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Using Email for Profit

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Make More Money Next Month

Using Email for Profit

Today is part three of our series on Make More Money Next Month (Part 1 & Part 2). In this post, we’ll be looking at how you can use email for profit.

If you’ve been working along with us on how to make more money next month, you’ve already gone out and worked on creating active word of mouth, physically going out to businesses and events and marketed yourself as a custom apparel business. You’ve also hit the phone and called some of your current customers, some referrals, and some of the contacts you made when you were out creating word of mouth.

You’ve been building up a list and collecting email addresses as you’ve been getting business cards and getting referrals.

In business one of the best things you can do is make a personal connection with someone. This email address is so valuable. Too often small businesses get these email addresses and don’t do anything with them. They don’t know what to do with them, or there’s no plan, and those email addresses just sit there.

We have two things we’re going to go over with emails:

  1. What are you going to do one-on-one with those contacts?
  2. How do you market to all of your customers?

We have a whole podcast on email marketing that you can also check out. And some of the information will overlap, but this blog post is specifically about making more money, so we’re going to focus on the specific actions you should take to do this.

embroidery and screen print companies need to email their clients, picture.

emailing your customers on a weekly basis is important

 

After you’ve been out making connections, or finished up a phone call with a potential client, and you go their email address, you should do three things:

  • Send them an email and this should be within recent memory of the introduction, and the best time is the same day or the next day. If you met them on Wednesday and you wait until Monday to email them, chances are they’ve forgotten a lot of the conversation you had with them.
  • The goal of the email is to reconfirm the introduction, “Hi my name is Mark, I own the embroidery shop just down the street. So nice meeting you today. We talked about x, y, z. I do custom apparel, I do bling t-shirts, etc.”
  • Set the next action. Finish the email with what action you’re going to take next. Perhaps when you talked with them they mentioned that they may need something in May, so you could finish the email with “You mentioned you’ll be looking for some team shirts in May, so I’ll connect with you again next month.” It could be that they’re not interested in anything right now, and don’t have a future specific date of when they’re going to buy again, and all you need to do is add something like “I’ll shoot you an email in the next month or so, to see if there’s anything I can help you with.” Another option could be (especially if you only talked to them on the phone) “I’m going to be in your neighborhood in two weeks, would you mind if I stopped by and said hi and brought you a sample as well?”

Some people may think that they don’t want to bother people with too many emails. But a lot of people get advertising emails every day, and will simply delete them, but chances are they will also see something of interest and buy from those companies. Big, successful businesses still use email marketing to communicate with customers (Amazon, Walmart, etc.) because it works.

Something else to consider is that chances are none of your competition is sending marketing emails to customers. This means you have the opportunity to set yourself apart. They’re probably sending direct emails to customers when they make an order, or the customer asks a question. But you want to do things like in the structure we noted above.

On a larger scale, you’re getting 5-10 new email addresses a week, so at the end of the year, you’ve got hundreds of email addresses. And this is when things start to really pay off because now you have enough people to start doing marketing emails.

Before we go any further we want you to promise that you will NEVER create an email for more than one person and use the CC or BCC fields. You can’t use your regular email software to send an email to more than one customer. First of all, it’s a great way to get yourself listed as a spammer. Secondly, you’re invading the privacy of your other customers because if you put all the email addresses in the TO or CC field, all your customers see each other’s email addresses – and that’s not information you have permission to share. There is also no way to track the email (was is opened, did they click on any links, etc.), which you can do with an email service.

What is an email service?

The two most popular are MailChimp and Constant Contact. What they are is you are hiring a company to manage your emails for you. They give you templates so that you can build emails easily and make them attractive, they coach you on what works in email and what doesn’t, they handle delivering those emails, track who opened them, how many times, what time of day, and they help you optimize on that, and they put an ‘Unsubscribe’ link at the top or bottom of every email – so you’re giving your customers the opportunity to say ‘I don’t want this anymore.’

The unsubscribe link is both a legal thing you need to do and a friendly thing, so that customers can easily choose to participate or unsubscribe if they no longer want to receive them.

