November 27, 2014

Sales and Marketing Advice for Florida business

How to turn your emails into revenue

Email can be a beneficial marketing tool. Here's how to use it to your advantage.

Ron Stein | 11/16/2012

Market segmentation -- who needs it! The argument goes something like this; “we’ve researched the demographics, firmographics, psychographics and know exactly who we are targeting.”

Maybe, maybe not.

Your reality is that all of your prospects and customers do not fit into the same bucket. If they did, you’d reach and communicate with them in a snap. Segments of your market have different needs -- and the value you offer is not the same for each.

So, why are you marketing to your entire audience in the same way and trying to force the identical conversation on everyone?

Email marketing is a very cost-effective way to have the conversation you want with each audience segment. And it complements all of your other marketing activities. Whether you’re looking to bring in new customers or new revenue from existing customers -- you should be doing both -- your email list is a great place to start.

Zeroing in on the different traits of each segment will enable you get the right message and content to the right targets. After all, you can’t nurture a relationship if a significant slice of the audience wants prime rib, but the message is about chopped liver. That’s not a good way to win over a hefty portion of potential buyers.

Email gives your audience exactly what they want. There’s a reason people search the Web or are willing to subscribe to your email list -- they want specific, relevant content that solves their problems. Research shows that segmenting email into multiple lists will outperform untargeted email blasts. Email list segmentation helps companies connect with the people most likely to buy a particular offering and communicate in a way that resonates with them. Not sell, but educate, inform, and entertain.

The art of list segmenting. The most popular method of segmenting is by demographics -- yet, this yields the worse results compared to other methods. Try segmenting by purchase history, type of purchase, amount of purchase, click-through rates, and where or how your products or services were purchased -- both online and offline channels, including storefront locations, telephone sales, your Website, email offers, or by third parties. There may be other segmenting tactics important to your business and industry such as titles and job functions, referrals, geography, stage of the sales process, and when the last purchase was made or the frequency. You should consider having a list of people that have never bought anything from your company, yet have been a subscriber to your newsletter forever. Also, customers that haven’t purchased within the six months. Email marketing services -- MailChimp is one of my favorites -- make it very easy for you to set as many list segments as your need. Lists are essential to successful email marketing. Use email list segmenting in your marketing campaigns and watch your revenue grow!

Use more than one opt-in technique. According to the Lyris Annual Email Optimizer Report, surveyed companies reported that Website registration is the most popular opt-in technique they use. But there are other list building practices that will pay big dividends for you. Use free white papers and guide books, free Webinars, complimentary consulting sessions, and in-store point-of-sale discount offers. Don’t forget to work with strategic partners that can get the word out for your business too with co-marketing opportunities.

Email marketing should be a critical piece of a marketing plan. List building and segmenting is even more important. Having two or more lists is key and will increase your sales conversions. Profile your prospects and customers further. Sending everyone on a single list the exact same message is not the best marketing strategy, unless you want recipients to click on the button marketers fear most -- the “unsubscribe” link.

Read earlier columns from Florida Trend's business coach, Ron Stein
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Ron Stein is the founder and President of FastPath Marketing (www.marketing-strategies-guide.com). He has more than 20 years experience in sales, marketing, and business development, working positions ranging from salesman to vice president of sales and marketing to CEO of startups with industry leaders such as Motorola, VideoServer, Paradyne, and SercoNet. Ron is a member of the advisory team at the Tampa Bay Innovation Center, a nationally recognized entrepreneurial and startup accelerator for the state of Florida. He can be reached at 727-398-1855 or Ron@FastPathMarketing.com

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