Before I can answer this question, first we need to establish what exactly a digital marketing strategy is. And currently, if you ask ten people this question I suspect you will get ten different answers. So I am going to give my own definition:
As its name suggests – a digital marketing strategy is one that encompasses the digital world. The digital world being (in a nutshell) anything that can be accessed by computers, smartphones and tablet devices.
When it comes to small businesses, the digital marketing strategy I usually suggest has three pillars:
In my perfect world our clients would build a strategy around all three of these things and today I am going to talk about email.
There are many reasons but the biggest one is that people can’t ignore their email. They can ignore ads on tv. They can ignore you on facebook. They probably don’t even see the flashing banners on news sites any more. But everyone reads their emails.
So when people invite you into their inbox (by signing up for your email newsletter) this is both a huge privilege and a huge opportunity for you with regard to marketing your business to them.
Well the first thing you do is invite all your clients to opt in to your email list. You can do this by loading your client email list into MailChimp or iContact and sending them an invitation email. If they want to be on your email list they simply click the link in the email. If they don’t want to be on your email list, they will just ignore your invitation 🙂
The second thing to do is to attract non-clients and interested parties to sign up to your list. Now the days are long gone where you can put “Sign up to our newsletter here” in the sidebar of your website and expect anyone to actually do so. No – if someone is going to give you direct access to their inbox, they want something in return.
Which means you need to give them something tangible in exchange for their email. The best way to do this is to create a free and highly informative resource. This resource:
Jeff Goins is a writer and he wants fellow writers to follow him. So he offers a small e-book called The Writer’s Manifesto
Bernadette Jiwa is a Brand Strategist and offers a free workbook called 20 questions to ask before launching your idea
Malini Parker is an artist who also offers amazing one day art workshops. She offers a free report called 5 tops tips for cranking up your creativity
Jenny Spring from Spring into Sales offers a free e-paper called Word of Mouth Sales – how to grow through gossip
In the next two weeks I will talk about social media and blogging and I will confess that these two forms of digital marketing are not for everyone. But I can’t think of too many small businesses that wouldn’t benefit from an email list.
And the best thing about email lists is that unlike social media platforms (like facebook) the rules are not changing constantly. You make the rules and you own the data (ie the email addresses). Email marketing is simply the most powerful tool going round when it comes to creating meaningful connections with both your existing clients as well as prospective ones.