by Tony Vidler
The most powerful marketing tool most professionals have is the one they use scores of times daily, but which they usually do not do any actual marketing with.
Love it or loathe it, we all use it. It is not going away anytime soon, and it is not about to be replaced just yet. In fact, it is the number 1 form of electronic communication in business and for business. It dominates digital really.
Every single one of those emails we send every day is an opportunity to market our business. Whether that is simply promoting the brand, or creating some top-of-mind-awareness for your area of expertise or for future referrals, or as a way or reminding people of the range of services and solutions you can help with there are literally dozens of chances daily to market a professional using one-to-one emails.
This is not the same as using email for marketing campaigns – that is an entirely different topic and area of opportunity. The one-to-one emails are the vastly under-utilised area of opportunity.
Building the marketing collateral into a standard email system is not as hard or as expensive as many think. There are plenty of services or software options which are relatively easy to source or instal, and they are often remarkably cost-effective when one considers the volume of people reached and the engagement rate of one-to-one emails. Incorporating a great “wrapper” service (where you type your emails in whatever system you use and when you hit “send” it heads off to another server where the marketing collateral is wrapped around it before forwarding on to the actual recipient of the email) really only requires some thought and planning in the design stage for a professional. What messages do you want to send? What services do you want to promote? What is the corporate imagery and colour schemes? Not difficult stuff for any professional to figure out.
Having done that you can then have every single email that gets sent by you or your team to anyone on any day from any device or platform being an active marketing campaign.
Putting banners to promote particular events or deadlines or areas of expertise can be prominent on every email. Hyperlinks to particular services or solutions or personnel can be included every single time. Disclosure or other compliance requirements can be embedded in every single message…and some of the systems will automatically track recipients opening of emails (regardless of whether they have read receipts switched on or off at their end) and auto-generate a read-receipt back to a secure file in your office. How’s that for creating an audit trail and preventing any future “he said/she said”‘s?
If there is one area of technology which most professionals under-utilise it is email. While we all use email incessantly, not everyone uses it for its full range of possibilities. It is more than just a means of talking to someone efficiently and creating a record of the conversation. Any form of communication with the outside world is also a marketing opportunity, and email is without doubt (in my mind) the most powerful marketing tool that EVERY professional has. It is also the most under-utilised marketing tool in most professional services firms, and quite probably the tool which will give most firms the best ROI for any of their marketing dollars.