Advertising Your Business With Email

Tips for using email as an advertising tool for your small business.

Email is an inexpensive and quick way to advertise your small business. It is ideal especially for start-up businesses on a budget. However, you have to be aware of some simple regulations and tendencies in order to have a successful advertising campaign. Below are some tips for advertising your small business with email.

1. Signature

Establish an email signature, or few lines that most business people have at the footer of every email. A good signature will include your name, title, company, phone number, fax number, business address and website address. Nearly all email accounts are capable of creating a signature by accessing the options panel and inputting your desired text into the signature field, but you may have to play around to figure out how.

2. Market to friends first

Your first email campaign should be targeted at your friends. This email should be a simple announcement of your business and services as well as a link to the website. For example:

"Dear John and Marie,

How are you? I just wanted to jot you a quick note to let you know that my new business is up and running. Check out how far we have gotten already by visiting our website at www.mysmallbusiness.com.

Can you believe we have finally done it? Please feel free to offer advice and feedback, as we are still small and looking for ways to grow.

Also, do you know of anyone that would be interested our services? If so, pass along my website address.



Thanks, you all. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Barb

Owner, My Small Business

800.555.5786

Fax: 800.555.6732

55 Biz Lane

Bizness, Virginia 23220

www.mysmallbusiness.com"

The idea is that your friends will want to help you out by passing the word along to their friends. Email is simple and easy. Most people will not open an email from a stranger to do business, but if the email comes from a friend, they are more than happy to take a gander. In this sense, the email advertising world is like a club that you need a special invitation into in order to be credible. Do not hesitate to ask your friends for help spreading the word. Chances are they will be flattered that you are reaching out to them.

3. Mailing lists and internet regulations

In general, sending unsolicited mass emails is a bad idea for small businesses. Most mail boxes have a SPAM filter on them that will detect and prevent emails that are simultaneously sent to multiple addresses.

Furthermore, in many states you can be sued by email users if you do not offer an "unsolicited" button with your email. Therefore, every email you send, solicited or not, needs to have a line that says something to the effect of, "to unsubscribe from this email list, click here or respond to this email."

However, many small businesses do benefit from newsletter lists. These lists are generally compiled of people who have solicited emails, either from you directly or from your internet website if you have a newsletter list field (recommended.)

When creating your lists, it is important that you keep each list relatively small with up to only 100 subscribers so that SPAM filters do not categorize your email as "junk mail." One strategy is to create lists A, B, C, etc and to separate subscribers by last name. This way, you will be able to easily find email addresses in the event that someone wants to be removed.

Another list strategy is to buy a monthly subscription to an email service. A benefit of the monthly subscription is that the software manages your contacts for you. You can also easily design and input information into an HTML format document (like a picture) that the email service will send out properly for you. (Note: when sending HTML emails, it is also important that you include some text regarding your event or announcement as some email users disable the HTML function. Furthermore, many people use small personal devices such as a cell phone to access email and are limited to only reading text email messages.)

Keep in mind these simple tips for email advertising and you should have no problem designing your campaign. Remember: keep in touch, but don't overwhelm.

© High Speed Ventures 2011