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In today’s competitive marketplace, small businesses must ensure that they are utilizing the Internet effectively when designing their marketing strategy. More people than ever before use the Internet when searching for services or products. According to BIA/Kelsey, a research and advisory company, 97% of consumers use the Internet for their local shopping.

 

FEDERAL EMAIL MARKETING LAW

 

A small business owner may be hesitant to engage in email marketing for fear of “spamming.” Although President Bush signed the CAN-SPAM ACT OF 2003, a business may still engage in direct, email marketing as long as the business meets three conditions:

 

Unsubscribe Compliance–each email must contain a method for the recipient to unsubscribe, and the business must comply with an unsubscribe request within 10 days; Content Compliance–the “From” line must be accurate; the email cannot have a deceptive “Subject” line and must include the actual, physical address of both the sender and the entity whose services are offered; and Sending Behavior Compliances–the email must contain at least one sentence, cannot contain a false header, must not be sent through an “open relay” or sent to a “harvested” email address.

 

BENEFITS OF EMAIL MARKETING

 

1) Build Client or Customer Relations

Clients and customers like to know they are appreciated. Sending your client or customer an order acknowledgement, shipment tracking number or a thank you for their business is one of the best ways to convey that you appreciate them. Email is immediate. If there is a mistake or a change in the order, an email gives your customer an opportunity to correct the mistake before the order is fulfilled.

 

2) Introduce New Products or Special Offers

Customers want to know about new products. Sending your customers special offers or letting them know about upcoming sales is a sure way to garnish repeat business.

 

3) Gain New Clients or Customers Through Referrals

Word-of-mouth has always been a small business owner’s best friend. If your client or customer is satisfied with their purchase or transaction, they will tell their friends. It is a simple mouse click for a client or customer to forward an email from you to their friends and business acquaintances.

 

4) Track Return on Investment (ROI)

One easy way to track email ROI is to place a small code in your email or attachment; then ask your customer to use that code when contacting you.

 

5) Cheaper and Easier to Track Than Traditional Direct Mail Marketing

Email is much cheaper than buying postage and supplies or having brochures designed and printed. There are apps that will report exactly what happened to each email sent.

 

FUNDING

 

Any marketing plan costs money. A small business owner may try the “do it yourself” approach. However, this requires valuable work-hours and a learning curve. It may be more economical to outsource the task to a professional email marketer. Either way, money will have to be budgeted for advertising expenses. It may be necessary for the business to obtain a loan. If so, Advanced Funds Network can help. However, increased revenue from the email marketing campaign should more than offset any email marketing costs incurred.