Become a friend and people will buy from you - REALLY?

86 replies
Become a friend and people will buy from you. Become friends with your email list. Write to them as if they were a friend.

I hear this advice a lot. And I have doubts as to this being true.

How many solutions to problems do you buy from friends? Or...do you buy solutions to problems from people who have achieved the goal you want to get? Maybe people you see as someone you can learn from.

Do you have to think of someone like a friend to buy from them, I don't think so.

But, you do have to believe them and you have to like their teaching style.

I've seen advice of "write your marketing emails like you're a friend" I've also seen these same people talk against using pre-written autoresponders because "everyone knows they are pre-written" so it's not authentic....well, I ask the question - Doesn't everyone know you aren't really their friend?

I have my friends person email and can email them personally any time I want.
I can ask a friend for $50

I can do that with a friend, not with a marketer who writes an email as if I were a friend.

Amazon seems to make plenty of sales and I know they ain't my friend.

I get many straight sales emails from companies - and I know they ain't my friend either, but if they have stuff for sale I am interested in, I'll take a look at what they have.

The thing is...something like this is a theory...it's not backed by hard numbers.
#buy #friend #people
  • Profile picture of the author Lisa Gergets
    Hmmm...seems to work quite well for me.
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Brock
      OK what they are referring to is when you become a friend to someone they trust you more.

      Instead of being some random guy that is emailing them every day, they actually look at your emails because they know your name, and will be MORE LIKELY to buy whatever you have to offer because they believe you.

      Now that doesn't mean you have to be 'buddy buddy' with them.

      They just need to know you, what you are about, and that they can actually trust your opinion.

      Once they trust you, the sales will reflect it.

      I can tell you for a fact this works because all of my earlier projects where I didn't quite understand how to 'make friends' all have done poorly.

      Now that I understand what it takes to be an online friend, my sales have significantly improved.

      Just my 2 cents on the topic.
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      • Profile picture of the author jamawebinc
        Originally Posted by Daniel Brock View Post

        OK what they are referring to is when you become a friend to someone they trust you more.

        Instead of being some random guy that is emailing them every day, they actually look at your emails because they know your name, and will be MORE LIKELY to buy whatever you have to offer because they believe you.

        Now that doesn't mean you have to be 'buddy buddy' with them.

        They just need to know you, what you are about, and that they can actually trust your opinion.

        Once they trust you, the sales will reflect it.

        I can tell you for a fact this works because all of my earlier projects where I didn't quite understand how to 'make friends' all have done poorly.

        Now that I understand what it takes to be an online friend, my sales have significantly improved.

        Just my 2 cents on the topic.
        I think I agree with just about everything you have said, but I don't consider what you are talking about as being a friend. If I opted into someones list for a freebie and I thought their information was really something special - I take notice of them and their name, etc.

        When they emailed me, I would take notice because of their information.

        But, they didn't have to write like a friend, they just had to prove to me that they new what they were talking about, could solve a problem, etc. That would build the trust - not being a friend.

        I've had discussions with friends about doing business online - and I like these people, but i wouldn't buy something from them because I think they don't know what they are talking about when it comes to the topic.
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        • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
          I think you should test your theory....

          Start mailing your list treating them like they are nothing but email addresses with paypal accounts or credit cards...Let me know how it works out
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          • Profile picture of the author jamawebinc
            Originally Posted by Jeremy Kelsall View Post

            I think you should test your theory....

            Start mailing your list treating them like they are nothing but email addresses with paypal accounts or credit cards...Let me know how it works out
            I don't recall saying that was my theory.

            But I did say this:

            Originally Posted by jamawebinc View Post

            How many solutions to problems do you buy from friends? Or...do you buy solutions to problems from people who have achieved the goal you want to get? Maybe people you see as someone you can learn from.

            Do you have to think of someone like a friend to buy from them, I don't think so.

            But, you do have to believe them and you have to like their teaching style.
            There is a difference.
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    • Profile picture of the author dessy
      Hmmm...seems to work quite well for me.i just hope i am in the right site that can show me how to make money online
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  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    There's a difference between pretending just to make a sale off someone and actually helping (befriending) someone. That's where you confusion comes from, I think. One is cynical, which many people can smell a mile away. The other is genuine, and that's what it really means. And yes, when you're genuine - warts and all - people do respond and buy things from you.

    John
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Fladlien
      I think a lot of you guys need to remember this...

      Just because ONE way to do email marketing works, it doesn't mean EVERY OTHER WAY doesn't work.

      There is more than one "right" way. A lot of it has to do with positioning and your own persona/personality. For example, it'd be downright stupid for the rich jerk to have been "friendly" in his emails.

      But if your a 65 year old lady who discovered how to make a killing online... then it's probably best to USE that positioning to your advantage... and write like it's from "grandma".

      Also, there are things in this business called TRANSITIONS.

      Quick question - what email are you most likely to open... one who is coming from a long lost friend you haven't heard from years who is just emailing you out of the blue... or your average marketer making an average big promise of benefit?

      Answer - long lost friend.

      So that's for OPENING the freaking email. NOT making the sale. THEN... once the email is open... you can USE that rapport to communicate value... and then parlay that into a call to action.

      That's one way that works REALLY well. Isn't the only way. But it DOES work.

      here's two subject lines I tested once...

      subject line 1: I got kicked out of preschool
      subject line 2: how to make more sales by disobeying authority...

      Guess which one got the most open rates? And click thru rates? And sales?

      Number 1. Last question - which of the two subject lines above sounds more like it's coming from a friend?

      One last observation... to the people who say they would never buy from a friend. NEVER? NEVER EVER? That's sad. I buy from my friends all the time. Why? Because most of my friends share the same values as I do. They like to create things that can positively impact others... and when they have good deals... I scoop them up. And vice versa.

      If you'd never buy anything from friends... I say you need new friends

      -Jason
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      • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
        Originally Posted by Brutus View Post

        I think it works, it proves that youre human. Its what frank kern and jason moffat do and they make bajillions
        And just what is at the heart of making bajillions?

        Originally Posted by Jason Fladlien View Post


        If you'd never buy anything from friends... I say you need new friends

        -Jason
        Amen.
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        • Profile picture of the author All Night Cafe
          Originally Posted by avenuegirl View Post

          And just what is at the heart of making bajillions?



          Amen.
          Good answer. They make bajillions because they have built
          relationship with their buyers.
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    • Profile picture of the author Marhelper
      Originally Posted by Zeus66 View Post

      There's a difference between pretending just to make a sale off someone and actually helping (befriending) someone. That's where you confusion comes from, I think. One is cynical, which many people can smell a mile away. The other is genuine, and that's what it really means. And yes, when you're genuine - warts and all - people do respond and buy things from you.

