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041 - Does email marketing work?

Understanding how email marketing actually works. Emailing marketing can produce a reliable stream of new customers, but not if you go about it in the wrong way. You can’t just email a bunch of people and expect them to buy your product, even if you are a vegan company selling to other vegans – it just doesn’t work like that.  Instead, email marketing allows you to take people who have an interest in your product (else they wouldn’t be on your mailing list in the first place!) and build trust and familiarity to nurture these people towards becoming customers.

So in this episode, David deep-dives into the five reasons that customers do not buy and how you can use your email marketing to help overturn those reasons. He also looks at how you can use professional email marketing software to identify who in your mailing list looks most ready to become a customer, meaning you can reach out to them and gently nudge them over the line.

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Full episode transcript

Hello and welcome to episode forty-one of The Vegan Business Tribe Podcast with myself David Pannell, co-founder of Vegan Business Tribe.  And if you have a vegan business, or are thinking of starting one, then Vegan Business Tribe is here to support and inspire you not just to build a vegan business, but to build a SUCCESSFUL vegan business.
 
So, how are things going at Vegan Business Tribe at the moment? Well, last week Lisa and I spent the evening with Josie Clemens, the first ever vegan chef to star in Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen.  She did a kitchen takeover at The Allotment vegan eatery in Manchester, which was magnificent, and we got to spend some time chatting with her afterwards about how she first turned down the opportunity because she would have to cook non-vegan food on the show, but then realised that if she wanted to get the message out about veganism that this was her chance and it would be a huge platform.  And would like to think that Josie can perhaps take some of the credit that we are now seeing Gordon Ramsay being a lot more open to vegan food and recipes recently and we’re looking forward to catching up with Josie again soon.  We’ve also got Vegan Campout coming up here in the UK where Lisa and I will be glamping for the weekend – I would say camping but we’ve got an airbed and a tent that you can stand up in, so I’d be lying if I said we were roughing it – but I know we’ve got quite a few of our Vegan Business Tribe members going to Vegan Camp Out also so it will be great to finally catch up with some of you face to face.  And if you’re part of our community over on the website, you will have seen that we’ve also doubled the number of business clinics that we’re running, and we absolutely love running these with members.  So if you have a problem in your vegan business, or you just want to get some feedback and advice from myself and Lisa and your fellow vegan business owners, then our business clinics are just run in small groups on Zoom, where we go around the virtual room and spend time collectively working on each business.  If this sounds like it’s something that would really benefit your vegan business, then get yourself booked onto a clinic over on the website so that we can see how we can help you out.
 
And every week I like to just give a quick call out to our Vegan Business Tribe members, because if you are just listening to this podcast every week but you’re not actually a member of Vegan Business Tribe then you are missing out on 90% of what Vegan Business Tribe is all about!  And it’s our members who allow us to keep putting out this podcast every week, keep producing all our content, running our vegan business networking meet-ups and just generally championing the vegan business cause worldwide.  And if you want to also help us keep doing all that, whilst at the same time being part of our amazing vegan business community, it’s just £12.99 a month to be a member.  And as I say every week, that’s the equivalent of buying a coffee once a week from your local coffee shop.  So if you want to join our vegan business revolution just head over to the website at veganbusinesstribe.com or drop me an email on hello@veganbusinesstribe.com and tell me all about your vegan business.
 
Now, if you’re a regular listener you might have noticed that the podcast doesn’t have a set episode length.  I aim for about 30 minutes but kind of just go on for as long as the topic justifies it.  But in this session, I was tempted to actually go for the shortest episode length record because the question we’re asking is “does email marketing work?”  And I could have just answered with a single, emphatic “yes” and then wrapped it up there, thank you for listening, bring up the outro music and I’ll see you on the next one!  But if you have chosen to listen to a session titled “does email marketing work?” then that means that you probably have some doubt.  Maybe you’ve never done it before, or maybe you actually have the question: “if email marketing works then why isn’t it working for me?”.
 
