Autoresponders Suck

Remember that $197 (or $1997!) seminar you attended?

Take a trip down memory lane (or check your email history) and read how slick, engaging and personal the marketing was BEFORE you bought.

The copy was compelling. Hell, the writer was probably a hypnotist. In the end, you bought because you ‘felt’ the product or service would solve a burning need you had (real or imaginary). Fine. That’s marketing and I’m proud to be called a marketer.

Under one condition.

Were you treated differently after you purchased? AFTER your invested, did the marketer continue to put you in his autoresponder series, treating you as if you had unlimited cash and time to read SIMILAR messages? Were you continually bombarded with impersonal copy that spoke to you as if you were still a prospect, instead of a loyal client?

This is my beef with many marketers who are selling digital products online. Their automation is so cold and myopic that my love affair with them lasts about as long as the life of a moth.

At any particular time, a consumer is in one of four stages of action. By communicating to the consumer WHERE they are (not just who they are), we can engage with them more rapidly, with more trust and with equal respect regardless of where they are in the chain of events. The basic stages are:

  • Research. I am thinking about a problem and doing my online research to better understand what’s available.
  • Decision. I am in solution mode. I am now looking at reviews, opinions and asking people (online AND offline) about their solutions and/or experiences.
  • Buy. I’m ready to buy. Is there a coupon code? Can I get a deal? Is the time right? Is there any real urgency?
  • Post Sale. This is where many marketers blow it. The lifetime value of a customer can be 10 to 100X more than the initial sale. After I bought, what are you saying to me now?

Do you want to position yourself as the credible and authoritative voice in a sea of obvious (and sometimes obnoxious) marketers? Good. Then focus on building more more trust, credibility and TARGETED content as opposed to telling the world how great YOU are.

To that end, the campaign you design STARTS with education and consumer information with a focus on where they are in their buying process.

In order to serve those who are ready to buy now with those who will buy later, a multi-phase lead capture system must be installed in both the online and offline tactics if you want to acquire clients and keep them. By meeting people where they are, you can accomplish ALL of its goals with a single campaign.

Automated drip campaigns work best when you have one clear objective. Campaigns can be sent daily, weekly, or monthly and can be used to keep your brand top of mind when the subscribers are ready to take action. Your business can set up drip campaigns for specialized holiday campaigns, monthly invoices or annual subscription notices, or anything that keeps their subscribers informed and interested in their organization.

But the real power lies in the ability to create closed-loop marketing messages. The concept is simple – communicate a message to a group of subscribers and send your next message based on their reactions and responses.

Subscribers who click on a specific link in the message get one email, the ones who click on a different link get another, and the ones who do nothing get yet another. This takes drip campaigns to the next level as it goes beyond branding and moves into the sales realm. Instead of just pushing content out you design specific paths to lead subscribers through the sales cycle based on their behavior and needs.

Does it take more time, energy and thought to create such a campaign?

Yes.

Is it worth it?

Definitely.

Ask me how many newsletters I have unsubscribed from after spending thousands of dollars with the company. These marketers are clueless about the lifetime value of my money. They’ll never know how much money they just lost because of their impersonal automation.

You see, I plan on spending at least $10,000-$25,000 in my education on an annual basis until I die. This could be 20, 30 or more years (I get more curious as I age). While it may be implausible to expect I would spend all of this dough on a single educational platform, even at 10% on the low end, we are talking about at least $20,000 in money that I WILL be investing.

I’m not expecting a phone call from Tony Robbins or Brain Tracy, mind you. I simply expect that after I shell out $5,000 for a weekend boot camp, that the emails I receive after, wouldn’t be the same ones I received prior to our relationship.

What you say to your prospects is important. However, since referrals are the best form of marketing, what you say to your customers after they become one, is 100x more important.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.