Should Horse Professionals Bother With Email Marketing?
You've been working since sunup and will be late to dinner by the time you finish up at the barn. You just want to eat and then hit the hay.
The last thing you feel like doing is adding one more thing to your all ready overflowing to-do list. So when you are selecting marketing tools (even inexpensive or free ones), it is essential to make good choices about how you spend your time.
Here are a few email marketing tips that will help you make informed decisions for your horse business.
1. Hands down the most important thing to remember about email is that it is a pivotal point in what marketers call the sales funnel. This is especially true when a potential customer visits your website or contacts you through social media.
Let's say a potential customer visits your website. In order for them to progress down the sales funnel and become a customer, they will need to contact you via phone or email.
Or, they will need to provide you with a way to contact them by giving you their email address (for example they sign up for your newsletter ) Collecting a potential customer's contact information (i.e. email address) is perhaps the most important goal of your website. This goal should be actively pursued, measured and improved because without a way to follow up with visitors there is NO way to progress the sale.
2. It helps you stay in the next best position. You never know what someone is thinking. For example: A customer might contact you and take a barn tour or try horses and decide to go train or buy a horse at a different barn. You may feel rejected; that all this was a waste of time and there is no point in staying in contact with them.
Unless you are professional mind reader STOP! What you don't know is how close of a decision it was for them. Perhaps they are hoping to move to your barn next year once their daughter is attending a school that is closer to your stable than the one they initially chose.
Or maybe, down the road the client decides it's time to buy a new horse. They have enjoyed hearing from you time to time and when they get the email flyer you sent about the horses you have for sale, you are the first call they make.
3. Email is a great way to stay in touch with your current clients, build community One of the most important aspects of being involved with a barn is belonging to a community of like minded people who often become close friends. Your role as barn leader means you set the tone of your stable. Consistent, clear communication will help you accomplish this in a positive way. For example: If you change the type of bedding or hay that you use - you can let your customers know what the benefits of the new bedding or feed are so that they are excited rather than concerned about the change.
4. Regular emails can help keep your clients on the inside sales track (my own term.) The inside sales track is really whatever path you need your customers to follow to meet both of the goals of your customers and your own business and career goals. For example: If you have a show barn and a customer starts with your school horse program, you need to have several things in place to lead them down the path of perhaps leasing and then purchasing a horse. While there may (and should) be conversations and other marketing communications that help them understand this process, your email campaign can do a tremendous job of providing clarity to your customers and supporting your efforts.
5. Much of your email marketing campaign can be automated. That means, once it is set up correctly (notice I underlined correctly) it can be an extremely valuable marketing and customer service tool for horse professionals because it won't take a high toll on your already busy schedule. Yet, it has the capacity to really support the growth of your business. Now don't get me wrong, this doesn't mean you can set it and forget it. You will need to monitor what is happening, but there are loads of ways to accomplish this without a major time commitment as long as you know the right tools and best practices.
Members and Future Members
Be sure to hop on tonight's "Equestrian Professional Master Class - Email Marketing for the Busy Horse Business Owner." We will be sharing a wide variety of email marketing campaigns that horse professionals can use, best practices, our own secret email resources list and of course loads of time saving tips!
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