Flowers of Kingwood has been serving the local communities of Kingwood, Humble, Porter, Atascocita, and New Caney since 1985. Flowers of Kingwood was recognized by the Houston BBB as a 2009 Pinnacle Award Recipient.
Digital Now More Than Ever
What does “being digital” mean to today’s business owners? It means being able to, at the very least, communicate with your clients via the internet. Communication is talking about or listening to what your customers are thinking, feeling, what they like, don’t like, what causes they care about, but mostly, how they think and feel about your business or organization. Social Media has moved people to create online personas and participate in a global conversation. We’re no longer limited to news from our local newspaper, we have access to anything we can imagine.
For small business owners, being digital is ominous and overwhelming. We are now finding out that our business won’t exist without taking part in digital technology. It shouldn’t have taken a global pandemic to motivate us to make this necessary change, but now more than ever, it is crucial to stay connected to our clients, customers and prospects.
What You Can Do Right Now
What do we do when we face any emergency – especially something that affects your business? We take inventory. What resources do we still have in place that can be part of a recovery plan? What resources are available that you have access to that will help you start fresh? Who can help you find new resources needed to regain your footing and go to the next level? Is there a cost to these resources whether it be monetary or with time to implement, and if so, what does that look like?
Sometimes it takes an unexpected loss to initiate positive change. Now is that time. Transitioning to digital communication with your clients is critical.
Everybody Uses Email
Email has taken the place of telephone and printed communication. Who doesn’t wake up each day and reach for their phone to check email? It’s intuitive and the first consideration business owners need to ponder when creating a digital footprint.
It’s important to know that commercial email has evolved over time and now offers automation features to help make our work life easier. There are rules to commercial email and it’s important as a business owner to know what those rules are so you can navigate legally and without interruption.
The very first thing a new business owner does is print business cards and create an email address and phone number. Using a public and personal email such as Yahoo or Gmail isn’t set up for business use. Even if you can’t afford to build a website right away, it is important to acquire a domain name. Why is that?
Instead of using firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, you’ll immediately start your brand recognition the right way with firstname.lastname@example.org You can also claim your business name on social media and be able to create a Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram account.
Purchase your domain from a reputable website hosting company like Bluehost.com to be sure when it is time to get a website, the domain is there already. It makes everything easier in the long run.
What does your customer database look like? Is it a Rolodex? Business cards in a desk drawer? A spreadsheet? Names and addresses in Quickbooks? Are you collecting email addresses when you invoice a customer? Where is all of this information being stored? Your customer information is an asset just like a company truck or your equipment. It’s potential new sales and referral business and that’s money.
It’s important to let customers know about new products and services you offer and also make it easy for them to share your business with others. It’s important to keep in touch with your customers – it’s called staying “top of mind”. You don’t want to be annoying with email, just maintain a presence in the recipient’s email box. You want to genuinely show you are interested in maintaining a long-term relationship by giving them valuable and useful information or VIP access to something new you offer. And your customers want to know that you value the relationship, so find ways to show them.
Maintaining a positive, long-term relationship is what successful businesses do right. You may have a long sales cycle, or your product or service is a major investment, something that doesn’t have a high churn rate. This is where referral business is crucial. Businesses like mortgage lenders, pool companies, remodeling contractors, consulting services and realtors need a way to keep the momentum going with referral business. It’s your lifeline.
Email Marketing ROI (Return on Investment)
Email generates $38 for every $1 spent, which is an astounding 3,800% ROI, making it one of the most effective options available. (HubSpot 2020)
When a customer or prospect “opts-in” to your mailing list, that means they have green-lighted you to send them email communication about your business. Be intentional and make it easy for clients and prospects to stay in touch with you by giving them a way to subscribe to your mailing list. Again, commercial email requires that you do this in accordance with FTC guidelines with a law regulating commercial email called the Can-Spam Act. If you’re using Gmail or Yahoo mail to communicate with customers, you’ll want to know about this law. You can find more information here.
Start Building Your List AND Learning
Recent customers are automatically ok to communicate with regarding their business transaction with you. To email them information about products and services past the business transaction you had together, you need to ask them to join your mailing list. Most customers will gladly do this. You can also create “lead pages” on Facebook that encourage prospects to join your mailing list. We’ll talk about that in our upcoming webinar training, The Power of the Inbox.
You can get information about this webinar and upcoming trainings on the Innovate Social Media Facebook page. This may be the beginning to learning about basic marketing with email for some, but no matter where you are in the learning curve, you’ll walk away with valuable information and next steps.
We’re in this together and I’m with you as one of the resources we talked about at the beginning of this article. Take this time that we have because we are homebound, to learn new things and create new ways to do business. I’m invested in entrepreneurs, small business owners, and corporations who are ready to do business using digital media communication.
Click Here for the Innovate Social Media Webinar Schedule on Facebook.
In case you missed the first webinar in the series "Simple Recipe for Social Media Success" you can find the replay here: Webinar 1 Replay - Simple Recipe for Social Media Success
A destination where contemporary American cuisine and waterfront dining come together. Our focus is driven by fresh and exciting cuisine prepared by culinary trained chefs, commendable service, and a family history passed on from generations.
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