      John

      Yeah, I agree. People know when you really care and are not just trying to make a buck. There is nothing wrong with making money but value and concern should trump the monetary IMO.
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  • Profile picture of the author ozduc
    I tend to agree. In fact If I open an email and it starts with "Dear Friend" I hit the delete button immediately.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nic Lynn
    I think you might be taking people's advice a bit too literally.

    When people like Kelsall advocate communicating "like a friend" they really are saying "don't act like a robot." Specifically, the double-click down into the advice is this:

    1. Be conversational in style, just like when you are talking to a friend. Don't sound like an academic textbook. You are a person, not a piece of marketing collateral.

    2. Try to relate to your list about the things that you both care about in common (family, friends, the pursuit of happiness). Don't be some stranger behind the IM curtain.

    3. Add actual value to the conversation, don't just recycle the latest affiliate product launch junk.

    4. Don't blindly and constantly bombard your list with a bunch of nonsense. Communicate when you have something you think they might like.

    5. Generally, treat people with kindness, humor and respect.

    I'm pretty sure you can go through your email RIGHT NOW and find communications from IMers who follow that advice and who don't. Who are you likey to trust? Who are you likely to buy from more? Seems like simple and true advice to me.
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    • Profile picture of the author thenextcameron
      Originally Posted by Nic Lynn View Post

      I think you might be taking people's advice a bit too literally.

      When people like Kelsall advocate communicating "like a friend" they really are saying "don't act like a robot." Specifically, the double-click down into the advice is this:

      1. Be conversational in style, just like when you are talking to a friend. Don't sound like an academic textbook. You are a person, not a piece of marketing collateral.

      2. Try to relate to your list about the things that you both care about in common (family, friends, the pursuit of happiness). Don't be some stranger behind the IM curtain.

      3. Add actual value to the conversation, don't just recycle the latest affiliate product launch junk.

      4. Don't blindly and constantly bombard your list with a bunch of nonsense. Communicate when you have something you think they might like.

      5. Generally, treat people with kindness, humor and respect.

      I'm pretty sure you can go through your email RIGHT NOW and find communications from IMers who follow that advice and who don't. Who are you likey to trust? Who are you likely to buy from more? Seems like simple and true advice to me.
      Yes, I agree with you
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  • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
    Originally Posted by jamawebinc View Post

    Become a friend and people will buy from you. Become friends with your email list. Write to them as if they were a friend.

    I hear this advice a lot. And I have doubts as to this being true.

    How many solutions to problems do you buy from friends? Or...do you buy solutions to problems from people who have achieved the goal you want to get? Maybe people you see as someone you can learn from.

    Do you have to think of someone like a friend to buy from them, I don't think so.

    But, you do have to believe them and you have to like their teaching style.

    I've seen advice of "write your marketing emails like you're a friend" I've also seen these same people talk against using pre-written autoresponders because "everyone knows they are pre-written" so it's not authentic....well, I ask the question - Doesn't everyone know you aren't really their friend?

    I have my friends person email and can email them personally any time I want.
    I can ask a friend for $50

    I can do that with a friend, not with a marketer who writes an email as if I were a friend.

    Amazon seems to make plenty of sales and I know they ain't my friend.

    I get many straight sales emails from companies - and I know they ain't my friend either, but if they have stuff for sale I am interested in, I'll take a look at what they have.

    The thing is...something like this is a theory...it's not backed by hard numbers.
    I think you're misinterpreting what's being said and being
    far too literal about it.

    What I've seen is advice to write AS IF your're talking to
    a friend... not as if you are their friend.

    That simply means to write in a more casual tone like you're
    speaking directly to someone you know.

    It's a fact, not theory, that people prefer to buy from
    someone... or some company... they know, like and trust.

    I buy from Amazon because I know who they are. I like
    how they do business... and I trust them to deliver on their
    promises. It's really as simple as that.

    If a prospect doesn't feel like they know who you are... or
    does know who you are but doesn't like or trust you... you're
    chances of making a sale to them are less than zero.

    Tsnyder
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    If you knew what I know you'd be doing what I do...
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  • Profile picture of the author Jarrett
    Banned
    Here's what it comes down to.

    People buy from folks that they know, like, and trust... bottom line.

    It's the same reason why you always get your car fixed up by Mike at the repair shop down the street. He might not have the greatest prices, or the best customer service in the business.. but you know him, he's a great guy, you trust him, and you already have established repertoire with him.

    It's the same reason why Slap Chop sold like crazy! People loved the guy on the commercials.. They liked him, trusted him, and were thereby much more likely to buy from him and whatever he had to offer.

    The same is true with internet marketing.

    Yes. There is some truth to what you're saying.. at the end of the day one of the most important reasons that is going to move you to press the buy button is 'What's in it for me?'

    If that product SOLVES one of your GREATEST problems then you'll buy it regardless how much you like or dislike the person selling it.. Which is why it's so important to focus on the #1 biggest motivating factor throughout your whole sales funnel.

    But if you are able to establish trust and build up a relationship with that person WHILE at the same time clearly conveying that your product solves his greatest problem.. you are going to see sales SKYROCKET!

    So focus on both.. and you'll rock it =)
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  • Profile picture of the author WD Mino
    Ok let me put it like this.

    People associate. If you send them emails promoting everything under the sun they will simply unsubscribe and may even email you with their distaste for what your doing.

    If you email them and try to relate things like 'today has been weird the rain starts then the sun comes up then it starts snowing what a strange day this is. Or My friend said to me the other day hey Will why don't you lay off a little on the work you do it too much man not good for you" things that make you like a real person ya know?

    People don't want to be treated like they are nothing. they don't wish to be marketed to by everyone and their dog and the chances of them buying anything from you without actually contributing to their success providing solutions to their problems and allowing for some sort of shred of your humanity to come through they simply will not even listen. so this is why it is advised Nay expected to relate to your list an ATM machine the list can be but ya know what even bank tellers have to be trained before they hand out cash
    -WD
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    • Profile picture of the author jamawebinc
      Let me just state a few names...

      Armand Morin

      Mike Filsaime

      Ryan Deiss

      None of these people tried to become my friend before they tried to sell me something. They maybe tried to prove they had something I would benefit from, but there's a difference.
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      • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
        Originally Posted by jamawebinc View Post

        Let me just state a few names...

        Armand Morin

        Mike Filsaime

        Ryan Deiss

        None of these people tried to become my friend before they tried to sell me something. They maybe tried to prove they had something I would benefit from, but there's a difference.
        Are you just being deliberately obtuse? Nobody said they
        tried to become your friend... or that you, or anyone else...
        should try to become friends with everyone or anyone.

        What pretty much everyone who responded to you said is that
        you should write in a casual style AS IF you were talking one on
        one with a friend.

