Good Neighbors Make Great E-Marketers

Written by Talk Local Co-Founder, Manpreet Singh

Good Neighbors Make Great E-Marketers - Small Business Advice

The idea of invading the inboxes of your current and prospective customers can be overwhelming. But, if you have neighbors, and none of them have built a 20 foot high barbed wire fence just to get away from you, then you probably have the skills to communicate effectively for your business.

Here are 5 habits of good neighbors as they apply to strong email, e-newsletter marketing copy and great e-marketers.

1. Good Neighbors Never Show Up Unannounced

No, you don’t have to call ahead before sending your email, but you do have to make sure that all your contacts have granted permission to receive marketing materials from you. It’s called an Opt-In, and it’s important for maintaining the high regard of your patrons and avoiding the dreaded spam folder. When collecting contact information in person or via the website, ensure that people select whether or not to receive promotional information. Just like an expected dinner guest, an unexpected email from a business can feel like an imposition.

2. Good Neighbors Never Overstay Their Welcome

Just as your audience should be able to opt into joining an email list, they should also be able to opt-out. Sending marketing emails without including an easy to find, easy to use opt-out link is like standing in someone’s living room as the host repeatedly says things like, “So… getting pretty late, eh?” And, the next time you want to visit, your readers will have to see you another time (ie: never). Worse, they’ll tell everyone how annoying you were… via email analytics. That’s basically what happens when an email gets marked as spam. not only will the offended recipient block you, but Google, Yahoo, and other email services may start to block you from many or all of your intended recipients automatically,

3. Good Neighbors are Even Better Conversationalists

Maybe you don’t really have to be a chatterbox just to count as a good neighbor. But, if you want to be the kind of well-liked neighbor who gets the sugar when she asks for it, then you may want to do more than comment on the weather or talk shop everyday. In addition to announcing any promotional offers or business news, intertwine information that’s generally relevant to community members no matter where they are in the buying cycle.

Include a blurb on topics like:

The upcoming fair

A simple recipe

A tip related to your industry

Helpful, personally relevant information is valuable regardless of its source, so it endears you to the reader and allows you more time to convert them into a customer.

4. Good Neighbors are Accessible

Sending emails from a DoNotReply email alias is like telling your neighbor about your day at work and closing with, “So, how was your day?” before abruptly walking away. If prospective customers are able to reach you with ease, then it is easier to convert the lead into a sale.

5. Good Neighbors Keep a Well-Manicured Lawn

An unsightly front lawn can bring down property values, and if it’s really bad… the mailman could trip over a rusted, broken down truck. In e-marketing, using a difficult to read or impossible to navigate email format is like booby-trapping your front lawn with high grasses and old furniture. Many readers are accessing your email via their smartphone or tablet. Fortunately, making your emails mobile compatible is much easier than pulling weeds and removing bulk trash. The most readable formats consist of a single column with bold titles.

6. Good Neighbors Extend Invitations

Once you’ve riveted readers with your undeniable charisma, it would be rude not to offer them further opportunities to enjoy the pleasure of your company. So, here’s where you get to include social media links and invite them to request an estimate for service. It’s called the “Call to Action,” and it serves to welcome customers to do business.

Have fun connecting with your neighbors near and far. And if you get nervous, remember: it’s like a quick hello on the way to the mailbox or a casual chat while walking the dog. That ease and comfort with your local market will make them stop by for a visit!

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