New Approaches to Email Marketing without Spamming

It does not matter whether you are running a small online business or a local eatery, your budget is limited and your challenge is to keep getting new customers for growth and turn your existing customers into repeat buyers for business sustainability.

You can use a variety of advertising options depending on your budget. Email marketing is a low cost solution that you must use regardless of any other methods you pursue. However, if you don’t know how to start an email marketing campaign in a right way, you soon will be become the biggest spammer in the town and may lose everything you have due hate and litigation.

Start with email addresses you have in your existing contact list. Explain them what you are up to and emphasis the benefits your business provides to ordinary folks. Don’t use any sales pitch. It should be informational with the emphasis on benefits. Keep it short because people don’t have time to read long emails. Also, encourage them to spread the news to their contacts.

As customers start coming to your establishments, get their emails and tell them what you intend to do with the email. Make a commitment to your customers not to sell their emails to third parties or spam their inbox every day with.

Start with a newsletter to share your expertise and insights. For example, if your business is catering to the lunch crowd, start talking to about nutrition, recipes, how to save money on lunch, etc. Forget how you are going to benefits from the newsletter. Take it as mission to help others by giving good information.

Talk to your family and friends to solicit tips and ideas for your newsletter. Form a network with other related businesses. For example, if you offer Greek foods, bring in businesses that offer Chinese, Italian, and even Greek foods. Talk about benefits of Italian pasta in your newsletters and suggest some delicious dishes from your friend’s Chinese restaurant.

Once your customer start realizing that the newsletter is not meant to spam their inboxes by incessantly promoting your business, they will start trusting you and your business. You will be able to grab their precious attention. We are moving towards the attention economy where it will become extremely difficult to get people’s attention by traditional advertising.

Because you make a commitment to your customers not to sell their email addresses, as a principle, you also should not buy email addresses from a third party. Moreover, because you don’t know how the third party has obtained the addresses that you are going to buy, you may as well be buying emails obtained without the owners’ consents. Build your own email list slowly and you will get the reward in the long run.

Stick to a monthly schedule of sending your newsletters to your subscribed list. You do more often, you lose your recipients attention and they more likely to drag it to their trash folder. Sporadic and irregular campaigns will not generate interests and anticipation.

If you don’t have time to create a newsletter regularly, outsource the activity to a third party with strict guidelines. Engage your kids to find information and write articles and tidbits for your newsletter and compensate them. Go to your local community college and hire somebody for researching and writing your articles and creating the newsletter.

The email marketing should be all about connecting with your customers and building trusts. It should provide value to your customers. Once you build trusts, your customers will be your fans and help spread your business virally.

Bye Bye Email, Welcome Microblogging

If the growth of blogs has slowed down and the social networking using Facebook and Bebo has exploded in 2007, the year 2008 will see the growth of a different type of communication medium. It is microblogging. Using short texts, and sometimes pictures and videos, you share your thoughts and actions. Its popularity is its simplicity. It frees you from hard thinking and wordy texts.

If you are comfortable sending text messages from your cell phone, you are ready for microblogging. However, instead of sending text message to one person, you use microblogging to broadcast to your social network.

What are the tools available at your disposal for this new and exciting medium of communication? The last few years have seen the birth of a dozen microblogging sites to carter to your various needs.

Twitter is the leader of the bunch. As soon as you create an account, you are ready to publish your micro-contents using your web browser, cell phone, or the email client. You can also follow interesting people like artists, athletes, bands, politicians and check out their insights regularly.

Want to share your files, events, and links using microblogging? Use Pownce to send your stuff to your friends. Pownce also provides a desktop software for you to download and install on your computer so that you don’t have to use the browser.

The site Tumblr has a refined and simple interface. Use it to publish photos and videos from your cell phone. Even if you are not wordy, you will be able to share your love and hate with others.

If you prefer talking, instead of writing, use MySay. You call the MySay service and leave a message. People in your contact will be able to listen to your thoughts using their phones, emails, or computers.

If don’t like texts or audio, use Hictu for video micro-blogging. Use your webcam to video your actions and publish it in Hictu with the click of a mouse.

IRateMyDay has an interesting angle to the micro-blogging. Instead of publishing mundane activities of you daily life, you rate your day on a scale of Worst to Great. You can also give some explanation for your rating.

Are you emotionally upset? Instead of using IRateMyDay, use EMotionr. If it is one of the happiest day of your life, rate it the highest possible 10. Don’t rate the lowest 1. It can’t be that bad.

Moodmill is where you should go after rating your day or emotion. This site is for managing your mood. Use the mouse to slide the mood indicator and share it with your friends and contacts.

If you are at ease with French or German language, you can use Frazr. It has all the features and functionality of Twitter.

Now that you know a few popular microblogging tools available on the web, you may be wondering, “how can I express my thoughts and actions using this new communication medium? Why people will like to read my mundane daily activities? And what value does it provide to my readers?”

To see the value of microblogging, check out what Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama ‘s team is doing. They are broadcasting all the meeting schedules, caucus and primary results, informational and inspirational messages for volunteers to take actions.

If you are a blogger, you can tell your Twitter followers using some teasing information about an upcoming blog article before you publish it on your blog. This will create anticipation and desires.

If you are selling something on the web, you can use Twitter to publish hot sales for your Twitter followers. This will give you an idea which products are hot sellers so that you can stock them before you announce the sale to everybody using other medium.

You can publish cool tricks and tips that you just read in a blog about personal development, productivity improvement, money saving ideas, etc.