Everything you thought you knew about email marketing is about to change. Email Marketing has (and is) evolved to a new level of engagement, feedback and interaction with larger and more self-sufficient audiences. There’s a lot changing between old-school email marketing and new-age email marketing. This overview is a great welcome to get you initiated into Email Marketing 2.0.
Email started in 1965 and according to Wikipedia, “an e-mail sent in the early 1970s looked very similar to one sent on the Internet today.” Not much has changed. Soon after, people started to use email for marketing, and ever since, the Internet has provided marketers a dream come true: targeted marketing, detailed tracking, the works. In the late 90’s and early 2000’s there was a flurry of software development to empower email marketers.
I’ll even admit to writing a pretty sweet web app in 2001 that probably helped contribute to our current CAN-SPAM laws. (Don’t ask what it did, but it made us a lot of money.)
The truth is, most people have still been using email marketing the same way we did years ago. But, a new evolution has taken place in the email marketing world that entrepreneurs all over the world are using to drastically increase response and sales from their emails.
Before I explain Email Marketing 2.0, let’s chat about the sales process and sales reps. Understanding the difference between a good sales rep and a bad sales rep will help you understand the important differences between email marketing 1.0 and 2.0.
A bad sales rep will typically memorize the spiel and “data dump” on the prospect regardless of what the prospect says, regardless of the person’s body language and regardless of any buying signals. They are robotic and sell much less because of their rigidness and inability to adapt the message for different people.
Want to see what I mean? Visit the mall and use your cell phone, they often are the ones hollering your description to attract you over to their kiosk and then they hard-sell you on feature comparisons before understanding why you love or hate your current phone provider.
Here’s a story to take this a step further to better showcase a bad sales rep. I received a “telemarketing” call a few months ago. The sales rep assured me it was only a survey, not a sales pitch. I’m a nice guy; I let her continue. It was a survey about TV. One of the questions was: Which network do you turn to for news? The multiple choose options were something like: ABC, CNN, NBC, FOX News. I told the lady that I never watch the news on TV. The little news I pay attention to is all on the Web. She didn’t believe me and insisted that I choose one of the options. I said, “None of the above.” She wouldn’t accept that as an answer. We went back and forth for a couple of minutes and I grew more frustrated with her and insisted that if I chose one of her options it would be a lie and her “survey” data would be skewed. She insisted that she couldn’t continue with the survey unless I chose an option. I ended up hanging up on her because she couldn’t be flexible and adapt.
Joe Manna, a former market research interviewer, adds more depth, “Legitimate tele-surveys almost always yield an option for ‘none’ or ‘not applicable.’ Usually surveys narrow in on a brand or an industry and disqualify those outside certain demographics or quotas. This is probably why the person didn’t honor your ‘none’ response, so they can manipulate and receive credit for it. As you concluded, it’s a sale, even it’s just for public opinion.”
A good sales rep, on the other hand, will listen (a lot) and adapt the message to the prospect’s needs. Good sales reps sell significantly more because they are always able to share something relevant to the prospect. They listen, adapt, and share the right message for every individual prospect every time.
Now let’s get back to email marketing. Email marketing 1.0 is akin to the bad sales rep. Even most modern-day autoresponders do a poor job. Let’s look at an example:
You sell widgets. Your email marketing is top-notch because you have built a targeted list. Your list is comprised only of people who have expressed interest in your widget AND your free report on “The Top 5 Pitfalls You Must Avoid When Buying Widgets” AND your eBook entitled “What You Don’t Want Your Mom To Know About Your Widget”. 🙂 You’re using an autoresponder that educates, provides value, and “drips” on your prospects using 4 emails sent over a period of 21 days.
What if a prospect is not interested after email number two? A good sales rep would adapt the message and try a different approach or move on to the next prospect — not your autoresponder! Your autoresponder will keep sending email 3, email 4 and try to close the deal in email 5. Have you ever tried to close someone who’s not interested? Its painful for you and for them. In the end, your autoresponder may lose deals because it doesn’t adapt and may tick a few people off for trying to sell them when they’re not ready. Even worse (for you) is if the person expresses interest after email #2. You’re not going to send them an offer for 12 more days. What if by then they’ve turned to a competitor or lost interest when your offer comes around? You lose.
But what if your autoresponder could adapt like a good sales rep? What if your autoresponder had gathered necessary info along the way in the same way that a good sales rep listens and takes notes? What if you’re autoresponder could automatically stop the current sequence and start a different sequence perfectly tailored to the prospect’s needs?
Email Marketing 1.0 requires that you send the same message to everybody regardless of how they may feel toward your product or message.
Email Marketing 2.0 is different because it listens, takes notes, and acts for you automatically to adapt the message appropriately.
This is only possible when you tie your customer database (dubbed, “CRM”) to your email marketing engine and throw in a healthy dose of automation. That’s the beginning of the email marketing 2.0 framework. Add direct mail, voice & fax broadcasts, other consumer-friendly media, as well as customer purchase data and you get a fully functioning, super efficient sales machine (good sales rep) that never sleeps, never forgets a task, never messes up, never takes coffee breaks and costs a fraction of a real sales rep. Which of your competitors are doing all of that? Now you’ve got an edge. 😉
Let’s go back to our example of selling widgets.
Under the email marketing 2.0 model things are entirely different. If someone expresses interest in Widget A after the second email, your email marketing 2.0 engine will stop the autoresponder sequence and send an offer email right away. If a person expresses interest in Widget B after email 3, your email marketing system will stop the autoresponder about Widget A and start a separate autoresponder about Widget B finishing with an offer. Since your prospect and customer data is housed in your email marketing 2.0 system, you can find targeted segments of people and send them very relevant messages that allow you to “harvest” money from you list. You’d do a search for all of your customers that have bought Widget A, given you a testimonial about the widget, and never bought widget B, but clicked on a link for Widget B in the last 3 months. It only takes about 20 seconds. Then you’d send that targeted list of people a special offer for Widget B.
Basically this gives you a few levers and buttons to make money. One day, you feel like making money so you push the green button. Another day, you feel like making some more money, so you pull the yellow lever. Email marketing 2.0 makes it that easy. All along the way, your customers and prospects are in control.
Right now, we’ll help you launch your first email marketing 2.0 campaign for free. Stop marketing like a bad sales rep and get on the path to doubling your sales (or much more). I’ll be writing more about email marketing 2.0, but I’m interested in hearing your thoughts and questions. Let me know in the comments!