It Could Happen to You

When I write about the enormous potential of personalised chocolate for marketing it’s not just to market my products. It’s something I’ve actually experienced. It all happened when I put put up a call to action on my website. The response was so alarming my contact list responder emailed me to say I had exhausted my contacts allowance! Well, 350+ contacts later, I’ve gotten smart by taking advice and done the following. I think the same steps could help you:

1) Sort, sort and sort the contacts: This was the first time I wished I had a VA. Sorting out 350+ contacts alongside wrapping chocolates and doing live chat sessions was a bit stressful. This must not be done lazily as you don’t want to mail a business tycoon a £10 voucher off cleaning when you should be asking for a contract to revamp his headquarters. Sort them out as much as you can – by town, age, what they bought or whatever targets you think will come in handy for your marketing.

2) Create ‘useful’ content: Best practice is not to only send out offers all the time or your contacts will be quick to unsubscribe. Worse still, they could stop opening your mails. Consequently, your messages might start to land in their spam folder. This means you will eventually lose this customer (which you obviously have lost since your mails are not being opened) because decent email marketing providers will not let you continue sending emails that are marked as spam. Try it out with some annoying newsletter you get. Ignore it for a few weeks and see if it doesn’t land in your spam inbox a few weeks down the line. So, I talk with my brides about competitions I’ve seen on Twitter and glamming up their personalised chocolates while I share social media tips with business contacts.

3) Discovered Killer Headlines: If you don’t those emails won’t get opened. I have an opening rate of 74% which is high for my niche – well, according to my email marketing provider. I’ve even gone to the extent of sending a ‘Closing for Business’ email header out to increase opening rates. You decide. There are loads of websites online that will give you a list of killer headlines. Google killer headlines and choose those you like.

4) Have become consistent: Don’t send out a newsletter every week if you don’t have news. Send out a helpful article or if you’ve blogged about some interesting topics then send out an email to let your contacts know. I send out a monthly newsletter and only started in the second half of my 1st year in business. I think I’ve gotten better as the months have rolled past. If you can’t come up with anything every month then do it every other month or once a quarter. The important thing is to develop a pattern and stick with it. Your contacts will be more likely to open it happily and will look forward to it.

5) Built a relationship: I know you’re tired of hearing this but since I gave this a try I can say it works. See if you can get their Skype addresses, become Facebook friends or twitter buddies. Say hi, wish them happy birthday, share their joys, pains – engage them and do it sincerely. I would say start when you’re ready and with the customers who are receptive to it so neither of you feels uncomfortable.

As with most things, I’ve found out I have become better at email marketing. What’s really holding you back from writing newsletters or email marketing at the moment? Have you crossed this hurdle and have some light to shed on it?

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