Posted on June 24, 2008
When using email marketing to sell a product or service you can't just start selling to your readers in the first email. The reason is the odds of the reader knowing who you are or what you are all about are pretty low, even if they subscribed to your newsletter from a form on your website. People do not purchase from those they do not know. So the key to a successful email marketing campaign is "warming up" your readers to the sell.
The "warming up" process can be broken down into five distinct phases. It's a good idea to keep these in mind as you work to warm up your lists.
Phase 1 -- "Cold Readers"
These are folks who have just filled out the form on your website, or whose details you have received via co-registration.
You know nothing about them, and they know nothing about you, so at this phase, your primary job is to introduce yourself, and begin to establish yourself as a source of credible and useful *free* information.
I emphasized the word *free* in that, because "cold" leads are very unlikely to buy anything from you, no matter what you do.
PHASE 2 -- "Curious Readers"
At this phase, people may have opened one or two of your emails and have at least decided to stay on your list long enough to find out what you're about, and what they can gain by reading your emails.
Another way of thinking of this group is that they are the ones who are actually opening and reading your emails, whether they open the first or the tenth that you send them.
Your job with this group remains essentially the same as was true at Phase 1 ... you are still in the process of "warming them up" to the idea that you are credible and trustworthy.
Again, not a time to be trying to sell them things, because few of them will buy, anyway.
PHASE 3 -- "Interested Readers"
These are the folks who have opened and read several of your emails, and now continue to read them. Perhaps they have "moved" themselves from your "cold" list by opting-in to one or your newsletters or free mini-courses.
By doing so, they have "told" you that they are interested in what you have to say, willing to read more of your emails, and may, in due time, buy something on the basis of your suggestion.
One way to know who your "interested" prospects are is to offer a free ebook or mini-course, and make them "register" for it by opting in to a second autoresponder.
Another is to run a survey form on your site, invite them to participate, and capture their contact information when they do so.
The point is they have taken some *action* based upon your previous emails, and have told you by that action that they are interested in what you have to say, and willing to read what you write to them.
PHASE 4 -- "Excited Readers"
These are folks who are almost ready to buy. They may have written you asking for more information, or visited your sales page several times. Maybe they are thinking about joining your business opportunity, but for some reason not quite ready to sign up and pay their money. They need some sort of "push" or "nudge" to get them to take action.
Maybe they need a "special offer" of some kind, or simply a personal follow-up email or phone call from you. Whatever it is, these are your *HOT* prospects.
PHASE 5 -- "Customer"
The final phase is, of course, obvious. These are the folks who have bought your product, joined your opportunity, or bought something that you promote as an affiliate.
In the long run, these are the folks who will make you the most money, because it will become easier and easier for them to act on your recommendations, as long as you don't betray their trust by endorsing poor quality products or programs.
You need to think of these folks as *friends*, because that is what they really are. They have now given you permission to send them follow-up offers and program endorsements.
Even though they may represent only a tiny percentage of the entire population of your list, these people are your long term gold mine group.
Treat them with respect, they have warmed up to you and what You have to offer. Maintain a high level of integrity and they will continue to follow you for years to come
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