So, today I want to bust some myths on email marketing and take a look at how it actually works.  Now, I’m not going to go all techy on you – I learnt a long long time ago not to give technical advice because as soon as I tell you what button to press or how to set something up, the very moment those words leave my lips, the platform will change how it works or they will move the button around!  So, if you’ve never set up email marketing before and need help, then there are hundreds if not thousands of tutorials on YouTube, or you can drop into our Vegan Business Tribe community hub on Slack and ask the other members what they use and if they can give you some pointers. I’ve, personally, always used a platform called MailChimp – mainly because I like monkeys – but it’s the one I recommend because it spans that gap between being really easy to use for a beginner but also letting you get really technical if you want to.  But other people use other email marketing platforms and to be honest, as long as it’s a professional email marketing platform they all let you do pretty much the same thing.  The main thing you want to look for though, is to make sure you find an email marketing website or platform that lets you connect it to your website.  So, if someone fills in a form on your website, or they place an order, or they download a PDF or they just send you a message – then you can set up your email marketing platform so that this person is then also automatically added to your mailing list.  And this is really important, and it gets to the core of what email marketing is and how it works.  Because email marketing does work, but it doesn’t work like you think it does.
 
Now, imagine if I just walked up to you in the street and asked you if you wanted to buy something.  You would probably say no – regardless of what I’m selling.  Why?  Because it would be the first time you’d met me, you don’t know anything about me. Even if I was selling something you might be interested in buying, you don’t know if you can trust me and you nothing about where my product has come from.  Why would you buy something from someone you’ve just met when you could buy it from a shop you already know or order it online on Amazon where you know you’ll get your money back if it doesn’t work out.
 
But this, unfortunately, is how a lot of people view email marketing.  People think they can just email a list of people out of the blue and those people will buy what they have to sell.  You think, well I’m emailing vegans and I’m a vegan company so they are going to flock to me.  Or everyone says how great my product is, so if I email loads of people about how great it is, then they will see this and buy it too.  But it just doesn’t work like that.  Marketing, in general, doesn’t work like that.  My father used to always say that marketing doesn’t work because he’d never seen an advert for a can of beans in the paper and then run down to the supermarket and bought a tin.  And he was right, that’s never going to happen.  How many times has a company just emailed you and you’ve clicked on the link and bought what they are selling – I would hazard a guess and say hardly ever.  And I am also willing to bet that those companies where you HAVE done that were companies that you already knew, were familiar with and trusted, or you might have been a customer of their’s before.
 
And that’s the key.  People will not buy from you until they feel they know you or your brand, have trust in your company and product and truly believe that what you sell will solve their problem.  And getting to that point takes a lot of time and it takes effort.  It’s probably the number one reason why small companies fail.  It’s not that the product is wrong, they just haven’t been able to convince enough people to like and trust them as a company, and they give up before they have even properly got the company off the ground.  Because your company – and I hate to break this to you – but your company is not the centre of your customers’ universe.  There is a LOT of noise out there, and even if someone is genuinely interested in what you sell one day, they will have been swamped by everything else vying for their attention the next.  How many times have you done it yourself?  You’ve met a company selling something you genuinely need and want but you don’t ever become a customer.  You come across a product that you genuinely love and will solve a problem for you, but you simply never get around to buying it.  95% of the people we meet as a business, maybe even higher than that, are not ready to buy from you right now.
 
Now, I’m going to be doing a bit of signposting to other resources in this episode, and if you want to learn more about buying behaviour and understanding how your customers get to their buying decisions, then go take a look at the vegan business marketing course on the Vegan Business Tribe website, because chapter 5 on understanding people’s buying behaviour goes into this in a lot more detail.   The reality is that lots of people who have come across your company or brand would have become customers if only you’d kept in touch.  Have you ever been to a vegan fair or market, chatted to the owner, loved what they did and the next day have completely forgotten the company name.  A week later you’ve completely forgotten you even had the conversation.  If, instead, they had managed to extract your email address out of you, along with your permission to keep in touch, then they would have been able to build on that conversation, and there would have been a really good chance that at some point you would have ended up spending money with them – they would have been able to gently nurture you along a buying decision.
 
