Paid digital advertising is typically focused on getting people to click on the ad and make a purchase. Email marketing is about building a growing list of email subscribers that position you to organically grow your business. It is not hard to imagine which method is most successful in the long term.
Benefits of Building a List
Sharing contact information with sellers is pretty commonplace these days. If the sales lead believes you offer something valuable to them and they don’t have to spendany money, they will take the exchange. Those that are prolific consumers of digital content will even set up separate email accounts just for these information rich offerings.
Have you thought about what is going on in the head of those sales leads when they agree to give you an email in exchange for the information you offer? In addition to the logical desire to know more, there are emotions that propel them into subscribing.
- Group identity: When a person considers giving your company an email address, they want to think that others have also signed up for your email list. It is called social proof. Cialdini talks about the phenomena in his classic marketing book, “Influence”. Social proof is a very powerful tool.
- Call to Action (CTA): To someone who doesn’t fully understand human emotions, it may seem like you need to allow your readers to make a choice…to take action as they see fit. Taking that approach is a bad idea. Tell people what they should do and they will have much more confidence in what you have to offer them.
In an eBook on Email Marketing from Copyblogger, they give this example: You look considerate by saying, “Why not join the Army?” That does not trigger action or confidence. Instead, the CTA is, “I want YOU for the US Army.”
Open rates are a big challenge for email marketers. That is why smart companies will not only measure the open rates, they will send two sets of headlines (subject lines) to test which one performs the best. It is called A/B testing and it separates the duds from the daring successes with real data.
Learn a few basics about writing headlines and apply those lessons to your email subject lines. Marketing gurus have organized some of the important factors as the “4 U Approach”. Ask these questions about each subject line:
1. Is it Useful? Are you promising something the reader wants?
2. Is it Ultra-specific? Can the reader clearly identify what you are promising?
3. Is it Unique? What is remarkable about your promise?
4. Is it Urgent? Does the reader think they can wait till later?
Getting Invited Back
Your relationship with new sales leads is like getting invited to a party as a “friend of a friend”. The host, your prospect, doesn’t know much about you yet. How you act at the party will determine if you ever get invited into their circle of friends or not.
When you go to a party, do you spend your time trying to sell your products or services? Surely the answer is no. So why would you push your stuff on people who simply wanted to get your free information? When you think about it, it is kind of rude.
It is very easy for them to lock the door and keep you from ever entering again. They may unsubscribe, set up a filter to put your emails in the junk folder, or even mark you as spam because they are too lazy to unsubscribe.
To avoid this treatment, set up an email sequence that forms a special recipe for something they want. During the series your sales lead begins to feel you are helpful. You haven’t pushed any products or wasted his time. At the end of the series, your sales lead will be very likely to look at what else you have to offer them. You become a trusted resource.
The success of an email marketing campaign is dependent on the value you offer your email recipients. Treat them like you would your host at a party and soon you will connect with them in a deep mutually beneficial relationship.