Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Email is still the “linchpin” of your marketing strategy.

By Mark Helfen


Email is still the “linchpin” of your marketing strategy.

Or so says Elyse Tager, West Coast Regional Development Director at
Constant Contact. Tager will be the speaker at the May 13 SVForum Marketing and Social Media SIG meeting. (Remember we are now at a new location -  Citrix Startup Accelerator at 4555 Great America Parkway.)

A key part of Tager’s business development role is delivering educational seminars – specifically helping entrepreneurs and small businesses develop an effective marketing program. Given the limited time and money available, efficiency and effectiveness with a limited budget is key.

Her thinking seems well plugged in to this small business reality. Constant Contact focuses on small and mid-sized companies, including non-profits. Enterprise sized companies aren’t their target.

“It’s no surprise, most small businesses don’t know how to market,” said Tager. People who are dentists, lawyers (or software developers) “didn’t wake up in the morning to be marketers.” They spend their time on their specialty, the thing that makes their business successful, and need tools to help develop a marketing program. 

If the basics of marketing aren’t difficult enough, new communication channels keep appearing. Some may be useful, some not. A marketer needs to “keep their radar open” to see how the environment is changing, while building an effective program.

Tager’s presentation will give a top level review of the growing number of options. From her perspective, mobile is “here yesterday” and should already be part of your marketing mix. Video, Pinterest, Instagram could all be useful. At the same time, you shouldn’t be “seduced” by all of the “crazy stuff” that is appearing.

“Were not all wearing Google Glasses.” Yet.

The old style of marketing – sending out messages to your customers, needs to be replaced. The new social tools need to engage customers and prospects in a two-way conversation.

Tager views email as the core of an engagement strategy – the linchpin. Combined with social tools, it forms a loop that “exponentially increases your reach and engagement.”  Social tools like Facebook are a way of attracting people, but email is under your control, and allows you to control communications. All of this counts on creating content that is compelling and interesting to your current and future customers.

So come by Monday, learn how your small business can develop and effective marketing program within your limits of time and money.

BTW, if you occasionally slip and refer to Constant Contact (the cloud based marketing company) as Constant Comment (the flavored tea) as I did once in my interview, you will be forgiven. Tager said this has happened to her a few times…


Mark Helfen is a freelance writer, journalist, and marketing consultant.

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