Is a brick wall in your way?

Keeping engagement alive is a challenge for many marketing their own businesses.

I recently did a webinar all about “Smart Marketing” with Artsy Shark founder, Carolyn Edlund. The main emphasis was email marketing and it was about 45 mins of amazing information. It was a BIG hit! We gave people real information that they could use instantly to better their businesses and hopefully make some income gains along the way, too.

And then came the questions! We spent almost another 45 mins trying to get through as many as we could. And, many  took us up on purchasing our E-Course, too. We loved being able to bring this information to the huge crowd that attended.

After the webinar, I received lots of emails with even more questions. People really got into it with many sophisticated inquiries! They ranged from, “What ratio of text to pictures should be used in emails?” and “How do you get started with email marketing if you don’t have many people as subscribers?”, to the most common question: “What can I do if I have dropped the ball for several months? Can I just suddenly email them again? I don’t want to seem like spam to them.” GREAT question! It’s very tricky!

When a list get’s old and cold, it’s a big brick wall for many of us. The more the time passes, the more we are concerned about reaching out. Handling a “cold: list requires unique techniques. Most will define “cold” as any time you have not had a solid communication with someone for over 6 months. I would be careful even after 3 months. And no, Facebook doesn’t count! You never know when they last had any contact with you from that site. It could be many months with the way things work there nowadays.

But don’t despair! You can definitely save those hard earned relationships! It just takes a little strategy and a bit of psychology. And a very surprising technique:

You need to nurture your subscribers. You need to slowly get back to a trusted and value-based relationship over time by carefully re-engaging.

You may even offer them – right up front – the option to unsubscribe!

That’s right! One of the methods I teach my clients is to send an email asking people to unsubscribe if they don’t want to remain in the loop. That same email will make it very clear that there’s true value (answering the “what’s in it for me question”) in their future if they do stick around.

But first: Identify Yourself

The first thing they see is who it is from in the “From Line”. This should be your full name, because your name recognition starts before they open an email. In fact, they might not even open an email if they don’t recognize your name!  Your Subject Line should not be “selling” or otherwise generic, like News From ___ or Latest News, Sales Event, etc. Try something like, “Staying in touch isn’t always easy!”, “Missing in action, but I’m back”, Did you wonder what happened?” or other such warmer more personalized sentiments. Use your personality!

Next step is critical: When they, hopefully, open your email, they should be instantly reminded of you with a prominent logo or something like web-matched colors or your web theme. This will make a huge difference.  And don’t forget about including a small photo of you. This is needed, even if they have never met you. It’s a human to human natural bonding when we see a picture of another person. So even if they still have no idea (or just the vaguest idea) who you are, they may just want to stick around anyway.

Always include a compelling photo of your product or service related images. Or show your place of business, or in the case of my many artist friends reading this: show off your art! If you are a massage therapist, what one photo will complete the “picture” and create a desire to want to book with you right this minute? Use that!

I will show you a sample message in my next blog. For right now, I am giving you a homework assignment:

  • Take a deep breath, and gather your lists together.
  • Start by knowing that you will lose some people no matter what. The older a list, the more likely the addresses are gone.
  • Segment your email addresses. Put the really old in one list and more recent in another. They will need different re-engagement strategies.
  • Do you have a really old list you have never ever connect with? That’s probably going to be another separate list.
  • Has anyone in your old lists done business with you in the past? That might be a different email, too.
  • Gather up your images for your email – logo, product shots, portrait of you, and start thinking about the overall effect you want to project.

Take your time – they haven’t heard from you in months, so you really don’t need to be in a sudden rush. In my next blog, I will include template samples. They will give you some concrete examples of what it takes to woo people back into your world.

For now, go get ready. Do the homework and put together the foundations. Then comes the actual messaging: What you say next is key to keeping the vast majority on board.  I will be providing copy that you will want to consider using as a base for your messages. Look for that in a post next week.

Until then, keep adding names to your email lists! Growing your list is the number one best way to grow your sales. And, since email marketing has the highest “Return on Investment” ($40 for every $1 spent!) of any other online advertising, this is totally worth your time and effort.

Here’s Number Two in the Series

Got questions? Please leave them in the comments!

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