Fascinating interview at:
Interviewee is Jim Sterne.
He says a bunch about the s*p*a*m problem and offers some possible solutions.
He also pleads with businesses to define what expect to achieve from sending out the emails. Do you want the prospect to:
Whatever it is, follow up and TEST to determine if your efforts were suggessful. Did your prospects download the report? Did they enter the contest? Did they purchase what you were offering for sale? what percentage?
Once you have this information, you’ll want to revise your email campaign or scrap it and start over.
Whatever you do, pay very close attention to his last comment:
“Whether you’re doing email or a website, make it about the customer instead of about the company.”
The answer is YES, of course!
When I think of all the missed opportunities that businesses seem oblivious that they are missing, I shudder.
How about you? Take a look at some of the local businesses in your region.
If you were to hazard a guess, how many could be using email effectively to keep in contact with their prospects and clients?
My guess: at least 80 percent.
A few years ago, I made a purchase for my home, spending what I consider a large amount of moolah. I also had plans to make a purchase of a related item (which would cost about twice what my original item cost) in the very near future, and told the salesman so. Have I heard from them since I made my purchase? Nope. No phone call, no mailing, no email. Northing. They didn’t ask for my email address and so I know for sure that they don’t have an email campaign going.
Not that I expected it.
Listen, it doesn’t have to be super-duper professional, or hypey. Your goal is to get involved with the customer’s own thoughts and desires, and when they have a need for your kind of product or service, they will naturally think of you.
And why wouldn’t they?
I don’t believe is has to be difficult. For some reason, with many of these small operations, it sounds scary. Maybe it *is* a little frightening if you haven’t done it before.
I ask you: would it differentiate you from the vast majority of your local competitors? You bet.
If done properly, it would foster customer loyalty like you wouldn’t believe.
I’ve noticed a trend with some email lists to which I belong (and maybe you have noticed it too).
More and more email authors are posting only a small portion of their message in the email, and including a link to continue reading on a blog.
Why would they do this?
Here are some of the reasons:
Of course, your abbreviated email had better be good enough to get your readers’ attention!
When sending messages to your list, it can be an advantage to have a predictable pattern. If you normally send one message per week, please don’t suddenly send out 10 messages in one week.
And, remember if people are actually reading your emails (that’s the goal, right?), they will get used to receiving them on certain days. Do your best to stick to the same schedule.
I receive a certain e-letter every Tuesday and Friday, and do I notice if it’s late? You bet.
If you are late with your message, please be polite and apologize or give some kind of explanation. Think about it, you are dealing with human beings on the other end.
People love routine.
Also consider the format of your emails. If you have any kind of structure at all, follow the same pattern every time. I receive e-letters that usually contain a quotation of some kind, and I expect it to appear at the top of the screen, because that’s where it usually is.
Permission email marketing means that you get your prospect’s explicit permission before putting him or her on your list.
This has several aspects.