In terms of effectively building a small business email marketing program, a good and growing email list of potential and customers is a critical part. Many businesses find building a good email list of their customers and prospects a daunting task. There are many ways, if you put a little thought into them, that you can use old traditional marketing methods to build a good email marketing list.
A friend of mine owns and operates a kitchen remodeling company. He sells at the higher end of the market, where his remodeling projects cost the buyer over $50,000 once the project is complete. Experience has shown that he gets most of his business from referrals from existing clients and the reputation his company has earned over the years. He has come up with a great way to keep adding new potential names to his company’s email list.
After they have signed a contract with the client and while the project is underway, they ask the client to host a “New Kitchen Celebration” after the project is completed. The renovation company undertakes to offer each participant wine and cheese, appetizers and a small gift. As work progresses, workers go to neighboring homes and place a door hanger advising the owner that “Counter Dimensions is doing a remodeling project for their neighbor, the Smiths, and if they make too much noise, cause a mess. or otherwise disturb the neighbor, please notify the company at 333-222-5555.”
These door hangers pique the neighbors’ curiosity and turn neighborhood conversations to Smith’s new kitchen. As the project progresses, the remodeler asks the owner for a list of people to invite to the “New Kitchen Party,” and they specifically ask to invite their friendly neighbors. Of course, people in the same neighborhood as the project house are likely to have similar incomes and demographics. This is a great target market!
The company then sends out beautifully printed invitations to the party, including giving each attendee a nice kitchen gift (usually a small cutting board labeled with the renovator’s name and phone number). These invitations are RSVP’d and usually get a good response rate because human nature makes most people want to see what Smith’s new kitchen is like.
At the “New Kitchen Celebration,” a kitchen designer will showcase each feature of the new kitchen and how it will benefit the homeowner. Participants are of course welcome to get to know all aspects of the kitchen on their own and there will be several representatives of the renovators there to answer questions. Each participant is offered a nice gift and asked to provide an email address. There is a discussion about the many options people have when deciding what they want to incorporate into their kitchen.
Collected email addresses are added to the reformer’s email list in AWeber and a double confirmation of participation is sent. Once the email is verified, the email address will be placed on the company’s prospect email list and they will periodically receive marketing messages about specific kitchen remodeling issues. This educates prospects about different issues and options, eliminates lower price competition by building the value of the custom remodeling project work, and generally makes for a delightful remodeling business. This is small business marketing at its best!
Why not consider it and write a diagram of your company’s interface with customers and identify ways you can invest in good email marketing campaigns? You need to find ways to collect email addresses proactively. Even if this costs you a few dollars (such as serving wine and cheese at a party, sending out invitations, small gifts, etc.), you’ll likely find this a much cheaper and more targeted way than almost any other way to attract customers. Nothing sells like a happy customer!