Sarah feels guilty because she took a day off this week! She says it’s not rational. Her business isn’t harmed and she needs an occasional change of scene. But why does Sarah feel as if she’s done something wrong when she takes a day off? She wonders why time management always seems difficult.
Business or Pleasure?
Before we consider how email marketing saves time, ask: why do we want to save time? Saving time has two purposes: it creates more time for your business or else more time for life!
Time for Business
Many business owners are run off their feet, trying to meet deadlines and implement a growing to-do list. Business can become all-consuming. If you seek more time to apply to your business, you need time management. There are many ways to save time and they are not restricted to email marketing. Indeed, without a global time management strategy, time you save through email marketing is swallowed by everything else you do.
Consider whether you can make significant gains through systematic time management or whether your business is naturally growing and you need to build capacity to meet demands of a growing market.
Time for Life
Many people go into business because they are free spirits, who don’t want to be constrained by the 9-5 routine. It’s not impossible your business will become more constraining than 9-5 employment. There’s little point saving time, if business swallows time saved.
Be clear what you want from your business, from the beginning. Then design a strategy to get what you want from the business. You may need to compromise, especially during early years but without planning you can easily be drawn into using every minute for your business.
Think about the difference between working in and working on your business. To work within your business is to focus on service delivery. This is seductive because it is often the most enjoyable aspect of your business. It may be essential during early years because you need experience to build a viable business. As the business grows, you work on it to build capacity, so that you have time to enjoy life outside your business.
Email marketing saves time in several ways. Combined with a time management strategy, it makes a significant difference.
This is perhaps the most under-valued aspect of email marketing. If you publish an email at 9am every morning, you don’t need to be logged on to do it! Schedule emails to go out to different groups of customers at different times of day.
Bulk activities become more helpful as your list of customers and followers grows. It makes little difference whether you mail 100 or 10 000 customers. You can set up email campaigns that send different emails to segments of your list or send sequences of emails.
Evergreen Product Launches
Automate sequences of emails to go out to groups of followers or customers. These may be introductory sequences that build trust or automated sequences that lead to sales. These are sometimes called Evergreen Product Launches because they go out to new followers or as a follow-up to people who have already made a purchase.
Customer Relations Management
CRM is records of customers and the purchases they have made. Segment lists to reach out to followers who make purchases. A well-managed email list goes a long way to achieve this without an expensive, complicated custom CRM system. You waste a lot of time with muddled customer records and email services go a long way to help you keep track of contacts.
Taken alone, email systems don’t meet all time management needs. Maintaining a large list may be time consuming in its own right. So, you need a time management strategy.
The most effective way to do this is to get someone else to do the work. Short of dragooning your family into involuntary graft, you have two options.
Hire people to do the work. For example, some businesses offer administration support. They may be expensive but if you need help with a specific task or have less work than warrants an employee, they may help. Many services save time, even though they may not make a big thing of it. Accountants take care of financial management, for example.
It’s worth considering whether you can save time outside your business, for example by hiring a domestic cleaner.
The second option is to employ staff. This is crucial if your business grows to the point where you need staff to manage aspects of the business. If you plan on a business that mostly supports your work, you may get by with minimal assistance. But larger businesses need managers. They are not easy to find! You need to hire people who could possibly take on a management role within 2 years. This way you grow managers inside your business so when a vacancy arises, you have a pool of people to move into management positions.
This completes this sequence about the advantages of email strategies. Visit the first blog post about email marketing for a list of the posts and links to them.