One of the basic truths of business is that customers do business with people they know, like and trust. Building that kind of relationship is of the utmost importance to your business.

So, how do you do that on your small business website? You do it with email marketing.

When a potential customer visits your website, you need a system to collect the email address of that visitor and a system to stay in touch with them.

I want to be very clear that I am not suggesting you spam your subscribers. Spam is illegal, not to mention unethical. This is a legal, ethical use of email marketing which I am suggesting you use in your business.

First, you need a way to collect the email address of that visitor. This is done with a service called an autoresponder. It provides the ability to collect email addresses by way of a collection form you can embed on your website and respond with a pre-written sequence of emails to deliver information and messages over time.

This is not the autoresponder that many email programs include which sends out one automatic message after someone contacts you via email. Rather, it is a “smart” autoresponder that can deliver a timed sequence of pre-written messages.

The beauty of the system is that you set it up once and it works over and over again, saving you time, energy and money.

There are a number of companies that offer an excellent service in this area. Three of them are AWeber, iContact, and Constant Contact. They offer ease of setup and use as well as excellent deliverability of your email.

Second, you need to offer an incentive for the visitor to give you their email address. Your incentive can be any number of things. You can offer a free consultation, or a discount on a service or product, or you can offer a free report which addresses the interests and concerns of the visitor to your website.

For instance, a plumbing business might offer a report on 7 questions you must ask before hiring a plumber; a chiropractor or dentist might offer a first visit at a discount; a lawyer or accountant might offer a guide on the 10 things you absolutely must do to protect your estate; or the 5 secrets of lowering your taxes.

Third, is the followup. When the email address is submitted, the incentive offer, discount or free report is sent out. Then you work on continuing to build that relationship by offering valuable content to your subscribers in a sequence of followup messages.

You can offer information, special offers or discounts for your subscriber list, or other updates as you see fit. Again, the great part about the autoresponder system is that it’s automated. Once you set it up, it works over and over again.

Let’s recap.

When you get a visitor to your business website, you need to capture the visitor information so you can stay in contact and build the relationship that is critical to growing your business. This is called email marketing.

1. Get an autoresponder and put an email collection form on your website.

2. Give visitors an incentive to enter their email address.

3. Follow up, send the incentive, and send them future marketing messages.

By following these simple steps, you will build a list of interested people whom you will stay in touch with while building a relationship and growing your customer base and business.

To Your Success!

News Reporter