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Why bother with email marketing? – Part 1

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email marketing for small business

With the noise of digital marketing growing louder and louder, and people’s inboxes getting more junk every day, it’s imperative that you know how to make a connection with people who know like and trust you. With all the focus being given to social media, email marketing is still reaching and drives more business. If your business doesn’t have an email strategy, you should stop and regroup. Here are three good reasons you should develop a strategy.

  1. Make a personable brand connection
  2. Change your customer/prospects perceptions
  3. People who opt into emails are known to spend more than other consumers

Four times more people have an email address than a Facebook account. While some studies vary, email still trumps social media marketing by a large margin. If they already know you, then the numbers are even more in favor of email marketing. I want to reinforce something you have already heard before “People who have bought before, are more likely to buy again”. If you have a business that relies on reoccurring customers, this is a no-brainer. And I would say you are hurting your business by not email marketing.

So what do I do?

The first step in running an effective email campaign starts with one obvious but often difficult task for most companies. Collecting email addresses. I have provided a breakdown of different ways to gather emails and I want to encourage you to create a strategy for making it a part of your company culture. One place to start immediately would be some simple changes to your website. Make sure you have an easy and quick form that people can fill out that asks for their email. There is no good silver bullet approach I am afraid the most effective way is simply a lot of work. Though I do believe that this work is a good use of time and will produce money-making results in the long term.

The best approach to gathering email is to make it a daily part of your routine, every time you talk with a customer. I wouldn’t use any of the paid strategies in place until I had the internal phone and in phone scripts in place. Make sure to have an overall strategy with tactics as a part of that strategy. Make sure to have your whole team on board with this strategy. If you simply throw out some of these tactics without a plan, you will find that you have wasted a lot of time and money.

The 1st and most important step in getting going would be to properly communicate the importance to the business of having email addresses. Explain the purpose and relationship to the bottom line of the business to your employees.

Sample Ways to Gather Email Addresses

  • Just Ask
  • Send a Letter
  • Send a Postcard
  • Incentives
  • Check your Outlook, Yahoo, Gmail, etc.
  • Scripts and practice

Just Ask!

The concept is simple. Every incoming phone call is a sales opportunity and it needs to be maximized!

Sending a Letter to Your Database:

Send a physical mailer to those in your database with an address but no email. Make sure you build value in the purpose and intent. An example of this might be:

“Thank you for your business! In order to better serve you, we are asking for your help.
Would you be so kind to take a minute and fill out the contact information below? We
have included a postage-paid, self-addressed envelope for your convenience. Thank you in advance for your time!”

Postcard Tear-Off:

Send this postcard to everyone in your database without an email address.
Consider your average customer before doing this, and consider running a contest as a
part of this strategy to increase participation. If you get some results with one competition, consider making it a regular thing until you achieve the results you want.


  1. Create an incentive or bonus plan for collecting the most emails.
  2. Make it personal. If you know what your staff likes (money, days off, gift cards, a big
  3. prize drawing), then you can motivate them.
  4. Track it. When they know you are watching, they will WANT to impress you!
  5. For example, payout $1 per email address. When you hit 100 emails: $100 prize!


Make it a competition! The first person to get to a target number of emails wins a prize.

Sample Competition Plan
Email Gathering Program and Contest:

  • We need more emails!
  • We still have less than x number of emails.
  • EVERYONE needs to make collecting emails a HIGH PRIORITY!!!

What Emails Do We Want?

  1. Emails of existing clients.
  2. Emails of employees of top prospects.
  3. Emails of friends, acquaintances, and family. Your email marketing tool should have a way to differentiate prospects, make sure you do. That way you can send different types of emails to them.
  4. Emails of any new prospects you are talking to – of course!!

What do you have to do?

  1. Keep a legal pad or steno pad on your desk solely for collecting email addresses.
  2. Write down every new email you get on it – any email for any customer, prospect, or friend.
  3. Add into your email marketing system at the end of every day.
  4. If you get a long list of emails, utilize an admin or intern to enter them into the system.
  5. TIP!! Open a new email window and put “a” into the “To:” field. Look through all the emails and write down those we don’t have, and then go to “b”, etc. Add friends, clients, or anyone else living nearby that could be a prospect.

Sample Incentive Plan:

Your baseline is that you are expected to collect at least ONE NEW EMAIL EVERY WORKDAY. That means you need to collect at least 22 emails a month. There are at least 10 of us who should be collecting emails. SO, if we exceed our goal of collecting 220 emails in a month, the employee with the newest emails will receive a gift card for $50. The employee with the second most emails will receive a gift card for $25. We will do this promotion for at least SIX MONTHS!


Have an office iPad and whenever someone comes in have them complete an online contact form to grab that email address! Bring the iPad to business events, etc., to collect those email addresses.

Scripts and Practice:

Practice makes perfect so you should role-play asking for email addresses with your staff. Here are some sample scripts:
If the customer says “NO” here’s what you can say to ask for it:
“The reason we ask for an email address is 3 fold:

  1. We’ve found this to be the primary way our customers prefer to be communicated to.
  2. We also offer specific promotional and discount opportunities to all our valued online customers.
  3. And all of us here are making a huge effort to GO GREEN and do our part to save the environment and go paperless.

If you employ these simple tactics in your business you can’t help but increase the number of emails you get and in turn the number of repeat customers. We at Anthem, as an email marketing agency, could help your business grow through email marketing strategy. Contact us to get started!

To know more about the significance of email marketing, check out the Part 2 of why bother with email marketing.

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