My boyfriend and I went out for dinner recently,
and the fish special for the evening was a white fish called
Tilapia. I’d never heard of it. Shortly after dinner out with my
boyfriend, one of my girlfriends invited me over for dinner and she
served Tilapia. The next week I was at one of those warehouse
discount stores, checking out the freezer section and guess what I
came acrossTilapia. Tilapia seems to be a part of life for good
Has that ever happened to you? You’d never heard of
something, you are then made consciously aware of it and
That’s how it is with advertising. The consumer
needs to become be made consciously aware of the ad. The more times
the person sees an ad, the more confident and trusting he or she
becomes of the product or business that is being promoted.
The Internet gives you a great, inexpensive
advertising resource to reach your potential clients, both old and
new. While Web sites are your best Web tool as they provide the
most information, e-mail marketing is another wonderful resource
and by e-mail marketing I do not mean spam (junk e-mail)!
Now, you may ask if there is really a difference
between e-mail marketing and spam. Yes, there is! When you’re given
permission to send people e-mail because they want to learn more
about your product or business, then it is e-mail marketing and
your message will get across. When it is a non-requested e-mail and
it is sent without “permission,” then it qualifies as spam.
Before we tackle just how you can go about getting
e-mail addresses of those potential clientslet’s talk about the
many benefits of e-mail marketing.
E-mail marketing is very
inexpensive. Once you’ve constructed your e-mail list of potential
clients, all you need is a little bit of time to put together the
actual message you’re sending. The message can be as simple as
announcing a promotion or as involved as an online version of your
company newsletter. And, you’re not paying for postage, time or
Via e-mail marketing, you’re creating brand
awareness and generating business. Branding your company needs to
be done constantly, in good economies and in bad, even if most of
your business is “referral based.”
What consistent e-mails do is put your company in
front of potential clients on a regular basis. This goes back to
that act of building trust.
I probably don’t have to tell you that it’s a lot
more expensive to go out and court a new customer than it is to
retain a customer. E-mail marketing allows you to stay in
communication with clients you’ve already done work for and are
currently working with.
But, if you’re dead set on the fact that you’re
referral based and you don’t really need advertising, think about
this. Send out e-mail marketing to past customers and they in turn
can easily forward your e-mail to friends and family who are
looking for someone to remodel their kitchens. You’re simply giving
your past clients a wonderful tool with which to refer you.
And, e-mail marketing is fast. It gets there in
just seconds, and is normally read within the same day.
Spam vs. Request
Let’s just begin with spam.
Spam is bad. It is unwanted, junk e-mail that just clogs up your
e-mail box and mine. Don’t spam people. If you do, you’ll probably
just turn them against you, rather than endear them to your
Then there’s “opt-in” or requested e-mail. Let’s
say you had a questionnaire on your Web site asking people to check
a box if they wanted to receive your monthly newsletters and your
upcoming promotions. That would qualify as “opt-in” e-mail, because
those people have given you their consent to send them e-mail.
Because they have requested to receive your e-mail, the chance that
they will read it is very high. Hence, that e-mail is a great,
inexpensive avenue of advertising.
There are actually different levels of opt-in
e-mail. There is the “confirmed opt-in” e-mail. The way this works
islet’s say the consumer fills out that questionnaire on your Web
site and checks the box saying that they would, in fact, like to
receive your monthly newsletter via e-mail. Once they sign up, you
send them a confirmation thanking them for signing up for your
monthly newsletter. Confirmed opt-in e-mail is just a way of
substantiating their opt-in decision.
There is also “verified” or “double opt-in” e-mail.
The way that verified or double opt-in e-mail works is that this
same consumer must take a second step to confirm they really did
want your monthly newsletter. So, when you send out that e-mail
thanking them for signing up, they must respond to your e-mail or
follow a link to your Web site in order to be placed on your
monthly newsletter e-mail list.
To begin this whole process, most kitchen
dealers/designers tell me that they collect information from their
homeowner client either at the beginning of the remodeling process
or “officially” at the end, when they ask the client to fill out a
questionnaire rating their overall experience with the remodeling
company. It is during this time that you want to ask your client
for his or her e-mail address. Not only do you want to ask the
person for an e-mail address, you want the person’s permission to
send e-mails about your upcoming promotions or newsletters. Make
sure that you word this question in a way so that the person
realizes that there will be a benefit to receiving e-mails.
When you send out your e-mails, it’s important that
the consumer receiving your mass e-mails can’t see everyone else’s
e-mail addresses. This is not Web savvy, and you might receive
complaints from people if you don’t hide their e-mail addresses
So, be like Tilapia and get on the radar screens of
your past and future clients. When it comes time for them to redo
their kitchen or bath or refer you to a friendbe top of mind,
thanks to your e-mail marketing campaign. And, for less than the
cost of one Tilapia dinner, you can send out your e-mail marketing
to hundreds of people.