Email… Savior or Slave driver? It's up to you. But
can you imagine doing BUSINESS without it? This article is not about marketing
through mass emails, but about ways to look at your day-to-day INDIVIDUAL emailings
and see if there aren't ways to save you time and make you more money.
does your email say about you?
What is an email address? It's a means to reach
you, Jane and Joe Businessperson, of course. More importantly, really, is when
it connects you and your company in the mind of your customer or prospect. Your
email address is a very tangible part of your brand. Or is it the brand of your
ISP (Internet Service Provider) that you connect to the Internet with (like
AOL, Verizon or Comcast)? If you don't have a strong email address, or at least
one that reinforces YOUR brand, you are giving up mindshare. And that's a
precious commodity to waste.
It also gives you tangibility. You are now
connected with an address, a location, if you will, even if it IS in cyberspace.
You seem that much more solid and stable as a business person. An ISP-based
email is more transient and less serious looking. These are trust and
credibility issues that you don't want to have to overcome. Something as simple
as your email can be one more reason your phone is not ringing as much as it
Even if you don't have a website, you can secure a
domain name for about $20 per year. With it, you should get an email address
that can be forwarded to your ISP-based domain name (it will not allow you to
SEND from your domain name, the emails would still come through your ISP). If
you ever change ISPs your domain name wouldn't need to change. Unlike your
phone number, you cannot transfer your ISP-based email address to another
You should want as much
traffic to your website as you can get. If your email address does not
reinforce your website you are missing out on easy site visits. I know after I
go to a card-exchange or networking event, I check out the website(s) of the
people I meet. If you hand me your card, you should WANT me to check out your website
(if not for the free advice I usually offer on ways to improve a website, then for
the compliments I send when I see one well done) because you want to DO
BUSINESS with me. The first thing I do when I come across someone I want to do business with is check out the website to see what kind of a company or business person you are. At least, that's what I hope happens when I hand out my card.
Your Phone Number
If you have invested in a "vanity" phone number,
congratulations. One way to add TREMEMDOUS impact to it is to "dot-com" it.
Think about 1800-FLOWERS. What's their URL? It's not "Flowers.com" it's
"1800FLOWERS.com" (it's also 800FLOWERS.com, 800-FLOWERS.com and every other
combination, just to account for "user error" and to keep the competition from
getting them) which reinforces the phone number AND the website in one shot.
POWERFUL stuff! Can you do the same? Sure you can.
Don't have a toll-free number? You can try and buy
a local vanity number. It is even BETTER on the local level to get a leg-up on
the competition down the street.
Then put your URL/Phone number to work in your
email correspondence, printed materials and everything else you do to
market/promote your business.
Sign Your Life Away
One simple way to put your email address to work is
to use a signature file in your emails. "What's the signature file?"
you ask. Well, that's the automatic text that is added to the end of all your
emails (see mine below for an example). A Signature is a way to easily
"sign" your emails. Think of it as a digital "rubber stamp"
(only it doesn't use ink and you can't tell it's a stamp).
The signature file is great for three reasons:
1) It's "Set It and Forget It" easy
2) It's less typing
3) It's consistent
Set It and Forget It
In Microsoft Outlook you can find signatures in the TOOLS >
OPTIONS menu (check your Help file if you are using a different program). When
the Options window pops-up, simply click on the MAIL FORMAT tab and then at the
bottom click on the SIGNATURES button.
your Signatures Editor, simply click "New" and then follow the wizard through
and write your message.
you have your Signature(s) written, simply assign one as default. Then click
"Ok" and you are done.
you go to create a new email now you will have the signature file already
inserted in your message. It's that easy.
I maintain a small library of signatures, which I use to drop into my emails. I
have different closes, opens and extra content that I use often, since the
signature can also be manually inserted (in your email message simply go to the
INSERT > SIGNATURES menu and select the piece(s) you need). It's a great way
to have "snippets" or canned replies to questions or emails that you
you find yourself typing the same thing more than once a day in every email, or
even just every few, it will save you minutes every day. Anything that you CAN
make easy, you should.
can also make it timely, by updating or changing any special offers or deals
you have, as well as news about upcoming events. Why not throw in some awards
or any other news-y or credibility boosting information? Leverage your email to
act as PR agent as well as your sales and customer service force. It doesn't
mind doing "triple-duty" for you.
Consistency Is Key
Once you have a signature file developed, make sure everyone in your
organization uses one similar. Of course you can change Names, Titles, specific
contact information, etc. But you want to make sure any Taglines, Motto's, URLs
or anything else that CAN be consistent, is.
it's automatically added to your email, you don't have to worry about forgetting
to add it. And you know you will not forget any important details.
Here's an Example of a Signature
Web Design | Web Hosting | eCommerce Development
Total Hosting — Our Name Says It All
Get a Domain Name for only $19.99 per
Always FREE to transfer from your high-priced
That's what I use to close all new emails with.
Sometimes I will take it out, if it's not a business letter, or I want to be
more "informal" with someone. Otherwise, my email is always selling.
Email is a great tool for communicating with
customers and prospects. It's also a way to do more with less effort. Make sure
your email says as much as it can about you and your business.
the Author – Peter
Stoermer is a 12-year Internet Marketing and Design Veteran. He co-founded
Total Hosting, a leading Long Island, NY-based web hosting and website development
company, in 1998. Total Hosting are members of the Eastern Monmouth Area
Chamber of Commerce. Peter is the designer of http://www.EMACC.org, along with
many other popular local NY and NJ business and organizational websites. He can
be reached at MrFixIt@TotalHosting.com.
Visit his website at http://www.TotalHosting.com
for more articles, links to great marketing resources and to learn more about
Total Hosting services.