Use Email For Internet Only Offers

Ideal for All Types of Businesses

Email continues to be the best friend of solo entrepreneurs and other small businesses. It’s virtually free and quick to execute, and the income it can produce is typically more immediate than that produced by virtually any other delivery method you might choose for your message.

Like every strategy, e-mail has its own unique requirements. But it also starts with solid direct-response copy—a skill that you can easily master.

You don’t have to own an e-commerce business to use email. If you own a retail store, a consulting office, a service location, or some other “brick-and-mortar” business, you, too, can use e-mail to drive customers to your door (or to your Web site to read the complete offer, download a coupon, or get product details). And if your business is home-based? Then e-mail will often be your first and most favored marketing method.

A Reason to Collect Their Email

Email reduces your marketing costs and the delays involved with sending letters or making phone calls to customers. Telling customers that they’ll be eligible to receive Internet-only specials is a good way to capture their email addresses. In fact, many of these new email addresses will be among your best respondents, especially if they just enjoyed a positive shopping experience with you.

Well Crafted Email Campaigns

Well-crafted emails can generate literally thousands of dollars in income. But just like composing any other direct-response device, writing emails so that they get opened, read, and acted upon requires a formula.

➤ Start with a compelling subject line. Ask a question, state a possible result, offer a valuable gift, or tell why you’re writing. If there is an impending deadline, feature that in the subject line. And if you’ve properly captured your customer’s name along with his email address, you can speak to him by name in the subject line, too.

➤ Add a friendly salutation. Use the recipient’s first name, if you have it. Otherwise, use a general form of address.

➤ Create excitement in the lead paragraph. Grab the reader’s attention and give her a reason to keep reading. Perhaps you hint that you havespecial offer just for her. Maybe you’re offering a free giveaway, a special discount, or advance notice of a sale for email customers only.

➤ Describe the top three to five benefits. Choose the most persuasive aspects of your product, service, offer, or free giveaway.

➤ Provide supporting information. Testimonials, case studies, success stories, price comparisons, and other such details help to overcome any objections the reader may have before responding.

➤ Keep it short and compelling. Include only the most compelling details in your email. If your offer requires a lengthier discussion of why readers should respond, point people to your Web site.

➤ Mention the offer. If you don’t have a Web site, write your offers directly in the email using clear, simple language.

➤ Tell the reader how to respond. Always tell the customer exactly what to do, whether it’s “Visit our Web site to learn more” or “Call us before noon on Thursday, March 8, to claim your free gift.”

➤ Comply with Spam Laws When emailing.

Watch Out For Spam Filters

Spam filters are software programs that shield consumers from receiving unsolicited messages. To ensure that your message has the best chance of bypassing these filters and being delivered, I recommend that you first check its content through one of the many spam checkers available online, such as www.lyris.com. They will compare your email to known spam trigger phrases and give you a complete report on what needs to be changed. Many email marketers insert special characters into words like mo^ney, F.R.EE and in`come to throw off spam filters.