ELECTRONIC MAILMaybe you are still not using email to instantly describe your recycled parts to an enquiring customer or using it to broadcast a selling message or newsletter to a large group of customers or prospects, but you should be if you expect to continue to sell parts for very long into the 21st Century. As mentioned in my last blog post, an astounding 60% of the autmotive recycling industry is still not computerized. But, it's time to get up to speed. I'm therefore covering the very basics about each form of electronic advertising method giving simple definitions with a short explanation about how to use.
What is it: Commonly known as email or e-mail, is a method of exchanging messages from an author to one or more recipients. In order to use email you need to have a computer, an operating system (like Windows) a modem and some kind of internet connection (either dial-up or High speed) from an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and of course you’ll need some kind of email program (like Outlook Express). Good news is that every computer store has help to get you setup and started. Just tell them that you don’t know anything and that you need someone to help you get up to speed.
How do you use it: Using an email program such as Outlook Express (which normally comes with a personal computer purchase), you type in the email address of the person you want to communicate with, such as “email@example.com”, and then you type your subject into the subject space, such as “We have your part in stock,” and then you type in your message into the message box provided, such as “Henry, the part you want is in stock for only $375 plus shipping, and I can ship it to you today.” And finally you hit “send” and it goes instantly to them.
All of your staff should have their own email address and you should include that address on their business cards and your website.
If you want to send something such as your company newsletter or flyer to a large group of people, you can use a professional email broadcast service such as ConstantContact.com or MailChimp.com, just to name two of them. Be warned however, not to send willy-nilly to a group of people you have not first gotten permission from to send them stuff. That is called spam and you could be fined and/or blacklisted. There are legitimate ways to get people to agree to receive email blasts from you. You can ask them at the point of purchase if they would like to receive your newsletters, specials, etc via email. You can have a place on your website for people to sign up for contests, offers, newsletters, etc. NEVER just add them without getting their permission.