Zee2A's Marketing Edge Blog

February 3, 2010

Ethical list building: Tip 5 of 5

Today we address the 5th in our series of the Five Top Ezine Publishing Guidelines. If you’ve missed any of the previous posts, please pick up the links from our archive in the sidebar on the right of the screen.

5. Communicate with a frequency your readers expect

How often you send your email newsletter depends on how much content you include. Perhaps you send a ‘daily tip’ that is short and to the point, or you send a longer article only once a month. Either way it is best to set the expectations of your readers upfront and then stick to it.

Why? So that you keep on the radar of your prospects (which your readers ultimately are), and so that they can look forward to receiving your emails and are more likely to read them. Whatever you do, be sure not to send emails so frequently that you get on their nerves, or so infrequently that they forget who you are!

There you have it.

Please feel free to leave your thoughts on this series – even adding any top tips that you follow as an email marketer.  And if you’ve enjoyed this series of short articles and would enjoy reading more like them, please sign up for our e-zine The Marketing Edge.  We practice what we preach – promise!

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February 2, 2010

Ethical list building: Tip 4

Yesterday we discussed the third golden rule of email marketing. So far we have addressed ethical vs unethical ways of adding names to your mailing list, making it as easy as one click to be taken off a list (no haggling), and not using your own email programme or mail-merge to send your broadcasts.  Today, ethical list building tip number four is:

4. Only send relevant, useful information

Why? If the articles and information you send out are not directly related to your core business, it will do nothing other than damage your credibility rather than position you as an expert in your field. Sending information on dress and grooming are appropriate if you are an image consultant, not an accountant.

Also, if you make a habit of sending low value gumpf you will quickly irritate your readers, see your unsubscribe rates soar, and risk being marked as a spammer.

Not exactly rocket science, is it?

Tomorrow we’ll look at the 5th and final ‘top tip’ in this series.

February 1, 2010

Ethical list building: Tip 3

Last week we began our series of top tips for being a responsible, ethical, reputable email marketer. If you aren’t bothered about your reputation, or getting marked as a spammer, then stop reading – this is not for you (or perhaps you REALLY ought to be reading on….).

3. Use an automated ethical list-management service

What does that mean? It means that you don’t send your newsletter out via a distribution list in Outlook. Internet Service Providers are clamping down on this form of mass mailing, and if this is how you operate you will quickly find yourself being blacklisted as a spammer.

It also means that you don’t give your email marketing business to list managers that allow (and even encourage) dodgy list-building techniques or flout the previous two rules.

Personally we use – and highly recommend – Aweber for this very reason. They are very strict about adhering to email marketing best practices. They also refuse to do business with clients that don’t.

I Heart AWeber.com
Check back tomorrow for tip number 4.

January 29, 2010

Ethical list building: Tip 2

Yesterday we addressed the first and foremost rule that responsible e-marketers follow. If you do any form of email marketing (newsletters, ezines, mailshots – call them what you like) then you are in the right place: Read on!

2. Make unsubscribing easy!

Why? Because your subscribers are entitled to change their minds about receiving your messages, and should have their wishes respected. They should not need to explain why, nor have to beg or plead to have you honour their request.

How do you make the process quick and painless? By having a simple, one-click unsubscribe link in your message – that removes the email address completely from your database.

Dishonest e-marketers make it virtually impossible for subscribers to remove themselves. They do things like creating separate lists for each individual broadcast so that when a reader clicks the unsubscribe link they are only removed from the current mailing and not future ones. Or they insist that you log in to their system to change your preferences, but you have never created an account to log in to!

E-marketers with integrity will never employ such cowboy tactics.

Check back on Monday for our third tip.

January 28, 2010

Ethical list building: Tip 1

Over the next few days we’ll be exploring the top 5 ezine publishing guidelines that you need to follow as a reputable, ethical e-marketer. If you missed our previous post/s you can read them here. Today we look at tip number 1:

1. Only add subscribers with their permission!

Why? Well, a major reason for having an ezine or email newsletter at all is to position you as an expert in your field, to demonstrate your services, and enhance your credibility. You ruin it all by growing your subscriber base without their consent.