And this is what email marketing is incredibly good for, and it’s why you should be doing it as a business.  In marketing speak, which I try to avoid most of the time, it’s called nurturing.  It’s taking someone who has already self-identified that they have an interest in what you do (else they wouldn’t have ended up on your mailing list) and continuing to nurture them towards becoming a customer.  Because remember, no-one buys something from someone they have never heard of before.  And these people on your mailing list might be people who stopped at your stand at a trade show, they might have downloaded something from your website or booked in for a call with you.  These are the people who are interested, but something else has to happen before they buy from you – you need to lead them along another step, or a number of steps, before they are willing to part with money.
 
So let’s look at this a bit closer, and I’m sorry if you were hoping that by now I would be onto how to layout an email and sharing my 7 top tips for engaging email subject lines.  Yes, all that has an effect but you will work a lot of that out through trial and error yourself.  It’s this deeper understanding of how email marketing actually works that I want you to take away, this is the stuff which separates a marketeer from someone just sending out emails and crossing their fingers that they might get some sales.
 
So, let’s go back to some marketing basics – there are 5 reasons why people don’t buy from you, and they are: no need, no desire, no money, no trust and no rush.  So to run through those, number one: no need.  If someone has no need for what you are selling then they’re never going to buy it.  You won’t get far trying to sell left-handed potato peelers to right-handed people.  Number two: no desire.  They might be able to use the product or service you are selling, but you’ve just not got them excited about buying it.  They might come around to buying it when they absolutely have to.  Three: no money – and if someone simply doesn’t have the money in the bank then you have to be more creative about how you still make the sale.  Number four: no trust – someone can need, want and have the money for your product – but if they don’t trust you or your company (not because you’re dodgy or have done anything bad, just because they are not familiar with you yet), or they don’t trust that your product will solve their problem, then they are not going to buy.  And then number five: no hurry.  And this is everyone’s favourite customer: “Yeah, I’m going to buy – when I get around to it, when I’m in the area, when I have a reason to… etc etc” and we’ve all had customers like that.
 
Once you understand the five reasons why people don’t buy, you can understand that those reasons, or objections, can also change.  And all this will become relevant to email marketing in a moment, because when someone says “no” to buying your product, often what they are actually saying is “not yet”.  So someone might have no need for your product when they first meet you, but then the one they have breaks.  Or they fall out with their accountant.  Or they win a new contract and decide that actually, they DO need a new website to win more contacts just like it.  And overnight they go from no need to need right now!  Or someone might love your product but they haven’t got the money for it – then an end of month bonus comes in, or they get a refund on their tax bill, and all of a sudden they are in the market.  And if in that time you have been keeping in touch with that person, if you have been sending them customer reviews, case studies, keeping them updated on your latest products, making them familiar with your brand values, getting them to feel like they know you.  If you’ve been doing all of this, then when that reason for not buying changes, you’ll be front of the line for picking up that new customer.  And you’ve guessed it, your email marketing is one of the best ways to do all this.
 
Let me give you a brilliant example, and it’s an example I use in the marketing course on the website too because it’s one that happened to me.  It’s not technically by a vegan company but it’s just a brilliant example of how this works.
 
In our former life, Lisa and I helped a lot of companies with their marketing strategies around trade shows and live events.  One company we were working with had booked a place at a three-day tradeshow at Birmingham NEC Conference Centre and they wanted to look at having a custom stand built for the event.  Now, having a custom stand built is expensive – especially if you’re only going to use it for three days.  But I found a company who specialised in custom stand construction for conferences, had a brief exchange about pricing but it was way out of the customer’s budget so it never went any further.  Because I’d first sent this company a message through their website contact form though, I found myself on their mailing list.  Even though I had said they were too expensive for the job, even though I had rejected them, I still got an email from them every month, without fail, for… 18 months.  I didn’t open a single one.  Their email marketing was a complete failure as far as I was concerned.  They will have been slaving away coming up with content and interesting things to say and I saw none of it because they just went straight into my recycle bin.  They may as well have saved their megabytes.
 
