofa, you’d probably be shopping for cushions or throws soon.

As a business, you should defend your market niche entirely and work at meeting their needs with complementary/supplementary products. For further reference on this, here is an interesting article on a company that embraces this policy successfully- Apple Inc’s strategies of creating customer loyalty.

3. Maintain constant, two-way communication with your prospects and customers.

I read, in an old edition of the book Guerrilla Marketing (guerrilla marketing), that it takes 16 times of seeing a marketing message for a person to take action. Most entrepreneurs will know this to hold true in their businesses. In light of this, unless you have the resources for regular communication via offline mediums like TV, print and radio regularly, your efforts and money will be wasted.

And it still isn’t enough to bombard people with your message. You have to allow two-way communication (Listen Before You Talk), where the customer or prospect is in control of the entire process. They can reach you easily at any time, you can also keep them informed of new developments easily. These are the salient features email marketing offers that are most important to small businesses.

4. Personalize your message – prospects and clients are unique.

A luxury that small businesses cannot afford is sending out marketing messages that their prospects and clients won’t see, don’t want or don’t understand. IKEA Denmark recognizes this. This is why the content of the newsletter changes according to the specifications of the recipient. The marketing messages can therefore only contain information that is of interest and use to the recipient.

It is not enough to put in “Dear Jane” in your newsletter. If the content is not personified, chances are it doesn’t really speak to your client or prospect. Similarly, we must work to make sure that our efforts are geared towards speaking specifically to our clients needs as if they were the only such client we have ever and would ever have. Because they are!

What else did you learn in the three article series? Kindly share your insights in the comment area below.

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All the best in your email marketing efforts!

Beryle