Your email is a powerful marketing tool you can use to amplify your online presence, even if you’re not interested in social networks such as Facebook or Twitter, says Javed Khan, president of EMpression, a marketing services firm in Toronto.
“Email has traditionally been a one-to-one communication channel,” says Khan. “However, if you allow your audience to share the information you send them, you can potentially reach hundreds of thousands of new people with the push of a button.”
Khan offers a few tips on how you can use your email as a way to strengthen your virtual word of mouth:
> Segment your clients
Before firing off any emails asking for referrals or promoting your upcoming client event, make sure you have completed a thorough segmentation of your client base.
That means separating your clients into categories based on certain variables. For example, you might use age and/or previous product purchases as ways to help you “filter” your client base. Or, you might choose a different set of variables altogether, based on your practice.
“When you segment,” says Khan, “you will be specifically communicating to a defined group. So, when you send them information, you are sending along information that would be appropriate for them.”
Segmenting your clients might involve a large initial investment of time. However, Khan says the benefits of this type of “directed marketing” will quickly be apparent.
> Blast “off”
In the past, you may have used “email blasts” as a quick way of sending off tens or hundreds of emails to your contacts.
But this strategy is outdated and inefficient, says Khan. With improvements in email technology, many email platforms now allow you to pinpoint prospects with much greater precision.
Coupled with proper client segmentation, you won’t have to end up throwing “spaghetti at the wall,” as you would in an email blast, says Khan.
> “Turn on” sharing
Have you ever wondered whether it was possible to draw on the scope of social networking without actually having to do it? According to Khan, it is possible. All you need to do is to incorporate social media sharing buttons into your emails.
It’s an option that can be activated with a couple of clicks of a mouse in many email programs. So, for example, you might send out a weekly note to a segmented list of clients on “how to manage the costs of getting married.”
If a client finds your article helpful, they have the ability to share your email with their friends within their own social networks, just as they might with an article on a web site.
It’s cross-pollination of the highest order, says Khan.
Before sending any emails to clients or prospects, check in with your compliance department, just as you would with any other marketing materials.
> Work in the spotlight
When your clients share your newsletters or other marketing-centered emails, Khan says you might notice an uptick in your popularity.
“People who read the ‘social shares’ are pushed to the advisor,” says Khan. “They are getting exposure to people they might not have been able to reach by more traditional marketing methods.”
More important, Khan adds, it offers you a way to enter the realm of digital marketing, without the trouble of using social media.