But then, a year later, I was working with another company who booked a stand for the 17 day Ideal Home Show at London Olympia.  Big show, big investment and big run-up.  And guess what, the day after I started talking to this company about us helping them at the Ideal Home Show, the monthly email from the custom exhibition stand construction company dropped in my inbox.  And you know where this is going.  I couldn’t believe that they had emailed me at just the time I was talking to someone about doing a big exhibition – they must have been mind-readers!  But the truth is that it took a year and a half of them emailing me, and me ignoring them, for them to have emailed me just at the right time for it to be relevant.  I had moved from that number one reason why people don’t buy – ‘no need’ – to ‘potential need’.  And what you need to learn from this is that their emails to me were not spam, which is why I never actually unsubscribed over that time.  Spam is non-targeted messages that the receiver is really unlikely to be interested in.  I was someone who had some interest in specifying and buying custom-built exhibition stands, else I would not have been on their website and found myself on their mailing list.  Had they just sent out emails blindly to the general public they would literally have been wasting their time.  As it stood, they won a fifteen thousand pounds order simply because they had kept in touch with someone (me) who had already said no.
 
Now, their tenacity with their email marketing is what eventually won the customer.  But as marketers, they could have gone further with this.  Had they been paying closer attention to how I’d been interacting with their emails over time, which you can do depending on the technology you use to send out your emails, then they would have seen that my interaction with their email went something like this: First email they sent me, opened.  Month 2 email they sent me: unopened; month 3 email: unopened; month 4, 5 ,6 ,7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 – all unopened;  month 19… opened;  month 20, opened, and actually clicked on a link in the email to read more about their latest designs.
 
Had they been paying attention, they would have been able to see that something had happened around month 18.   Whatever the reason was that I had said ‘no’, a year and a half later that reason had changed.  And THAT is how email marketing works.
 
OK, is your head spinning a bit now?  But genuinely, understanding all this is what will make your email marketing a whole lot better.  Understanding the journey you need to take a subscriber on your mailing list to transform them into a customer or get them into a sales conversation is important.  You need to understand the buying timeline your customer is on.  Do they take up to a year and a half to need what you sell, or are they prone to impulse buys so a special offer pushes them over the line?  The custom stand construction company could have sent me a special offer every month and it wouldn’t have worked because I had no need for them.  But the company selling amazing vegan cheese that I met at a vegan fair last month but haven’t bought from yet, them sending me a special offer that expires in 5 days’ time might just be what I need to try them out.  Or the vegan accountant that I’d love to transfer our company over to from our non-vegan accountant, but moving accountants is a pain point and I feel I don’t really know them well enough yet.  Seeing case studies of other ethical companies they are looking after and hearing some testimonials from other people in my sector who have used them and loved them, a few months of that followed with a little loving push is probably what I need to make that change.  And in case you are wondering how that one ended, we have indeed just moved over to Vegan Accountants run by Keith Lesser and couldn’t be happier that we did!
 
Right, so now we know the theory behind email marketing – so you use your website, lead-magnets, PDF downloads, events, past customer lists and everything else you can think of to build up a mailing list of people who have declared some kind of interest in what you do at some point in the past… then you use regular email marketing to keep in touch with these people who are all potential future customers, to nurture them, convince them that they can trust you, let them get to know you and become familiar with your brand until they hit some kind of trigger point that triggers them to become a customer.  And sometimes they do that on their own, or sometimes you can help them across the line with a well-timed special offer.  Or sometimes, a reach-out offer to talk when your email marketing software tells you that they are really interacting with what you are sending them works instead.  So now we know that’s how it works, how do you actually get started with all this good stuff?
 
