Go back a few years and building new business contacts meant sending letters through the post or making phone calls. Now email is available to help you reach new contacts quickly and economically.
But can email really be used for building business contacts?
The answer is, yes, it can be. But you need to go about it the right way and plan your email campaign carefully.
Here are a few tips you might find useful:
* Firstly, decide exactly who you would like to build new contacts with. For example, potential suppliers, potential new partners or perhaps potential new customers. And what type of people would you like to contact specifically. For example, managing directors, sales managers or buyers.
* Be very cautious about renting or buying permission-based emailing lists. This might seem like a good short cut. However, numerous other people could be mailing to these lists so their effect may be much reduced.
Needless to say don’t send bulk, unsolicited email, otherwise known as spam.
* Do your own research to find names and contact details for the type of contacts you want to make. Methods to use include trade directories, association membership lists, press ads. and search engines.
* Compose an effective email to send your to your email list. Emails used for contact building should: Be short and to the point – they are more likely to be read if they are. Tell the reader who you are. Tell the reader what you can do for them. Tell the reader what to do next.
Don’t add attachments (such as brochures) to your emails and keep the design simple.
* Run your intended email through a spam checker before using it. Try: This well tell you how likely or unlikely it is to be stopped by your user’s spam filter. Be aware that using certain words like ‘free’ even in a genuine way like ‘Are you free to meet?’ can get your email spammed.
* Send your emails to personal email addresses and address the receipt by name if at all possible. Here’s why: Sending an email starting Dear John to email@example.com is usually more effective than sending it to Hi to firstname.lastname@example.org
* Offer the recipient something. Such as a free guide, free gift, a product sample or introductory discount. This will not only improve the response but will allow you to monitor the response.
* Personalise each email for the person and company you are sending it to. This will make it more like an individual, personalised approach and less like a ‘round robin’. For example, ‘We would like to offer ABC Company a free survey’ will work much better than ‘We would like to offer you a free survey’.
* Send your emails out in small batches, not all in one go. Reply individually and promptly to every response you get. Again this will help your emails be seen as individually targeted marketing communications that offer something genuinely useful and not unsolicited, unwanted junk.
* Work out what you’re going to do with your new found partners, suppliers and customers!
Need some help with creating email marketing campaigns? Get in touch for tips and advice …. mark @ markhempshell.com