Clarity - Levelfield's Small Business Blog


- Jeannie Samson, President Levelfield.com, Inc

  • I sell a very 'Unsexy Message'

    12/17/2007 12:00:00 AM Link |  | Add comment

    commentary, Levelfield Broadcast Package, Newsletter, Small Business

    success takes work! E-Mail Marketing requires work All marketing requires work Successful businesses require work Success in all things requires work School, Sports, Relationships. How many of you have an effortless marriage? Who gets along 100% all the time with no effort with their children, coworkers, bosses and friends? It all takes work, time and commitment. Wow, that's a tough message to sell. Frequently people move to new ways of doing business, like the Internet, leaving their common sense behind. They see on TV and the Internet about riches that await them. All they have to do is to buy something for $9.95, or $19.95, or $99.99 or $2499.00. They think - "wow for just a few dollars - I can be rich." I'm sure you've seen the ads, you know people who bought into them, you might have even bought into this promise of money for nothing. Sometimes the "suggestion" of riches might come to you from a trusted and more traditional way - your favorite marketing expert. How many campaigns have been sold to small business that cost more than any revenue ever produced. Was the advice tainted? Perhaps - perhaps not. One sure thing if the person buying the advice was not actively involved working on the marketing campaign I'm sure that nothing good came of it. Consider this question on Google's web page for its AdSense program. Q: How much money will I make? A: How much you'll earn depends on a number of variable factors... I"m betting that some of the factors are time and money and the work that one puts into the program. I've seen people who get a web site that looks nice but has nothing on it - they slap an advertising program on it like Google's Adsense. Then they go downstairs grab a nice cool drink and a good book and sit back waiting for the money to roll it. Guess what happens. No matter what you are doing it takes work if you are going to be successful - yep this is a hard message to sell. Email Marketing is not any different. If you a have plan, commit to the plan and take action you can achieve results. But guess what! You have to work your plan to make a difference. Good Plan - no action - no results. A key thing to consider with this form of marketing is that you need to get started today. It's not that hard. In fact I'll share a secret. Most people never start and of those who start most don't stick with it. You can gain a competitive advantage by getting started and sticking with it. Growing Your Newsletter List First you have to have a list. Building a list is not hard but it takes work. You will find that it's not hard to build a quality list. First ask your current customers if you can send them offers about your products, services or useful information that has meaning for them. The simplest way is to ask them. Ask them when you give them information, ask them when you have them on the phone, ask them when they are in your office - just ask. Often they will say yes. You simply ask them. Of course you need to have something of value to offer them but if you ask people will frequently say yes. We grow our list in a variety of ways. We get many requests from our website which is set up to capture email addresses, get approval, and store addresses and to make them easy to work with so we can email offers. How do we "capture the addresses" - That's easy we provide an way for people to request information from us right on the website. That's right we just ask them. I'm sure you can find many ways to ask and get approval to add people to your list. Recently we gathered names and email addresses from a networking party that we sponsored. Give some thing away - people will sign up for the "freebie" but if you offer them something of value, they will stay signed up. Practice Makes Perfect Don't wait to take action until you have the perfect and most complete mailing list. Start now. You need the practice. Even if you only have one person in your list - ACT LIKE YOU HAVE 1000's. Take the time to create a message. Send the message. Review the results. Your skills will grow with your list if you work at it. And don't think that you wasted the early work. You are fine tuning your abilities and that is never wasted. Getting started now allows you to perfect your processes, to find out what works and what doesn't and to learn how to close sales as a result. All this takes practice. You must learn which kind of message works best for your customers. Remember in school those who always waited to the last moment to do their projects? Effective messages need to be repeated - over and over. Over and over..... People take action when they are ready. I've seen customers who ask why we never told them about our site customizations. When I checked I saw that they had been sent and received the same message over a period of years. But finally when they were ready, they "saw" the offer and "bought" one our web customization services. Who cares what it looks like: Make sure you have something of value to offer in your newsletter. Don't fret so much about making your newsletter a work of art. For one thing everyone who is concerned about security and privacy has all that beautiful artwork turned off. Don't focus on the picture, focus on the message. Keep the message short! Make sure the message is offering something of value. And repeat the message. People take action when they are ready. Be patient. Plan and build for the long term Be Realistic Aim High 1. Focus on the message 2. Don't worry about creating a work of art (you'll only make someone else money by doing that) 3. Keep the message short and to the point 4. Don't confuse your audience 5. Give them something that they want or need 6. Repeat the message 7. Observe the results 8. Modify the message as necessary 9. Don't expect everyone to respond. One final word - the more you do the easier it becomes!

    Jude Samson
    President
    Levelfield, Inc.
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