Friday, March 14, 2008


Millions of people are living their entrepreneurial dreams by running a business from home.

Many entrepreneurs start with an idea to sell a product or service, working part-time out of a home office, kitchen or garage. Some leave the corporate world to become independent consultants, offering their skills to companies on a per-project basis.

Whatever your skills or passions, the rewards to owning a home based business are undeniable. Be your own boss, make your own hours, enjoy more time with family, earn income doing something you've always wanted to do; you're free from the constraints of a traditional work environment. The flip side is that there's no marketing or sales department to bring in business and keep it coming. You are it.

If you're running a home based business, chances are your resources are limited. Your challenge is to get business and keep it coming. That's where e-mail marketing can help without breaking the bank.

E-mail marketing is a fast and easy way to do the following :
Reach out to your contacts directly and let them know you are open for business
Encourage repeat and referral sales by reminding customers you're there
Share your expertise so customers turn to you as a trusted resource
Create promotions that boost business and keep your brand alive
Conduct effective DIY marketing on a cost-conscious budget

E-mail marketing works for any kind of home based business, whether you're a jewelry maker or a dog groomer, a freelance accountant or an online seller of collectibles. Let's look at two types of e-mail marketing that can build your home business.

Create an e-newsletter
A simple e-mail newsletter lets you share free advice, insights, and success stories with current (and potential) customers. This sets you up as a trusted expert in the eyes of the people on your list. When they need what you offer, your e-newsletter will help make sure that you come to mind. Come up with a few content ideas for your newsletter, such as design tips, recipes or financial insights, and ask people in your network what they'd like to read about. Customers, associates, friends and family are a great source of topic ideas. Worried about doing a lot of writing? Don't be. Newsletters can be short with just a few paragraphs of useful information.

Send promotional e-mails
Combine your newsletter's informational content with promotions that stimulate demand for your products or services. If you're in a gift-oriented or other retail business, the holidays create natural opportunities for promotions. If you're a consultant offering services, your business may be more cyclical or seasonal depending on clients' needs. You can also plan an event or a sale to create a business booster during otherwise slow times. A 10 percent off coupon, open house, or a free sample or consultation are examples of popular e-mail promotions.

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