        Tsnyder
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        If you knew what I know you'd be doing what I do...
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        • Profile picture of the author Killer Joe
          Originally Posted by Tsnyder View Post

          Are you just being deliberately obtuse? Nobody said they tried to become your friend... or that you, or anyone else...
          should try to become friends with everyone or anyone.

          What pretty much everyone who responded to you said is that
          you should write in a casual style AS IF you were talking one on
          one with a friend.

          Tsnyder
          I think he's just blitzing the board right now with a bunch of these posts. At least that's the way it looks from the number of posts (not necessarily a bad thing).

          Who knows, throw enough stuff against the wall and something's likely to stick.

          Maybe he should put them in his blog.

          Just sayin'...

          ~Bill
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        • Profile picture of the author jamawebinc
          Originally Posted by Tsnyder View Post

          Are you just being deliberately obtuse? Nobody said they
          tried to become your friend... or that you, or anyone else...
          should try to become friends with everyone or anyone.

          What pretty much everyone who responded to you said is that
          you should write in a casual style AS IF you were talking one on
          one with a friend.

          Tsnyder
          Now why does this have to turn into an insult?

          And, the impression I get from your reply is that since a few people agreed with you, that it should be "case closed", and the whole point of my original post is that I question this "commonly repeated theory" that's all.

          I wasn't asking for help, I was questioning a commonly held belief.

          If there is anything I did wrong it's not communicating the point better in my original post that I was not asking for advice, just presenting a contrasting opinion and seeing what others thought

          You can disagree, that's fine.

          And, just to repeat something Armand Morin said. You DON'T want a list of friends. You want a list of people that are your FOLLOWERS and there is a difference.

          And in my opinion, the 3 names I mentioned do not write emails to their list as you would write to a friend, they write their emails as if they have something to sell to a list of possible buyers.

          They didn't get me to like them, and they didn't get me to know them before the tried to sell me something. They perhaps got me to trust them by giving me some information in exchange for my email address.

          Have you heard other marketing experts say that the prospects' excitement for what you have to offer, is greatest when they first come in contact with what you are offering.

          You will get your highest conversion percentage of prospects to buyers when the prospect first made contact with you and then the percentage decreases the longer time passes from that first contact.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
        Originally Posted by jamawebinc View Post

        Let me just state a few names...

        Armand Morin

        Mike Filsaime

        Ryan Deiss

        None of these people tried to become my friend before they tried to sell me something. They maybe tried to prove they had something I would benefit from, but there's a difference.
        If you have a list with a million people on it - the odds are always in your favor.

        How do you think that Mike, Armand, and Ryan got to where they are today?

        Although, I don't know a single one of them, never talked to them, and probably never will - I can guess that at one time they were very accessible to the people on their lists...and "friends".
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        • Profile picture of the author jamawebinc
          Originally Posted by Jeremy Kelsall View Post

          If you have a list with a million people on it - the odds are always in your favor.

          How do you think that Mike, Armand, and Ryan got to where they are today?

          Although, I don't know a single one of them, never talked to them, and probably never will - I can guess that at one time they were very accessible to the people on their lists...and "friends".
          I've been getting emails from filsaime for years and armand morin even longer, and they haven't changed their email style at all.
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      • Profile picture of the author MissDarling
        Originally Posted by jamawebinc View Post

        Let me just state a few names...

        Armand Morin

        Mike Filsaime

        Ryan Deiss

        None of these people tried to become my friend before they tried to sell me something. They maybe tried to prove they had something I would benefit from, but there's a difference.
        Not for nothing but anytime I have bought from Mike F. I ended up unsubscribing from his list because I just don't like his emails much. I guess if I felt I could really relate to him on a somewhat more genuine level I might have bought a heck of a lot more!

        I just chased down someone to please please please show me how to do something a certain way and they got a lot of money out of me because I felt like they were more friendly and I could definitely relate to them.

        I think being genuinely friendly and not like a "sales robot" is a huge factor in gaining success in Internet marketing.
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        MissDarling

        East Coast, USA

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  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    I'm trying to think if I've ever bought a thing that guys like Filsaime, Deiss, etc. have ever put out. I don't think I have. But I have bought and will probably continue buying stuff put out by many people on this forum who I've gotten to know a bit from interacting with them. I think when you're new you fall for the glamour of big names because you see other people talking about them a lot. But in the longer run, it's the people you get to know and have some interaction with that you trust and buy from. Not for everyone, of course, but I think this is true for most. I have nothing to go on in saying that other than my discussions with many others in this niche, so it's just my opinion, but I think it's probably a representative sample. For what it's worth.

    John
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  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    I think this has devolved largely into a semantics pissing match. "Friend" and "trusted adviser" and "follower" all point to the same condition: rapport. However you choose to refer to it, it's ultimately about rapport (which is just another label, I know). The problem with the OP's comments is that they start in medias res... in the middle of things. In the case of well known marketers like Filsaime, Deiss, Kern, etc., we're analyzing how they do things after they've established themselves. It's a pretty safe bet that those guys didn't start out doing things just like they do now. Your tactics evolve as your name becomes established (branded). Good luck when you're new in a niche if you come right out of the gate as a "nobody" and start blasting sales pitches at people on your list. I suppose if you figure out a way to get a crapload of new list subscribers to outweigh all the disgusted unsubs you'll be getting, it could work. Doesn't seem very productive to me, though.

    John
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by jamawebinc View Post

      But, they didn't have to write like a friend, they just had to prove to me that they new what they were talking about, could solve a problem, etc. That would build the trust - not being a friend.
      There's a Catch-22 going on here. Until you become known and trusted (friend or any other label you care to use), you aren't going to sell much of any value. And you probably aren't going to become known or trusted if you sound like a spec sheet or tax bulletin.

      I think courses teach people to communicate with their list members "as if they were friends" because it's an analogy that anyone who has ever had a friend can grasp...

      You mentioned Amazon earlier. If I got an email from Amazon.com, Inc. that sounded like my fishing buddy telling me a story, I'd be suspicious because there is a disconnect. On the other hand, if I own shares of Amazon.com, Inc. and I get a letter from Jeff Bezos that sounded like a product page from his company web site, I'd also be suspicious because of the disconnect.

      I expect corporations to sound like corporations.

      I expect CEOs to sound like CEOs.

      And I expect individuals trying to earn my trust to sound like individuals.

      I've been taught to create relationships with customers and prospects. I've been taught to write to them as if we were face to face, as I would talk to a friend rather than as a billboard. Nothing I've been taught has told me I have to be friends with someone to sell them something or to buy something from them. Sometimes it happens, and that's fine.
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      • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        There's a Catch-22 going on here. Until you become known and trusted (friend or any other label you care to use), you aren't going to sell much of any value. And you probably aren't going to become known or trusted if you sound like a spec sheet or tax bulletin.

