As a business person, you are used to paying for advertisements and generating quick sales from them.
So, a common mistake is to think of email marketing in the same way that you think of traditional forms of advertising.
Marketers who take this approach believe that if they send out 10s of thousands of emails that, no matter if it’s an advertisement, someone is bound to open it and buy something.
This tactic is akin to a mass market approach taken by large corporations such as McDonald’s. McDonald’s spends millions of dollars on making sure that everyone knows about their products, because if you reach enough people in the mass market, then odds are that somebody is going to eat a cheeseburger.
But, is this the most effective way to approach email marketing? Or, a better question may be, is this the right approach to take as a small business that does not have a multi-million dollar advertising budget?
Think for a minute about the CAN-SPAN laws. Why were the put into place? Well, some politicians decided that receiving unsolicited email was just as bad as a telemarketer calling just as you sat down to have dinner with your family. Nobody wants unwanted phone calls. And, nobody wants unwanted emails.
Most people, probably yourself included, think of their email inbox as a personal space where they receive messages from family, cute pictures from co-workers, and meaningful announcements from organizations they love and trust. The majority will not tolerate receiving unwanted messages. And, once they hit the SPAM button, you may as well be on the national do-not-call list.
Effective email marketing does not involve blasting advertisements in hopes of making a quick sale. If you do that, you’ll lose subscribers and lower your reputation with recipient mail servers.
Effective email marketing, like any marketing, involves a plan with well-defined goals and a strategy to reach those goals. And it requires a different type of thinking.
Your question when developing an email marketing strategy should not be: how many sales can I make from this email?
Now doesn’t that go against everything you learned in business school?
But, the fact is, if you’ve spent time building your mailing list, then you know that the recipients on it have one thing in common: they’re your ideal target market. They are people who have subscribed to your newsletter or offers because they’re interested in them. So, it actually makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to approach them as you would a mass market, because you have the advantage of knowing what interests them.
If you’ve reached the target market, you’re already 70% of the way to making a sale.
So, relax, don’t try so hard.
Simply engage your tarket market as a friend. Now that you know who they are and what they’re interested in, simply give them something of value — advice, news, tips, an announcement.
The only statistic you really need to think about is this one — that a person must be exposed to your business at least 6-7 times before they will have the trust and confidence in you to make a purchase.
The question is, then, how can I reach this person’s inbox six or seven times? How can I gain their trust and build their confidence in me?
Then…how can I have the privilege of staying their personal space after that?
Do that, and the sales will come naturally.
Of course, that’s not to say that you can’t give them a special offer or sales ad a good 20% of the time.