Just before Christmas I realised how effective a long term nurture email newsletter can be.
Last year I purchased some really good photo calendars from Apple, using Iphoto. Whilst doing so I looked around at a few websites to compare pricing, I registered for an offer on a site called Photobox.
This began the continuous and automatic process of sending me regular emails with offers and discounts every 2 weeks. Whilst sometimes they were annoying, often they prompted me to take action, but as I had already bought these calendars and they last a whole year I really didn't need to buy anything else.
So Christmas came round again, I had been receiving these emails for almost a year without making a single purchase. What did I do?
I ordered the new set of calendars from Photobox, they were in mind, they had given me offers, they were my friends...
I also recommended them to some close friends, before even seeing how good they were at their job.
There are many photo printing companies out there, and probably a lot of them are better/cheaper than Photobox, but Photobox had built a relationship with me, and their brand now occupied a space in my mind.
They bothered to keep in touch with me even though I had never spent a penny. Photobox have overcome the number one marketing problem facing small businesses – Follow up.
In surveys of many small business owners and entrepreneurs it was evident that following up with warm leads was the biggest frustration.
The natural thing a business owner does is focus on the immediate sales (hot leads), normally putting aside the nurturing process and therefore allowing leads to go somewhere else.
80% of people who are looking to buy something will do so within the next 2 years.
This means that if someone visits your website or calls your business it is very likely that they buy your product/service, only it may take a lot longer than you would like. It is a difficult and time consuming job to continuously contact these warm leads for 2 years, and very few people can afford to do this manually.
That is where email marketing comes in. Photobox and many other companies have learned the secret powers of email marketing. By setting up well planned, useful emails that get sent automatically to these warm leads continuously and indefinitely you turn a complicated process into an incredibly simple and powerful solution.
Now if these automated emails are customized and sent to specific people (eg. Those who have expressed an interest in a specific product) then the power of these emails is multiplied.
I bought a calendar from Photobox and now I receive offers for related products, that are actually quite enticing. Every time I see one of these emails I am reminded of the power of Email marketing, and how frustrated some of Photobox’s competitors must be. They won my business and my recommendation without me even knowing if they were any good!
Now a question for you - is your business keeping contact with people continuously until they absolutely don't want to know anymore?
Do you have automated systems in place to keep contact and send offers to people that you have never actually met?
Is your website working as hard as it should be?
If not, you may be one of the many website owners that lose out to the competitor who is constantly building a relationship and confidence with their warm leads. Remember the prospect is actually a customer in disguise.