Well, as I said before, the first thing to do is find an email marketing platform.  DON’T – and I can’t say this strongly enough – DON’T just start sending bulk email out from your own inbox.  As someone who used to run a web hosting business, I still get cold flushes when I think about how quickly sending out bulk email using something like Outlook from your desktop will get you spam black-listed and your company blocked and banned by your service provider!  Not only is it really time-consuming copying and pasting all those email addresses and messages, it’s also the very worst way to do it.  Because, if I send someone an email from my inbox, I have no idea what they did with it.  If I send someone an email through a platform like MailChimp – not only can I see who opened it, I can even see what links they clicked on in the email to give me an idea of who is interested in what.  So start out on the right foot and pick a platform you are going to use for email marketing that isn’t your inbox.  Once you’ve done this, also go a bit further technically into the platform.  There ARE a number of technical things you can do to make it more likely that the emails you send through an email marketing platform land in someone’s email box, rather than being flagged as potential spam.  Now, you may need to get your web developer or whoever looks after your website domain name to help you with this bit, but you should really look at getting something called SPF & DKIM records added to your domain name, which is an extra level of authentication that platforms like MailChimp can use to make your email more likely to get delivered.  It’s not mandatory, but it does make a difference – and don’t ask me to walk you through it here, Google it or chat to someone who’s good with domain names and things like that.
 
Once you’ve got your platform sorted, the next thing is to actually start building up a mailing list.  Now for some people, this is the easy bit because they will have several years of customers, or a CRM system full of their contacts they can just import.  For others, this can be a massive wall to climb.  How can you start doing email marketing when you have no one to email?!  Well, have patience.  Email lists will grow naturally over time but you should have a strategy to make them grow faster.  Every time you do a show and someone stops to chat with you on your stand, or every new order you get or new enquiry that comes through your website, you want to get that person onto your mailing list.  Lisa and mine’s last business, we had a mailing list of over twenty thousand people and it was great.  We didn’t abuse it, we sent them one really in-depth bit of content each month, we watched who was interacting the most with what we sent that month and called them up asking if they had any projects in mind we might be able to help them with.  It produced regular new clients for us like clockwork.  But it took more than 10 years to build up the list to that size.  When we started out with Vegan Business Tribe, we had a mailing list of exactly zero.
 
So, if you find yourself in this position I’ve actually got some really good news for you, because I did an entire podcast episode just on how to build up a mailing list.  So once we’ve finished here, jump back to episode 20 and listen to that one next which will teach you everything you need to know.   Because actually getting someone’s email address out of them and onto your mailing list is harder than you think.  How often do YOU actively join someone’s mailing list?  How often do you get a pop-up on someone’s website and just joyfully drop your name and email address in?  HARDLY EVER – so why do you think your potential customers will act any different?  Someone giving you their email address is still a transaction, and although they are not giving you money we all know it’s a precursor to that, so you really need to be giving something of value or you need to get a bit more creative to get people to sign-up to your mailing list.  That’s why I did it as a whole separate episode, because there is a lot of broccoli to get your teeth stuck into on that topic so make sure you go listen to that next.
 
And that leads us to the final piece in the email marketing puzzle.  Once you’ve got an email marketing platform set-up, and you’re starting to build up your mailing list, what do you actually email to these people to get a result?  Well, there are several ways to approach this.  And again, I think I will probably do a future episode on ‘creating content’ as we call it to go into this in a lot more detail.  But it’s important that you don’t just send information out in your email marketing, you need to send something that makes people take an action.  That action can be simply getting someone to click on a link to read an article on your website, or watch a video on your YouTube channel.  Because imagine that you have a vegan cake company, and I use the example of a vegan cake company all the time hoping people will start sending us free vegan cake, but imagine you had a custom cake company and you wrote an article about tips for planning a vegan wedding and uploaded it to your website.  If you emailed a link to that article to your mailing list, it is a fair bet that anyone clicking on that link is either thinking about planning a vegan wedding, or has a friend who is.  And those people will probably be in the market for a fully-vegan wedding cake at some future point.  And if you are able to see who on your mailing list has clicked that link, then they are likely to respond really well to you sending them a personal message mentioning that you do also wedding cakes and asking if it’s of any interest to them.
 
