Do you know what happens when I Google the word ‘promote?’ No mention of the word ‘selling’ appears, zilch, nada, absolutely none. Instead, the all-knowing, life-saving oracle that is Google talks of “supporting or actively encouraging a cause or venture” and “furthering the progress of something.”
Yes, there is an aspect of ‘promotion’ in the work sales and marketing departments in businesses do- both of which overlap but the definition for ‘smarketing’ is a blog post for another day.
We promote our business to make people aware of it. Why? Because we’re proud of it so we think people should buy from it. To some extent there’s an element of self-interest in promoting our business. We want to- and need to- make money from our business for it to stay afloat.
But most business owners are also proud of their business because they think it can help others.
In our case, we believe having the right systems and online tools in place can further the progress of businesses and the way they work. The right innovative platforms enable business teams of all trades and professions to operate more efficiently, saving them time in the long run.
We reckon our services help other business owners harness the power of technology for their teams to communicate more effectively and streamline their work, freeing them up to be more creative and even give them an opportunity to be location independent when they work.
But how do we get our message across?
We promote via social media, blogs, email marketing, face-to-face networking and more! Promoting is selling in disguise. It’s selling without being lumbered with the negative connotations of being too ‘pushy’. Instead, we just say it how it is. This is the service we offer, this is how it helps you do X, Y and Z. Promoting is selling with a difference.
I recently wrote that I prefer the term ‘interested person’ rather than lead and would rather build relationships with ‘interested people’ in place of selling. To build relationships we need to communicate and engage. Engagement is something our associate, marketing technologist and LinkedIn pro, Nigel Cliffe reckons people now crave more than being sold to.
While social media and blog posts are great ways of raising the profile of your brand and services, emails are more personal- they privately greet a person on their phone when they wake up, whilst they travel to and from work are on their lunch break etc.
That being said, we also get prodded by many emails we’re all too busy to care about or read when they land in our inbox.
So how do you conduct an engaging email marketing campaign? Here’s my 3 tips!
1)Have your contacts sorted out from the word go. If you plonk everyone in a generic list and then send out an email to them all, that mailshot will be ineffective. An email, its tone and its content needs to be tailored to the interests of the recipients.
While sending out promotional emails may seem urgent, organizing your different types of contacts and leads into relevant categories- industry, needs etc.- is important.
Once sorted, you can sync each list from your CRM system to an integrated platform, such as from Zoho CRM to Zoho Campaigns, and viola! You’re ready to communicate with interested people!
2) Sequence your way to success. It’s important to create sequences of emails for specific reasons. We have a home page sign-up and emails to promote this for the specific reason of helping enable teams to work from anywhere and give professionals business freedom.
We have another email sequence in action with the purpose of giving interested customers handy tips and tricks surrounding the CRM systems we help set up, which brings me to the next point…
3) Be useful. No one likes to be told what to do. It’s a bit like telling a small child (or let’s be honest an adult!) not to do something- they’re going to be tempted to do the opposite.
The more you bombard people with information about your business the more likely they’re going to turn off and tune out. So avoid long informative newsletter style emails.
…be informative in a different, more dynamic way…
Offer ideas, reminders how to do things, advice, links to a helpful and interesting blog post, ask their opinion in a poll to make them feel valued. Perhaps a weekly email featuring a video tutorial or a once a week tip recommending something in the field your business and customers operate in?
It’s a great way to communicate and build relationships with clients, keeping contacts ‘warm’ and nudging them further along their customer journey to the sign-up destination.
I always say if we’re going to be in someone’s inbox the content should be ‘for’ them and relevant to them not about us. You’ll have insight and experience others can benefit from. Sprinkle that knowledge with a bit of research and you can provide them with handy tips they wouldn’t have thought of, positioning your business as one that knows its stuff. Selling can be subtle and helpful.