October 1, 2014

With all the focus on social media these days, it’s not hard to forget that certain older ways of communication are still just as effective. In fact, in certain cases they may be even more effective than social media. For example, email marketing provides a unique set of features social media doesn’t, and used in tandem, makes for a solid online marketing force.

If you have a POS system, hopefully you are already in the habit of collecting your customer’s emails and have an email database on file.  Some of the newer POS systems allow you to run email campaigns right from your POS system. But, if your system does not allow this or you wish to use a company that specializes in email campaigns, there are some great options out there for you to choose from.

Constant Contact is an industry-leading service that makes it very easy for you to incorporate email campaigns into your marketing strategy. They have predesigned templates for you to choose from, and they will even train you for free on all of their features. They track the analytics for you in an easy-to-use portal and allow you to customize your messages. You simply load your email list into your account and manage your privacy settings right from there.

Note that having privacy options for your customers is very important and using a service like Constant Contact allows you to adhere to the CAN-SPAM Act which protects consumers from having their email spammed. It says that you have to allow your customers an opt-out feature on your emails, and a service like Constant Contact manages this for you.

Email has more staying power and privacy, among other features that make it important for any modern business to take advantage of it. Here are a few other great reasons why you should implement email marketing into your stores marketing campaign:
•    You can reach a large number of people easily and quickly
•    You can target customers with specific information and promotions that they want to hear about
•    Not all customers use social media but most will have an email address they check at least once a week, and many check it once a day or more
•    Many customers have their phones on them constantly and check email throughout the day- in fact, more than 90 percent of consumers check their email at least once a day
•    Cost-effective
•    Many companies out there offer templates that are already designed for you
•    No postage or materials cost
•    More easily controlled than social media
•    Some social media sites limit the number of posts or messages that can be sent and do not allow mass messaging
•    You can track and measure your email campaigns and see how successful they are
•    Can be used to build trust between you and the customer. You don’t always have to email offers. Use email as a knowledge base to keep customers informed on educational topics like flea/tick or allergies
•    Builds trust to show that subscribers have the freedom cancel any time

A key point that will give you the best results for your email campaigns is to know that those emails that are sent on Saturday or Sunday between 6 and 8 a.m. receive the best response. You also want to make sure that you do not send too many emails too close in time – three to four a month is ideal.

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