If you have the time and resources, you will get far better results from your email marketing if you segment your email list and send different people different stuff based on what they have bought in the past, what they have shown an interest in or which of your customer profiles they fall into.  That’s what the big or clever companies do, and they use clever technology to manage this segmentation.  They make sure that if a customer is interested in a specific kind of product or service, that they receive emails and offers about that – and if you have the resources or the technology then it genuinely works.  However, being realistic (and having run too many companies myself) if creating and sending out several different versions of your email every time is a barrier to getting your email marketing going, then one email that goes to everyone on your list will get you more visibility and results than three segmented email campaigns that never go out because you can’t find the time to create them.  So my advice at the start would be to keep it simple.  Don’t try to move people from the top of your marketing funnel straight to buying your product, because it rarely works.  Use your email marketing to lead people along a buying decision, to nurture them.
 
So again, when planning what you’re going to email people on your mailing list, start out with those reasons that will stop people buying from you – remember: no need, no desire, no money, no trust, no rush – and use your email marketing to address those.  If you offer a service where you need to prove your expertise and knowledge before people buy, then use your email marketing to do just that.  Create content that proves you are an expert and use your email marketing to get that content in front of more people.  Or maybe you deliver a one-on-one product, like a coaching service.  Use your email marketing to help potential customers get to know you better, to sample your personality.  If you’re a regular listener to this podcast, you probably feel like you know me a bit by now and that’s great – it’s why we share the latest podcast every week in our own email to get more people listening to myself and Lisa.
 
Hopefully, if you’ve gone through our marketing course on the Vegan Business Tribe website you will have already created detailed profiles for your customers, so you know what they will connect with.  You will know why they are part of your audience.  It’s important to create a rhythm to your emails that you know they will connect with.  Some companies only email once a quarter because they know their customers have long sales cycles.  Others send out special offers every week because they know their customers like to impulse buy.  Most of us are somewhere in-between, emailing our lists monthly or fortnightly.  At Vegan Business Tribe, we email out content every week because we’re more mission-led and really want to push the vegan business scene forwards!  We find this regular rhythm helps keep people motivated and engaged with that mission.  Other companies only send out emails when they know have something to say, for example if they offer timely advice or promote events.  And if your subscribers know that you only send an email out when you have something really valuable to communicate, they will be more likely to open it.
 
But what do you actually send someone?  You’ve built this audience who is open to hearing from you, so how are you going to entertain them?  Well, it should be just that.  It SHOULD be entertaining and interesting.  Don’t just try to sell to your mailing list because you will get little results.  As my father used to say, he never jumped up to buy a tin of beans just because he saw an advert for one in the paper!  Use your email marketing to build a relationship with these people.  Get your personality across, try to make a connection and remember we’re looking to nurture.  You want these people to get to know and like your company, to join you on your mission.  Prove your vegan credentials, introduce them to your team, show them behind the scenes, give them a video tour of your factory or shop, share your latest product developments with them, or update them with where your company is with its vegan mission and how they can help you get there quicker.   And there is nothing wrong with selling AT THE SAME TIME as doing all this, but don’t spam people with sales messages, instead make sure you highlight routes for them to buy along with all your other content.  You will have heard me say plenty of times that it’s not enough to just have a vegan business, you need to have a successful and financially sustainable vegan business if you are going to ever make an impact and help us move towards a vegan world together.  So do reach out to people who seem to be showing an interest in what you do – go through your MailChimp stats and see which individual people are clicking on the links in your emails and send them a message.  You don’t need to send them a message saying that you’ve been stalking them and watching what they have been clicking on, that would just be creepy, but send them a message keeping in touch and asking if there’s anything on their mind at the moment.   Because that one last bit of personal connection might be what they need; your email marketing might have got them 90% of the way there and they just need that last bit of interaction to get them into a sales conversation.   Or it might be that they are not interested in being a customer, but they can help or link up with your company in a different way.  Maybe they have been interacting with your emails because they were thinking it would be cool to do a collaboration, or maybe they were thinking about stocking your product.
 
