I love email marketing, I’ll tell you why!

Lansing Email Marketing Matt Borghi

I love email marketing and here’s why I think you should, too!

For Lansing small businesses, organizations and political candidates email marketing needs to be a part of any digital marketing effort. Here are a several reasons why: 

Cost – Email marketing can be done free with a free Mailchimp account (up to a certain threshold: 2,000 contacts/12,000 emails per month) for a fraction of the cost of postage, which you never know if somebody reads or whether it goes straight to the trash. An email marketing campaign can give stats on whether an email was opened, did a recipient click a link, make a donation or engage with the content of your email in some meaningful way or not. You can see what you’re getting for your spend immediately.

Ease of Use – With tools like Mailchimp or ConstantContact you can easily create and manage email lists and send emails from these tools to your audience/list. Many of these tools come with pre-made forms that you can use on your own website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other places to capture email addresses. Additionally, you’re capturing emails every time somebody contacts you via your website or by other means, why not capture their email address and communicate with them directly? 

Reach – Email marketing gives you a direct one-to-one connection to your audience. Whereas with Facebook, you have to boost posts ($) or hope a “Friend” or somebody who “Likes” your page sees it when Facebook’s algorithm happens to show it; not so with email marketing – You’re contacting them directly. Also, everybody has an email address, some folks may check them more than others, but that direct connection is still there. Also, while folks can “share” on Facebook, a shared email from a friend or colleague is a much more trusted and relevant exchange. 

Ownership – With a well-executed email marketing plan, you own your list; it’s proprietary. You’re not renting placement in Facebook, a local publication or a highway billboard, nor are you renting a direct mail list of questionable efficacy from a list broker for a single election cycle. Your list is your own. 

Email marketing doesn’t get a lot of hype because there’s no quick shortcut to building a good list, it takes diligence and time. You can’t buy an email list of any value, because emails are personal, more personal than our postal addresses, more personal than “Friends” you don’t know, whose requests you accepted on Facebook. In many ways, they’re as intimate as your mobile phone number. You don’t just give it out to anybody. 

And that last bit is what really makes email marketing important: When somebody has given you their email address, a social contract has been entered into. You agree to not abuse the privilege and send them relevant information and they agree to let you; when marketing and trying spread the word, that entry point of willingness is the most we can ask for. There’s no hucksterism or one-time sale, there’s just earnest relationship building, digitally or otherwise.

For me, the real strength of email marketing is when you send an email, even if it’s only to a couple dozen people that asks one thing, what’s known as a CTA or Call to Action. Let’s say you have a few lines of text, maybe a picture and a big button that says: DONATE – That email was literally zero cost to send, it took an hour or less to set up to send to email addresses you already had, folks who granted you permission to contact them and the recipient is guaranteed to receive it, maybe not open it, but they will get it. If you get a single $50-100 donation, let alone numerous micro-donations at $5-10, you’ve received many times the return on your investment. And this scales, the more emails, the more donations. We saw how this could work with Howard Dean’s campaign and then Barack Obama’s campaigns, but I was using email with music and the arts years before that.

Email marketing is powerful. I believe in it deeply. I’m an evangelist for it, but it’s like a bountiful garden, it takes time and attention to cultivate.

Lansing Small Businesses Need a Website

Lansing Small Businesses Need a Website

Lansing small businesses need a website; it’s that simple, but let me explain further…

It’s hard for me imagine a company or organization that doesn’t have a website.

I also never imagined that I would be obeying a stay-at-home order, unable to leave my house during a global pandemic. But that’s exactly what I’m doing.

There’s no question that, at the very least, we’re headed for some rough economic times. As of this writing, March 27, 2020, things are looking kind of grim, but our species is clever and resilient — We’ll get through this.

It is troubling to think about the small businesses in Lansing that don’t have websites, and having been shuddered, have no income coming in. One study found that 40% of small business don’t have websites, and 28% have no plans to create one. I’ll take it a step further and say that probably 65-70% of the small businesses in Lansing don’t have a website. That’s inconceivable to me, but I understand it.

When you’re a small business doing well with great walk-up business, who needs to bother with a website. Perfectly reasonable question; that is, until you get stuck with a stay-at-home order, your business is required to close, through no fault of your own and your walk-up business isn’t even able to leave the house.

Lansing small businesses need a website

Building a website, to most small business owners, seems like an unnecessary hassle. I’ve walked many small business owners through this process. I can make it easy, pain free and inexpensive. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to have a great website.

Lansing small businesses need a website because it can create an extra revenue stream.

A website used to be optional, in 1998, but many kept thinking right on through until the present day, that they were optional. A website is optional if income is optional. For my clients, income isn’t optional; a steady stream of income is critical, the most important thing after great service. Great service and income are hand-in-glove. An upset and financially strapped business owner isn’t going to have great service at the front of their mind.

A small business owner could have made a compelling case for not needing a website, until the stay-at-home order of March 24, 2020. Now, though, everything has changed. Websites, electronic services and email marketing are the basics for doing business in the isolation economy. You’ll note that I didn’t mention social channels like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. Why? Because I’m getting increasing feedback that folk are terrified of what they’re reading on these social channels and don’t believe much of it anyway, so they’re staying away for their mental health. This creates an unprecedented opportunity for small businesses to connect one-on-one with their customers through their websites.

I would love to help you get your website and your electronic communications up and running. Please give me a call, 517.230.6422 or contact me through the form below: