You see that guy above? Know who he is?
That’s your competitor ‘mowing your lawn’, while you find more ways to let him.
He’s taking that customer that could have been yours; and the worst part is, you may be letting him by coming up with more excuses.
How do I know?
Let’s just say, the list of excuses below is compiled by a guy who, for many years, suffered from a near terminal case of ‘Acute Excuse-itis‘, so I’ve seen them before.
Its symptoms include screwing oneself over, time and again, by letting excuses stop you, and pushing the realization of your dreams out further and further.
While I’m not totally cured (so says my wife), thankfully I’m on the road to recovery and my hope is that after you read through this article (if you are afflicted with any of these), you’ll join me in the recovery room.
Excuse #1: I don’t have time to learn & implement a new marketing system
Let me guess, you’ve got a million ideas running through your head, a thousand fires to put out; most days you’re feeling overwhelmed and confused and don’t know which way is up? I could say, “well…that’s small business…” but it doesn’t have to be.
Are you too busy to grow your customers and make more money?
I realized years ago, that while small business can be hectic, the way to make it less so, is to implement systems that work by themselves (independent of you) allowing you to focus on other priorities.
Email marketing is one of those ‘systems’ that, once set up, has an automated component that captures new leads, helps convert those leads to customers and help move your existing customers to repeat customers by automatically following up and engaging with all of them.
I’m not trying to say that there is no work involved, I’m just saying that the work is mostly front end loaded, meaning that once you get it set up, you can move from active laborer to one who tweaks and ‘oversees’ the system – making small changes as needed.
Wouldn’t delegating work to a system, that helps build your business and your sales, while allowing you to work more on your business, rather than in your business, be a step in the right direction? You can find a way to make time for that – can’t you?
Excuse #2: I don’t have the budget for email marketing right now?
I can relate to this excuse personally, because it prevented my business growth for a long time. Starting a new business or running a small business requires very diligent management of your expenses.
I used to think…
“I’ll increase my budget for marketing etc. once I make some more money. Right now I’m struggling to keep the lights on and additional expenses are just not what is needed now”.
I now realize …
This is backward thinking that can kill your goals, dreams and your business!
I grew up with a ‘scarcity’ mentality, and while I respected money and understood its value, I held it so tightly that I let opportunities pass me by. I needed to remind myself about the difference between cost and investment.
A cost, of course, is paying for something and not seeing a return. Once the money is spent, it’s gone forever. An investment recovers the cost and provides a return.
Email marketing is an investment, and the great news about email marketing is that
the return on that investment is a mind blowing 4,300% !!
that’s not a typo!! For every $1 spent, $43.00 is the average return on email marketing investment (kissmetrics.com). And by the way, email marketing is 20 times more cost-effective than traditional media (experian.com).
Email marketing in the purest sense, is simply following up with potential prospects, prospects, and customers in order to build or maintain a relationship with them.
The only real cost in doing that (effectively at least) is the cost of your time to put together an email series (time to write a minimum of 3 emails) and the cost of the service that automates that process for you – called an Email Service Provider (ESP). A top quality ESP starts around $20 per month.
In fact, when used effectively, you will want to spend as much on your email marketing and sales funnel as you possibly can and grow your budget as fast as possible. With an ROI like that, I think you can see why.
Excuse #3: I’m not tech-savvy
Ten years ago or so, I might have said this is a valid excuse. The truth is, today if you can turn a computer on and operate a mouse, you can run an email marketing campaign (from a technological perspective).
Every ESP (Email Service Provider) that is worth using, has step-by-step videos on how to do each step in the process. And if that still seems too daunting, you can always outsource that to someone else very inexpensively, but I would bet you’ve got this.
Excuse #4: I don’t have an online business
If you have a business that has customers, you can benefit from email marketing.
Have you ever walked into a clothing store, or grocery store, etc. and been asked for your email address at check out? While some of these businesses may sell products online, many do not; but that does not stop them from asking for your email address.
The reason is so they can build a relationship with you through your inbox to get you to know, like, and trust them more in the hopes of keeping you as their customer. They can send you coupons, make you aware of upcoming sales, tell you about new products, or just keep themselves top of mind for you so that next time you want to buy something, you think of them first.
Is that not something you would want for your online or offline business?
Excuse #5: It’s OK, I’m already active on social media
You’re active on social media, that’s great. Maybe you have a large following of loyal fans that can’t wait to engage with you. Awesome. Keep it up!
So why even consider email marketing? After all, email is so 1990s right? Well… answer this, do you still have an email account? Ever check your email on your phone?
