Marketing is nothing more than a process of attracting the right prospects to your business and then turning them into paying customers.
There’s simply no use in creating a pool of very qualified prospects for your products and services using the list building techniques we’ve touched on, and then have nothing to do with them when they come to your website.
This happens a lot, because most online business owners forget the fact that once you have a prospect coming to you for information about your products and services, they become sloppy and negligent in following up with ongoing messages: The very messages that go a long way to help form the most important asset in marketing: relationships.
It’s pretty amazing at how many people simply do not follow-up on prospects who would then become customers. One-shot attraction techniques seem to be the rage. It seems that the philosophy of those who are not yet smart enough to realise that in order to win a prospect’s mind and heart, one needs more than an opt-in method.
There needs to be an ongoing conversation, an ongoing dialogue. An ongoing commitment to the marketing process that says building relationships is what matters most. And, in order to build those relationships, regular communication is a must.
And, with the Internet, building a relationship is made easy as there’s no better way to do this than via email. However, just because email is free, that doesn’t mean your prospects will open it. They will, though, if your emails are interesting, exciting, and deliver real perceived value.
If you do it right, your prospects will look forward to receiving your emails. In fact, for many of your customers, your emails can be the highlight of their day, week, or month, and if you miss a day, they can get very upset!
I know this to be true for a number of entrepreneurs in very different markets. The thing to understand is this: However much you are communicating with your customers now, there is more than a lot of room for more communication and relationship building.
When you realise that each prospect is uniquely positioned in terms of their buying and purchasing cycle, you’ll understand that your ongoing communication and interaction will cause a deliberate compounding effect: week after week, month after month, which will soon create a snowball effect in revenue and profits for your business.
It’s true when you hear that the real goldmine in business lies within your customer database. But that will only happen when you take the necessary time and patience to build that all important relationship. Think about it: if you were to go on a romantic date with someone you hadn’t previously met, do you think you’re better off talking over candlelight, sharing a glass of wine, and being curious and interested, as opposed to trying to get a rather large sloppy smooch straight on.
I think you get the point: Relationship-building really is the key to explosive business growth. Every time you obtain a qualified prospect, do what you can to create a stunning relationship which will eventually lead to multiple rewards from that well-cared-for prospect.
And, the biggest relationship builder you can have is a Newsletter, E-Zine, Bulletin, Blog or other Customer-Focused Publication. There’s nothing more you can do to grow your list of prospects than writing an ezine, blog, bulletin or electronic newsletter which you send on a regular basis.
We all need reasons for doing things. You need to give reasons for prospects to continually stay in conversation with you. There’s simply no compelling reason for a prospect to sign up to your website and stay with you, when you do nothing more than take their name and email address.
A newsletter, bulletin, blog or ezine creates a continual conversation. It ensures there’s a freshness and vitality to the relationship. Not only that, but it keeps you, the owner of your business, continuously on the pulse of your marketplace.
You see, there’s nothing worse than not having answer to your prospect’s ongoing question that asks “what’s new?” Your publication gives answers to that question on a regular basis.
So, how do you construct a newsletter, blog, e-zine, or bulletin? Well, irrespective of what format you use to keep in touch with your prospects and customers, you should realise that they all require writing input.
No, you don’t need to be a Hemingway or a Stephen King in order to write your publication. What you do need to do, however, is have a simple way with words. A simple way of writing like people talk, like the way your prospects and customers talk.
And so then, what format should you use when creating your ezine, newsletter or blog? Well, as it’s your own communication tool, it’s your choice how you want it to look. It’s your personality in it and you have control of the reins.
What you ideally should incorporate are items, tidbits, and morsels of information that are valued by your audience. It doesn’t have to be pages and pages in length.
How should you decide what your publication should look like? Well, as it’s purely a personal thing, take a look at the kinds of newsletters, blogs, publications, e-zines, etc. that you currently subscribed to and read. And then, note what you like about them.
And, with those notes by your side, you’ll have in your possession all the ingredients that you have said are what you find appealing. So, the simple thing would be to replicate it in your own publication!
Now, the most important thing that many business owners don’t do is to regularly send their communication. It’s amazing to see that even though it’s the most effective thing to do, most don’t do it.
Weekly is great; every 2 weeks is fine; monthly is pushing it; every sixth months is a disaster.
Of course, lack of time seems to be a big reason why the publication doesn’t get written and sent. However, once we appreciate and understand that keeping in regular touch with prospects and customers is essential to the long term residual profits, the issue of not having enough time will never come up again as a reason for not completing your customer and prospect retention tool. For it is the biggest reason a prospect or customer will stay on your business radar.