        I think courses teach people to communicate with their list members "as if they were friends" because it's an analogy that anyone who has ever had a friend can grasp...

        You mentioned Amazon earlier. If I got an email from Amazon.com, Inc. that sounded like my fishing buddy telling me a story, I'd be suspicious because there is a disconnect. On the other hand, if I own shares of Amazon.com, Inc. and I get a letter from Jeff Bezos that sounded like a product page from his company web site, I'd also be suspicious because of the disconnect.

        I expect corporations to sound like corporations.

        I expect CEOs to sound like CEOs.

        And I expect individuals trying to earn my trust to sound like individuals.

        I've been taught to create relationships with customers and prospects. I've been taught to write to them as if we were face to face, as I would talk to a friend rather than as a billboard. Nothing I've been taught has told me I have to be friends with someone to sell them something or to buy something from them. Sometimes it happens, and that's fine.
        You my friend, are spot on!

        The key word being relationship. There are many types of relationships that involve trust, integrity, loyalty, etc.

        The mechanic down the road I have a trusting relationship with as he's always given me a good deal, been honest and upfront with me, I appreciate it and am a return customer.

        The cashier at this grocery store always talks to me, asks me questions regarding my husband, children, etc. She's very friendly and always calls me by name. I like that and do all my grocery shopping at this grocery store.

        These definately are relationships built and I am a repeat customer, I am loyal. It is on a personal level to some degree. But "friends" as my best friend since high school? No, not so much.

        Again, it is relationship! Well put John!

        Terra
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  • Profile picture of the author MarketingSPY
    Bottom Line: It depends on WHO your market is. It is almost silly to use "friendly" autoresponders when promoting IM products to marketers because they "know" the tricks and doesn't seem sincere. Maybe you should "broadcast" your list to get your message across.

    However, in other markets a "friendly" autoresponder series may work well. People enjoy buying from those they "like" and "trust". Period.

    Happy Trails!
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    • Profile picture of the author Johneal
      I think it's a matter of personal style....whether you prefer to have a 'warm and friendly' connection with someone you buy from or can relate to buying from someone you simply see as offering value.

      Interesting that i came to this post to find out more about you,considering that i was sort of interested in the Mini launch special offer thread you put up here on Warrior forum.

      And i am one of those persons, who wouldn't generally buy from Mike Filsaime or Ryan Deiss, because i sense the lack of warmth from their emails....and i would have to admit that this thread hasn't inclined me to feeling more comfortable with you...so yes i consider coming across as a friend may be important enough to make a difference in a lot of cases.

      Again my views are obviously a reflection of me, and not of you in anyway.. Thanks for the post..
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  • Profile picture of the author fitz10
    Ever hear of a little company making billions per year called Avon? Ever hear of Tupperware party? Why do people buy makeup or skin products from a trusted Avon representative? Why do people buy Tupperware from Tupperware parties when they can easily go down to WalMart and buy the same thing, probably for less? It's because the representatives for these companies have developed a rapport with the people they're selling to. So while it's impossible to become best buddies with a 10,000 person email list, I'd at the very least say it's important to become a person who people trust and have some sort of familiar relationship to.

    The other day I was at the Avon site and almost bought something but then said to myself, "I better buy this from my Avon rep because I want her to get the commission." You want your list to be feeling that way about you-- that they would go out of their way to make sure you get their business.
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  • Profile picture of the author FriendlyRob
    I prefer to think of myself as a mentor. I truly believe that if most of the people on my list will succeed,then I will succeed.

    But I see your point. With a personal friend, I would sit side by side with him walking him through everything I know and not expect a dime in return.

    There needs to be a middle ground.
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  • Profile picture of the author sdentrepreneur
    That's how I use Social Media for sales, I become friends with like minded individuals. I have bought things from them and they have purchased products and training from me.
    Build trust first, sales second.....
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    • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
      Originally Posted by sdentrepreneur View Post

      That's how I use Social Media for sales, I become friends with like minded individuals. I have bought things from them and they have purchased products and training from me.
      Build trust first, sales second.....
      Once again, you state my sentiments exactly!

      Let's hope people are understanding the scope of "relationship" now!

      MissTerraK
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  • Profile picture of the author ozduc
    I think some marketers may take it too literally
    See here.
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  • Profile picture of the author DigiCypher
    I think the main difference here is that you're taking it that you need to try and establish a literal friendship with the person (or at least that's how you come across in your post above).

    In reality, you aren't trying to become someones actual "friend". If you have an email list of 1500+ or however many people, it would be impossible to consider every single person on there a true friend, and as you stated above, they more than likely won't think of you as a true friend.

    So rather than try to establish a "friend to friend" kind of relationship, you're essentially just being "friend-LY". Being friendly in a manner that helps to establish trust with the prospective customer and drive sales.

    It's the difference between just coming off as a blatent salesman, and a friendly person who's honestly trying to help solve someone else's problem (at least that's what the prospect needs to THINK).

    It's all about instilling trust to help drive sales. I'd rather buy something from someone who seems like a genuinely good person, rather than some random guy just trying to make a buck off of me.

    BUT I suppose there could be a somewhat conflict of interest if the niche you are targeting calls for a different approach. For instance, if you are doing the generic weight-loss product, you want to establish that "friendly" kind of trust.

    On the other hand, If you target audience is more internet savvy, and possibly more business minded, then you may want to simply present the facts of the product you are promoting. Soft-sell them, but in that instance you wouldn't necessarily need the "I'm just a helpful, friendly guy" kind of demeanor in your writing.

    All that being said, it's also worth noting that as one thing works for one person, it won't necessarily work for another. The friendly attitude in your writing may not be you strong point, you may be in a different niche, etc.

    Anyway, that's my thought.

    Cheers!
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  • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
    Lean on me ... when your not strong ... I'll be your friend ... I'll help you carry on .
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    • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
      If my friends can solve a problem for me, they just do it at no cost.

      If they know of a solution that is going to cost me money, I listen closely to what they suggest.
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    • Profile picture of the author ozduc
      Originally Posted by Troy_Phillips View Post

      Lean on me ... when your not strong ... I'll be your friend ... I'll help you carry on .
      Hey i have a great little melody that would go with those words.
      Maybe we could write a song together
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      • Profile picture of the author oneplusone
        Promoting products/services that deliver the goods, provide a happy experience is far more important than the relationship aspect.

        The biggest anchors are formed when people are actually spending their money.

