No matter what type of business you operate, you need an email list. Not just any list, preferably an opt-in list. If it's a double-opt-in list, it's even better. Why?
Because your list keeps you in touch with your clients and prospects; it develops a relationship of trust; people buy from people they trust; and finally, it's a very cost effective way of marketing.
Take this example of a hairdressing business with a proprietor we'll call Sophie. Sophie obtains the email addresses of her clients in her database along with details of the types of services they generally require eg, perm, haircut, shampoo etc.
She and her team know the periods between services so, when clients are due for another hairdo, she sends them an email reminder suggesting they ring a day or two in advance to ensure a booking. Clients respond.
Occasionally, she has a low demand day. Her paid staff is going to stand around without a full day of work.
Sophie goes through her database and finds several clients who would normally require a new hair job around about that time. She sends them a short email offering several booking times and a small discount if they accept.
Bingo! Instead of four hours without bookings, she now has three hours taken up.
This is only one of many examples. Veterinary practices email people about their animals' vaccinations; dentists about follow-up work; hardware stores about specials and so on.
If you haven't got and maintain an email list, you are missing out on opportunities, including some new ways to make money. Also, if you send letters to clients/prospects now, you can cut out the expense of postage, stationery, lodgement, printing and other associated costs.
This is all good stuff, however, your list has to be obtained and managed in accordance with the various Spam legislation. That's why you must get people to opt-in and agree to receive email from you before you send it.
Double opt-in occurs when people subscribe to your list from your Internet site and you send them a message seeking assurance that they ... and not someone pretending to be them ... actually completed the subscription. When they reply, the deal is done.
This can all be done automatically saving you a tremendous amount of time and money.
So, if you haven't got an email list, what will you do about it today?
Copyright Robin Henry 2005
Robin Henry is an educator, human resources specialist and Internet marketer whose firm, Desert Wave Enterprises, helps individuals and businesses improve their performance by using smart processes, smart technology and personal development. He lives at Alice Springs In Central Australia. Visit Desert Wave Enterprises to read more about email.