by Craig Klein, founder of Sales Nexus
It’s easy to dismiss email as a channel that’s outdated. However, while email isn’t the new kid on the block, that doesn’t mean it’s ineffective. In fact, because just about everyone who uses a computer is comfortable using email, it’s actually the most reliable way to communicate with potential customers. If you’re wondering why you need to care about communicating with potential customers, it’s because studies show that less than five percent of them will actually make a purchase when they visit your website for the first time. As a result, if you aren’t capturing email addresses and then marketing to these leads, you are allowing almost every visitor who visits your website to go to waste.
Fortunately, even if you aren’t currently doing anything to build an email list, you can get started in just a few steps:
Offer Something Free and Truly Attractive
You want to add as many targeted prospects to your email list as possible. In order to make this happen, you need to offer them something that they feel is worth giving you their email address. The offer you make should have a few key features. First, it needs to be free. Second, it needs to provide real value. Many businesses make the mistake of thinking that because they’re offering something free, it can be anything. However, if you want to maximize your results, it needs to be something worthwhile like a great whitepaper, coupon or free trial. Finally, you want to ensure that what you’re offering is the right fit for the specific prospects you want to attract.
It’s All About the Relationship
Once someone gives you their email address, you don’t want to simply start bombarding them with offers. Instead, you want to use the emails you send to build a relationship with them. The reason this is so important is because several studies have found that it takes multiple interactions with a company before most consumers are ready to make a purchase. While the exact number can vary based on a wide range of factors, the average is seven interactions. In order to build a relationship during your initial emails, you want to focus on providing recipients with content that’s going to help or entertain them.
Ask for the Sale When the Time is Right
Eventually, the time will come for you to ask prospects to make a purchase from you. While the exact time to do this is not set in stone, there are some guidelines you can follow to get the best results. The most important is to give people a compelling reason to take action. This can be anything from a sale that’s only available for a short period of time to an offer that can only be had by the first 100 people who respond. If you’ve correctly handled the initial phases of your email marketing, you can depend on receiving a great response when you make an offer.