In the ultra-competitive payment processing industry, resellers are always looking for ways to one-up the competition. One solution lies in email marketing. According to Campaign Monitor, “Email marketing is the king of the marketing kingdom with a 4400% ROI and $44 for every $1 spent.” Building and maintaining your network is valuable and value added resellers can capitalize on that with email marketing.
What is email marketing and why is it valuable?
Email marketing is a highly effective marketing tool that allows resellers to send emails to both merchants and prospects. It is not just an integral part of communication, but also promoting your businesses, services, and products. According to Statista, “The number of email users worldwide is forecasted to rise to 2.9 billion by 2019.” As a reseller and trusted advisor, letting your audience know that you are an expert in the field will pay dividends.
Building Your Email Marketing List
Without merchants and prospects, email marketing is non-existent. How do you build that base, that list that will drive your business? Start with online directories like white pages and yellow pages to find prospective business opportunities.
If your target verticals are in the restaurant and nightlife industry, those businesses are required to get a liquor license, allowing them to serve alcohol in their establishment. To do this, merchants have to submit an application to the local Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) agency. In some locales, this is necessary to do at both the county and state level. By looking into these records and seeing which businesses have applied for these licenses in your area, you can reach out and let them know about your point-of-sale system as well as products you offer. However, be careful not to spam anyone and be sure you are compliant with FTC laws. More on that later.
Another integral tool in building your marketing list is to be active in the digital space as well as social media. This is the perfect place to showcase your business, products, and services through content like blogs, photos, and videos. On your website as well as social media platforms, include a space to sign up for an email newsletter or contact us for more information. If merchants are already browsing, chances are they have an interest in your business. By getting their contact info, you can add them to your list and continue to earn their business.
Other ways include to build your network include BNI or networking events, teaming up with CPAs and payroll specialists, and deploying troops on the ground.
What better way to network with others in the business community than at an event tailored just for that purpose? BNI, or Business Network International, offers the opportunity to connect with future merchants in the hospitality, retail, e-commerce, and other fields.
Merchants usually work with payroll specialists or certified public accountants to take care of their financial needs, taxes, etc. As a reseller in the payment processing industry, teaming up with these groups would be advantageous. The two products work hand in hand and create even more value to your customers.
It’s easy for a reseller to hide behind a computer and create their network digitally. However, that is only half the battle. The other half is to deploy troops on the ground. Be present and active in the community.
Now that you’ve built your database of merchants and prospects, the battle is half done, but the war isn’t won. Here are several best practices you can use when launching your email marketing campaign.
Be CAN-SPAM Compliant. The worst thing that can happen in your email marketing campaign is to have it get lost in the junk pile and the spam filter. In order to avoid this from happening, make sure your email marketing is spam compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. The Federal Trade Commission describes the law as follows: “The CAN-SPAM Act is a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.” Failure to be in accordance of this law could cause merchants to miss your messages. Make sure they opt into the communication from the get go.
Layout and design can affect the open rate. If you just send out your email blasts and newsletters, with no plan in place, you are wasting your time. The subject lines and headers are the first impression your merchants get when it pops in their email box. CampaignMonitor states, “Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened.” Be creative, but also be concise with the key points you want to drive home. Discuss what qualities your business does best, but also differentiators that separate you from your competitors. Also, include call to actions (CTAs) to download more information, or read more on certain topics. From a formatting side, it’s equally important to make sure you send out a text version as well as HTML version so that email clients like Yahoo, Gmail, etc., do not block it.
Maintain your merchant contact list. Updating contact info and reaching out periodically with personal notes not only positions you as a trusted advisor but establishes a connection with your merchants as well. For resellers who service multiple verticals, you may want to look into segmenting your lists. According to MailChimp, “Click-through rates are 101% higher in segmented email campaigns than non-segmented campaigns.” This allows you to send vertical specific content and updates to them while also giving you more time to take in feedback. At the bottom of your emails, post links to your website as well as social media platforms, and a share button so that these subscribers can spread the word with other colleagues and industry professionals.
Know your metrics. According to the DMA, the four most important email marketing metrics (as identified by advertisers) are: CTR (click through rate), Conversion rate, Open rate, and ROI (return on investment). As a reseller, how many people opened your email? At what rate did they convert and become a customer? How much did you spend and what was your return on investment? All of these factors are important in knowing if your email campaign was a success. Was there a subject line, product, or announcement that was more successful? Was it the content or maybe the time of day and day of the week it was sent? The more you know, the more you can grow.
As a value added reseller, it’s important to be the trusted advisor when it comes to the payment processing industry, the products, the services, and everything it entails. By increasing email marketing, you aren’t just building and retaining your network, but also establishing yourself as the go-to source, and creating customer loyalty. Follow these best practices and watch your business flourish.
Stay tuned to next month’s edition of the Reseller Edge newsletter as we explore how resellers can arm their merchant’s with email marketing tips to increase their business.Back To Blog