5 Ways to triple your business profits Part 2 – Email marketing

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This series will look at 5 ways to increase your business profits, quite dramatically.   This is the second in the series and looks at email marketing.

In the first part of this series we looked at Increasing your prices to increase your profits which is a great way to start increasing profits, even if you increase your prices by a small amount.   The next part we are going to look at is leveraging the prospective customers who walk through your door or visit your website and making them a lifetime customer.

e-mail_marketingMost offline businesses don't even think about capturing the names, email addresses, physical addresses and phone numbers of the customers who walk through their door.

Why capturing a customers details is important

Imagine you have a brick and mortar business and you get 100 potential customers per day walking through your door.   So, per week, you are getting 600 potential customers to your shop per week, assuming you are closed on Sunday.   Say you have a conversion rate of 10 "“ 15%,   which  is typical for someone walking into your shop.   So you are getting 60 "“ 90 sales per week of your products, after all someone walking into your shop will know what they want and are more likely to buy if they know what they are looking for.

It's great that you have 60 "“ 90 sales per week but what about the 510 "“ 540 potential customers that walked through your door or visited your website? Chances are you might never see them again.   However imagine capturing their details by offering them an incentive.   Typically if you offer someone a good incentive in exchange for their details you will get great conversion rates, anywhere from 50 "“ 70%.

So what!

Well, imagine you get 50% of the potential customers to sign up to an email list, it could be a physical mailing list as well or a mobile number for texting.   That means you would get 300 potential customers details every week which is 15,600 per year.

Now let's say you want to get customers to your shop so you offer all 15,600 potential customers a 10% discount if they buy within 48 hours of you sending them the offer and you do this once a month.   You give them a code to quote when they want to buy from you, which means you can track how well your direct response campaigns are working.   Suppose you get 0.5% of the people you have sent a mailing to coming in to buy something from you at an average sale of £25 ($40) you will have an extra £1950 ($3120) per month, take away the 10% discount you were offering and you still have £1755 ($5055) extra per month just for capturing your potential customers details.

How to get your customers details

Simple answer "“ just ask!

The main way to get customers to give you their emails is to simple offer them something in return.   You could give them something simply for getting their details.   The customer is happy as they get something for nothing, you are happy as you have potentially made contact with another new future customer.   This is called the power of reciprocation which Robert Cialdini speaks about in his book "˜Influence'.

I remember buying a book from Borders and the salesman casually asked me if I would like to give my email address so I could be sent discount vouchers in the future, I go to Borders all the time so I happily gave my email address and use their vouchers all the time, I love it.   How many people do you think say no to being offered discount vouchers just for their email address? Not many!

How often should you send out emails?

This very much depends on the customer base and what you have to offer. Your success rate and sales from email marketing will be different if you are selling cars compared with someone selling golfing products.   If you have a rabid market like golfing you could make a lot of money through email marketing if you have good copywriting skills, if not you can always outsource it.

There are companies sending out emails every day to their customer list, which I think is a huge mistake as it quickly becomes boring to know you have yet another email from a company.   I would personally send out once per week however with a much larger customer list I maybe send out an email once every 3 days with free stuff and discounted products mixed and useful content or sales letter in the form of a story.

What you need to get started building a list

First of all you're going to need an autoresponder which is a company that can handle your email campaigns online. There are two major ones out there and

Once you've signed up for one of these or any of the other autoresponders out there check out their videos and get to know the software, this is vital.   Take a few hours and get to know it well, it will be well worth it in the future.

Check out some of the case studies these sites have which will give you an idea of where you want to go with your campaigns.

Decide on why you want to collect email addresses in the first place.   Is it to get to know your customers better or is it purely for sales, this is of enormous importance.   Imagine you are getting 50 signups per day and all you want is sales, you can blast your customers with offer after offer in the hope some will bite, but be prepared to lose a lot of subscribers.   If you build a relationship and take time to build trust this will help you in the long run and help keep more of your custoemrs on your list.

Need help?

Post a question here and I will help out as much as I can.   Email marketing is a huge topic and there is a lot to learn but it is well worth it for any business whether online or offline.

Meantime here are a few articles to help you with more info.

Why should you use email marketing "“

Email promos exposed "“ Michael Rasmussen

Takeaways from the email evolution "“ The retail email blog

Money in the email "“

Email marketing subject line length whitepaper – Epsilon

Open this email – Terry Dean

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About the author

Steven Aitchison

Steven Aitchison is the author of The Belief Principle and an online trainer teaching personal development and online business.  He is also the creator of this blog which has been running since August 2006.