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Don’t email strangers
I, like many people, don’t like it when I get emails from companies I have not given my email address to.
I still run into people who think they have to buy a list to do email marketing. This is probably because everyone’s primary marketing focus is converting strangers into customers as quickly and as cheaply as possible and many people cannot comprehend any kind of marketing beyond that.
While this is immensely depressing, it is a reality and only through education and persistence can we fix this.
Also, while we talk about how to use email, we also need to supply a decent alternative to acquisition too!
Strangers to Prospects
In my opinion we have to be consistent: SEO, PPC, Tradeshows and Social for converting strangers into prospects. Direct people to your web site, once they are there get them to sign up for emails. Of course make it easy for them to convert straight into a customer but very few will convert straight away because you have not earned their trust. However, a massive chunk of them will sign up for emails if they see relevance.
So: sign them up, make it a secondary call to action, make it easy and make it a good experience.
Look after the long tail…
Once they are on the list, use email to help convert them from prospects to customers.
Once they are a customer use email to convert them into fans so they will refer business to you because they like you so much.
Don’t buy a list and throw your brand at it, earn the signup, focus on the people who have taken that small step into your digital rapport, treat them well, give them the control and they will convert themselves.
It’s easier and more profitable to convert people who are already engaged with you.