        IF....Spending their money with you = Happy experience.....

        they will keep buying your stuff....
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  • Profile picture of the author Brutus
    I think it works, it proves that youre human. Its what frank kern and jason moffat do and they make bajillions
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  • Profile picture of the author quiescen
    Ethan, here's a perfect example. I got on your list maybe 2 days ago. You bombarded me with emails BEFORE I got to know, like, or even determine if what you offer is something I might want to buy or get to know better.

    The result? I unsubscribed from your list.

    Now, if you respected ME instead of trying to do a hard sell, I'd be much more inclined to investigate and buy from you.
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    • Profile picture of the author jamawebinc
      wow, I hadn't checked this thread in awhile.

      It's surprising what takes off.


      Originally Posted by quiescen View Post

      Ethan, here's a perfect example. I got on your list maybe 2 days ago. You bombarded me with emails BEFORE I got to know, like, or even determine if what you offer is something I might want to buy or get to know better.

      The result? I unsubscribed from your list.

      Now, if you respected ME instead of trying to do a hard sell, I'd be much more inclined to investigate and buy from you.
      Let me just say, that I was announcing a new product going on sale so I sent 3 emails in 2 days. If that's bombarding, fine. Maybe it's bad timing. But actually, even though that list you were on is not very big, you were the only person on the list who unsubscribed.

      And here is the opening to the first email you received. Is this email really hard selling to you?

      ------------
      Hi,

      A while ago you gave me your email in exchange for seeing a free video
      where I went over the exact steps I used to make a "little launch"
      that made me $10,000 in 4 weeks ( and more money after that)

      What if you could look over my shoulder and copy exactly
      what I did for your own business?

      Now you can...and you can so immediately.

      For the full story go here:
      (link)
      =======

      A couple of points to think about...

      some people mentioned they never bought anything from people like filsaime or deiss, but just because you haven't I don't think they are hurting financially. Obviously others have and what they are doing works.

      Also if people won't buy unless they first get to know you, like you etc. - What about the people who sell OTO's after an opt-in for a freebie?
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  • "Become a friend" is the dumbest advice I've ever heard -- and I've heard quite a bit of moronic advice from so-called gooroos.

    People buy because you have something they want or need. Personally, I would never buy anything from a friend, and I would definitely never buy something from somebody who "befriended" me online -- and that goes doubly for some spammer "befriending" me over e-mail. Keep it strictly business.

    I'll lend money to a friend. Hell, I'll *give* money to a true friend. I'll invest in a friend. The minute a friend tries to sell me something, they're stricken from the list.
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    • Profile picture of the author Why9999
      Originally Posted by SurviveUnemployment View Post

      "Become a friend" is the dumbest advice I've ever heard -- and I've heard quite a bit of moronic advice from so-called gooroos.

      People buy because you have something they want or need. Personally, I would never buy anything from a friend, and I would definitely never buy something from somebody who "befriended" me online -- and that goes doubly for some spammer "befriending" me over e-mail. Keep it strictly business.

      I'll lend money to a friend. Hell, I'll *give* money to a true friend. I'll invest in a friend. The minute a friend tries to sell me something, they're stricken from the list.
      I think almost everyone agrees, but I find that on my blog people really want a personal touch. In fact, I have had quite a few people ask me for more of my "war stores", etc. Now it's true that just because some people want my site more "personalized", it probably won't directly boost my sales. As you said, either they want/need my product or they don't.

      However, I would argue that making the site enjoyable for my readers is very important for backlinks, which will indirectly get me traffic and therefore sales.
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  • Profile picture of the author esr
    Originally Posted by jamawebinc View Post

    I have my friends person email and can email them personally any time I want.
    I can ask a friend for $50

    I can do that with a friend, not with a marketer who writes an email as if I were a friend.
    Could you possibly be looking a little too closely at the word "friend?" I think you may be taking the comment much too literally.

    Obviously, the ezines and mailings lists you subscribe to are not written to you by your "friends."

    But, I do believe the list owners who show the most empathy for their subscribers, and do things like answer emails quickly with 'real' answers, get the best response from their lists by being "friendly."

    Or maybe a better term would be "friend-like."
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by jamawebinc View Post

    How many solutions to problems do you buy from friends?
    I have this conversation at least once or twice a month.

    "Hey, I have this problem. Didn't you have this problem?"

    "Yeah, I did. I bought this thing. It's great."

    "Cool. Got an affiliate link?"

    I've been on both sides of this conversation, and I've both given and gotten both "yes" and "no" answers on the final question. And yes, I've made commissions this way.
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  • Profile picture of the author ThomasGreenson
    yeah, i agree with you.
    i don't buy things from friends.
    i think you would better write your email as a person that provide solution and really professional.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alex Mensah
      Originally Posted by ThomasGreenson View Post

      yeah, i agree with you.
      i don't buy things from friends.
      i think you would better write your email as a person that provide solution and really professional.
      That's true, friends always seem to want freebies to everything...i guess that's why they are friends but the idea is to be friendly and honest to every customer and treat them with respect. E.g. if you say your product has a money back guarantee, actually give them one when they ask for it. Little things like that will show that you are an honest business man or woman.
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  • Profile picture of the author Emily Meeks
    You're not friends in the sense that you'll go out and get a beer together, but you are friends in the sense that you can benefit each other.

    It's the human aspect that makes people tick.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheAngelGuy
    I didn't get "bombarded" by Ethan's emails, either, so maybe Ed (Quesc) got on some other list?

    This is just one funny observation, and I know it has to do with post-emails, but no friend ever bombarded me with countless OTO's once I found I "knew, liked, and trusted" them from their emails.

    'Probly why I don't buy from Fillsaime and never EVER will again, for any reason. He's a friend of my money. NOT me.

    It doesn't take a whole lot of self-introspection to notice the difference.

    But since this is just me, then I'm not expecting any agreement or disagreement.
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  • Profile picture of the author Barry Unruh
    Originally Posted by jamawebinc View Post

    Become a friend and people will buy from you. Become friends with your email list. Write to them as if they were a friend.

    I hear this advice a lot. And I have doubts as to this being true.

    How many solutions to problems do you buy from friends? Or...do you buy solutions to problems from people who have achieved the goal you want to get? Maybe people you see as someone you can learn from.

    Do you have to think of someone like a friend to buy from them, I don't think so.

    But, you do have to believe them and you have to like their teaching style.
    Brings up a really interesting question. If you had a chance to learn Real Estate Investing from your local friend, the real estate agent, or form Donald Trump, who do you choose?

    If you had a choice of learning stock investing from your friendly broker down the street, or Warren Buffet, who do you choose?

    I read this entire post as being pointed to instead of becoming the friend, become the expert they admire, and would PREFER to learn from.

    Most of the most influential investment newsletters, which make great profits, are not written as "friends" but as EXPERTS.

