email marketing can still drive sales | working in a coffee shop

Yes, You Can Still Use Email Marketing to Drive Sales

Less than two hours after I sent out our most recent email newsletter, a former client reached out. “I have been wanting to do a series of thought leadership articles, and your recent blog post reminded me to get going,” she wrote. “When can we discuss the project?” So yes, email marketing can still drive sales.


I’m going to use my experience to demonstrate how email marketing can work for you.


Offer people what they need right now


As I have previously written, the key to marketing during this pandemic is to offer a product or service that meets your audience’s needs right now. Their needs have changed since mid-March, and as our lives slowly resume, their needs will continue to change.


Keep your finger on the pulse of these changes so you can quickly adapt. You might need to delay or revamp certain messages, campaigns or offerings.


I haven’t offered any new services, because marketing is always important no matter what’s happening with the economy. But I did throw out my entire editorial calendar 11 weeks ago and quickly shifted to “marketing during a pandemic” topics.


By the way, if you need some inspiration, here are just three small business who created new offerings to meet new needs:


Talmar Anderson teaches business owners how to hire. With hiring on pause, she is now teaching them how to manage a remote workforce.


Melissa Demple is a portrait photographer. Since she can’t shoot portraits in-person, she is doing them via FaceTime (with really stunning results).


Tonia Chagnon is an event planner. She replaced in-person experiences with customer appreciation experiences (aka, gifts and goodies) delivered by the postal service.


Share your new offerings, new ideas and new advice via email. My advice is the reason my former client reached out.


Show, don’t tell


New offerings and advice are great, but how do you convince people to buy when budgets are in flux and uncertainty reigns?


Show how you’re helping people by telling customer stories. A prospect will read the story, and a lightbulb will go off. “Aha! That’s exactly what I need help with right now!” they’ll think.


This is exactly what happened with my former client. I shared stories of how some clients are really doubling down on thought leadership articles right now. She opened my email, read the blog post and saw herself in the story.


The best thing about customer stories is they don’t come across like a hardcore sales pitch. At the same time, you build credibility and trust and demonstrate expertise.


Get really specific in your call-to-action


It might seem bossy and hardcore sales-y to tell people what to do, but a call-to-action is key if your marketing is going to work. Unfortunately, a lot of small businesses don’t tell people how to take the next step.


And yes, I have written about why now is not the time to push for a sale. It’s still true. However, you can open the door to a conversation that is valuable for both of you.


“Do you need help with this? I’m happy to brainstorm some ideas with you.”


“Want additional tips? Email me and I’ll send three new ideas along.”


Talk to them and see where the discussion goes. Maybe they’ll buy now, maybe they’ll buy later, maybe they’ll introduce you to a lucrative new client. You won’t know unless you get that call-to-action out there.


As for my former client, she knows I send the newsletters (my email address is the “sender” email) so she simply responded to it.


Continue to use email marketing. If you are offering something your audience needs right now, they will respond.


Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash (Look ma – real life!)

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