Let me tell you a story about a guy named Johnny.
Johnny sells steel buildings. He has noticed over the five years he has been in business, that most of his business comes from word-of-mouth, and that he is spending roughly 40% of his time prospecting new business. The other 60% is divided between being on-site with the installation crew, managing supplier relationships, answering client questions, and being in the office doing all the office stuff.
Johnny is tired of prospecting and knows there has got to be a better way. So, he goes online to research and happens upon an article on 12stonePress.com which states that over 70% of customers prefer email communication over other channels and that the ROI is crazy good (profiting over $30 per $1 spent). Now that everyone has a smartphone, he also realizes that he can reach customers virtually anytime, and anywhere.
Johnny likes those stats. Maybe getting new clients through email campaigns would be worthwhile.
He knows he is not currently gathering customer email addresses and selling to them regularly. His experience has also taught him that roughly 30% of his retail sales are from repeat customers, so he knows he’s missing out on a massive opportunity while spending too much time doing the wrong activities.
Now, Johnny is no dummy, and he realizes that he can’t afford to neglect such low-hanging fruit, so he hires his web designer to build a form on his site that will offer to keep customers up-to-date with news and promotions in exchange for their email address.
With this new tool in place, Johnny can now fold his hands behind his head and recline while new prospects come to him.
But… days go by without a single sign up. Days turn into weeks and then months and nobody seems to care that Johnny wants to email them news and updates.
What’s the deal? Were all those stats a lie?
He was convinced that if he built it, they would come (blatant Field of Dreams reference), but no one is responding. Is this email marketing thing a sham?
Johnny was right to jump into action, but he tried to do it himself without understanding the process.
Would you try to repair an engine without knowledge of how one is put together? Would you sew a dress with zero experience in sewing?
Of course not.
Neither should you try to whip out an email campaign without understanding the basics of an email campaign.
That is folly.
But, when you have a well-developed campaign in place, you can easily reap the benefits mentioned in stat section above.
So, I’ll let you in on a little secret.
Putting the pieces in place for email marketing is fairly simple. It is the design and execution that is the tricky part.
…and I am about to pull the curtain aside and tell you how to bypass the trickiness so you will know how to market with emails effectively.
It is a process with 3 steps, and while it can be complicated to know how to craft the message effectively, the concepts are simple.
1- The offer
The offer can (and should be) in multiple formats on your website. Johnny tried one way, which was adding a form to his website. Unfortunately, nobody cares about receiving updates and news. That is where good ol’ Jonny fell short.
In your customer’s mind, News and updates = crap I don’t care about.
What people do care about is a solution to their problem, free stuff, and deals.
So, instead of building a form that promised unimportant updates, Johnny needs to create an irresistible offer with a 2-sentence blurb on why the reader cannot possibly live without this incredible resource.
The offer could be something like: a free downloadable report on his best steel buildings, a cheat sheet on how to choose the best building based on specific needs, a new customer-only discount, or even access to an email series filled with valuable content that will help solve a current issue.
Who wouldn’t want a free way to solve a nagging problem? This is a no-brainer.
This should be prominently displayed on the main page and sub-pages of the website.
Johnny can also create a Landing Page (a web page that is solely dedicated to this offer) which provides the full story about the customer’s pain and Johnny’s ability to provide the unique solution.
This is a long-form webpage that tells a story, provides a solution, gives testimonials and social proof, and ends with a clear call to action at the bottom.
Now, if Johnny has overwhelming success in gathering email addresses, he would have another problem on his hands. Once the customer initiates contact and gives permission to communicate with him or her, then Johnny has the task of getting to know them. There should be a purposeful time of relationship building before he tries to sell to them, or else he comes across as a person who just wants to use them for their money and not help them with their problem.
You don’t want this perception because it will not lead to long-term customers.
What do you want to do is invest time and communication to get to know one another. Now, if Johnny received 300 new sign-ups, it would take up 99.9% of his workweek to build these relationships. This is where Johnny would be tempted to just start sending sales-y emails instead of spending his time on unprofitable activities like sending get-to-know-you emails to 300 people.
After all, Johnny went into business to sell metal buildings, not to be everyone’s pal.
If that’s all email marketing was, I would advise against it.
Thankfully, though, this is the beauty of auto-responders.
Auto-responder emails are simply a series of emails that you have written ahead of time that are: 1-lovingly crafted to build a relationship with your customer and provide value to them, and 2-time released over a period of weeks to mimic a real, on-going conversation.
These are not intended for you to sell to them over and over.
You simply build the relationship with valuable content and/or advice and draw them into a sale at the very end. This way, you build their trust and adoration before you try to sell anything.
If you do this right, they will want to buy from you by the end of the series because they trust you.
Now, instead of a one-time profit, you will have a loyal fan who will want to buy from you over and over again.
And the best part…
This is 100% automated!
Set it once, and let the system carry your customer along through a strategic funnel that will result in converting a window-shopper into a consistent, grateful consumer who sees you as the solution to their problem.
3- Ongoing Interaction with Newsletters
The third and final step is to keep your communication fresh and engaging. Keep providing value to your customer. It will make them grateful and continue to set you up as the expert and issue solver.
It will also provide you with a built-in audience to sell to over and over again.
This audience, just as a reminder, has already told you they want to hear from you and want to buy what you have.
In short, they are pre-qualified leads, ready to buy your new product/service.
It is your job now to simply keep the conversation alive and provide them with value on a weekly or monthly basis.
That is what on-going newsletters are designed to do. Tease them with ‘behind-the-scenes information,’ special member’s only exclusives, or other ways to keep a presence with them without asking for their money every time.
Do this, and when the time comes to ask for the purchase, they will be saying, “Where do I sign?!”
To recap, an email marketing campaign consists of a 3-step system that will turn potential clients into raving fans.
First, create an irresistible offer and tell them why this is the answer to all their problems (and it needs to be true, not just hype). Second, develop an auto-responder series of emails that build a relationship between you and the customer completely on auto-pilot. Thirdly, continue the conversation (and sales) with on-going communication via a weekly or monthly newsletter.
Can you think of ways this can benefit your business?
Great! I look forward to discussing and developing this with you.
Simply CLICK HERE and let me know how I can help you show your customers the value of what you have to offer.