Most of our clients use social media, mainly Facebook, to market their business, but I would recommend although it is more work to look at email. On the basic version, email is also free so several of my clients take advantage of this to send email newsletters free.
It is one of the best solutions for small-business owners who are just starting email marketing campaigns, mainly because of its free service for small businesses. So my advice is to try it first and if it does not work out after a while and you find you want something better well at least you will have acquired the necessary experience and knowledge to move on.
Now the first step is to collect emails, lots of them. Consider running a contest in your shop, to build up your email list. Some ideas my clients use, a free second chance at lotto, a cake, a gift voucher, a special offer etc. To enter the customer needs to fill out a form or deposit your business card. What you need to start are about 500 accounts to kick start it.
If you require, we provide a free service to our clients which supplies you for your geographic area a list of email addresses for the local businesses too to help out. But please
Note about Spamming
There are strict laws in Australia about spamming and maybe check with your association first before sending any email newsletters to these businesses.
Our understanding of the law and we are not solicitors nor experts in such matters is that if a person gives you, an email address on a business card, then it is okay to send them an email newsletter. If they are in a business that you supply goods that they require like a tap supplier, you can send an email newsletter to a plumber about taps without permission but a solicitor even though they use taps too in their office, you cannot send without permission.
Ready to start
Now once you have about 500 email addresses, the next step is to get our existing client's email addresses into the newsletter system. The most popular method of sending such newsletters by far with our point-of-sale system is with MailChimp although there are many others that do similar tasks and from my research, they are all technically about the same. Not one stood out to me in functionality.
Now to get them into MailChimp please go to cash register reports.
Then go to customers.
Once there select
Customer List (Excel)
Now run the report, and it will give you a listing of your customers and their email addresses. This you import into MailChimp. I would recommend doing this regularly in that way as then your email marketing has the latest email addresses.
Now what you need to do is write an email newsletter. This will take some time at first but get easier as time gets on.
The read rate is about 20+%, so on 500 emails, you will have 100 readers which is a good start to build on.
Now the next step is to figure out what is the best times to send these emails. The same email can vary up to 20% readership. There is no getting around the fact that every business is different and both the best day and time varies. After a while, you will work it out.
Also, what you need to consider is that promotions can be especially useful; a newsletter before a significant event or holiday shopping season can be very effective.
By timing your emails right, you will get maximum results from your efforts.
Make sure that each of your email newsletters has your name and address, and an unsubscribe note; you can get into big trouble if you do not.