I published part one of this three part series [here] if you care to review that post prior to going through this training, but it is not absolutely necessary to start.
My reasoning for putting this series together was that in all my own searches for information on the subject of email marketing, I really could find no “one-stop-shop” source that explained the entire process of email marketing. It was all in bits and pieces.
This series will tie all the things required to have an effective email marketing program. So to recap, the first part was an introduction and the start of a drill down on the subject of email marketing.
This second part here will go further into process of what it takes to make a site visitor become a lead, then explain how emails can turn that lead into a buying customer, and lastly how this relationship process is key…
Plus I will go into some possible giveaway material that goes into the front end of this email marketing process…I do have some more in depth material on this you can look through here as well if you are interested:
The third and last part of the series will wrap things up through providing some options for an email autoresponder, plus provide some practical tips and examples of emails that will help you develop your own effective email marketing strategy and create effective emails as well.
As a reminder, you may wonder why email marketing is still around since things seem to be advancing so fast and so far in the way things are sold period today , and on the internet as well.
Email marketing seems so…Yesterday?
The reason it is still being used in simple…It works! In fact, it worls well, as it has for years…
THAT is why!
So let’s get started on today’s lesson…
IT STARTS WITH THE RELATIONSHIP
The thought process involved for effective email marketing is not difficult at face value and goes as follows:
(1) Your main push is to create a postive relationship with your leads.
(2) After you have done that, you can sell them whatever it is they are needing.
This is not much different than what I have been doing successfully for years in the offline sales market segment…
The unique difference in this case is that you will not have the advantage of face to face contact with your leads.
With email marketing you have to think about how to establish this relationship by proxy, using your planned strategy…
After that is in place, you can write your campaigns consisting of sets of emails and determine the delivery systems to use that will accomplish the mission of developing the relationship and then selling to your leads.
IMPORTANCE OF RELATIONSHIPS
As with offline relationship building, there are certain stages you will go through as you work to build a rapport with your clients, in this case we are speaking of the leads that agree to subscribe to your mailing list.
Let me explain just a bit how I feel well qualified to talk about relationships and how they tie into sales and marketing.
I have quite a lot of marketing training from bricks and mortar education programs involving sales, a total of 4 degrees and 3 1/2 years of doctoral work, but the greatest portion of my background that qualifies me is the hands on experience I have selling products or services.
Using various mediums I have been out there globally selling products, services, or people…
The methods to gain these sales included using face to face sales meetings, preparing and submitting formal in depth proposals, participating and supervising product demos, as well as being part of cuttings, where your product is blind-tested against a competitor’s product, and etc.
You name it, I have done it in the world of offline product sales…
The height of my success was a period where I was selling over $4 million a month of product, and that period was the result of using all the tactics I am going to describe below to you.
In all of these sales scenarios I mention, it is the exact same steps psychologically that the seller must lead his clients through to get to a conversion or sale.
Application to Online Marketing and Specifically Email Marketing
In all cases, for my sales successes, I have observed that there simply must be a connection between you and the client, or or the sale will not happen.
The connection involves establishing trust, authority, reliability, and credibility with your prospects, and this prior to closing a deal.
All of these factors come into play no matter what you are selling…
They apply whether you are selling yourself, are selling other’s product, or whether you are selling your own product or service…
Without understanding the process used to establish these factors with potential online customers , then making sure you address each in your marketing effort, no matter the medium you are selling through, you will have very little chances of making a sale.
In a few words: No connection , no sale. It is that simple.
If there was one word that encapsulates all of these factors I would call it TRUST.
So to roll it all up together, we can say that YOU CANNOT SELL until someone TRUSTS you.
4 STAGES OF A RELATIONSHIP
After many years of watching and being a part of the sales process, it really boils down to these stages. Make sure you cover them with your strategy and email campaigns, and you WILL make sales:
(1) Complete Stranger
(2) Strangers But Communicating
(3) Strangers No More
(4) True Friend Stage
If you CAN understand these, and incorporate them while developing and implementing your email marketing program, you will likely have a LOT of success with your email marketing campaigns.
You must plan your email campaigns so that you carry the lead through these stages using a series of 3 steps: First provide a giveaway item to capture a lead; then through sending emails gain trust; and lastly, promote and sell products.
This sounds so easy but it really is not. It must be a carefully thought out process, and then materials and tools incorporated developed and implemented that will support the program.
Remember selling using email marketing is not an easy task, considering you have NO chance of doing any kind of face to face meeting in most cases, and must convince them to take action with just words and one way communication.
