2 Things I Wish “Marketers” Wouldn’t Do With Email Marketing…

I don’t know if people are desperate for sales or not, but “used car sales tactics” don’t work much any more…

I’ve seen a flood of two different kinds of emails coming into my “spy on the market” email inbox.

1)  The “oops, I guess the link was broken…” in the subject line.

2)  And the Columbo Technique…“Oh, I just wanted to make sure…” or “Oh, just one more thing…” in the subject line.

3)  BONUS UPDATE 02/05/2010:  The newest trend seems to be using email to promote “free” videos that have no controls to pause, stop, etc…forcing you to watch the video all the way through to the end.  These vids don’t give away the “reason” for the video until the end…and 98% of them are a complete waste of time.

Come on people. Are you really that desperate for sales?

If you’re doing this, I suppose you could argue that asking a “2nd time” might produce an increased response…but is it the increased response you want?

People aren’t stupid…so why would you insult their intelligence?  Do you REALLY think that they fall for the “oops, the link was broken” emails more than a time or two?

If I wasn’t “spying” on the market using the email address I use, I would click “unsubscribe” on every one of those…because if you’re having that much trouble keeping your links working, how reliable is your customer service?

As for the Columbo technique (a show back in the 70’s and 80’s if you don’t know who “Columbo” is)…

The “Oh, I forgot, one more thing…” technique only works a couple times as well…then people either tune it out or unsubscribe.

You can’t possibly expect to “cry wolf” repeatedly and get people’s attention, sorry.

Now, you more savvy email marketers might argue “Joe, well, yeah it does work…I get more responses out of one promotion by doing this!”

or even worse… “I get new leads in my system all the time, so go ahead and unsubscribe!”.

Guess what folks, with transparency and social media being hot topics right now, time is running out on those mindsets…whether you choose to believe me or not.

Besides, would you rather extract pennies from a coin jar by using stupid email response “tactics”?  Or would you rather develop a social relationship with your prospect base and actually have them paying attention to your emails (getting many dollar bills in the process)?

And about the newly updated video thing…come on folks, are you serious?  Are you lacking confidence in your sales ability to the point where you have to FORCE the viewer to watch your video all the way to the end?

It might work for short-term results now, but the people you market to deserve better than to be “forced” to watch a sales pitch right (even if it isn’t a pitch most of the way through)?

Give them the controls people, if your content delivers like it says it will, they’ll watch, if it doesn’t they won’t.  How qualified do you think a prospective customer would be if they were “roped” into whatever you were selling?  I would think about the potential for increased refund activity and complaints as well.

But that’s just me. 😉

Stop shooting your business in the foot if you’re doing this with your email marketing.  Whether it’s today, a week from now, or even 5 years from now…your on borrowed time if you think trickery will continue to bring home the bacon.

    The Money Is NOT In The List…

    Ahhh…got you thinking didn’t I?

    First of all, you don’t have to light up your email program and fire off all the reasons why I’m wrong…

    Because I’m going to cover the 2 primary reasons why the “money isn’t in the list” right here.

    1)  The money isn’t in the list, it’s in the “lists“. You don’t only build a list and make money from it…you have to segregate your lists into more targeted lists.

    And before I hear a “Duh, Joe!”

    Most marketers aren’t doing this at all.

    I know this as a fact as the majority of my clients and even associates don’t do this.

    The most basic list segregation technique is to put those people that have purchased something from you (or followed your recommendation as an affiliate) onto a customer or “buyers” list.

    If you aren’t doing that already…stop reading this post and do it right now.

    I’ll wait…

    You haven’t done it yet, come on, this is a BIG business builder for you…

    Whatever, you’ll never do it then.

    Moving on…

    By separating your buyers into another list…you have a list of the people who obviously trust you enough to pull out their wallet and buy something from you or on your recommendation…and I think that is a BIG trust that we as marketers take for granted all the time.

    Come on, you do take that trust for granted…don’t you? You assume that because you have the greatest product on earth, that everyone wants what you’re selling…and nope, that’s not how it works.

    Which brings us to the next reason the money isn’t in the list…

    2)  The money isn’t in the list, it’s in the relationship you form with the people on that list. So before you go thinking that by putting #1 above to work will solve all of your making money problems…

    You first have to think really hard about each individual person on your list.

    Really hard.

