Affordable Email Marketing

September 5, 2011
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Once you have a customer you don’t want to lose them. While there are things that can happen beyond your control, you don’t want customers to disappear because of something you neglected to do, such as keep in touch. Good relationship marketing means you need to keep your customers aware of your presence so even if they aren’t coming in regularly they will choose you when the need for your product or service arises.

In the past, this type of contact could get expensive. Snail mail just isn’t affordable for mass mailings. Plus, people aren’t always eager to give out their home address these days. But they don’t have a problem with sharing their email address. And that’s good news because email marketing is more affordable and more customizable.

To give you an idea of how affordable it can be, we’re going to look at two companies that provide this type of service and what you can get for your money, as well as how you might use the service as part of your email marketing plan.

Constant Contact

Constant Contact seems to be very focused on helping small businesses reach their customers. They offer more than 400 templates you can use to set up your messages, and they give you the option of adding in photos or your logo. They also let you track the emails so you can see how many people are opening them and, if you’ve included links which of those are generating the most clicks. The lowest package is only $15 per month and that lets you send emails to up to 500 addresses. You can also use the emails to direct recipients to your social media pages, too.

This type of service – and there are many others to choose from online – would be a good way to send weekly or monthly email newsletters to your customers. You could update them on store events, new products, and special discounts.

Aweber.com

Another email marketing service is Aweber.com. They provide similar services as Constant Contact, but they also provide an autoresponder service. Autoresponders are a series of email messages you create and send out on a set schedule. For example, you might have one email delivered every other day for two weeks or once a week for a month. They have tracking features, 150 email templates, and can deliver your emails to up to 500 email addresses for $19 per month, although you will save more if you pay quarterly or yearly.

Autoresponders can be useful in a number of ways for a small business. You can use them to add new contacts to your email database, for example, or to reach new customers. Think of something related to your business that potential customers might want to learn more about. If you sold dog food, for instance, you might use autoresponders to create a series of emails with dog training tips. Then you promote the series online and have people sign up to receive the emails. You collect their contact information and establish your company as a credible source on dogs. Plus, you can use each email to promote your business or your products.

As you can see from these examples, there are plenty of great ways to use email marketing without investing a fortune in the efforts.

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