This will increase your sales... subscribers are like dogs - they need training

9 replies
I was just going through one of my student's followup emails and what I found is something that I think will help a lot of warriors.

The noobie was attempting to put all of his content in the followup email itself. That, in my book, is a big no no.

One of the things we are attempting to do in followup emails, besides build trust and repore, is to train the reader to click on links in the email.

I recommend to my students that they always put thier free content on a separate page hosted on their site or on a free blog or site.

The emails can then generate interest and have a call to action to click the link and then when the reader does click the link, they are directed to a separate page with the article or the video or the extra free download.

Not only does this build anticipation for what you might send them next, it also has a small element of surprise - like opening a gift.

Lesson for the day - Train your readers to CLICK by keeping your content out of your emails. Put your content on a separate free hosted page, a separate page on your site, or a free blog.

Just this one thing will increase your sales - I guarantee it.
#click #email #marketing #readers #train
  • Profile picture of the author TLTheLiberator
    Great advice.

    I agree 100%, you must train your subscribers.

    I had one list that was always sent to a page that had adsense around the content and folks clicked on the adsense ads almost 60% of the time after reading the content.

    They sorta knew that they should click on an ad when they were done reading.

    It was good while it lasted.

    And I think Google does not like that type of activity.

    All The Best!!

    TL
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    "It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. -- Mark Twain

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  • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
    Originally Posted by winebuddy View Post

    I was just going through one of my student's followup emails and what I found is something that I think will help a lot of warriors.

    The noobie was attempting to put all of his content in the followup email itself. That, in my book, is a big no no.

    One of the things we are attempting to do in followup emails, besides build trust and repore, is to train the reader to click on links in the email.

    I recommend to my students that they always put thier free content on a separate page hosted on their site or on a free blog or site.

    The emails can then generate interest and have a call to action to click the link and then when the reader does click the link, they are directed to a separate page with the article or the video or the extra free download.

    Not only does this build anticipation for what you might send them next, it also has a small element of surprise - like opening a gift.

    Lesson for the day - Train your readers to CLICK by keeping your content out of your emails. Put your content on a separate free hosted page, a separate page on your site, or a free blog.

    Just this one thing will increase your sales - I guarantee it.
    I tell people this all the time. Every email you send should do two and only two things. Get opened, and get clicked. And you do this through repeated conditioning. Reward the open, reward the click. At least that's what's typically done, and I agree it works.

    I will say though, you can hybridize what you're saying, and I like to think I sort of "pioneered" this when I was running StomperNet's lists. (At least I didn't see anyone else doing it and it worked like gangbusters for StomperNet).

    Basically, you have the content in the email AND on your blog, but you position a link towards the very top of the email that tells people that they can read the same content and leave a comment on your blog. Then, put the same link at the very bottom.

    This does a few things that I think are very beneficial.

    1. It gives the prospect/consumer the perception of having options, and that you're catering to them in a means that focuses on THEIR convenience and not yours. Obviously, when your ongoing ulterior motive is to sell them things (and your audience is well aware of the fact) this can go a long way towards increasing "stick" and consumption.

    Even though they're already on your list, and they've given you what you wanted out of the initial exchange, what they see is that you keep on giving without ever asking anything in return. Even though you DO send promotions, they will tend to remember the content, and stick around.

    2. When you have content-filled emails, people will actually SAVE them and read later. I can't tell you how hard it is to track overall list results on a spreadsheet when literally HUNDREDS of people are opening and clicking on your emails MONTHS after they were sent. Of course, that's a GOOD problem to have, right?

    If you have a long-term content-based or membership-based business, this is great, because it makes your content have a higher chance of being effective, simply because the prospect at least intends to come back to it later. And even if they don't, it's only really the intention that matters. If they hoard your stuff, it means they're addicted to it. That means it's time to make more products, lol.

    Some car dealerships and shoe stores will let you take home your possible purchase to keep overnight. Once you have it, you feel like it's your own, and you don't really want to give it back. And just like a "trial period" the prospect effectively "takes possession" of the content, strengthening their connection to the ideas inside (and to you).

    Bonus tip: Everyone in the marketing world knows that the word "you" is powerful to use in copy. But one that's even more powerful is "mine" but unfortunately that's a label that only the prospect can apply. Having them think of something as "mine" in their own mind is way better than you saying to them that it's it's "yours".

    So anything you can do to get them to take an action that indicates taking possession of your material will only increase your ability to persuade them in the future. Your stuff becomes tehir stuff. Your ideas become their ideas. When you are locked in so tightly with a subscriber like this, do you know what it takes to make them buy things? All you have to tell them is that YOU want it. You don't even have to say WHY. They will want it because you want it, and they'll justify it to themselves some kind of way.

    3. Even if they don't click over, you are conditioning them that the link is there, right at the top. So when you DO run a promotion, and there IS no more content to be had in the email, the link position remains consistent and recognizable.

    What happens here is subtle. Even though the readers who choose to consume the content via email will develop a kind of "blindness" to the link, when you remove the content, the link will stand out like you want it to, but it WILL NOT be an anomaly.

    They can ignore it, but they will always remember that it's there, because it's always there.

    If you didn't include the link there at the top, on the occasions when you mixed in promotions, the link would seem blatant and would trigger resistance. I find that including the link this way every time conditions an expectation if not necessarily a behavior. A lot of marketers don't place any value on that, but let me tell you - the power to set expectations in the mind of the prospect is extremely useful.

    How? You know how you keep hearing how you need to overdeliver? Consider that if you can precisely calibrate the expectations of your audience, you can make ANY product "overdeliver". After all, satisfaction is an entirely relative perception.

    Consider also that what you're repeating over and over is "if you can't read it here, you can read it at this link", so when you ONLY have the link, that notion remains. It won't feel like an ad. It'll feel like the same action: "I can get the content at the link instead".

