By Graham Lee
The majority of internet users have implemented barriers and blockers to combat the bane of the internet and email – ‘SPAM’. If they haven’t done so themselves, then it’s highly likely that their ISP or email provider has put something in place on their servers in the futile attempt to keep SPAM at bay.
But if you are in business, you don’t want your email going to someone’s SPAM folder, you want them to read your message, so that they can see what you’re offering and possibly purchase your product or service.
You email List
No doubt you are on various email lists of marketers whose products and services you are interested in, mainly because you want to know more about what they are offering and what could be beneficial for you. You expect to get be kept up to date on what you are interested in and what’s new in the market or field you’ve chosen.
But how many lists have you subscribed to, that only send out sales messages, one after the other?
Some subscribers, of course, will buy frequently from them. Businesses would be so lucky to have these kinds of customers. But if you really want to maximise your sales, when you do send your messages, you need to build relationships with your subscribers and get them to trust you.
When your customers trust you they will reward you with their loyalty.
The first step to getting your subscribers to trust you is to use an opt-in service. With an opt-in mail list, the mails you send, containing your promotional materials such as newsletters, catalogues and marketing media, will get through to their inbox and not their SPAM folder. Your intended recipient will be able to read and view what you have sent making it a successful transfer of information.
To be allowed to send your messages, you will need permission from your recipient, – to get this permission, you need to take the first step towards getting their trust. Use your opt-in service, usually your autoresponder, to confirm that you value their privacy and will not give away or sell their email address.
With the great lack of disregard for privacy in the internet, getting the trust of an internet user you don’t personally know is a big achievement.
So to build a good opt-in list you need people to trust you, for a faster and quicker build up, you need to get your opt-in subscribers to trust you quickly. The faster you build your opt-in list the faster word about your site and company gets to be spread. The bigger the scope of your opt-in list the more traffic you get, leading to more profits.
Getting the numbers is not that simple though, or maybe it is?
You’ve gone through the first step and setup an opt-in service using your autoresponder, which in the first instance asks your signups for their permission to send them further emails.
1. Your Business
Make sure you are running a legitimate business. Gaining the trust of your clientele shouldn’t be so hard especially if you have a legitimate business. Gaining their trust should be based upon your expertise. People rely on other people who know what they are talking about.
Gather as much information and knowledge about your business area as you can. Frankly if you decide to go into business in a particular field, you will most probably be interested in it and will most likely know quite a bit already. People rarely venture into something they don’t have any interest in.
2. Your Knowledge
Now that you’ve gathered as much knowledge and information about your business as you can, show your clients that you know what you are talking about. Provide them with helpful hints and guidelines that pertain to what you are selling.
Explain how to install the software you are offering if you are into software products or provide articles on insurance if you’re an insurance salesman or provide training on how to perform a certain task relating to your business. You don’t have to be a big corporation to make use of an opt-in list. If your customers see you as someone who knows what he is doing and saying, they will trust you quickly.
3. Your Honesty
This goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway, be true to your customers. If you want to hype up your products and services, provide guarantees and testimonials. The more satisfied customers you get, the bigger probability there is that they will recommend you.
Generally, people will trust someone they know, when that someone recommends you, then you’re half way there. They will go to your site and check it for themselves and be given a chance to experience what the other shave experienced from you, by signing up to your email list, so make sure to be truthful and consistent in the service you provide.
4. Your Opt-Out Clause
Even though you may have got a potential customer to your website and they have signed up to your email list, they still may not be sure about you, because they don’t know you. They may have seen some interesting information on your website and want to find out more, but don’t want to be inundated with email.
To get your customers to trust you quickly you have to provide them with an escape hatch. Show them that you are not there to trap them. Keep a clean list that would enable them to unsubscribe anytime they want.
Elaborate your web form by providing information on how to unsubscribe from your list, tell them up front that they will be able to unsubscribe at any time. Guarantee them that they can opt-out of the service whenever they want to. Many people are wary that they may be stuck for life and would have to abandon their email accounts when they get pestered with spam.
5. Your message
Finally, you’ve got them on your email list, you’ve provided them with an escape hatch, and so far they’re still here. Great. Now don’t drive them away by losing their trust.
One of the quickest ways to make people opt-out of your email list is by not providing the knowledge and information they were looking for when they signed up.
If all you send them is sales messages, over and over again, your subscribers will get fed up and leave. They will see your email list as simply a salesman who never gives up trying to sell them something, and most people don’t really like salesmen, especially those who never give up.
Another trick which is used a lot to get people to signup to email lists is to offer free gifts. This is great, because it does work and helps to grow your list quickly, but again, you need to be careful not to just send out messages with; ‘Hey here’s another free gift for you today’, which takes them to another signup page for another email list. Your subscribers will get fed up and leave.
But you may say; ‘The reason I wanted them on my list in the first place, was to be able to send them offers for my products and recommend them to other marketers whose products they may be interested in (and that I’m going to get a commission on when they buy)’, and this is true, you did. But you need to keep their trust first and you can only do that by providing them with the knowledge and information about your company, product or service. The information they were hoping to get when they signed up to your list.
Your messages can, and should, include subtle sales links in the form of small ‘one-liners’ at the end of your messages, with the occasional full blown sales pitch thrown in. But your main content should always be information, more information, and even more information.
This will show your customers you are running a legitimate company, that you know what you’re talking about and that you are being honest with them. By building on these factors, you will gain their trust and they will be more likely to buy your product when you do actually send them the sales messages you want to send them.
About the Author
Graham Lee is CEO of The Income Zone, where you will find online ebusiness tools for web entrepreneurs. Graham is also the owner of a number of other websites offering tools and information about internet marketing and working online.
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