At some point over the next year – whether you own a small business, run a website, sell professional services, or are looking to get hired for a gig or full time employment – people you don’t regularly communicate with will be ready to “buy.”
So—when they are ready, will you be top of mind?
It’s time to grab your Sunday cup of joe and take a look at creating a regularly scheduled email campaign. The goal is to connect and engage with a targeted group of potential customers, followers, partners, and other people you’re trying to influence with your personal brand.
The 85% chance
Sales guru Jefferey Gitomer explains that when you reach a prospect at the beginning of the sales cycle (when they realize they have a need and begin their research), you have an 85% chance of closing the deal. This is because you become part of their decision making process. When you get to them at the end of the sales cycle (when they’ve completed their research, or are just looking for a better price), you only have a 15% chance of closing the deal.
That means that we want to ensure that we are available and living in the space at the beginning of the sales cycle–whenever someone realizes they need our product or service, when they begin the research process, and when they begin the sales cycle.
Most sales people focus heavily on the 5-10% most qualified leads in their database, or targeted list. This makes sense, of course, since these efforts will put money in their pockets within the next 1-2 months. But, that means that 90-95% of the people in that database or on that list are not being actively pursued. In fact, they are most likely being ignored altogether.
The folks in that 90-95% will fall into one of the following categories:
- Will buy in 3-6 months
- Will buy in 6-12 months
- Will begin researching a solution some time in the next 3 months
- Will begin researching a solution in the next 6-12 months
- Will realize they need a solution sometime in the next 3-12 months
- Will never buy
Setting in place a consistent, personalized communication program–in the form of a regularly scheduled (monthly) email campaign – will allow you to touch that 90-95% on a regular basis and will put you in front of your prospects at the beginning of their decision-making process.
So, in a few months your prospects gets the idea to buy. They receive a regularly scheduled email from you a couple days later. Coincidence? Nope – good business and improved brand strategy.
- Keep it short—1-2 paragraphs is great.
- Keep it relevant and add value.
- Send an email out every 21-30 days.
- Include 3-4 links to internal website pages, your LinkedIn profile, or articles or other content you’ve written.
- Include an offer only for email recipients.
- Make sure your subject line rocks. Check out this from Marketing Sherpa.
- Follow CAN-SPAM guidelines and always offer an opt-out.
Constant Contact, Vertical Response, and Mail Chimp offer free email services and will help you build your list.
If you run a website and/or have a small business, and want a product that does more – but is very reasonably priced – check out Net-Results. In addition to automated, scheduled email campaigns, this tool helps you better understand prospects based on their behavior, allowing you to adjust your marketing efforts accordingly. They have a free trial so you can kick the tires before committing.
Wendy Brache is the co-creator of Sales Force Branding and founder of Kismet Group Web Marketing, now a division of Access Marketing Company. Wendy is a senior consultant specializing in B2B Corporate Social Media, and is a featured marketing technology speaker and columnist on renowned websites, such as Maria Shriver’s Women’s Conference, Chopra’s Intent.com and Denver’s GreatIdeasForKids.com.