There are many software tools to support small business and freelance marketing. Autoresponders, blogs and websites can be used as part of a cost effective solution to implement a marketing strategy.
Email Autoresponders and Newsletters
Writing emails to send further information to potential clients takes time. Once created then the emails must be sent out and for the best response, a follow-up sequence initiated where emails are sent over the next days or weeks to maintain contact and build marketing touches.
When a broadcast email is sent such as a newsletter to subscribers on a mailing list, then the management can also be time-consuming:
- Email addresses change so rejections and non-delivery message must be managed
- Some emails should sent as text format and others as html format
Creating emails including choosing the message, writing the words and selecting images, takes time and is a task that cannot be automated. However email autoresponders can manage the process once the content has been created, sending emails in response to queries automatically and also sending broadcast emails. This does save time.
Smaller businesses can use online solutions to provide the same facilities as larger organizations by selecting an appropriate email autoresponder.
Blog for Free
Small businesses and freelancers do not usually have large marketing budgets so exploiting freely available tools to reach target markets should be investigated.
A blog can be described a personal log or diary, however it is also much more than that. A blog is set up on a website and allows the owner to write entries as often as they wish. The blog can also have pages, just like any other website covering contact details, product and service descriptions, newsletter sign up pages, etc. There are many advantages to using blogs:
- Small businesses can communicate with customers and potential customers regularly – helping to build the customer relationship
- They are easy to update, no special programming or software skills are necessary
- Blogs can be used build subscriber lists
- It is possible to blog for free
All freelancers and businesses can use blogging to build customer relationships and raise awareness in a market.
Measuring Websites with Statistics
Most freelancers and small businesses use a website (or blog) as part of the marketing strategy. However many overlook one important aspect – measuring the success of the website. Website owners should define the purpose of a website, track the success and change the site if required, possibly adding new pages or changing the wording.
There are a number of tools available to track the performance of websites, such as measuring the number of visitors to each page, where visitors go when they leave a page (within the website or elsewhere), how many visitors take action (make contact, sign up for a newsletter, buy a product, etc.). If visitors are not taking the actions required, then the website needs to be changed.
A website may be a relatively low cost for small businesses and freelancers but it still an important part of the marketing plan and should be measured.
All successful businesses undertake marketing activity. Using software tools such as autoresponders, blogs and websites can support the marketing strategy.