The tracking helps you understand how many people read your newsletter every month, how many people are unsubscribing, how many people are opening links to your website, Facebook, etc. This helps you understand what types of emails attract your customers too.

If you send out an email with a coupon on custom t-shirts and only 5% open it, and you send it out on embroidered polos or caps then 20% of the people open it, you can see what your customers are most interested in. You can also try giving a 10% off coupon, or free shipping to help see what your customers want – what is going to encourage them to buy.

Your emails should match the personality of your business (see Creating Lifelong Customers), so you can make your emails as conversational or as professional as you’d like. You can send an email out that says something like “Hey everyone. I’d like to run a promotion to see if you guys like it. I get lots of requests for embroidered polos, for every 10 that you buy I’m going to give you a free hat. If you’re interested, click here.” If you’re going for a more professional tone, you can send out an email that just has the information: Free hat with every 10 polos. Click here to order now.

A lot of these email software services are free to get started with because the first X many emails are free. They’re not terribly expensive afterward either – less that a couple hundred dollars a month (Coldesi only spends a couple hundred dollars a month, and we have a fairly extensive email list).

If you get 250 people on your email list, think about how productive you’ve been, you’ve gone out and created that active word of mouth and you’ve spent time on the phone calling people. Now think about how many of those people you’re going to be able to talk to yourself.  That’s the limitation that email marketing doesn’t have. Think about email marketing as being able to connect with your 250 customers all in one day.  And it has all the same profitability advantage – if you email to 250 customers, how many are going to be in the market for your product right now?

If you email to 1,000 customers, how many are going to be in the market right now? If you think about it like, if you get on the phone and call 100 people, and you get $1,000 worth of orders, what if you can connect with 1,000 people at the click of a button, you could get that same $1,000 of orders, or more, and you spent less time getting them.

This builds up the longer you have your list. People will forget who you are. A good chunk of people whom you met and had phone calls with will forget who you are within 30 days. They may have lost your business card or thrown it away, and now they need to order shirts. You can’t depend on them to remember who you are, and to actively search out your business specifically. That email can remind them, even if it’s just once a month, who you are and what you do.

The customers that you have the best potential of getting orders from, the top 10%, then those are the customers that you send personal emails to every month – as well as calling and visiting them. You can create a template for these emails, you can write one and copy it, and send them individually to each of your top customers. And these types of emails should have your customer’s first name on it (Hi Mark, …).

What do people actual read in an email?

When you get an email, you make a decision on whether you want to open it, or just delete it right away. That decision is often made on what’s in the subject line. If the subject line is “Free embroidered caps” if the person is interested in embroidery and caps chances are they’ll open it. If the subject line read “Tom’s Embroidery Promotions” they might not – the subject line doesn’t tell them that they’ll be interested in what’s inside the email.

Then they’ll read the first sentence or two, they’ll read the signature line and the PS at the bottom. So all the paragraphs in the middle about your company, about what you do and don’t do, chances are that’s not getting read. So the reality is that your emails should contain 5 sentences and a call to action. The PS can be fun because that’s where you can put a call to action like: “Just got some great new colored shirts in, go to my website to check them out.”

If you want a bigger breakdown on how to structure your email, make sure to check out our Email Marketing Podcast.  But the basics for your subject line is to make it interesting enough that they want to open it, but don’t try to trick them, or be too funny, keep it simple. Your opening sentence should contain all the main information you want to get across. “Hey Mark, We just met, I mentioned I would forward you my contact information. Here it is:  I’ll contact you again in a few weeks. Cheers, Mark.”

You’ve got to send emails. The whole point of emailing customers is to remind them that you exist. And you need to do these things TODAY in order to make more money next month. If you start sending out emails and do it on a consistent basis you will get someone who calls you up and says, “I just got your email, and I need to order some shirts.”

episode 31 custom apparel startups

Custom Apparel Startups Make More Money

 

Most of your competition is not doing the three things we’ve talks about in this series: Creating active word of mouth, calling customers, and emailing them. So if you do this, you will make more money next month, and the month after, and so on.

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