Ramon got the opportunity to sit down with Emily Sloan-Pace of Zoho Corporation to talk about what Zoho aims to do for small businesses. Emily explains the importance of email marketing and auto responders and gives insight into what it takes to make your brand relevant, recognizable, and unique to best serve your company and help you on your way to success.
Emily works to help companies tell their brand story. Her is social media marketing and creating a social presence. She also contributes to the continuing education and training of current employees and clients seeking to better their grasp on social marketing.
What is Zoho?
Zoho aims to become the primary operating system for small businesses. Offering over 40 products to help run businesses entirely from the cloud, Zoho aims to allow anyone to do business from anywhere. Many of these products also come with complementary mobile capability that even runs offline. This allows you to take your business anywhere, even where internet service is less than stellar. Once you reach a better internet connection, these products and apps allow you to sync your information to the cloud.
Email Marketing and Auto Responders
What exactly are email auto responders? Emily explains that many small businesses actually already use these when a customer buys a product or signs up for an email newsletter. That first welcome or thank you email is an auto response.
Emily mentions that if used correctly, email marketing can be incredibly efficient at pushing potential customers down the sales funnel, ultimately getting them to become a customer.
Emily tells Ramon that most companies stop there and only use the one email auto responder. She mentions that companies should easily be using three to five marketing emails each and every week. This doesn’t mean that each and every email needs to push product or sales, though. Emily explains that your first two or three emails need to focus on building a repertoire with potential customers. She explains that these could focus on related subjects that remain entirely informational.
Most customers expect to build a relationship with a business prior to signing on or buying. Instead of pitching product from the start, businesses should save the sales pitch for the fourth or fifth email. By this time, these emails are going to those people who have shown the interest in the business by clicking through three or four emails, so the sales pitch can sell them on the products or services. By using this method, you are able to build brand credibility and brand recall.
Brand Voice: How to Stay Unique
Emily explains that a small business has to be consistent in their branding from the very beginning, but especially in the very beginning.
Small businesses need to have their branding on anything and everything that goes out. Cards, emails, invoices, and anything that you send to a potential or existing client should have your branding somewhere on it.
While building your business and clientele, this helped with coherence – knowing what your company is about – and with brand recall.
How can you truly find a brand voice that works for your business? Emily thinks its ideal for a business to go with something that is uniquely them, representative of what they have to offer, and that is sustainable over time. She mentions, “Being hilarious works if you’re a hilarious person,” but offers that you have to be able to remain hilarious if that is your brand voice choice. She says that you can’t fall flat just shortly after starting or you will not have a successful brand.
Find what speaks to your company including your unique values and products, and build from there. Examine what you want your brand to say about you. Emily suggests surveying your current customers and seeing what they perceive your brand to be. If this is something you aren’t in agreement with, change it. Mold your brand into what you want others to see. If the current clientele aren’t getting the information directly from your brand, you have to change that. You can do this by using social media or blogging, but keep in mind that you have to remain consistent to the brand you hope to unfold.