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.

    My Thoughts On List Building…

    There are 2 main schools of thought on building marketing lists in my opinion…

    1)  Traditional, two-step “Give me yours and I’ll give you mine” style.  Online, this usually involves a squeeze page where someone has to submit their email address to gain access to a valuable piece of content (if your content isn’t valuable, you lose all trust and credibility here).

    2)  A more viral, “I’ll give you a piece of valuable content that you can share and form an opinion on FIRST, and THEN you can decide if you buy from me.” Here, your content allows the visitor to decide if they want to take the next step with you, then you focus on your “buyer’s” list and serving it, instead of both an email list AND buyer’s list.

    Interesting to think about both methodologies.

    In my opinion, I will be personally shifting towards #2 thanks to the influence of David Meerman Scott , other influences I’ve tested, and my personal business direction.

    —>  If you go to http://josephratliff.com right now, you can begin to see it in action (although the viral ebook isn’t yet there yet, I’m offering a sample of this blog as a download currently).

    I feel (my personal opinion), that with the current way people are searching for information, and a sort of “numbness” to free in exchange for personal information marketing pieces…I would rather focus on building a list of buyers of my upcoming print book and products AFTER they’ve made a decision based on freely available content first.

    My theory is, (actually proven by other marketers like David), that this “buyers list” will be more responsive because they have enough of a sample of content to make a decision to trust me first.

    And that my friends, is where the gold is…in developing a solid relationship with people on your buyer’s list.

    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?