Email Marketing sounds good, but I don’t have anyone to send to …

This is usually the biggest obstacle to overcome when beginning a Permission-based EMAIL Marketing campaign. Well, Permission-based email cannot completely abandon the traditional method of “Interruption Marketing” such as television advertisements, banner ads, billboards, magazine ads, radio, direct mail or even face-to-face contact.

I’m not saying “run out and spend A LOT of money …”, no, I’m saying that any good permission-based marketing campaign must start with getting the reader’s attention. This is done by interrupting the reader’s normal activities to tell them that you exist … hence the term “Interruption Marketing.”

The goal of the initial Interruption should be to get the contact information of your prospects as well as their permission to send more information via email. Once you have permission, as long as you manage it with care, the sky is the limit.

You no longer have to wait for your target market to wander into your store to find out about this week’s special price on Purple Widgets. Now you can pro-actively contact those who have already told you they’re interested in purple widgets, with a targeted, informative and most importantly — personal — email message.

What do you mean by “personal?”
When I say a personal email message, I do not mean one that has the reader’s first name plugged in throughout the email in key places. I mean, write each and every message as though you were writing for an audience of one.

Email has the power to let you reach a large number of people while targeting each individual person separately. Why not use it. Instead of writing something like “Get your purple widgets from Sam’s Widget Shop!” in the subject line, try something more like “Do you need a purple widget?” It’s all in the presentation of your message.

Remember my favorite phrase … “The perception of others is your true reality.” This means that it really doesn’t matter what you think is reality – it only matters what your target market PERCEIVES reality to be.

So, how do I get my sales leads, customers and website visitors to “give it up” in the first place?

Yes, this can be tricky, but not impossible.

On web sites, make sure there are lots of ways for your visitors to contact you to tell you they didn’t find what they were looking for, also make it easy to find and use.

It’s short, simple and to the point – asks three simple questions (name, email, comments) and makes it quick and simple for an impulse inquiry. We’ve gotten 5 time’s the results from our website since we incorporated these forms.

Include a Newsletter Opt-In form on your web site. By giving your visitors the option to opt-into your mailings, you not only give them power over their email, but you give them instant access to the information they crave all while getting their permission because they GAVE you their email address.

Once they give me their email address, I no longer have to focus on getting them back to my web site, I can send the information they desire, directly to them … as long as I don’t abuse this trust, I can create a very profitable relationship.

Personal contact – don’t underestimate personal contact. Salespeople have direct contact with sales leads and clients all the time. Get your salespeople in the habit of entering each existing and new lead into a sales follow-up auto-responder and your leads will not forget you – they’ll get relevant information about topics of their interest, on a regular basis – and your salespeople don’t have to do any more work to keep on top of the leads.

Direct Mail or Traditional Marketing – give the readers of your mail or advertising pieces, a selfish incentive to give you their email address. For example, “Include your email address and be entered for a chance to win a …” or “Include your email address with your order and get a 10% discount.”

There are many ways to give something away without hurting your bottom line. Be creative, think of what might be valuable to your target audience that would not break your bank to provide.

Get creative – think of interesting things you can do to give your customers, leads and contacts the incentive to “give it up.” Don’t forget to respond with your comments, insights, ideas or questions. I always love to hear from our readers!

Until next time, be safe, happy and productive.c

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