Jerry was super excited about his new business. His niche was online marketing, he’d just started growing his list, and he was sending out emails on a daily basis.
So far, so good.
But in Jerry’s enthusiasm, he forgot one thing.
He was talking to people in his emails. Real, live people who like to buy, but don’t like to be sold.
Maybe you’ve seen one of those used car commercials, or maybe a furniture commercial, where the store owner is wearing a ridiculous hat and screaming into the camera to, “Come on down to the store NOW because we’ve got great deals and our prices are rock bottom and there’s never been a better time and y’all better drop what you’re doing because the deals are smokin’ hot…”
What do you think when you see one of those commercials?
Probably the last thing you want to do is go to the store he’s advertising, because by gosh, what if you RAN INTO HIM? Ugghh.
Sure, you want a good deal, but you don’t want someone screaming in your ear to BUY BUY BUY!
Well, without meaning to, our friend Jerry had become that crazy guy in the ridiculous hat, screaming at his subscribers to buy this and buy that, what a deal he had, and so forth and on and on.
What’s that? You were on Jerry’s list?
Me too. Sooner or later, we all are.
Now then, if you’re a new marketer, I’ve probably confused you. After all, aren’t you SUPPOSED to sell in your emails?
And the answer is a resounding yes.
But… there is a good way and a bad way to do it.
If all you do is send out offer after offer after offer, your readers are going to associate you with… offers. And unless they’re just dying to buy something – which they seldom are – they’re going to completely stop opening your emails.
Contrast that with a comedian who sends out nothing but humorous stories and anecdotes in her emails.
People are going to open her emails whenever they have the time, because they know they’re going to be entertained.
“But I’m not funny!”
That’s okay, you don’t have to be funny, although it helps if you are.
- Can you give out good tips on how to do stuff?
- Can you report the latest news in your niche?
- Can you answer reader’s questions?
- And the big one – Can you tell stories and anecdotes?
Have you ever watched one of those late night shows that talk about the news, but they do it in a very entertaining way?
It’s really only about 20% news, and 70% entertainment.
And that’s how your emails should be.
20% of all your content can be serious, how-to stuff. Like a great tip on how to accomplish a certain task.
And 70% can be entertaining.
It works best when the two are combined.
For example, your niche is gourmet cooking, and you want to give a tip on how to prepare a certain flaming dish without setting your stove on fire.
So, you tell the story of the first time you made the dish, and set the stovetop, a stack of towels and a week’s worth of newspapers on fire while trying to make the dish.
(Lessons learned: Keep the towels away from the stove, and don’t try to put out a fire by smothering it with newspaper, no matter how panicked you might be.)
This beats a “BUY THIS” email, and even a dry “How to do this” email every time.
“But, wait a minute. If all I’m doing is entertaining and teaching, WHEN am I going to sell anything?”
There are no hard and fast rules, but here’s what I like to do:
Every now and then, I do send out an email that does nothing but sell the reader on the benefits of checking out a product I’m promoting. And my readers open and read these emails because they are the EXCEPTION, not the rule.
Second, I make use of the P.S. in every email.
If you’ve got someone in a good mood from just having read your anecdote on how you set the stove on fire and tried to smother the flames with newspaper, what do they want at that moment?
It’s like when you watch a funny comedian for 5 minutes – you want to watch him longer. But the video is over, so now you’ve got to find something else to click on.
And that’s what my P.S. does… It gives them something more to do, something to click on.
I tell the story, and then almost as an afterthought, I remind them to check out the so and so because the sale is ending, or because Joe just got one and here’s what happened to him, or because I just bought it and the trick on page 33 totally blew my mind – how stupid could I have been to have not thought of this?
You get the picture.
Your first goal in emailing your list is to GET THEM TO OPEN YOUR EMAILS.
You’ve got to train them to do this.
And you train them by giving them what they want – plenty of entertainment with some good info thrown in.
Sort of like lots of dessert with some prime rib or baked tofu (for my veggie lovers) thrown in.
No one wants all dessert all the time. Well… most people don’t. But they do want a lot of it, along with some meat, too.
70% entertainment, 20% good info, and 10% selling.
Try it for a month.
Yes, it is more work. It takes time to think up the stories and tips. But it’s worth it.
And funny thing… I’ve noticed that my stories don’t necessarily have to correlate to the product I’m selling.
Not at all.
I once told the story of getting stuck in the mud, and wrote a P.S. that said something like, “If you feel stuck in your business, check out the whazzit that will do this benefit and that benefit in no time.”
The main story had nothing to do with the product, but I just wrote a silly segue and it worked like magic.
If you can’t think of a segue, then don’t worry about it.
Just write, “P.S. Today is the last day to get XYZ at half price – only 8 hours left. Here’s the link so you can grab yours before it’s gone.”
I know I don’t sound like much of a salesperson, but I’m telling you, this works.
Try it and see for yourself.