    Which one will close the most sales? Back to the old evil thing called testing...
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    • Profile picture of the author jamawebinc
      When I wrote this...

      I've seen advice of "write your marketing emails like you're a friend" I've also seen these same people talk against using pre-written autoresponders because "everyone knows they are pre-written" so it's not authentic....well, I ask the question - Doesn't everyone know you aren't really their friend?

      I was bringing up the point that isn't writing to someone like your their friend not authentic either?

      There's a lot of ambiguity there. "Write like you would to a friend" means different things to different people.

      Just like the term "hard sell" means different things. I've seen people give examples of what they said was "writing like a friend" and to me it came across as hard selling.

      I don't think hard selling just means writing in caps saying BUY MY PRODUCT NOW, It's the best or something like that.

      If you think about it, and true authenticity....Maybe it's most authentic to write like exactly what is going on...you are presenting an offer to someone trying to persuade someone to take the action you want them to...usually ordering your product.

      Maybe something like this...
      ----
      Hi,

      You may have this problem and if you do, my product just may be the solution...let me tell you what it will do for you...
      ----

      Just something to think about
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by jamawebinc View Post

        If you think about it, and true authenticity....Maybe it's most authentic to write like exactly what is going on...you are presenting an offer to someone trying to persuade someone to take the action you want them to...usually ordering your product.

        Maybe something like this...
        ----
        Hi,

        You may have this problem and if you do, my product just may be the solution...let me tell you what it will do for you...
        ----

        Just something to think about
        I think you may have just nailed what I was trying to say in my first post in this thread.

        If you are going to try to sell something one-on-one, do it like we were sitting down across a desk or table. If you are writing me an email, talk to me. Don't try to bury me in "killer copy" -- my inbox is not the time or place for that.

        On the other hand, unless we truly are friends, I don't need every intimate detail of your life. I don't mind an occasional story, but I've read newsletters where you get halfway through and all you know is what the writer (and their spouse and kids) did since the last newsletter. At the halfway point, you get a PLR article or something from a directory, some "killer copy" copied and pasted from a salesletter and an affiliate link. I usually last about two or three issues on these lists.

        Be authentic.
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  • Profile picture of the author Moneybuster
    Yes people probably know that you aren't one of there best friends, but there is no harm if you talk to them like they are your friend. There are a lot of people that take advantage of people on the Internt by acting like there your friend then taking your money with little to no quality products. A true friend will help you and mabey yes give you lend on money. An Internet marketer would be your friend if they helped you and showed you how to make thousandssss wouldn't they??? I know I would like them even if I payed them $100 because it would have been a good investment. It's good customer service, I wouldn't go back to buy something out of a shop if the woman or man who served me was rude and it's the same online. the shopping experience has to be good and easy.
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  • Profile picture of the author lisatorres
    Banned
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    • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
      Originally Posted by jamawebinc View Post

      When I wrote this...

      I've seen advice of "write your marketing emails like you're a friend" I've also seen these same people talk against using pre-written autoresponders because "everyone knows they are pre-written" so it's not authentic....well, I ask the question - Doesn't everyone know you aren't really their friend?

      I was bringing up the point that isn't writing to someone like your their friend not authentic either?
      Well, here's the thing.

      When I first got into a broadcasting school, they told us one of the best ways to be relaxed and confident, even when pitching something - was to imagine you are talking to a friend. It comes through in the delivery on your voice and can make the product itself sound more appealing.

      And when I write an autoresponder, I do write it like I was sending a message to a friend.

      There is something to be said in how this can work better from a marketing perspective.

      Am I authentic? Well, I absolutely answer when people email me or hit the reply from the autoresponder.

      And here is a message I got from a subscriber in regards to an automated message I send:

      Hi Jill - yes your report was very good and I hoping that at long last I may have found someone on the internet who knows what they are doing and give truthful answers.

      I look forward to receiving your e-mails.

      Best Wishes
      This guy has my first name. He is pretty much addressing me like he might address a new friend - as opposed to "dear admin" or what ever.

      You're not friends in the sense that you'll go out and get a beer together, but you are friends in the sense that you can benefit each other.

      It's the human aspect that makes people tick.

      moneysoapbox hit the nail on the head.

      If you can add some of that humanity into it, as opposed to the "you need a blender, I have the blender come pay for it" there is an opportunity to leave a footprint of sorts with your new customer where they will gravitate toward you for more than one solution.

      And to those people who would never consider selling something to a friend - you don't have to make money to be selling something. You have to think, if you got a great new widget, and your grandmother could really use one of these great new widgets too, are you going to tell her about it? Will you sell her on the idea?

      Or your friend Bob next door needs a new mower and you know a great one that will make less noise - are you going to sell Bob on the idea of the quiet mower (so you can sleep in on Saturday Morning )

      You will be better received if you can portray yourself in a friendly manner, as opposed to the neighbor who just walks by and says, gee - your mower is noisy - go get a quiet one and here is where you can get it.

      Approach me as a friend, and tell me the benefits of this new quiet mower and I may really pay attention.
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  • Profile picture of the author FredJones
    Originally Posted by jamawebinc View Post

    Become a friend and people will buy from you. Become friends with your email list. Write to them as if they were a friend.

    I hear this advice a lot. And I have doubts as to this being true.

    How many solutions to problems do you buy from friends? Or...do you buy solutions to problems from people who have achieved the goal you want to get? Maybe people you see as someone you can learn from.

    Do you have to think of someone like a friend to buy from them, I don't think so.

    But, you do have to believe them and you have to like their teaching style.

    I've seen advice of "write your marketing emails like you're a friend" I've also seen these same people talk against using pre-written autoresponders because "everyone knows they are pre-written" so it's not authentic....well, I ask the question - Doesn't everyone know you aren't really their friend?

    I have my friends person email and can email them personally any time I want.
    I can ask a friend for $50

    I can do that with a friend, not with a marketer who writes an email as if I were a friend.

    Amazon seems to make plenty of sales and I know they ain't my friend.

    I get many straight sales emails from companies - and I know they ain't my friend either, but if they have stuff for sale I am interested in, I'll take a look at what they have.

    The thing is...something like this is a theory...it's not backed by hard numbers.
    Let me place it this way: being a friend does not mean you embrace him/her around the neck and start talking all the deep inner spiritual feelings with him/her.

    What is meant by becoming friends is that, be helpful. Do not spam your list with every other thing on earth that you see and can affiliate with. Understand the nature of your list, look at their requirements and help them solve the problems. If the solution to the problem required promoting some products in which you have a personal interest, do that by all means.

