Driving Sales on a Budget — Part 1

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Continued from page 1

If you think about it, these numbers are not surprising. How many people do you see every day constantly checking email on their iPhone, Droid or BlackBerry devices? 

Even when faced with the statistics, many people I talk to view implementing an ongoing email distribution strategy as an unattainable goal. However, in reality it’s pretty simple and can be done on a very small budget.

Creating Content

The main reasons I hear that people don’t send out emails to their clients is that they can’t figure out what to write about, they’re not good writers and they can’t find time to write. Fortunately, none of these are really obstacles. The specific content of each message isn’t really the key to its success. What really matters is that you send out emails on a regular basis (quarterly or monthly) that are perceived by your audience as containing relevant information and a unique perspective.

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess you have subject matter experts within your organization who have a wealth of knowledge and real-world experience that your clients can benefit from. So why not use them to provide your content? I’m not suggesting that you ask them to write articles (though on the off chance they are good writers, it might not be a bad idea), just that they provide the subject matter for your emails.

So who’s going to do the writing then? Chances are, the answer is in your own backyard. Throw out the question to your organization: “Who likes to write or knows someone who does?" I’d be very surprised if you don’t get at least one response back. The process is pretty simple: Ask your writer to interview your subject matter expert about a topic that is relevant, “hot," or a consistent issue within your client base. The focus should be on educating your recipients about business problems that your technology, products and/or services can help solve. You want to subtly mention how your organization is positioned to help them overcome this problem.

Try to keep the message relatively brief. I suggest 300 words or so for the text you include in the email itself. It’s OK if the entire message is longer; simply post the content on your website in its full form, and include the first two or three paragraphs in the body of the email with a link to the full article. Though the email is not about style and form, it’s vital that you take an educational tone and don’t make a sales pitch. (To view examples from ETA's campaigns, visit www.expertta.com/ebulletins.)

Even if you don’t have resources within your organization that can write content, there are other inexpensive options you can try. Post an ad on Craigslist. Talk to your local community college’s business office for names of students who would be willing to take on the challenge. Ask your family and friends. There’s bound to be an accessible resource out there that would be willing to help, especially if you’re only talking about four messages a year.

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