E-Mail; Underutilized Business Tool

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[The Art Of Business]

What powerful inexpensive marketing tool does your small business already have but most likely not utilizing its peak super power potential? E-mail! 

I have added my e-mail address to many cute little books placed neatly on a counter to keep informed about new items, services and promotions. I’ve also given my e-mail address to the attractive people walking around with clipboards at events so I can continue to be invited to other events.

As a result, I’ve been able to please my occasional desire for a great party complemented with free food and drinks much more often than I’ve been able to feed my desire for fashion, tasty food, necessary services and products.

There are tons of specialty boutiques, restaurants and stores that I stumble upon when I’m out and about. Some of these businesses I would consider going back to. Unfortunately I usually have to ask if there is a newsletter or an e-mail blast they send to customers about new merchandise, menu additions or up-coming promotions.

Usually, the response is a blank stare quickly followed with a very comfortable and confident “no.” With good intentions of supporting a new business I’ll ask for a card which somehow always gets forgotten about, lost, thrown away, or used as scrap paper that inevitably gets thrown away, forgotten about or lost again.

Here’s the million-dollar question. Why are consumers expected to burn necessary brain fuel to remember what was so unique about your business? Obviously you had interest immediately when the consumer encountered your business, but unless something as simple as an e-mail address was collected before the consumer left the establishment, most likely a loyal customer may be lost forever. Bottom line, consumers already have places they frequent simply because the relationship along with top of mind awareness has already been established when it comes to their consumer needs.

However, if I get an occasional customized e-mail with an alluring promotion complemented with pictures of new merchandise, menu additions, or a vivid description of a service that may meet a particular need, partnered with a link to a website to see what else is new, I’ll remember the interest that attracted me into your business in the first place.

There is one company that uses e-mail as a marketing tool so well that I will always be a loyal customer because I can count on a virtual window shopping experience at least once per quarter. And guess what? When I’m out and about I’ll always stop in the store to either purchase something, or see what’s new.

E-mail’s from this particular company will never end up in my junk mail box and I will always open messages from them for the following reasons:

They don’t bombard me with intrusive e-mails that will take up valuable mailbox space or slow my computer down; Their messages are customized; and, their messages almost always entice me with an image or two that leads me to their web-site. From that point on, I’m off on a virtual experience.

This particular inexpensive marketing strategy is successful in the following areas: Establishing and maintaining relationships with their target customers and providing target consumers with a personalized experience. 

Do you have questions? Send them to info@brmani.com we have answers!

Ms. Muhammad is CEO of BRMANI Marketing Communications

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Also visit out sister publications Harlem Business News www.harlembusinessnews.com and The Groove music magazine at www.thegroovemag.com

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