While personal email use as a means of keeping in touch with others has certainly decreased and moved toward the social platforms and text messaging, email as a marketing tool to consumers has increased dramatically (helped largely by the growth of mobile email).
According to report findings of the Direct Marketing Association, 66 percent of online consumers made a purchase as a result of an email marketing message. In fact, email remains a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media—nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined (mckinsey.com).
Then there’s the issue of ‘control’. Email marketers often consider the single most valuable asset that their companies have is their email “list” (prospects or customers who have voluntarily subscribed to receive marketing material).
What if Facebook or Twitter change their Terms of Service (that never happens) or they decide you did something wrong and ban you? What happens to all those followers that you worked hard for? With email marketing, you have control of your list.
And then there’s the issue of segmenting. What if you wanted to send a message only to those followers of yours that bought a product from you in the last 30 days, for example? With social media, it can be more difficult or expensive to segment those followers from the rest of them. Everyone will see your feed or tweet.
With social media you can target your audience like crazy through advertising, but you have to pay for that. With email marketing in a couple of minutes you can draft and send an email directly to specific people on your list.
I’m not poo-pooing on social media. It’s important. Just suggesting you may want to combine it with email marketing for extra punch.
Excuse #6: I’m afraid it won’t work
Isn’t the potential to cost effectively acquire new customers and maintain relationships with existing customers while building your brand and establishing credibility and trust at least worth giving it a shot?
Are your competitors doing it? If so, ever ask yourself why? If not, wouldn’t it be great to have a leg up on them? Before you spend any money, seek knowledge first. Knowledge alleviates fear.
Why not ask your customers? If you have a retail store just ask at checkout:” if I was to collect your information and send you emails of upcoming sales, or info about our company, or ways to get more out of our product or… would you be interested?”
If you’re 100% online, send out a survey or ask your Facebook or Twitter followers. Or, go into Facebook groups or forums and ask.
If you blog, pay attention to the questions your readers or clients tend to ask you, and in one of your posts, simply ask the questions and pay attention to the comments it produces. Then you’ll have an answer to whether or not your market might be interested.
Excuse #7: My business is too small
Tough love time…That mindset will unfortunately only keep your business small. You have to begin with the end in mind. What I mean is: if you one day want to have a bigger business, you have to think bigger right from the start. You do want to grow don’t you?
Email marketing provides a means for tremendously effective growth and it is a great opportunity to ‘beat’ the big guys, because you can add personality into your correspondence and create a relationship with your leads and customers that the ‘big guys’ would envy.
Excuse #8: I don’t need it
Perhaps you have all the customers you can handle at present, or more money than you know what to do with? If not, I’d respectfully disagree. An email marketing strategy can only benefit your small business. If so, cool, can I borrow for a few bucks?
While I don’t know the ins and outs of your specific business, I don’t think there are too many, if any, businesses that don’t need email marketing – or at least, that couldn’t benefit immensely from using it.
Excuse #9: I don’t know anything about email marketing or even where to start
I hear ya. Like I said before, knowledge alleviates fear. If you are new to email marketing or if you have been using email marketing for a while now, but are not happy with the results you are getting, I am putting together a FREE Video Series very soon, that walks you through all things email marketing; including…
- What email marketing is and how to leverage it for more growth in your business, without a corresponding increase in your time.
- How to get started, what the process is, and how to implement it (step-by step)
- How to engage leads and customers, and get them hounding you for more
- Measuring and tweaking performance to reduce costs and increase conversions
Basically all the steps to take in order to convert a stranger to a lead, a lead to a customer and onto repeat customer in order to grow your business. If you are interested in pre-registering to receive this FREE video series, simply CLICK HERE or on the button below.
If you’d rather hunt for your own information on email marketing, that’s cool, there are plenty of great resources out there. Do some searching, but most important do some implementing. Great things will happen.
This article is about excuses, but if I was to do a similar article about “Top 9 Regrets” when it comes to email marketing, I know exactly what #1 would be, because I hear it all the time from email marketers, and that is,
“I only wish I would have started growing my list sooner”
Well, that’s about all I’ve got for now. My hope is that if you originally had one or more of these excuses that they aren’t excuses for you anymore and that your eyes are more open to the potential that email marketing provides to growing your small business, customers and profits.
Luck favors the bold, so get out there and make it happen!! I have no doubt YOU CAN DO THIS.
Note: I really want to make these blog posts as good as they can be. If you have suggestions about what I can improve on, or things that I left out that you want would like to see added, or simply things that you agree with or don’t agree with, please let me know in the comments below. I read them all personally and won’t be hurt or offended, but rather, appreciative.