Sales People and Business Owners: 10 Reasons Email Marketing is NOT Optional

Whether we like to think about it or not, all business people are sales people. We have to sell our ideas, our services, our capabilities and our solutions to certain problems.

But let me pose a question: Do you close every person you have a sales presentation with?

Of course not.

No one, not even superstar sales people, can close every qualified prospect. There are many reasons for this:
  • Some prospects are just not ready to take action. It could be the money is not in the budget for now, they are still in an information-gathering phase, or the “pain” of their problem is not yet acute enough to make a change.
  • Sometimes you have just not built up enough trust and credibility with this prospect yet. Trust and credibility takes time and several contacts for people to develop.
  • In some cases, the key benefit(s) that the prospect is most receptive to are just not clear in the prospect’s mind. Even though you have already given information about these key benefits, they need reinforcement.
  • You have not yet built a relationship with this prospect. Again, relationships take time and nurturing. My favorite way to build relationships is to give away free information that solves problems and helps prospects reach their goals.

Most Sales Are Not Made Until AFTER
The 7th or 10th Contact

Depending on whose statistics you read, most sales are not made until after the seventh or tenth contact with the prospect. But how many business owners or salespeople have time to make that many follow up contacts?

The answer is 100% - if you use an autoresponder.

An autoresponder is an email follow up program that sends out pre-written, pre-scheduled email messages to opt-in subscribers.

How can an autoresponder work for the typical sales person or business owner?
  1. An autoresponder will automatically send information to anyone who requests it from you, and add that person to your email list.
  2. It can also send out sales letters or newsletters to your list on a pre-determined schedule. If you want prospects to receive one email a day for the first seven days after they request your information package, and then change it to once a week afterwards, the autoresponder can do that for you.
  3. An autoresponder can track how many of your recipients open their emails and how many click through to any link you put on an email. You can use this data to refine your marketing system.
  4. An autoresponder can spoon feed your prospects with one benefit at a time, so that they can absorb and understand what your product or service can do for them.
  5. An autoresponder can get you in the door in the first place. A sequence of emails addressing problems your prospects face and offering viable solutions can go a long way to moving a prospect’s interest level from luke warm to hot.
  6. An autoresponder can keep you in touch with the people you don’t sell at first. It allows you to stay on their mind while they “think about it” or while they shop around with other providers.
  7. An autoresponder allows you to keep putting new prospects into your pipeline and do the follow up “grunt work” for you. It can gradually increase their interest level with sequential emails until they are ready to make an appointment with you.
  8. In addition to giving you the ability to send out pre-scheduled or sequential emails, an autoresponder can also enable you to send out “broadcast” emails to your entire list when you have a special offer, announcement, reduced price, new product, close out or any other information you want to get out.
  9. An autoresponder helps you avoid even the slightest hint of spam because it documents the fact that your subscribers “opted in” and give them the ability to opt out if they no longer want to receive your messages. While this may not sound like a positive, isn’t your time better spent communicating with people who have at least a modest level of interest in what you offer?
  10. All buyers have a buying cycle. Most sales people try to jump into a prospect’s awareness right when they are hot and ready to buy. Autoresponders enable you to get on their radar further upstream when they first begin considering a purchase. By the time this prospect is ready to make a decision, you can be miles ahead of your competition because they have received numerous helpful, informative emails. You already have established trust and credibility with her.

I personally use and recommend Traffic Wave (Disclosure: you should know I am also an affiliate of their program). Traffic Wave’s cost is lower than most autoresponders, gives you one price for unlimited campaigns, emails and subscribers.

You can see a price comparison of the top autoresponders by clicking here.

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COPYRIGHT © 2009, Charles Brown
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December 3, 2009 at 8:32 AM CathyWebSavvyPR said...

I agree with the gist of this post, but caution that businesses need to not go overboard with auto responders.

Know your prospects as well as you can - too many emails too often can get the response of someone opting out - there is so much competition in people's inboxes.

Select your auto responders based, in part, on where/how a prospect found you - Are they a tire kicker, are they just wanting your free white paper; did they click on a buy now ad and are in that buying part of the cycle; or are they researching a purchase for next year's budget.

I guess I've seen some clients go overboard and want to auto-respond prospects to death - sometimes less ... is more.

Cathy Larkin

December 3, 2009 at 2:27 PM Charles Brown said...

Excellent point Cathy. I believe marketers MUST build relationships with their email subscribers (a topic for another blog post).

There are two ways to do this. First, to offer a lot of valuable content and not try to sell something every time an email is sent. Give first, then make an offer.

The second way is to determine the right frequency to send out emails. Too frequently results in unsbuscribers, but too infrequently produces the same results because readers tend to forget who you are and why you are sending them emails.

I have found that once a week is just the right balance as long as the content is weighted toward useful, problem-solving information.

I call it the "Tip of the Week" method. I think the best example I know of is Marcia Yudkin who sends out a newsletter called the "Marketing Minute" each Wednesday.

Here's the link to her Marketing Minute:

Charles Brown