    It sounds so simple, yet it’s another area we take for granted as business people…that real people, with real problems and emotions, are on our marketing list.

    You don’t “own” them…

    You had better not be “renting” them out…

    They aren’t “your” list of subscribers/buyers/people over the age of 50…

    And the DEFINITELY are not “one of your list of 5,000″…or a number.

    Change your thinking to how you can serve that list of people (for real), and your income will increase in reflection of how well you do that.  If your income doesn’t increase, you’re focus hasn’t changed.

    No, I didn’t give you the “full” blueprint here…I expect you to think about this and apply it to your business (heaven forbid…do work?).

    The sad reality is…90% of you will still go about your busy days and never take any time to sit and ponder the impact this rather “simple” advice can have on your business…

    Of the 10% that do something with this advice, only the top third or so of that 10% will actually use this advice and make changes.

    So about 3 out of every 100 readers of this article will actually do something that will have a HUGE impact on their business right now, today.

    Will you be one of them?

    How many relationships have you built since you read this?

    How many relationships have you built since you read this?

    Are You Lying To Your Email Readers?

    It’s a shame…

    I get this email in my inbox that says “Personal from [guru name here] …”.

    And it wasn’t personal at all, just another ad…because I use two email addresses to subscribe to the same lists, so I can tell if this really was “personal” as stated in the subject line.

    Sad that an internet marketing guru would have to resort to such crap just to get me to open their email.  Not that I “fall” for it, I actually read these emails to see how people are marketing their stuff.

    Now, there are two sides to this argument, {+++} one where the guru in question would probably have said “But my open rate soars when I use this…”…and the other where myself and many others would say “Yeah, and your sales might go up too…but at what expense?”

    I will state right now, this is NOT a rant about email subject lines (at least for the most part).

    What is your relationship with your email readers?  How would you classify that relationship?

    Have you earned the right to “have your open rates soar” when lying to your readers?

    How about this example, which if you’ve been marketing for any length of time…you have seen too…

    IMPORTANT:  From [marketer’s name here, or subject of the email]


    Bad News about [subject, name, etc..etc…]

    Come on people (the marketers who send these).  Is there really no other way you can get your “open rates to soar”?  I would say you’re getting lazy…because for the most part, the marketers that send these types of emails, usually send way more than one.

    If you have built a proper relationship with your email readers…guess what?  You wouldn’t need to resort to these “tactics” at all.  In fact, I will challenge that you can get better open rates by focusing more on building a relationship with your email readers, than from using “tactics.”

    It’s always been about people, people. 🙂  That will never change.

    And…if something is genuinely “important” or “personal”…you won’t sound like the “marketer who cried wolf”…you’ll actually deepen the relationship you have with your email readers…and as an added bonus, will continue to get the open rates you crave.

    Just tell the truth…if it’s “personal”, but on a large scale, then say so in the subject line.

    “Personal note to all of my valued readers from [guru’s name here]…”

    See?  How hard is that?

    If it’s “important”, say why in the subject line.

    “IMPORTANT:  [guru’s name, or list name, or offer name, etc..etc…] discount ends today at midnight…

    Don’t use the word to get the open…use the offer.

    How hard is it to make that change?

    Well, for some marketers who have internet businesses that rely on tricking the reader to open their emails…it will be difficult.  These marketers are “jonesing” like crack addicts to the open rates of the emails…and missing out on the true profits that solid reader relationships provide.

    Are you this marketer?

    You’ll eventually learn. 😉  Yeah, for now, your open rates might “soar” in your eyes (have you actually tested any differently? I have)…but as the internet marketing avenue continues to grow, and become more and more social…your business will fade into the sunset.

    Yes, there will always be a few that “fall for it”…but because the internet “playing field” is becoming more and more social and multi-media oriented, that bigger influence will kill businesses that don’t fully adapt or “wake up”.

    If you’re focusing on building and solidifying relationships with your email readers…take that to the next level with a video blog…so you can be seen (mine is coming, don’t worry, you’ll see this ugly mug yet 🙂  ). 

    Oh and by the way, congratulations for not violating the one thing that will separate the big internet businesses and the “has beens” in the years to come.  Trust. I will see you in 5 years when all of the “less than honest” marketers have been phased out.

    Until the next time we look in the mirror together,

    Joseph Ratliff - Your Partner In Online Profits

    Joseph Ratliff - Your Partner In Online Profits