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It’s rare when a small business I’m invited into is doing a good job with email marketing.  The most typical reason why: “we don’t have enough email addresses to start an email marketing campaign.”

You have your customers’ emails, right?  You can start collecting email addresses from prospects that don’t turn into customers, right?  Then you have enough email addresses to start an email marketing campaign.

Whatever your reason for not using email, forget about it and start.  There isn’t a good reason not to.  In fact, here are seven reasons email marketing rocks-

1.  Email is still the communication method of choice for businesspeople.

It just is.  It is for you too, right?  The reasons it works for you are the same reasons it works for everybody else.

2.  Email marketing is inexpensive.

No printing.  No postage.

3.  Email is immediate.

Ninety-plus percent of your response will happen within 48 hours.  You can send, assess results, make adjustments and send again in a matter of days.  Compare that learning cycle to direct mail.  Days instead of weeks.  Heaven for direct marketers.

4.  Email marketing builds relationships.

When you send something in the mail you have a real investment.  So you feel the need to ask for the order.  “Hello, I’m Hamilton, we just met, but here’s who I am, here’s what I’m selling, how many would you like?”  Sounds stupid, right?  Why would a mailing that does the same thing be anything but stupid?  Email isn’t expensive, so you’re more inclined to have a more natural relationship with people.  “Hello, I’m Hamilton, we just met, so I thought I’d share an article with you that helps you understand more about this topic we’re both interested in.”  Isn’t that relationship off to a better start?

5.  Email marketing is convenient.

Click to read.  Click to read more.  Access just about anywhere, anytime.  If getting your message, if beginning a relationship, if doing anything related to you is difficult, I’m not doing it.

6.  Email doesn’t kill trees.

No printing.  A nice reason to use email marketing.

7.  Email isn’t hard.

It might be hard based on how you have done it in the past, but it isn’t.  Use an email service that provides design templates for the email messages, manages your name list, sends the emails and tracks results.  I use myemma, MailChimp and Constant Contact for my clients.  MailChimp is free.

But wait, there’s more. . .

You sort of have wanted to use email marketing but you don’t use because starting small just doesn’t feel right.  You wouldn’t bother with a 65 piece direct mail campaign, why bother sending email to 65 people?  Old rules, new world.  For all the reasons above, you should bother sending email to 65 people.  Because as you add email addresses every week and every week, those 65 people will grow to 75, then 90 and eventually 300 or a 1,000.  And by the time you reach those types of number you will have communicated with most of those people 50 times.  That’s called having a relationship.  Compare having a relationship with, say, 300 people — contacting them 12 to 18 times over a year’s time — to mailing four times to 5,000 people during that same year.

Yeah, I know, email still rocks!

Related blog posts:

Boost Email Readership 3 Way

8 Lessons Learned from My First Million Emails