Small Business Trends Radio

Email Marketing – A Tool For Business Growth

nadege.JPGMost of us want to grow our businesses. But as owners of smaller enterprises we usually start out wearing a multitude of hats. We have to be chief cook and bottle washer, as the saying goes. Finding the time for marketing to grow our businesses, and knowing what to do to grow our businesses, can sometimes be very difficult under the press of everything else we have to do each day to keep a business running and thriving. Marketing strategies like email marketing and the details you need to know in order to pull it off, can sometimes seem overwhelming to figure out.

Our featured guest today has some real world experiences to offer. Nadege Fleurimond, is CEO & Founder of Fleurimond Catering, Inc. an off premise catering firm serving mid to high income individuals in New York City.

Most recently, Nadege established ROAR Communications, a management consulting company servicing entrepreneurs in the areas of marketing, infrastructure issues, project management and event management. You might think that’s an unusual combination – catering and consulting. But who better than someone who’s been there, done that, to give us the inside scoop on the practical aspects of email marketing and how to do it.

The following are just some of the key points from this show:

  • A great newsletter campaign should not focus on you and your business solely. It should focus on your clients as well. Create “Customer Spotlight” and “Vendor Spotlight” sections in your email newsletter. Nadege promotes her business by allowing her customers to see specific examples of her work. Recently, a client of Nadege’s wrote a book. Profiling the customer’s book in her newsletter allowed Nadege to elaborate on this particular customer and the event’s that she has worked for her. Nadege maintains long lasting relationships with her customers and feels that by helping the people that have helped her – in turn, helps her business.
  • To create a successful newsletter campaign, educate yourself on the services that are available. Sites such as Constant Contact and MyEmma offer services that make it easy to create an email newsletter by providing templates and easily uploading your email lists. Constant Contact offers FREE SERVICES for email lists from 0-50. Also, employ a good web developer with some marketing savvy that can customize and tailor the look and feel of your message. Don’t send your emails on a Friday afternoon. By the time that they are opened, it’s a busy Monday morning and your message will be lost. Send your emails mid-morning on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Nadege has experienced a 15% increase in business as a result of her newsletter campaign and receives numerous telephone calls after the email has been released. Her newsletter serves as a reminder of her presence in the business world to potential clients.
  • Partner and collaborate with your vendors in a “Vendor Spotlight” section and let them write articles for your newsletter. Your goal is to have your newsletter become a resource to your customers – a place where they can gain knowledge. Spotlighting your vendors allows your customers to see how these other businesses align with yours and provides an overall impression and real-world sense and feel of your business.
  • Building a large email list of clientele can take a long time and must be done on a permission basis. Otherwise, your email will be considered spam. Getting permission can be easy. When networking at events, accept business cards and agree to remain in touch. Request permission to add them to your email list. Create a link to your newsletter on every page of your web site. Placing it in the top navigation bar is wise. Also provide incentives to sign up for your newsletter such as free publications or company discounts.

Today’s Trend: In addition to the above points, please stay tuned at the end of the program to the Today’s Trend segment. The Today’s Trend for this episode is: The Growing Use of Sight and Sound. Today’s Trend is about the growing use of audio and video on websites. If your business has just a few employees, or even if you are a one-person business, you can have a website that, at very little cost, includes recorded personal messages by you, or even a short video of you in action. Podcasting, the phrase du jour for recorded audio, is easy to do today.

Free or low cost options for doing podcasts abound – and you probably do not even need expensive equipment. You can do a recording with a telephone or with a small inexpensive computer microphone. With audio, you catch interpersonal dynamics. You hear nuances that you might miss simply from reading text. You can take a measure of the man or woman from hearing his or her voice. It’s real.

Audio and video are a growing trend on websites today. Don’t think that your website has to be expensive to include audio or video – it doesn’t. But definitely use audio and video, to “sell” how good your business is.

Recorded: October 17, 2006

Duration: 53.26 minutes

About Nadege Fleurimond

Nadege Fleurimond, Owner and Business Manager of Fleurimond Catering, Inc. and Founder of ROAR Communications, graduated with a degree in Political Science from Columbia University with a solid background in project management. She has worked for The American Friends Society as an assistant project manager and has also worked for the New York City Council as a project Manager and community Liaison.

Nadege is a member of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, among various other business and community organizations, thus serving as a wealth of resource for her clients.

In her recent role, counseling entrepreneurs and small businesses, Nadege has realized that one of the biggest issues that start-ups face is lack of funding and the impact that has on their marketing. She has developed cost effective, marketing ideas and mediums for her clients, by means of email marketing, events and partnerships.

For more on Nadege, visit Fleurimond Catering, Inc..

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