Take a moment and reflect on the gift you have in the form of individuals who have provided their valuable name and email address in exchange for a report or some other content you provide.
Honor this new relationship by communicating with each individual on your List in a responsible manner. Here are 10 keys to keep in mind.
1. Have Something Meaningful to Share; Stay on-Topic!
Don’t you HATE getting a bunch of meaningless nothings in your inbox? Well, pretty much everyone does – so don’t waste people’s time! And stick to the topic people opted in to hear more about – don’t start offering content or products that aren’t related to your list’s interests! There are ways to segment your lists – so that you can be very specific and targeted in the information and products you offer. It’ll increase your sales and profits, and will respect your prospects and customers.
2. Do Something Besides Just Sell, Sell, Sell! (42 offers in my email box on Monday)
I’ll bet you have signed up for someone’s information and gotten nothing back but sales pitch after sales pitch. I sure have! And I must admit, I don’t like it – not one bit. There is no faster way to get me to hit the ‘unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of those emails. While you DO want to sell stuff (after all, this is how we make our money), you will also want to provide other content and information of value to your subscribers. Estimates are that a ratio of 20% – 30% sales to 70% -80% content, or 1 sales email to 4 or 5 content-only emails is a good place to start. Of course, there are those gurus out there who preach a much more rigorous ratio of sales to content-only emails. You’ll need to do some research to determine the sweet spot for your list – it will vary by market and niche.
3. When you DO Sell Something, Make Sure it Offers Tons of Relevant Value.
One of the worst things you can do is offer a product or service that just doesn’t deliver. Depending on your relationship with your list, you might get away with this once, or maybe even twice (if it’s mixed in with tons of other offers of high value), but it can be a business killer. If it is your own product or an affiliate product, be sure to under-promise and over-deliver.
4. Provide Great Content
Don’t just offer warmed-over information to your list. There are tons of ways to find great and relevant information that your prospects and customers will find valuable. And you don’t have to create it all yourself! It’s OK to share information from other people’s blogs (be sure to give attribution), or to offer affiliate products. But you should also strive to provide unique content – even if it is just in the way you weave it together, package it, or deliver it.
5. Let your Voice / Personality Show in your Messages
Part of getting your online community to know, like and trust you is to let them see you (at least a part of you!). Share a bit of your life with them, write like you speak, talk about your experiences that are relevant to the overall topic of the autoresponder. Don’t sound like corporate speak! If you aren’t a lawyer writing to lawyers about lawyer stuff, then leave words like ‘hereinto’ and ‘aforementioned’ out of your email. And while you reveal your personality, you will want to also use the words and phrases that your customers use. And we’ll talk more about that in the community-building discussion.
6. Talk to Each Person on your List as an Individual
Talk to each person as if you were having a one on one, face to face conversation. Don’t start your emails in your autoresponder with things like ‘Hello everyone!” – there is only one person reading each email, and the more you can speak to that one person so he or she really feels your attention, the better your business will do.
7. Train Your List
You’ll want to train your list to respond to your ‘calls to action’ that you have in your email and on your blog or website. And to do this, you should have specific reasons they will want to do what you ask.
8. Ask for ONE Action – the Most Wanted Response
And you should only ask them to do ONE thing per email. Just one. Don’t give choices – if people have too many choices, they often don’t take any of them! So determine your ‘Most Wanted Response’ from every email or sales letter. What is it that you want your readers to do right now, at the end of this email? Do you want them to: · Click a link in your email? · Answer a survey question? · Forward your email to three friends? · Click a link to buy a product?
9. Stay in Touch
Don’t ignore them for too long or they will go away. Some gurus say you should email your list every day, and other say 2 or 3 times a week. Again, you will need to try different schedules and see what works best with your list. For sure, though, don’t go weeks without being in touch. With all of the email and social networking and, hey, even real life friends and family, it’s all to easy to lose interest.
10. Do What You Said You Would Do
It’s all too easy to promise the moon and then deliver just mud-puddles. Be sure that you follow through and give your prospects and customers what you promised. And more. Make a promise and then follow through. Over-deliver on your promise! This is a great way to build a relationship of trust with your list.