While everyone detests unsolicited email (i.e. spam) and those who proliferate it throughout the Internet, I still believe in email as a business tool.

… HOW WE USE EMAIL …

We use it in our daily communications, to communicate with our co-workers, clients and family. “here’s that report you need to complete the Thompson proposal” – “Hi honey, how’d your meeting go, could you pick up little Suzie, I’m running late” – “Thank you for choosing our company for your needs …” The reasons go on and on.

The key to using email in your sales and marketing efforts is permission. Heck, any marketing works better when the receiver has asked for it – is expecting it – and it’s relevant to their immediate needs.

What if their needs aren’t immediate? Have you ever heard of Joe Girard? He was THE #1 car salesman in the entire industry for just about his entire career. When he was asked what his secret was he said … “follow-up.”

By keeping in touch with his clients and his leads at every possible opportunity (at least once a month), they remembered him when they were ready to buy and appreciated his efforts and personal attention, so much so they would only buy from him.

Today, most of us small business owners wear so many hats that routine follow-up is very hard to keep on top of – not to mention expensive with the rising cost of postage.

… GETTING STARTED …

Have you ever considered using an email autoresponder? How about an email newsletter system? What if you could do both with the same system and same subscriber list?

The best thing I ever did on my own web site was to include the means for people to join my newsletter or other autoresponders, right from my website. The next best thing I did was to make sure to include a small feedback form, embedded in each page, so that no matter where my visitors are, without having to click to another page, they can communicate with me. My leads more than quadrupled within less than a few weeks.

… ABOUT EMAIL CORRESPONDENCE …

Including an autoresponder is great in the follow-up process. You can manually add those who walk into your store or office and visitors to your website can add themselves. Anyone can opt in and out at any time right from your messages.

Providing a newsletter is helpful in building credibility. By supplying your clients and contacts with helpful information about your industry, things that can help them improve their own corporate existence. You become necessary to their survival.

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