How many emails do you get a day? According to Radicati’s recent report the average is about 78 and typically costs workers 2.5 hours a day just managing them all!
So it’s safe to say that there’s quite a lot of pressure on the inbox which means from the marketing perspective it’s getting harder to differentiate yourself. Just use your own circumstances as an example. Count how many sales and marketing emails you get a day. Now count how many you actually read. If you’re anything like me you spend more time hunting for the “Unsubscribe” than reading their message.
And, of course, the situation is getting worse as more businesses use email because it is practically free and instant. This means that our brains are being programmed to filter out ‘junk email’ more aggressively and that means any marketing email either has to carry an extraordinarily powerful message or be from someone we already know and trust. (I think the latter is more easily obtained than the former, but how?)
Well, trust (and, therefore, interest in what your email has to say) is gained by your recipient requesting to receive your email rather than just getting it out of the blue because you bought a database with their email address on. (This is called ‘permission marketing’ and you can read all about in Seth Godin’s game-changing book of the same name.)
But how do you get someone to give you their email address in the first place?
The answer is to give them something of value on your website. So, let’s imagine that you sell TVs. People are coming to your website wanting information about TVs not just to see what you sell. However, some of them won’t know a lot about the products you offer and will need help. This is your perfect opportunity to give them some useful information in the form of a ‘buyer’s guide’ PDF document which explains all about modern TVs and how to choose the right one. And, you’ve guessed it, in order to get the download they have to give you their email address.
So the simple way to get prospects to leave their email address is to give them some information of value for free. Once they do that the email gets automatically sent by your website and they will open it above all the other marketing guff they’ve received that day because they asked to receive it.
Now the trick is not to stop at that one email (because they will have forgotten all about you by tomorrow!) but to send another email a few days or a week later. Again the email you send gives them some great information which makes their life a little easier – by making life easier you also make it easier for them to buy from you as you’re being helpful and not just ramming your latest offer into their inbox. (You’re also differentiating yourself as an expert in your field which marks you out from the competition.)
Now you are sending out several emails all helping your prospect by giving them useful and valuable information which gains their trust – and once you have their trust sending out a more sales oriented email will have a far greater effect.
This is a winning technique and yet few businesses do it (and of those that do few do it well). If you follow this strategy you will find your emails read, absorbed and acted on and not just received and deleted!
Getting this right on your website can be the difference between having life-long relationships with commercially productive customers or having anonymous visitors bouncing off your website never leaving their details. So this is a critically important technique to be testing in your marketing.
If you’ve got a question on this subject the post it in the Comments below and I’ll reply as soon as I can (only for the next 7 days).