    In a nutshell, focus on helping, and possibly end up with sales in the process. Try it for a month and you shall be surprised to see what "becoming friends" can do for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author poker princess
    In all a great thread because the topic is so interesting. All the people replied and posted here have different opinions, which is good, as you come to know different type of people.
    This thread is a perfect example.... (jamawebinc)just start right from the beginning and count how many friends you could make, while talking in this thread and how many still dont think that you are a friend..... yet

    I think you cannot send some random mails to each and every person by addressing him/her as a "friend"
    I myself, deal with lot of people in my own industry as well as from industry with different niches. I have to be sometimes aggressive, sometimes loving, sometimes smart to tackle the person who interacts with me in a mail.

    Mind you..... each and every word has its own effect to be placed at the right place and at the right time. When you deal with some new people, whom your ultimate aim is to sell your product and not to make friendships...
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  • Profile picture of the author zoobie
    Well be friends or not it is what most people are interested doing...
    but I don't have a strong reason for that..
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  • Profile picture of the author saraward
    Banned
    Friends are not good customers for me. I don't even try to sell to them.
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  • People buy from people who trust and like, but that doesn't necessarily means you need to pretend to be their e-friends. Just make sure you are close to your prospects, you genuinely try to help them, answer their questions and don't be sleazy with your sales pitch.

    It works every time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jon Tees
    I just merely treat everyone as a valued customer. Business is business to me, and friends/family members aren't given any discounts or special deals that any other valued customer wouldn't be given.
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  • Profile picture of the author mrs spencer
    Originally Posted by jamawebinc View Post

    Become a friend and people will buy from you. Become friends with your email list. Write to them as if they were a friend.

    I hear this advice a lot. And I have doubts as to this being true.

    How many solutions to problems do you buy from friends? Or...do you buy solutions to problems from people who have achieved the goal you want to get? Maybe people you see as someone you can learn from.

    Do you have to think of someone like a friend to buy from them, I don't think so.

    But, you do have to believe them and you have to like their teaching style.

    I've seen advice of "write your marketing emails like you're a friend" I've also seen these same people talk against using pre-written autoresponders because "everyone knows they are pre-written" so it's not authentic....well, I ask the question - Doesn't everyone know you aren't really their friend?

    I have my friends person email and can email them personally any time I want.
    I can ask a friend for $50

    I can do that with a friend, not with a marketer who writes an email as if I were a friend.

    Amazon seems to make plenty of sales and I know they ain't my friend.

    I get many straight sales emails from companies - and I know they ain't my friend either, but if they have stuff for sale I am interested in, I'll take a look at what they have.

    The thing is...something like this is a theory...it's not backed by hard numbers.
    i think you got the whole concept of "friends" wrong

    who is a friend? when im in need of a solution and someone came around to offer me the solution that is a friend.

    the problem with most internet marketers is that they are all too familiar with the get rich quick syndrome,every body want to make that "quick bucks" at the detriment of their prospect.

    the first lesson i was taught when learning what internet marketing is was to come across to my clients as "a friend" and i can only achieve this only if i could recommend/sell good and useful products to my clients

    how do i get good product to recommend? i have to buy one and use it myself before i pass it along to my clients. that set me apart from those who are only interested in the money aspect of the business

    it is only after i have used the product can i come to my clients and give advice and suggestions,as to the good,the bad,and the ugly side of the product and that makes me a friend.
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  • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
    Originally Posted by jamawebinc View Post

    Become a friend and people will buy from you. Become friends with your email list. Write to them as if they were a friend.

    I hear this advice a lot. And I have doubts as to this being true.

    How many solutions to problems do you buy from friends? Or...do you buy solutions to problems from people who have achieved the goal you want to get? Maybe people you see as someone you can learn from.

    Do you have to think of someone like a friend to buy from them, I don't think so.

    But, you do have to believe them and you have to like their teaching style.

    I've seen advice of "write your marketing emails like you're a friend" I've also seen these same people talk against using pre-written autoresponders because "everyone knows they are pre-written" so it's not authentic....well, I ask the question - Doesn't everyone know you aren't really their friend?

    I have my friends person email and can email them personally any time I want.
    I can ask a friend for $50

    I can do that with a friend, not with a marketer who writes an email as if I were a friend.

    Amazon seems to make plenty of sales and I know they ain't my friend.

    I get many straight sales emails from companies - and I know they ain't my friend either, but if they have stuff for sale I am interested in, I'll take a look at what they have.

    The thing is...something like this is a theory...it's not backed by hard numbers.
    Amazon never treat me like a friend...and I spend thousands with them...

    Sumthn to think about...

    I'm not completely agreeing with you, because I don't think it is as cut and dry as that...

    But there is definitely room for manoeuvre on each strategy

    Jay
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    Originally Posted by jamawebinc View Post

    Become a friend and people will buy from you. Become friends with your email list. Write to them as if they were a friend.

    I hear this advice a lot. And I have doubts as to this being true.

    How many solutions to problems do you buy from friends? Or...do you buy solutions to problems from people who have achieved the goal you want to get? Maybe people you see as someone you can learn from.

    Do you have to think of someone like a friend to buy from them, I don't think so.

    But, you do have to believe them and you have to like their teaching style.

    I've seen advice of "write your marketing emails like you're a friend" I've also seen these same people talk against using pre-written autoresponders because "everyone knows they are pre-written" so it's not authentic....well, I ask the question - Doesn't everyone know you aren't really their friend?

    I have my friends person email and can email them personally any time I want.
    I can ask a friend for $50

    I can do that with a friend, not with a marketer who writes an email as if I were a friend.

    Amazon seems to make plenty of sales and I know they ain't my friend.

    I get many straight sales emails from companies - and I know they ain't my friend either, but if they have stuff for sale I am interested in, I'll take a look at what they have.

    The thing is...something like this is a theory...it's not backed by hard numbers.

    Actually, quite a body of academic research and evidence in marketing that shows the extremely high level of influence on purchase decisionmaking that immediate friends, family, and acquaintences have on someone's buying behavior.

    I think the idea isn't necessarily "be someone's friend" as that's an extreme simplification of the idea of constructing your marketing communication around the concept of "authenticity" and natural conversational approaches.

    Those two things will most certainly sell more product in consumer markets.

    Aerospace engineering parts, maybe not so much.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by MichaelHiles View Post

      Actually, quite a body of academic research and evidence in marketing that shows the extremely high level of influence on purchase decisionmaking that immediate friends, family, and acquaintences have on someone's buying behavior.

      I think the idea isn't necessarily "be someone's friend" as that's an extreme simplification of the idea of constructing your marketing communication around the concept of "authenticity" and natural conversational approaches.

      Those two things will most certainly sell more product in consumer markets.

      Aerospace engineering parts, maybe not so much.
      Mike, I have a hunch that at some level it plays a decent part even for aerospace parts.