So, we’re reaching the end now – and apologies if you’re miffed that I didn’t go into subject lines and all the pretty stuff about email marketing, and I promise I will do an episode on creating content in the future.  But as I said, as with a lot of marketing – the strategy is the important thing that really makes a difference.  You need to understand WHY you are doing email marketing first before you start to focus on the how.  So, let’s just go back over some bullet points of what we’ve just learned.
 
  1. Email marketing works, but not like you might think.  You don’t just email a load of people and they buy your product; instead, you use email marketing to build a relationship with your company or brand.
  2. There are 5 reasons why people do not buy: no need, no desire, no money, no trust and no rush.  Someone’s barrier to not buying can change overnight, meaning that when someone says “no” to buying your product, often what they are actually saying is “I’m not ready to buy – yet”.
  3. Use email marketing to nurture your contacts.  Use it to prove your expertise, use it to build familiarity and move people along their buying timeline.
  4. Have a strategy to build up your mailing list.  If you do a show or a fair, make sure you have a way to capture people’s details who stop at your stand.  Link your website with your email marketing platform so that people’s details can automatically get added to your list.  And if you want to learn more about building a mailing list, jump back to episode 20.
  5. Use your content to identify which of your contacts are most engaged with what you are selling.  If your email marketing platform is telling you that someone is clicking on all your articles and really interacting with your emails, then reach out and get in touch with that person to find out why.  If they are interacting that much then they will likely be open to a conversation.
  6. Be entertaining and educational in your email content, don’t just try to sell because that will get very little results. Let people sample your company’s personality, let them follow your vegan mission.
 
So to round back to the original question of does email marketing work – yes, it does and it can work really well.  But you have to have patience and you have to view it as a long term activity – especially more so if you know your customers take a long time to make a buying decision.  You also have to understand that email marketing may only get your potential customers 90% of the way there.  It might be once your email marketing has convinced someone that your product will solve their problem, that they can trust your company and made them familiar with your brand, that they still need that little nudge to take the next step.  That’s why no marketing works on its own, and email marketing has to be part of a wider strategy that includes reaching out to potential customers that you’ve identified as likely ready to talk to get them into a conversation.
 
But, and I’ve mentioned it a couple of times during this session now, that’s why we’ve got the marketing course on the Vegan Business Tribe website which will walk you through how to create a marketing plan and how all the different bits of your strategy can fit together.  You can take the first module of the course for free, and then the rest of the course is one of the many benefits of Vegan Business Tribe membership which is only £12.99 a month.  And the reason I keep plugging this course is not because I’m trying to make money out of you, but because it’s our mission to skill-up the vegan business sector.  And the way we do that is by getting you, as a vegan business owner, better at promoting your business. You don’t need to go into this stumbling around in the dark, many many people have already learned how to promote a business just like yours, and there are established routes and ways to find customers.  You don’t need to start from scratch and work it all out yourself.  And the sooner you get better at promoting your business, the quicker you knock a non-vegan product or service off the shelf, the quicker we get to a vegan world.
 
So that’s it for this episode, and as I said I would love to see you over on the website, and if you’re not sure about joining up yet then still drop me an email on hello@veganbusinesstribe.com and just tell me about your business because I’m always interested to learn about a great vegan business.
 
One last favour before I let you go however – first, if your platform allows you, so especially if you are listening on iTunes, then if you found this podcast useful, can I ask you to leave us a 5-star review to let other people know that this is a podcast worth listening to.  That really is a massive help for our mission and a big thank you to the people who have already left us reviews, mine and Lisa’s hearts jump for joy each time!  And then second, if I could ask you to also share this podcast with other vegan businesses you know.  We are determined to move the vegan business scene forwards with what we’re doing – and to do that we need to get into the ears and the minds of as many other vegan businesses owners as possible.  So if you are in a vegan business Facebook group, or a WhatsApp group, or a LinkedIn group – or if you just want to share a link to this podcast in an email to one of your friends, we will be forever in your debt.
 
So, thank you for listening, we always really appreciate you giving up your time, now go and put into practice what you’ve just learned and I will see you on the next one!

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