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Bike Shop Marketing

The One Digital Medium Guaranteed To Make A Marketing Impact FAST

If business has slowed a little or growth has started to plateau, you might  need a spark. Something to get customers clogging up the phone lines and rushing through the door. But how do you do it? And, how can you use marketing to light that spark? Well, it can be easier than you think. And you might have everything you need without even knowing it. 


To make a marketing impact fast you need an easy way to reach a large amount of people, in a short amount of time. The best one to do it? Email.

Email marketing has a return on investment of 4400%, and the average order value of an email is at least 3 times higher than a social media ad. Not everyone has a Facebook, but everyone has an email, and 99% of consumers say that they check their email every day.

With the wide variety of DIY and managed email marketing products available, it has never been easier to get an email marketing campaign up and running. So, I imagine you’re thinking, “Where do I start?”

That list of customer emails you’ve accumulated throughout the years are your arrows, and email marketing is your bow.

If you’ve been saving every email address from every customer you’ve emailed with over the years, you’ve already completed one of the hardest parts, building a viable list of contacts. If you don’t have that list, or just want to know how to keep growing it naturally, what should you do? Give people an incentive to give you their email.

Offer a newsletter with insights and stories they can’t get anywhere else, and make sure the homepage of your website has a form that allows those interested to sign-up. Offer a free or reduced service as an incentive to those that give you their email address. There are a number of ways to entice people to give you their email. Whatever your incentive is make it clear and enticing, and don’t be afraid to promote it.

DO NOT buy a list of random email contacts.

Unless your list comes from a verified source of users who willingly opted in (such as an organization, industry group, or convention mailing list) there is no way to verify the quality of the emails on those lists, or if they’re even real. And all it takes is for a few of those people to mark your emails as spam before your entire campaign, and account, is shut down. If someone approaches you with a “list” for sale – big red flag.

The results you will see from naturally growing your list of contacts will always be superior to the results you’ll see from a purchased list.


So you have your contacts list. Now what?

Now it’s time to get to work putting an email marketing plan together.

And that doesn’t start with which of your products or services you want to market. It starts with thinking about what kind of content will make your recipients eager to open your newsletter every time it pops into their inbox. 

While that may seem counterintuitive, take a moment to think about your own email habits. 

Is there one company whose emails you routinely delete without ever opening them? Maybe you’ve long since relegated them to the spam folder. Think about why. Now, think about the emails sent from companies that you routinely open. What about those emails makes you open them rather than immediately delete them?

You’ll start to see a pattern emerge that you may not have noticed before. The companies that use email marketing to constantly pummel you with ads tend to be the ones whose emails you’re more likely to send to the junk folder, while the companies that use email marketing to give you industry insights, share interesting articles, or just provide a little bit of entertainment are the ones that you end up routinely opening and engaging with. They provide value.

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What do you have to say?

Now, think about the information about your business or industry your customers would find interesting or useful to know about. Figure out what your customers want and ensure they know you have it. Even better, reach out to them and ask for a five minute conversation. After a day or two of talking with them, you’ll have a great idea of how to develop your content to provide them with value.

As a rule of thumb, use your newsletter as a way to further your relationship with the reader/customer, and save the sales pitch for later.

It will take a little bit of experimentation to find the right content formula that will produce the results you want, but the time put in will be more than worth the return on investment.

Do not Ignore Analytics

Most email marketing services offer complimentary analytics tracking as part of their package. DO NOT IGNORE THIS! Analytics are extremely important to understanding how your email campaign performed, and by understanding it you can refine future campaigns to maximize ROI.

The main analytics categories you want to focus on are: your open rate (pretty self-explanatory, how many people opened your email), click-through rate (how many people clicked on any links you provided in your email), and unsubscribes (again, pretty self-explanatory, how many people unsubscribed from your list).

If your open rates are low then you’re going to want to focus on improving the quality of your subject lines, and work harder on providing value. Remember you want people to be engaged with you and your content. Low open rates mean low engagement.

If you have a low click-through rate then your message is not targeted enough or is simply not landing with your recipients. Either way it’s back to the drawing board. Focus on improving your call-to-action. Make sure its placement within your copy makes sense and drives your customers to click.

If you have a high unsubscribe rate, especially if your unsubscribe rate is higher than your opt-in rate, you have a lot of work to do. People either aren’t getting what you promised them, or the content you’re providing isn’t as useful as you thought. It’s time for a major overhaul.

If you pay attention to analytics, and adjust your content accordingly, you’ll see great success with your email marketing campaign.


“I don’t have a list of email contacts. How can I still make a quick impact with marketing?”

Okay, maybe you don’t have that vital list of emails to start email marketing, how can you make a marketing impact fast? Well, you have a few avenues you can take, some which can help you build up your email list.

The first option is making sure that you’ve claimed all of your business listings. Do searches on sites like Google, Bing, Yelp, etc. and make sure that you are in control of them. 

This will allow you to set your hours of operation, receive and respond to customer reviews and, on some sites, allow you to give a quick rundown of your company.

The best part? It’s free to claim your listings.

image source: Google My Business

Think of this like being able to set up permanent billboards about your business, focused only on the local customers who are searching for your services. It’s that simple.


Another strategy: traditional advertising

Already claimed your local business listings? Then let’s get a little old school. While not as effective as they used to be (because there’s simply more channels grabbing everyone’s attention), taking out an ad in your local newspaper or magazine can still be an effective marketing strategy. If done the right way.

Instead of taking out a generic ad touting what your business does, provide a call-to-action with an offer that can only be received by visiting a landing page on your company’s website.  Make that landing page a simple form that requires the person’s first and last name, and email address, then send the offer right to their email. 

Boom.

You’ve just gained a valuable email address to help grow your contacts list, and you have a potential customer with a coupon for your services burning a hole in their wallet.


Now that you’re armed with these pebbles of knowledge it’s time to start making ripples in the pond. Take what you’ve learned here, make that initial marketing splash, and watch your business grow.

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