If you know the process, and write your mails with these things in mind, you will then know better WHAT to write, HOW to write, and WHEN to write. Your path is then clearer.
There are other steps that coincide with this process too.
For instance, you must tie the mail writing process into your lead magnet (this is a giveaway that draws in the lead) and on the other end, tie the emails after doing the other steps with a product or service that you are selling.
These points we will cover later, I just wanted to give a big picture view of how this fits into your email marketing program. For now, let’s drill down a bit on each of the stages of a relationship that you are concerned with for sales…
Below you will learn about relationships with each stage of the sales process, and how your actions to include email marketing supports moving the prospect to the next stage over time…
“The Complete Stranger”
How It Starts
When you do not know each other, and may or may not have heard each other, you are strangers. Period.
In the offline world, to get past this stage, you have to meet the person. This is the same with online marketing, just it is done in a different fashion.
Let me explain…
With offline marketing, you may meet someone in an informal setting the first time, and among other things you will likely exchange contact information.
This may be a business card or pehaps an eCard or similar. You also will likely get to know one another just a bit during that first meeting.
Email marketing works a little different, but the principle is the same.
You have “met” when the prospect comes across your web site, your sales page, social page, or similar, and what they see IS the initial connection.
If you can convince them to sign up to your contact list they become a subsciber. This is the same as if you had exchanged business cards, in the online sales world.
The first step with online marketing is generally getting their contact information so you can communicate with them again and again…
People don’t like to just give up their contact information. Especially when online they are reluctant because they do not want their inbox filled with spam, and remember, they don’t know you.
So you will have to do something in exchange for getting that contact information, over and above just asking for it.
In terms of online marketing, this could be many things such as an eBook, a free educational course, your personal support, a white paper, a free magazine subscription , or a newsletter.
Here are some examples:
- You offer a Free eCourse in exchange for their name and emal address
- You off er a white paper on a particularly hot subject in the niche in exchange for their name and email address
- You offer a Monthly Newsletter that is slick and professional looking that contains timely articles that can help their business month in and month out in exchange for their name and email address
- You offer a gift if they will spend a few moments filling out a survey and they get the gift in exchange for their name and email address
I think these are enough examples for you to get the point…
You are providing something of value for getting their contact information. Other than this giveaway, you will find it very hard to get a site visitor to sign up to your subscriber list.
But, when you do convince the person to subscribe, that is where things change drastically from the offline sales process…
For both offline and online sales, the new client is the same:
People at this stage are very wary. After all, they really do not know you at all, having just been introduced. They likely will not be very comfortable nor take at face value what you present to them.
This is normal, you most likely are the same.
It is at THIS stage where the email marketing portion of the sales process comes in for online sales.
As we said, you now have their contact information to include their mail address and possibly their first name, or maybe their full name.
You then must be ready to immediately start proving to them that you offer something they need, and can provide value to them in some way.
Your job is to do just that using a series of emails. The intent is easy at this point. You need to prove your worth.
Action: Your action at this stage is to get the stranger to become a subscriber.
How: Provide Them An “Offer They CAN’T Refuse.” Read more about this here to get some more ideas on how to build an irresistable offer your prospect will not be able to refuse…
“Strangers But Communicating”
The second stage of the relationship is turning this person from a complete stranger into someone that you are communicating with and where you are growing the relationship.
This communication from you to that person will get the ball rolling towards this end.
You need to show this “almost stranger” who you are, what your intent is, and keep giving free and valuable information to them over a series of emails that they get sent from you on a regular basis.
Remember people are not anxious to get friendly with someone who makes it obvious that they are just trying to sell something to them, to make a commission off their money.
People will also not want to have an ongoing relationship with someone that they feel is not being genuine with them.
Because this is pretty much the start of your relationship with this person, it is a very critical stage.
You must show them who you are and make them feel you are worthy of spending their valuable time reading your mails.
This stage makes or breaks the relationship.
In my offline sales, once I had the contact information, I would go out of my way to make sure the prospect knew I was interested in them, that I could help them with their problems, and I was there to provide fast solutions that worked.
This is why I say it is criucial that if you want to move things along, you must communicate this clearly to the lead.
Be straight and clear, give freely information and advice, speak of your experiences, and keep them interested in what you have to say.
If your emails are long winded, boring, do not indicate who you are and what you represent, and how you intend to help the lead; or if your tone used does not promote trustworthiness, the fact is you will lose people leads at this stage.
There are many ways to address all of three points above when you write your mails, and in part three of this tutorial we will be discussing them further…
Action: Your action at this stage is to launch a prescheduled email series to the new lead. In these mails you are going to introduce yourself, explain what you are going to do for them, how and when you will do it, add in some additional valuable information for them, and make sure they understand better who you are.
