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Marketing Strategies That Work: The Power of Permission E-Mail Marketing-Part II

February 1, 2007
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Last month we looked at the “why” of e-mail marketing. Now we’ll explore the “how” of setting up your Permission E-Mail Marketing System and getting e-mail addresses from your clients and prospects.

Be sure when asking for your client’s e-mail address that you ask in the right way.


Remember, as I mentioned last month, there is a big difference between learning this strategy and doing it. What is the difference? Money. Those who implement make money. Those who don’t, well…don’t. Most small businesses that fail don’t fail because they don’t know enough. They fail because of F.T.I. (Failure To Implement). They know what to do and how to do it, but they just don’t.

Say goodbye to F.T.I. and just do it.

How to Implement Your Permission E-Mail Marketing System

Step 1: Subscribe to Constant Contact’s “Do It Yourself E-Mail Marketing” Program at www.rovingsoftware.com. You can try it for free for 60 days.

Step 2: Enter your subscriber list.

Step 3: Begin e-mailing your subscriber list using the following tips.

Be an Invited Guest, Not an Annoying Pest

Don’t over use the permission that has been given you. The program will tell you how many people “opt out” or unsubscribe. Sometimes SPAM filters catch your e-mail and the subscriber didn’t opt out, but if you see a big spike, it could be that your message was off, or it could be that you are sending your message too often. Every industry is different. In my marketing business, I found that most people don’t mind hearing from me twice a week, but with my high-end carpet-cleaning firm, I found 14 days to be a good number. The every-other-week frequency seems to keep them engaged and keep them from opting out.

Be sure to add value to the message. Don’t just send special offers. Instead, educate them with a valuable message and always reward them for opening the e-mail by giving them some type of special offer for being an “e-mail subscriber.” Give them something that your “regular” clients don’t get. For example, if you have a special offer going, let them get in early, or extend it just for them. Give them a small extra service with purchase of a regular service.

"Permission Marketing"

Marketing Guru Seth Godin wrote a book called “Permission Marketing.” In it he shares how “interruption marketing” used by mass media doesn’t work anymore. Instead, a smaller audience that has given you permission to market to them will pay more attention to a message that is “Anticipated – people look forward to hearing from you, Personal – the messages are directly related to the individual, and Relevant – the marketing is about something the prospect is interested in.

Give them valuable information that will help them, but that also helps them to learn about your products and services. This is a form of “Education Marketing” or “Experiential Marketing.”

How to Get E-Mail Addresses from Your Clients

The best way to get e-mail addresses from your clients is to ask for them when you take down their address and phone number. But you have to ask in the right way.

As you are gathering routine information such as name, address and phone number, you simply say, “And that e-mail address is?” Say it with a positive, assumptive tone just like you asked for the other information. Using the word “that” instead of “your” positions it as less personal. You don’t want to raise any red flags that aren’t already there.

In some cases, people will give it to you right away. If they hesitate, say, “Well, the only reason we ask for it is, it allows us to send you great tips on caring for your carpet and upholstery, and we sometimes send out special offers only via e-mail. We promise not to abuse the privilege and we certainly don’t offer our lists to anyone. You can also unsubscribe at any time.”

Be sure to use the entire script. If you leave one item out, it could be the one item you need. If they are still hesitant, drop the subject for now. However, there are several other ways to get them to give you an e-mail address:
  • Pay them for it. Give them a special offer or discount now for providing the e-mail address. Why would you want to do this when they are going to book a job anyway? To create customer retention, customer loyalty, sell more services sooner and generate more referrals. The more you are “top of mind,” the more activity you will get.
  • Have an “Opt-In” box on your Web site that offers the Free E-Mail Newsletter.
  • Advertise it in your newsletter and snail mailers.
  • When you are talking with a client or prospect, if they happen to be a professional, ask them for their card. If it has an e-mail address on it, say “Would you like for me to add you to our free e-mail newsletter so you can get care tips for your (fill in the blank) and special Internet offers?” They will usually say yes – maybe even with the intention of opting out later. But if your e-mail campaigns are valuable – and not invasive – they will most likely remain a subscriber.

I hope this strategy puts more money in your pocket. Next month we’ll look at the “Greatest Marketing Tool of All Time,” a tool that every small-business owner in America should be using, but very few are. In fact, I would almost bet that you haven’t even heard about it. Can’t wait? That’s the point! Until then, remember to kill F.T.I. dead! If you liked this article, circle 140 on the Reader Inquiry Card.

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