SCORE

Many clients ask us about marketing, and all focus on social media. The general thought process is that if you don’t do social media, then your business can’t succeed. What I try to impress upon clients is that social media is just one tool in your toolbox, and that you need to have a full complement of tools to successfully reach your audiences.

My first question to clients is not “do you have a Facebook page?” It is, “do you have a database?” It is amazing how many businesses do not have one. And it is the key to reaching your customers.

I attended a digital summit a few years ago, and then, as well as now, learned that email marketing is the most successful way to reach your customers. It allows you to build relationships with leads, customers and past customers. It allows you to speak directly to them in their email inbox, and they can read it when the time is convenient for them. 

In fact, statistics show that 77% of people would rather receive promotional messages via email. These contacts have explicitly given you permission to contact them via email. And these emails also yield a higher open rate, click-though and conversion rate.

Here is a client story. Before she opened her business she set up a Facebook page and a very simple one-page website. She asked people to like her Facebook page and go to her website where they could sign up for a newsletter. She sent the post and emails to her friends, who shared with their friends, and began to build a database of emails.

Once she opened, and people were checking out, she asked if they would like to be on her mailing list. And she asked if they would like an email receipt. Both ways gave her access to emails to add to her database.

She regularly took photos in her store, created great Facebook posts, and send email blasts to her database, with great success.

A database is the best tool in your marketing toolbox. You can use it for email marketing which can drive customers to your website and into your store. There are many providers of this service and many are free depending on the size of your database. Simply Google “best email marketing services.” I use both Constant Contact and MailChimp. They are very intuitive programs, easy to use and program.

It’s called public relations for a reason. It’s your connection to the public, and the way to simply reach out and touch each individual customer. Don’t depend on social media to reach your base. Collect those email addresses and reach them with your ideas, your new products, your specials and your sales.

Kathy Bardins is a mentor with Tip of the Mitt SCORE. For more information, visit www.tipofthemitt.score.org. If you are looking for a mentor to help you start a business or grow your existing business, call 231-347-4150 and make an appointment.

About the Author(s)

 Kathryn  Bardins

SCORE mentor Kathryn Bardins can help clients with marketing questions and needs, including public relations, advertising, social media. Her background includes work with mostly nonprofit organizations, providing fundraising, marketing and event management.

SCORE Mentor
What is the Best Tool in your Marketing Toolbox?