Today, most businesses, even local businesses, understand the value of email marketing. Constant Contact, the leader in the space, is a public company with more than 400,000 members, the majority having less than 10 employees. While email marketing has become a standard business practice, it isn’t really meeting the needs of small businesses.
Two of the biggest challenges for small business owners are time management and gaining expertise beyond their core business (e.g. email marketing). How do business owners find the time to learn and utilize the latest marketing solutions to drive new and repeat business? Every minute spent trying to get more business is a minute less that the business owner has to spend providing excellent customer service.
Automated service reminders are emerging as a great solution.
Like email marketing, automated service reminders can be scheduled in advance and can target a specific contact list so that you can tailor the messaging accordingly. However, service reminders also allow businesses to set ongoing communications that continuously touch the contacts with frequency that you control.
Though the reminders aren’t as customizable as HTML emails from a branding perspective, they require a lot less work. Automated reminders will also keep your business in front of customers, therefore driving repeat business. The automation means ongoing communication with almost no ongoing management necessary. Moreover, service reminders can be customized based on the customer’s last service date. This means that rather than sending emails in one big batch to your entire customer list, customers get emails when most relevant to them.
While automated service reminders are a complement to, not a replacement of email marketing, they may result in more direct business making them the better of the two options for time- and resource-strapped local businesses.