Will you permit me to stick my toe into the political waters for this post? I think there is a lesson to be learned from the Obama Marketing Machine that any business can apply (even if you are a die-hard John McCain supporter)....
And before I go any further, if you think I am going to tell you MY political leanings here, don't hold your breath. The world does not have enough ten-foot poles for me to get involved in THAT discussion.
...In the weeks running up to his announcement of his Vice Presidential choice (in case you've been living in a cave, he chose Joe Biden), the Obama team used the suspense to collect email and text addresses (ie telephone numbers). In actual fact, he merely added to an already very large list that has been gathered for many months during the primary season.
The promise was that if you opted in to his list, you would get a broadcast message as soon as he announced his running mate.
Now what do you suppose he can do with this reportedly huge (I mean HUGE) list? In the business world, we often hear that "the money is in the list."
It is no different in the political world either.
Obama's list is being used to raise funds and to get volunteers out to spread the word. As November draws near, the people on this list will also be contacted to get out to vote.
This is one reason why I think many of Obama's voters will come from a tech savvy crowd that may be missed by traditional polling. There are a lot of people, particularly in younger age groups, that do not own regular phones and only use their cell phones. But I digress.
The lesson for businesses is to gather those email addresses and phone numbers. There is power in a list of people who have volunteered to be receive your emails and calls. It's the old Permission Marketing thing again, but the ability to click a mouse and reach out to masses of people who wanted to be added to your list cannot be overstated.
Suppose your business is hitting a slump for some reason. Imagine just sending an email broadcast about a special buy-one-widget-get-the-second-widget-free offer. Such an email costs you nothing, but can delver huge results.
Or what if what you sell usually takes people a while to make up their minds? By sending weekly emails that describe a different benefit in each message, you add to your marketing power by constant reminders.
And what if you simply want to turn one time customers into repeat customers? It is so much easier and less expensive to market to people who have already done business with you once than to keep advertising to get new customers. Email marketing campaigns can get people to come back through your doors over and over again.
So make an all-out effort to gather email addresses from everyone who visits your web site, comes into your place of business or even calls you on the telephone. If even a small percentage opt into your list, you will soon find it is your most valuable asset.
COPYRIGHT © 2008, Charles Brown
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