Building Relationships Over Email
Most people get more sales offers and spam in their email inboxes than they do personal email – and much of it comes from lists that they have subscribed to at some time. These emails vary from offering to grow a bank account to offering to grow various parts of an anatomy, but they all have one thing in common: they do nothing more than clutter up an email inbox and are almost universally ignored.
A decent percentage of these emails is from “reputable” marketers who are simply trying earn an affiliate commission by sending out various offers to their lists. Let’s be honest though – most of these claims and sales letters are bogus. Included are screenshots of their ClickBank accounts showing how much they earned in the last month or screenshots of their website traffic statistics that indicate huge increases in visitors since implementing whatever they are selling. Both of these screenshots can be easily doctored using a graphics program.
Most people subscribed to a particular email list because it promised a solution to a specific problem at the time. But many email marketers seem to think that that gives them a license to email links to just about every product that is available on ClickBank.
In the interest of fairness, not ALL email marketers utilize these tactics. Many of them do only send out targeted emails that truly offer value to their subscribers. If you have subscribed to a lot of lists, like I have, eventually the ones that do offer legitimate value quickly stand out from the crowd – and you probably practically look forward to their emails.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase ‘the money is in the list’, and it’s true – it is far easier to sell a product to an existing customer then to a complete stranger. And offering true value for what you’re offering is always the first rule of sales, regardless of whether you are online or offline.
Email Marketing is no different – it should be all about offering value. It should not be about building a list and selling to them all of the time. This strategy might allow you to earn a few bucks from time-to-time, but is far from a solid plan for long-term sustainability and success.
For some marketers, when a new subscriber signs up, the mentality is Sell, Sell, Sell. However, most people subscribe to a list because they are looking for some information about a particular service or product. Being sold to all the time is the quickest way to get them to remove themselves from a list. Personally, I have subscribed to more lists than I care to remember, and after a couple of emails, I have just as quickly unsubscribed.
Sales is all about relationships. An effective email marketing plan is about building a real trust between you and your recipients. It should share more information than product offers. The emails should take on a more informative rather than pushy tone. The overall goal here is to build a long-term relationship with your customers, and the first step is to brand yourself as an expert in your particular industry. Once that type of trust has been established, it’s far easier to know exactly what your subscribers want and need. Once you know that, you can offer them a solution.
And yes, I understand that this IS a business and your time and effort is worth money. So what is a good balance when it comes to ‘content’ vs. ‘sales’ emails???
Some say that for every ‘sales’ email you send, you should send 3 ‘content’ emails. Some take it a bit further and say the ratio should be more like 5 to 1. Either way, you will get far better results from your list if you give more than you ask. Build the relationship, and the sales will eventually come.