      If it didn't, defense lobbyists wouldn't have such lavish entertainment budgets...
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      • Profile picture of the author SuzanneR
        Well, aside from adopting a casual, friendly tone in your emails etc--my idea of becoming a friend--i.e. having rapport--is having interactive exchanges with readers (like what goes on with many blogs)--and looking for feedback and reader input.

        Not that you want to get bogged down in 2000 email exchanges a week--but having rapport with real people (who happen to be your market) is not a bad idea, imo.
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      • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        Mike, I have a hunch that at some level it plays a decent part even for aerospace parts.

        If it didn't, defense lobbyists wouldn't have such lavish entertainment budgets...
        Bondage-themed nightclubs where lesbians simulate sex acts on stage?
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        • Profile picture of the author bethrobinson
          If I have a choice between two identical looking sets of features and one sales page/person is talking to me with respect, seems to care about my feelings, and looks like they'll be good natured about a refund, if necessary, then I'll pick that one instead of the one that's simply highly professional.

          If highly professional is $27 instead of $47 then I'll take $27 and my chances.

          I've joined various memberships over the last year that have more or less new information. I've cancelled some I didn't really need. I'm still hanging on to one that I don't really need but that I like the way she puts the info, like the way she interacts in the forums and asks for our input and lets us know what's going on with the development of the additional classes and that she decided to move x section earlier because so many people were asking about it.

          If it cost twice as much, I'd likely still have cancelled.

          As others have said - it's not necessarily about the word "friend" but all other things being equal, I'll buy from someone I feel like I know and like. And as a marketer myself I try to figure out how to be someone my potential clients can know and like.

          I'm also a product development chemist by day. As such, I'm one of the gateway influencers for new raw material purchases, although the salesman still has to get through our purchasing department.

          There are salesmen that I've liked and enjoyed spending time with whose companies just won't price their products in a way that makes sense for us. There was one that we had lunch with and kept saying no to for years. But we always took his appointments, even when we didn't really have the time, and listened to new offerings - occasionally offering some low-volume business. Until it became a matter of strategy to have a second source everything we could. And we picked that company over three with prices within 5% of each other to get 20% of a high-volume raw material. Because he - and the various other people from his company that he'd brought in over the years - treated us like "friends" and gave us the opportunity to know and trust them.

          You don't need to do it. You can be a great business without it. But it can be a difference maker in individual sales and in whether or not people refer you to others.
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          • Profile picture of the author butters
            This is how I see it anyway... When they say be a friend, my interpretation is a business relationship, like, you help me I help you type of scenario. It's not a friendship where they come down the pub with you for a drink, they are on your list because you are going to show them things which they didn't know before. So yeah, think of it as a business friendship, there is a core thing that friendship is founded on and that is what ever subject your list is about.

            Aslong as you give quality content, help them out and they trust you on business advice or any advice which solves somthing then you have built a relationship with them. Nothing serious, just a friendly relationship which will never get serious.

            BTW, when you hit amazon status, you gain the automatic trust factor, like google has, it's not comparable to a list.
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        • Profile picture of the author Hesaidblissfully
          Sounds like the debate is largely about the "Liking" and "Authority" principles that Robert Cialdini talks about in the book "Influence". We're influenced by people we like (hence, people advising that you write emails in a friendly tone) and we're also influenced by people we see as authorities (hence people saying they don't need to feel like the emails coming from a friend as long as the sender is an expert on the subject).

          The OP didn't mention specific examples where people recommend to "write like a friend", but I'm pretty sure that expertise on the subject should be taken as a given. No matter how friendly your tone, if the reader doesn't think you know what you're talking about, then you have no credibility. So the question should be, taking it as a given that you're communicating expertise and authority on the subject, does a friendly tone increase conversions?
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  • Profile picture of the author John Atkins
    If you give people what they want, they will buy from you, and you don't
    need to be their friend to do that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ricci Cox
    I think when people buy something from you they are looking for results, not a friend...

    If you sell your customer a really cool product that helps them achieve what they want to achieve (i.e - lose weight for example) then they will like you, trust you and most probably buy from you again...

    Ricci
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  • Profile picture of the author Folusho Orokunle
    Here's a good example. I have a few sales guys that sell my coaching program for me to my list, but since I'm VERY good at sales myself, I get on the phone atleast once a week.

    As soon as a prospect picks ups the phone I say: Hello John, how are you? ( Then I stop talking)

    The prospects answers that questions then I go into why I'm calling.

    But sometimes I'll get a response like: "Who is this, what do you want?"

    My point being that some people respond to the rapport building, while others just want to know what you have and why they should buy it.

    So like Jay Abraham say: " Take the best marketing approaches from different platforms and use them in your marketing "

    Most of my clients that have spent over 1k with me, are "friends", to a certain extent.

    They can call me anytime, ect...

    These threads get so long because for some reason people think everything has to be all or nothing. In marketing, nothing is really set in stone except that you'll always get some type of response, either negative, positive, or neutral.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    The logic behind writing as if you're writing to a friend is simple: it keeps you from sounding like you're slinging bullsh*t at your readers.

    One has to be authentic, so that kind of writing style may not work for you if it takes you away from your authenticity. If that's the case, you need to find another way to keep from sounding like a huckster.

    I was amazed at how deep this thread went before someone finally mentioned building a relationship with your list. This is fundamental. The trouble for many is when they think of a relationship they think of real world, personal relationships. Your relationship can be personal, but it can be many other things as well. When you're in marketing, part of the relationship to your subscribers is to assume a leadership role.

    Most people are followers. The responsibility of leadership isn't comfortable for them, but listening to an authority figure is well within their comfort zone. If you can gain your audience's respect through the relationship you build, and can position yourself as an authority, you are halfway there.

    I think most marketers who earn their living in IM would agree that networking is a huge part of their success--and what is networking but building relationships?
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    Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

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  • Profile picture of the author Dale Fisher
    It is not about being a friend, but as Franky says: "We are paid in direct proportion to the amount of value we provide to our market place."
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  • Profile picture of the author madison_avenue
    What if you are using pen names, then subscribers are becoming friends of a pen name?
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    • Profile picture of the author bethrobinson
      Aren't you still you behind the pen name?
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  • Profile picture of the author madison_avenue
    bethrobinson. Aren't you still you behind the pen name?
    Very true!
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    • Profile picture of the author SuzanneR
      I agree 100% with the poster who says people are ultimately more interested in results than being your friend.

      That said, humans are social animals--and in face to face interactions, people who cultivate relationships (i.e. networking)--seem to fare better than worker ant types who think slaving away makes them unexpendable.

      It's more about striking a balance, imo. I think that same dynamic transfers over to online relationships as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author hkkchew
    i think it may be true. People that you don't know will always
    think you are taking advantage of them.
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