Additionally, people who actually want (and have asked) to hear from you are qualified prospects and are more likely to buy from you eventually. It is a complete sham to have a database of hundreds or even thousands of recipients that don’t want what you have to offer, never read your newsletters, and possibly even have your messages land straight in a junkmail folder.

How do you ensure you have their permission? By using what is known as ‘confirmed (or verified) opt-in’. This not only makes certain that every name on your mailing list has given you permission to send them your newsletters, serves to validate the email addresses you hold, and also prevents third parties from adding subscribers without their knowledge.

By definition then you would not add people to your mailing list simply because you picked up their card while networking. Neither would you mine the Yellow Pages or Chamber of Commerce member list to increase your subscriber numbers.

Responsible e-marketers regard this as standard practice.

Check back tomorrow for tip number 2.

January 27, 2010

Are you building a massive email list?

Ezines (or email newsletters) are a great way of showcasing your knowledge and positioning you as a credible expert in your field. They also allow you to stay on the radar of qualified prospects in a low-key, non-threatening way. They are low cost, created with ease, and delivered at the exact date and time that you determine.

It’s little wonder then that so many businesses are following the trend to build massive mailing lists.

Are you?

Read on over the next few days to learn the five top ezine publishing guidelines. If you don’t follow them, at best you’ll be ruining your reputation, at worst you’ll be breaking the law!  Check back tomorrow for tip number 1.

Are you sick of spam?

Like almost every email user (and that’s prettymuch everyone these days!) you probably get plenty of email newsletters landing in your inbox on a daily basis. But how many did you actually sign up to yourself?

If you’re anything like us you are probably receiving a wide variety of newsletters, offers, sales pitches, and local business announcements that you never requested.

Worse still is that if you don’t actually appreciate receiving them you probably can’t even have yourself removed from the mailing lists, can you?

It’s bad enough when you are the victim… But what if you are the perpetrator?

Over the next few days we’ll be sharing five of the top guidelines that ezine publishers need to adhere to – check back tomorrow for tip number one and make sure that you start getting it right!

May 29, 2009

Do You Need More Customers?

If you would like to receive free marketing advice to help you grow your Professional Service Business, you need to obtain a free subscription to our popular ezine The Marketing Edge(ISSN 1756-350X). Published world-wide twice a month and it’s FREE! Sign up at: http://www.zee2a.com/

There are also a number of complimentary bonuses you’ll receive: including an audio programme to help you develop your own powerful ‘Verbal Signature’ (a key marketing message); and an ebook covering the seven core principles that have to be at the heart of marketing your business. See more about the FREE STUFF at: http://www.zee2a.com/freestuff.html

Your email address will never be shared, rented, sold, or otherwise compromised – Read our full privacy policy

Read some subscriber reviews HERE

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May 19, 2009

Call For Guest Authors

writerIf you are an expert in your field and have a quality article that you think Marketing Edge readers would benefit from, we want to hear from you! We are particularly keen on the following topics to satisfy reader requests:

  • Blogging
  • Delegating and Outsourcing
  • Planning and Organising

Please send your articles (maximum of 1000 words) to info @ zee2a . com together with a photo and brief author bio. If we like your article, we will run it in a future issue. 

Our Marketing Edge readers are mainly self employed professionals, and are largely based in and around the UK, Europe, and the USA. But we also have a sprinkling of subscribers throughout Africa, the Far East, Indian sub-continent and Australasia – so while you won’t be paid for your article, you will get some great exposure!

December 12, 2008

Use a Burning Platform to Overcome Recession Fears and Close More Profitable Business!

Use a Burning Platform to
Overcome Recession Fears and
Close More Profitable Business

 

 

 

Most of our clients, and many others that we talk to lately, report that prospects are taking longer to make decisions than before the credit crunch began. Are you finding that? There are many reasons for it, but we’re going to focus on just one right now – the phenomenon of inertia. The principle of inertia states that a body will resist efforts to change it’s ‘state’ (whether a state of rest or of uniform motion).

