My wife is a small business owner. Her and her family own a cut-flower farm in Central Kentucky specializing in lilies, sunflowers and a wide assortment of other flowers. A couple of years ago my wife decided to branch out her business, growing the local flower deliveries to include restaurants and businesses, as well as wedding flowers.
Considering I have written about business in a multitude of arenas over the past six years, she was eager to discover my opinions. My one tip that has helped her business excel rapidly over the years has been to create a constant and focused rapport with her clientele.
She has done a great job building a customer base on Facebook, networking with other growers throughout the U.S and even started blogging for a website with tips for other growers. These small steps have garnered her national attention from Martha Stewart Magazine as well as others. The one tip I think could still grow her business more is a weekly email — and I think it could help your business too.
Last week our area of the country was hit with record low temperatures as well as snow and some ice. When communication gets fragmented due to severe weather, having multiple lines can be extremely beneficial.
Email can be great for reaching members, providing essential information, highlighting members and promoting new specials. Although email may seem dated, it is still a regularly checked communication medium by most individuals.
As an Affiliate, gaining emails should be as simple as receiving credit card information. With each individual that signs up for a membership, on-ramp class or individual training, you should accumulate emails. Once you begin, you can get as fancy as you’d like with design, and as meticulous as you’d like with segmenting the emails.
For example, email services like Constant Contact or Campaign Monitor allow you to design as freely or as restricted as you’d like. Additionally, you can also segment the emails you garner as much as you’d like. You can create email folders for current members, past members, one-time clients and drop-ins. You can send out an email specifically to each individual group, or your database as a whole.
These emails can be a great communication tool, a website driver and a promotional piece for additional revenue. Although you may have a Facebook Page or Twitter account, email can be a more direct avenue of contact to your members. While posts may get lost on the Facebook wall or Twitter feed, an email can be seen and opened by just about everyone it was sent to, and you can track those rates.
Do you already have an email contact format? What has worked for your Box, and do you find it as useful as I do? Leave a comment and let me know!