Increasing numbers of individuals and companies are using blogs for business purposes. Using a blog could, for example, be a way for a freshly graduated lawyer to get into business. By inviting referrals from satisfied clients, business could soon be booming. Considering that, according to The Best Colleges, 95% of graduates end up taking on poorly paid, temporary jobs, this has got to be an opportunity not to be missed.
There are so many ways by which you can market your small business. Perhaps because of this fact, many small business owners tend to overlook one very significant marketing strategy â€“ that is, gaining referrals. In fact, if you ask many small business owners what they do to actively get referrals, they will probably give you a blank look or even scratch their head. If you are thinking along the same lines, I need you to think again and realize that referrals can be one of the most effective ways by which you market your business AND that you need to actively seek them out.
How can you do this? Isnâ€™t providing excellent services or products enough to get you referrals? Theoretically, this is correct. If you provide the best service or product to your customers, then the chances are that they will spread the word among their friends and colleagues about you. Then again, wouldnâ€™t it be better not to simply sit back and take that chance?
One way of actively seeking out referrals is by making it part of your business practice. That is, you voice out your desire for referrals from your customers. For example, you can include a short spiel when conducting your business. At the end of your transaction, you can tell your customer something like this: â€œSir/Madam, we are confident that you are going to enjoy our product and that you will get the best experience out of it. As part of your responsibility as our client, we would like to encourage you to provide us with an X number of referrals within X number of months.â€
Why is this effective? Because you have given them a guarantee that they will be happy with your service or product. That means you will do what it takes to provide them satisfaction. In the customerâ€™s mind, referrals are nothing compared to that.
I think that the previous post was pretty convincing, wasnâ€™t it? What better motivation than considerably less cost for marketing? Of course, there is always a downside to everything and email marketing is not exempt from this. I am not out to dissuade you from utilizing email for marketing purposes â€“ far from it. I just want to provide an objective point of view as much as possible. So here we go with the potential disadvantages of email marketing.
I have mentioned this before â€“ email can easily become spam. I am sure that you have had your own experiences with spam. You probably dislike spam with a fervor â€“ just like any other individual. However, this topic is not as clear cut as we would like it to be.
What constitutes spam? For some people, spam is basically any unsolicited email. And they take action against this kind of activity. Now, if your emails are unsolicited and sent in bulk â€“ and this would seem to be the route to take for email marketing â€“ you just might find yourself being labeled as a spammer.
This is one complexity that you have to consider when choosing email as your medium for marketing. One way to avoid being labeled as a spammer would be to include a double opt-in method. Wikipedia describes this as â€œa method which requires a potential recipient to manually confirm their request for information by clicking a unique link and entering a unique code identifier to confirm that the owner of the recipient email address has indeed requested the information. Responsible e-mail marketing and autoresponder companies use this double opt-in method to confirm each request before any information is sent out.â€
Weâ€™ve established the fact that email can be used for more than the simple day to day needs of corresponding with other people. If you are a business owner, you have probably realized that email can be a very powerful tool for marketing purposes. In this post, let us discuss some of the advantages that using email for marketing can bring you and your business. I have already mentioned the biggest advantage in the previous post â€“ lower costs. What else does email marketing have to offer?
Short delivery time
When you conduct transactions via electronic means, the transaction time is usually instantaneous. Same thing goes with email â€“ once you click the send button, you can expect your message to get to the intended recipients almost instantaneously.
Ask the average person how many times he checks his email. Actually, you do not even have to go that far â€“ ask yourself the same question. I am sure that at the very least, you would say â€œa few timesâ€ a day. If this is the case for majority of your customers â€“ existing and potential â€“ then your emails will gain more exposure and customers will find you to be more accessible.
Certain actions can be done automatically without human intervention. This is a big advantage of email marketing. If you lessen the time that you (or your workers) spend on the less important things, you can free up their time to work on more urgent needs. Naturally, you see this as an advantage, right?
In the next post, let us look at the disadvantages of email marketing.
Email is a very powerful tool for marketing. This is a fact that is generally accepted by many. What do you know about email and its potential for marketing? Perhaps, if you are like the general public, your idea of email marketing might be limited to mass mailings. Though this is indeed one of the main ways by which you can utilize emails for marketing purposes, it is by no means the only way.
If you want to consider email as a marketing tool, then you should do away with that limited way of thinking. Instead, try to see email and related activities in a broader sense. Here are some relevant points I got from Wikipedia:
â€¢ sending e-mails with the purpose of enhancing the relationship of a merchant with its current or previous customers and to encourage customer loyalty and repeat business,
â€¢ sending e-mails with the purpose of acquiring new customers or convincing current customers to purchase something immediately,
â€¢ adding advertisements to e-mails sent by other companies to their customers, and
â€¢ sending e-mails over the Internet, as e-mail did and does exist outside the Internet (e.g., network e-mail and FIDO).
As you can see, the medium is the same, the ideas similar, but the results hold even more potential if you consider these points.
How about the advantages and disadvantages of using email for marketing? Naturally, these two concepts have to be considered. One of the biggest advantages of email marketing is that it does not cost as much as other forms of marketing. It could even be virtually free. There is more to it than this, though. Let us take a deeper look at the pros and cons in the next post.