 

 

How does this apply to our prospects? Well, they are no more immune from the laws of nature than anything else, so they will tend to resist a change (especially a change which involves their time, their money or both)! This manifests itself in the ubiquitous ‘Let me think about it’ and other delaying tactics, even if you’re sure that they realise they should be doing business with you. Yes, they may be convinced that agreeing to work with you will significantly benefit their business or their life, but that darned inertia will cause them to procrastinate and delay – sometimes indefinitely.

 

 

Of course, if that’s true at all times, it is especially true now, as we stare a recession in the face.  (As a side note: you might be ignoring the recession talk and getting on with your business – as you should be – but please be aware that your prospects may not be as successful at positive thinking as you are.)  So a prospect has even more reason now to remain inert, perhaps thinking that ‘now is not the time to be committing to new expenditure’, or ‘it would be wise to wait and see how the economy pulls through the first quarter of next year before deciding’.

 

 

So what can we do about it? How can we overcome prospect inertia and get them moving toward that aspirational outcome we will help them achieve if they only get off the fence and commit to working with us?

 

 

Create a ‘Burning Platform’

 

 

 

I heard a fascinating anecdote once. There is a brave bunch of people who choose to make a living by working on oilrigs – platforms floating way out in the North Sea off Northern Europe. Now, you may not be aware that sea temperatures in the North Sea rarely get more than a few degrees above freezing, so a person falling off one of those platforms into the sea has a life expectancy measured in seconds or minutes if they are not rescued. It would be safe to say that, under normal circumstances, nobody would choose to jump off the rig platform!

 

 

There is, however, one circumstance under which the normal pattern of behaviour is reversed – fire on the rig! Oil fires are fantastically hot and virtually impossible to extinguish, so if one breaks out on the rig it becomes a very unhealthy place to be – so unhealthy, in fact, that the few minutes of life to be found in the freezing waters below could make the difference between rescue and death.

 

 

Do you see how this might apply to your prospect’s buying decision? If you can create a ‘burning platform’ in the mind of the prospect they will have little alternative but to take the plunge and commit to your proposal. Now, let me hasten to add that I’m not talking about bullying or high-pressure sales tactics here – I’m talking about sound principles of marketing. Let’s explore them together, shall we?

 

 

If you’ve been following Zee2A’s marketing methodology for a while, you’ll understand that when we go prospecting we make a powerful promise to our prospects based on our ability to overcome their key challenges and create an aspirational outcome for them. We sincerely believe that we will be able to create that outcome, don’t we? We honestly believe that our prospect’s life and business will be the better for having worked with us, not so? And we base this conviction on our experiences with others we have worked with, for whom we have created aspirational outcomes, agreed? So we are not selling snake-oil – we really believe that our prospects are on a burning platform! All we need to do is help them to see that too.

 

 

The Cost of Inertia

 

 

 

What is the best way to accomplish that? Not by bullying of applying undue pressure! Rather, while exploring the prospect’s challenges and ‘matching’ your service offerings to those challenges, take some time to help the prospect understand the cost of inertia to them. Remember, if they delay a buying decision they are in effect delaying the achievement of that aspirational outcome you promise.

 

 

For example, if a prospect wants to grow their business but are having a hard time getting above a revenue ‘ceiling’, and we can help them to break through that ceiling and get on the way to their goals, the cost of inertia can be measured in lost revenues. You could (for example) demonstrate that if they delay by three months they will lose up to £250,000 in revenue growth over the next financial year. Quantifiable costs are always more powerful than nebulous risks, so take the time to work back to reasonable, measurable, agreed projections.

 

 

Does the prospect clearly see and understand that quantifiable ‘cost of inertia’? If so, they will begin to appreciate that they are on a burning platform and haste is needed! If not – why take the risk? That sea looks even colder than usual!

 

 

©David Deakin and Zee2A Limited 2008. Would you like to reprint this article? You may do so as long as you include the copyright notice and the following paragraph: David Deakin, CEO of Zee2A, is a marketing mentor who works with Professional services Executives yearning to take their business to the next level. Through one-on-one and group mentoring programmes he helps them to create sustainable marketing strategies that attract more clients at profitable rates. To learn more, sign up for his e-zine, or make an enquiry please visit www.zee2a.com.

 

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