How: You are going to plan for and write a series of emails that will automatically be sent to the new subscriber through a service called an autoresponder. We will expand on both of these points in part three of this training.
“Strangers No More”
OK, your series of emails has been opened and read by the person. He or she now knows who you are and what you are providing, and he has received good info and tips he can use in his niche.
You have gained the respect and trust of the person through the information you have provided, and his trust level is increasing in you.
You have likely shared some information about yourself too, They are really starting to feel like they know you from these series of emails, and an emotional bond has started to be created.
OK so what do we do next…That is the big question…
There is an additional leap to be made from having that first bit of trust and credibility with the person.
It is this: Having that person move from trust to trusting you enough to buy something based on a recommendation you make to him, again, through only an email.
How can we make this happen?
What makes sense and works well is to do the same as when you enticed that person to join your lead list…
Add a bonus to your offer!
Give them something of value that they can only get as a part of the purchase of the product you are promoting.
Let’s use an example I have had in the past…
I used emails to update my regular customers of new information on my many suppliers products and promotions.
Regularly I corresponded with them via emails and calls, and disclosed some of the things I did when I was in their situation. I even took the calls at all times of the night over and above the mails, such was the relationship.
Their trust in me, over time, was such that when I made a recommendation for a problem they may have had that was related, but not directly involving a product I was selling, that they would act on that recommendation.
As for my own products, I was so confident in the products I sold that I would offer to buy them back if they didn’t like it…
I also provided free training on how to use the products and other ways they could take advantage of them…
The emails also were an opportunity to get two way communication going with the customer. I asked them to let me know of any questions they had or coments.
More than once I was able to get good two way communication started regarding a product or service. Both sides gained from this, and once again, it helped build my credibility and trust with the customer.
All these actionsI mention are ones that help move that customer through the relationship stages.
Do these type of actions consistently, and you will easily be able to move lots of people along to the latter stages where sales become ever easier.
So my bottom line best advice on this stage is as follows: Offer added value to your efforts constantly, make persons eager to open your emails, and build the trust! This works…
Action: Your action to take at this stage is to launch a prescheduled email series to the new lead. In these mails you are going to introduce yourself, explain what you are going to do for them, how and when you will do it, add in some additional valuable information for them, and make sure they understand better who you are.
How: You are going to plan for and write a series of emails that will automatically be sent to the new subscriber through a service called in general an autoresponder. We will discuss these in part three of this training.
“A True Friend”
The final stage is the most sought after stage for a salesperson. This is where you now have a true friend, one that has a great deal of trust in you, who will act on your recommendations without hesitation, again and again, and this for a lifetime.
For this to happen you have to continue to provide relevant and useful information over a long period of time. They have to come to know you and trust your judgement and information without question.
This last stage is something that does not happen overnight. Establishing such an emotional tie is a powerful tool though and it can be rewarding for you as a salesperson too.
You have the satisfaction of knowing you are helping people advance their business or interest.
To get to this stage, you must disclose more of yourself, showing them how your are using the products you are promoting to better your life! Offer to help them out with something that most people within the niche have problems with.
Being honest, real, and over-delivering consistently over time is the route to getting to this stage! By the way, this is also the way to move people through all the stages quickly. They will see what kind of person you are and stick with you.
People will start looking forward to your emails and open them first in their inbox when they see them come in.
Remember, there is such a thing as a $20,000, or more, customer out there. This is often the last stage customer…
I remember once I had a last minute opportunity fall into my lap. This was after a long time of being there for the customer, adding to their program, and providing solution after solution to their problems.
It involved pizzas, of all things. Due to a failure to perform on the normal vendor’s part, they needed pizzas fast. This customer was based in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the Balkons, not exactly an easy place to do business.
Based on my credibility built up over time through performance and overdelivering, and their resultant trust in me, they called me and asked if I could help.
I took quick action to fix that customer’s problem, securing the product they needed (pizza) in the quantities they needed in a short period of time.
My action saved them from a lot of embarassment and unhappy customers they had, and for me? I made an instant sale of $500,000 worth of pizzas, and over time sold many millions worth of pizzas to that customer over the next years.
The other result of that sale was I brought in a new line of quality products, there were thousands of items in that brand that I could sell to my other customers. The brand? It was a little company called Kraft, maybe you have heard of them? : )
So the moral of this story is as follows: it is WORTH your time and effort to get buyers to this stage, it can literally make you many thousands of dollars again and again in commissions over time!