For years, email marketing has been a pre-purchase exercise. Marketers spent almost all of their resources on acquiring customers before selling to them, rather than acquiring customers after the sale. While this method is obviously effective — just look at the empires built on pre-purchase marketing — it is by no means the be-all and end-all of marketing forms.
After the worldwide recession hit in 2008, businesses instantly cut their marketing budgets. Advertising expenditures plummeted, global marketing presences were almost eliminated, and businesses that were sales-focused found themselves out of prospective buyers. In the race to target anyone and everyone that was interested in buying, marketers worldwide found themselves without any proven marketing resources.
This focus on size over substance is present in almost every form of marketing, from offline resources to online marketing tactics. Marketers brag about their mailing lists, touting millions of readers, all the while ignoring the fact that each reader is almost completely valueless. Despite their massive size, their marketing lists are largely pieced together, and almost completely devoid of any post-purchase subscribers.
The money is, as they say, most certainly in the list. However, it is not just in any list. The most valuable marketing resources, and the targets of any serious email marketer, are the attention of any prospective customer than can, will, and has bought before. Once you have overcome the initial sale, repeat business is as simple as creating additional marketing resources.
Sometimes it is best to forego the short-term subscription and focus on customers that are ready to buy. Before you start an all-inclusive marketing list, consider these three reasons to keep your list exclusive and limited to customers that have already bought from you:
1) Post-purchase marketing gives you authority.
It is easier to sell a $1000 product to a current customer than it is to sell a $20 product to someone you barely know. Commerce, especially online commerce, is all about trust and authority. Establish trust with a small initial sale and you will give yourself an avenue for larger, more profitable future transactions.
2) Customers qualify themselves. Prospects require your qualification.
Marketing to new customers is an uphill battle. You are constantly re-evaluating your assumptions to appeal to possibility, and quite often they can fail to be worth your time. The vast majority of pre-purchase prospects turn out to be duds, and the few that buy from you are typically the type of customers that would buy without ongoing email marketing attention. Focus on fostering qualified customer connections, not indiscriminate and valueless connections.
3) Post-purchase marketing is exclusive and value-adding.
Exclusivity is a currency by itself. Marketers have forever capitalized on the “exclusive” offer strategy, offering each customer a one-off opportunity that is available to almost everyone else. While many are content with false exclusivity, true exclusivity gives you a marketing opportunity that is almost completely unparalleled.
The internet, especially over the last few years, has given marketers intense power to undervalue and skim over their personal relationships. Customers can be sent a template email, and marketed to with the same materials as everyone else. A focus on true exclusivity and one-on-one treatment goes a long way in the world of template emails and form letters, and will be appreciated by your clients, customers, and business contacts.
Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan check out her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com/, or contact her at [email protected]
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