Local Marketing Online: Part 7: Email Marketing

As part of your larger local marketing strategy, email marketing is a powerful and cost effective way to help you move your targeted recipients through the conversion process. In this part of the series I will show how to organize and manage your email marketing communications so that they work together with your social media, website, and other online initiatives to ensure you generate not just ‘Followers’ and ‘Friends’ but potential business.

The first step toward effective email communications is the ability to demonstrate to your targeted recipients that you understand what interests them. The more specific your understanding of their interests the better received your message will be. So the first order of business is:

Read what they write about: Whether you receive a direct communication via email, a post to your blog or social media site, or your read something they wrote on a Review site, or other third-party blog, website, or social media site, tracking what your targeted recipients write about online provides you with an understanding about what interests them right now. Begin by making a list of resources other than your own from where you will gather information about their current interests. These may include:

  • Twitter’s ‘Trends’
  • news outlets online
  • shopping and review sites
  • competitor online listing sites such as Google Places, Yahoo local and other such sites that allow for customers comments
  • and other places online where you know your targeted audience groups post comments and questions

Keep an active ear to the ground by monitoring these resources regularly, preferably daily, so you know the current interests you have to address in your email communications to get the attention of your targeted recipients.

Track online behavior: At your website, on your blogs, and even on your social media pages, it is important to track targeted user behavior because it provides you with ever more insight about what currently interests your targeted recipients. By now you should be seeing the theme: your communications have to be of interest to your recipients. You may want to empty your warehouse of the overstock of green galoshes but if you cannot effectively tie that objective to a conversation your targeted recipients are already having online then you are going to have a difficult time getting them to even read your email. This may take great creativity and ingenuity on your part but you have to connect your objective to that of your recipient to start them on the path to conversion.

Develop a Communications Strategy: For any email marketing campaign to be successful, you have to develop and follow a strategy that includes:

  • Audience segmentation (by interest)
  • Schedule of delivery: how many days or weeks will there be between emails
  • Targeted messages: a) communicate what you know interests to be b) make assumptions based on known interests to get recipient to make further considerations concerning your offer and c) ensure your recipients know what action you want them to take next
  • Strategic delivery of messages/response: know which message you will send first but be flexible about follow-up messages; you want every communication to be an appropriate and effective response that gets them to move through the buying cycle by tapping into a) their known interests first and b) their related interests based on your assumptions

The bottom line: use the information you learn from your website, social media pages, your blog and any other relevant online media where your targeted recipients post their thoughts, to let your audience know that you understand what interests them and can get them what they want. Find a way to join the conversation they are already having and use email marketing to keep that conversation going so that your ‘Friends’ and ‘Followers’ become your customers.

In Part 8 of the Local Marketing Online series I will talk about integrating pay per click advertising to generate business while you develop your organic listing strength.

Read the Series:

Local Marketing Online: Part 1: Intro
Local Marketing Online: Part 2: Web & Map Listings
Local Marketing Online: Part 3: Google Place
Local Marketing Online: Part 4: Search & Social Media
Local Marketing Online: Part 5: City Sites, Reviews & Recommendations
Local Marketing Online: Part 6: Share Content
Local Marketing Online: Part 7: Email Marketing
Local Marketing Online: Part 8: Pay Per Click Integration
Local Marketing Online: Part 9: Mobile Marketing
Local Marketing Online: Part 10: Optimized Web Design