There are lots of different online strategies to attract and stay in touch with the right customers.

It sounds pretty obvious, but first you have to know who the ‘right’ customer is. Who is your target audience ( ‘segment’ or ‘niche’ in marketing speak)? It’s essential that you understand this and make sure that your website has the right tone, style and content to appeal to that type of customer. Doing this helps build trust as you will be communicating in the way that your potential customer can understand.

There are various different ways to attract people to visit your site. These include running advertising campaigns (pay-per-click (PPC)) which, if done well, means you can almost always appear at the top of page one in Google for the searches that your ideal customer uses to find your type of product or service. Other methods include running ad campaigns on social media sites such as LinkedIn or Facebook, as well as writing articles and other content (e.g. tweets) and getting these out and about on the web all encouraging people to link back to your site.

Finally there is the option of running email marketing campaigns. These do rely on you having a marketing list which needs to be built up over time from people who have visited your site and who have opted-in (subscribed) usually through signing up for an offer of some sort (an e-Book is a typical example of this).

Email marketing is still THE most effective way of selling to people and also ensuring that you stay in touch with them once they’ve purchased. It’s an old saying, but nonetheless true – it’s easier to sell to a current customer than it is to acquire a new one. Having well thought through email marketing activity is essential to this. The good news is that it can also be automated – so you don’t have to spend hours of precious time manually responding to people. There are many many tools available including MailChimp, AWeber and Infusionsoft that enable you to design and implement great email campaigns that hit the spot with your customers.

We’ve all got examples of how effective this is when it’s done well. I personally was on a mailing list for two years, receiving regular emails that I didn’t bother opening until the day when a particular headline caught my eye when I was ready for it and I signed up for something that cost a couple of hundred pounds. Patience and persistence – that’s the power of email marketing!