Saturday, March 15, 2008


Choose a reputable e-mail marketing service provider
Features to look for include affordable plans, a variety of easy-to-use templates for different kinds of e-mails, e-mail list management, a commitment to e-mail marketing standards and best practices, and access to support and helpful resources.

Collect e-mail addresses
Even if your mailing list is just a few friends and family members, that's enough to get started. Grow your list by collecting names during your regular course of business, whether it's at a home product party or a chamber of commerce event.

Get permission
Before you send anyone a commercial e-mail marketing communication, remember to get permission. Permission is perishable, so don't wait months to e-mail someone after you get their contact info. And you must offer a way for recipients to unsubscribe or opt out of your mailings.

Make your first mailing count
This could be a simple announcement that you're open for business or an e-mail that welcomes people who recently joined your list. Thank recipients for joining and tell them who you are, what you offer and why you're e-mailing them. Your first e-mail is your opportunity to make a good impression and show the benefits of being on your e-mail list. Include a "forward to a friend" link so people can easily share your correspondence with others who might be interested in what you offer.

Create a schedule
Plan to communicate with customers via e-mail at least six times a year. Once a month is even better. If you plan to e-mail more often--and you may if you run events or weekly specials--make sure you are providing information your contacts value.

Customers and prospects might not need your products or services at the moment they receive your e-mail, but the key is to keep your business on their minds. That way, when they're ready to buy--or when they hear of someone who needs your products or services--they'll think of you.

Even if e-mail marketing is the only marketing activity you do, it can help you connect with customers and encourage referrals and repeat business. You don't even need to have a website to get started. As long as you have a computer in your home office (kitchen or garage), e-mail marketing is a great way to grow your home based business.

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