This is the second installment in our “Email Marketing – The Only Bailout Your Business Needs” e-Book.
You must be saying… these guys are crazy – If I keep on e-mailing to my contacts, my e-mails will just be so much more “junk” coming into their inbox. That can’t help me or my business.
The simple answer is… don’t send junk ! Send something of value. If you send something of value, you can e-mail often.
The leads and prospects you are mailing have two common characteristics.
1. They are all in business and are looking for specific kinds of information that can make their business more efficient and profitable.
2. At one time they touched your business or service because they were interested in what you have to offer.
These leads and prospects are your e-mail market. They may not be ready to buy from you today but one day they will be ready. You can magnetize this market by using email marketing to reintroduce your product in a consistent and automated way. In addition, you can become recognized as a knowledgeable industry insider and trusted advisor by giving away industry information and useful tips and tools that are of value to all people doing business today.
By following this simple plan –Most of your leads and prospects will look forward to seeing an e-mail from you or your company in their in-box. They may not open every one you send – that’s ok. You just want them to come to trust that your emails will offer something valuable in exchange for a few minutes of their time.
Then when they are ready to buy the type of product or service you offer from some vendor, you will be “ top of mind”.
Of course, there are a few of your contacts that won’t like what you send and they will opt out. That doesn’t matter. The fact is, it’s good news! The people who stay on your list and accept your e-mails are interested in what you have to say.
When building a sequence of e-mails to send to your list of contacts, remember this is not going to be a series of sales pitches.
Don’t slam folks with the features and benefits of your product or service. That’s a guaranteed way to make them look at the From: field and start groaning, and then cut you off.
The sequence (email marketing campaign) should contain industry updates, links to white papers or reports, links to relevant social networks, new articles, links to interesting software, and any tips and techniques that you have perfected to help your customers or even your own business. The last sentence or two and the signature line should be the only reference to your company and/or product. All this free content for your e-mails is relatively easy to find. A few hours of internet research can provide enough detail for an entire campaign.
Now, as you are sending this campaign, you should be using the same From Field in the e-mail address and a Subject Line that reflects what you are sending. That establishes consistency and credibility. The recipient knows when they get an e-mail with your Name or Company Name in the From Field, it is going to be worth the time to open and read.
In addition, while a “cleaver” Subject Line like “there she was without all her clothes” or “I am so very sad” will get a lot of opens one time – you are going to make a lot of folks very angry ( also not CAN-SPAM compliant ). They will not be looking forward to your next e-mail and will opt out. It is better to be accurate with Subject Lines even if they are not funny or exciting. Again, you are establishing a pattern and creating credibility.
Here are some simple ground rules to follow when creating your email marketing campaign:
Send out last year’s corporate brochure
Go on and on for several pages
Talk about your “unbelievably low prices”
Talk about yourself or your company
Expect to close the sale in a single message
Keep it short
Get to the point
Talk about your customer and their challenges and objectives
Include a “call to action”
So where do you find valuable information to send to your customers? It can seem like a tall order. The answers will be different for every business and every industry. A good way to get an idea of what information your customers value is to get involved in the trade associations your customers are members of. Check out their websites. What “news” are they highlighting? These trade associations may even be willing to let you copy their “news” if you give them credit in your email.
An email linking to a web page with the latest rankings of companies in your industry can be an easy answer.
There are numerous article publishing sites. You can browse their selection, find articles that would be of interest and email your customers a link to an interesting article. Many of these sites are happy to let you “re-publish” their articles as long as you follow a few simple guidelines that they’ll spell out for you. Here’s are a couple of sites to start with – http://ezinearticles.com and http://clickbank.com. Of course, the Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, Forbes and other business publications all have great information on their web sites. Your email just needs to point to an article on these sites that your audience would find interesting.
Here’s the good part, when you do have something to announce about your product or service, the fact that you have established credibility with your list of recipients allows you to go ahead and send it. Again… be honest and straight forward. And don’t do this too often. Now that you’ve given value, you have the right to say something like:
I’m glad you are enjoying the e-mail series ( newsletter) you have been receiving.
We’ll ( Your Name, Brand, Company Name) want you to know, we have a lot more interesting free (industry information, tools software, whatever ) that we’ll be sending in the coming months.
But frankly, this e-mail is a shameless attempt to sell you something. It’s one of products you may have seen before but we recently released and update.
Very Brief Pitch with Link to your product capture page for a demo or whatever
Look for our next e-mail about _____________ ( not your product)
That’s all there is to it. It’s not very hard. The only other piece to get this e-mail process moving is an effective way to stay on top of your campaign schedule and keep the emails going out. Of course, a good CRM/Contact Management System that will automate, schedule, send, and follow up easily is a good idea.
Remember, delivering value means you can send e-mail often.
In our next chapter/installment of “Email Marketing – The Only Bailout Your Business Needs”, we’re going to dig into nurturing new leads or prospects using email marketing. register to receive the entire eBook here
“Lead Nurturing – Automate It and Sell More” will appear here at Sell, Sell, Sell! on June 8. In fact, each installment will be appearing here every Monday throughout June. So stay tuned!
Special thanks for contributing to this installment go to Steven Greene. Steven’s written and managed lead generation and nurturing campaigns in industries from banking to boating. His input on email marketing is invaluable. To learn more about Steven click here.