    4. When you provide the content in the email AND on a blog, you have a totally logical "reason" to have the links in EVERY email, even a content-based one. You're going to ask for comments EVERY SINGLE TIME. Again, even if they're not clicking the link, you're conditioning them to understand that they aren't just getting a robotic email - they are participating in an ongoing conversation, which they can always participate in, any time they choose.

    This makes you appear both sincere and approachable. Whether you actually are or not is up to you, but the appearance is more than most marketers can even manage.

    This framing of your messaging as a "conversation" has another very subtle side effect in that again, when you remove the content for a promotional email and leave only the link, the perception is NOT that of being a link that leads to an ad. Every other link you send is simply an invitation to participate in the conversation. Through consistency and conditioning, the prospect sees promotional links the same way.

    Here's something freaky.

    This is going to sound weird, but bear with me. When you have set up a repeating pattern where you have someone consume content and then ask for comment, they will automatically start thinking about the content and internalizing it just before they click the link. Or even if they don't click it. It will happen subconsciously and they won't even be able to help it. Because they read over and over "What do you think? Leave me a comment!"

    The mind does what it's told unless it has a reason to be skeptical and resist. Over time, they'll just start actually *thinking* immediately about what they've just read, because they *know* you're going to ask them to.

    It's similar to how annoying it is when someone's brain turns off during a conversation and they stop listening so they won't forget what it is THEY want to say next. It sort of forces the brain to switch gears from passively consuming to actively absorbing.

    For you NLP enthusiasts out there, this is the written equivalent of doing a touch-based induction like Erickson's handshakes.

    So what happens when you suddenly switch from content to promotion? Imagine what happens when the prospect consumes your persuasive promotional message but they read it AS IF it's content. Then out of sheer force of habit, he or she begins to internalize it subconsciously just before they click the link...

    Now, imagine your persuasive copy is designed to subtly aggravate some pain or problem they're having... They're thinking, "yeah, I guess that is a pain I have" while hovering the mouse. They click, and then immediately see a headline that promises immediate relief from that pain they just had...

    This is what's called PRE-SELLING. I didn't sell at all. I just sold them on the idea of being sold. I invited them to have a problem, which they have been conditioned to internalize. Then I leave them hanging with only a link to a product that can solve the problem.

    See the difference there is in that you aren't just using the email part of the promo to pique interest, but through long-term conditioning, you're getting them to internalize WHATEVER it is you're telling them, make it part of their own thinking, so that when they hit the salesletter or squeeze page you're promoting, they already have the concept of what you're promoting in mind.

    They're already wrestling with the problem you presented, asking themselves "what do I think about this?" - among other questions. Which ideally, the salesletter you're sending them to should answer. If you encountered a salesletter that answered questions you had in your mind before you even had the chance to ask them, do you think you might respond favorably to that message?

    I guarantee you will.

    You know that old quote from Collier's Letter Book about how you need to enter the conversation the prospect is having in their own mind? Do you get what I've been saying here now?

    Basically, through conditioning and mixing content with promotion in this way, every salesletter you promote can have this powerful feature EVEN if it isn't part of the copywriting. This is because YOU are the one that CONTROLS the TOPIC of the conversation in the first place. You start the conversation, so that when you expose them to your promotional message, it IS the conversation they're having in their own head.

    This is powerful, powerful stuff. Use with caution.
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  • Profile picture of the author winebuddy
    now THAT is an awesome post! I thought I was giving out some good info but you have REALLY broken it down.
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  • Profile picture of the author A. Green
    Winebuddy and Colin, thanks to both of you. It makes so much sense, yet I don't think I would have ever thought of it. I can think of a few lists I'm on that do this (Tiffany Dow's is one), but it seems like most don't. Then again, not all send out actual useful info.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ruth Hendrickson
      I like the idea of making emails short and adding a link to read more on a blog or web page. Some of the lists I'm subscribed to send really long emails and they're hard to read, although I'm not sure why. With the really long ones, I rarely make it to the end.
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  • Profile picture of the author mikemcmillan
    Back when I was in college (after electricity but before the covered wagons) I had a psychology teacher who called a girl up front. He had a soda straw and a little clicker thingie. He would stand close to her and blow through the soda straw into her eyes and click the clicker at the same time. After doing this 8-10 times, he clicked the clicker but didn't blow through the straw. She still blinked her eyes. He had conditioned her to associate the blast of air with the click sound.

    Kind of like what you said. If you can condition your reader (of your emails) to associate clicking on your link with something good happening (getting some free goodies at your blog). Once they get conditioned to that sequence of events, they are surely more likely to begin opening more of your emails.

    Great advice!
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    • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
      Originally Posted by mikemcmillan View Post

      Back when I was in college (after electricity but before the covered wagons) I had a psychology teacher who called a girl up front. He had a soda straw and a little clicker thingie. He would stand close to her and blow through the soda straw into her eyes and click the clicker at the same time. After doing this 8-10 times, he clicked the clicker but didn't blow through the straw. She still blinked her eyes. He had conditioned her to associate the blast of air with the click sound.

      Kind of like what you said. If you can condition your reader (of your emails) to associate clicking on your link with something good happening (getting some free goodies at your blog). Once they get conditioned to that sequence of events, they are surely more likely to begin opening more of your emails.

      Great advice!
      I'd actually never heard that experiment before, that's a great story and I might just co-opt it as my own.
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  • Profile picture of the author mikemcmillan
    Go ahead and "co-opt" it. I just stole an absolutely terrific idea from your blog. Let's say we're even--actually I'm coming out on top. Nice blog!
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  • Profile picture of the author mhendenterprises
    Terrific posts!!! Imagine, I actually learned something!!!
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