I get a lot of comments about the emails that I send out, both to our Newtown Square, PA accounting client business owners, and to our family/individual clients here in the Newtown Square, PA area.
Today (and perhaps a little more in future weeks), if you’ll permit me, I’m going to peel back the curtain on some of the thinking behind why we do what we do.
Because there’s a reason why most Newtown Square, PA small businesses think email marketing doesn’t work: They don’t do it right.
And I don’t blame them! Many small business owners model their email strategies from big-box retailers, or other internet marketers or organizational leaders — without understanding the techniques behind those email marketing campaigns (or even knowing if they’re effective!). They send out bland “email newsletters” and expect them to bring in new and repeat business.
And they’re usually sorely disappointed.
Now, I spend my mornings, as you probably do, cranking through my inbox and tuning out the marketing junk which has little relevance to me, or my business. Sound familiar?
However, if you pay attention to those small percentage of firms and businesses who are actually winning with their email, you’ll see that they take a different approach. Their emails get read, they get opened — and acted upon.
So don’t you follow the herd.
Now, I should hasten to add that I have stumbled upon the power of all of this mostly through experimentation and testing. I do not claim to be an email marketing “guru”. However, I also know that there are *still* too many myths out there about how to do it right…
Stephen Venuti Busts Two Big Email Marketing Myths
I know that there are businesses who are doing extremely sophisticated things with their email marketing (even here in Newtown Square, PA). And they are worth studying.
But I prefer to live in the land of what is actually possible for a small business owner. And if you’re like me, I suggest you dispense with these canards…
1) Fancy headers and sharp graphics make your emails look more “professional”.
So I ask you: how do you want your emails to be received? As a “professional” email — with such content that can be otherwise found through a simple internet search?
Or as a warm, encouraging and actionable note — like one you’d receive from your neighbor down the street? Because one of those kinds of emails gets deleted … the other doesn’t.
The “look” of your email can make or break that moment of “delete” — or getting it read. Many email programs weed out graphics for recipients, unless the user has specifically accepted them, and formatting gets messy from inbox to inbox … but most important of all, a graphic-laden email screams to your recipient: “You’re being marketed to.”
For some reason, non-profits, in particular, often fall prey to this temptation, and the increasing ease of creating such headers makes it too easy to fall for this trap.
Don’t. As a test this week, try a “plain text” email, formatted simply and written in a style … well, I get ahead of myself. Time for myth #2.
2) Newtown Square, PA businesses and organizations must maintain a “big business” feel with their marketing communication.
This is a Big Mistake.
A) You’re not Best Buy or Amazon … and by aping these entities, you’re falling for the old half-truth that “building a brand” is a worthwhile goal for the small business. (More about that in the future.)
B) Email is inherently relational — and when you abuse your contacts’ inbox with stuffy technical-ese or commoditized articles, you’re actually demonstrating cavalier disregard for your most important business asset: your client list.
But when you use email RIGHT, you’re actually building deeper relationships with your clients and prospects, and demonstrating that you can be trusted with their time … and with their wallet.
So don’t blow your greatest asset (your client and prospect list) by falling for these traps. In a future Note, I’ll go into greater detail on strategies which DO work.
Please do forward this article to a business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance–or simply send them our way. While these particular articles relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax planning and accounting for small business owners. And though we’re reaching our limit of new clients, we always make room for referrals from trusted sources like you.
Warmly (and until next week),