I recently had a conversation with a prospective client. They needed some help building their email list. It was exactly the kind of project I love working on; create a white-paper lead magnet, build a sales funnel using autoresponders and create sales pages for ordering the product. The perfect online sales system for local businesses.
I declined the project.
It all came down to one word the prospect used in our conversation – “coerce.”
He asked me to write squeeze page copy that “coerced people into signing up” on his list. That phrase told me we had a very different view of marketing.
Often times I meet business owners who see marketing as black magic. Used to deceive unsuspecting dolts into spending their hard-earned money.
Marketing is not about coercing, tricking or bribing people to download your lead magnet or buy your product. Marketing is about filtering out all the people who aren’t your clients to get to the ones who are.
Sure, I could write some some copy full of “super-powered mind tricks” to get people on an email list. But I won’t. Here’s why…
Starting a relationship with your new prospect by lying to them is not good. And yes, exaggerating is lying.
All lying is doing is delaying the inevitable. Either they are never going to buy from you because they figure out you’re full of crap, or worse they buy your product and become an unhappy client.
If your client list is full of unhappy customers your life is going to be miserable. Unhappy clients require a lot of attention.
-It’s a waste of your resources
Most email providers charge you based on the number of contacts on your list. Paying for a list with thousands of people on it when only a handful are actually your prospects is a giant waste of money.
Worse yet, you’re probably damaging your deliverability. I’ve met business owners who are proud of their 80% optin rate on their landing page. But when I press a little further I discover their open rate is only 11%. This lack of engagement is hurting their chances of getting their emails delivered to their true prospective clients.
And then there is your time. Fielding questions and inquiries from people who aren’t going to buy your product takes time. Lots of time. If you could cut through the clutter and only speak to the five people who were going to buy your product, wouldn’t that be smarter?
-It gives false hope
Being a business owner is full of highs and lows. One day you’re riding high fueled by dreams. The next reality hits and you wonder why you even got up.
When a local business owner sees they have a newsletter list of 3,521 people they get excited. And rightly so. That’s a lot of people that are supposed hanging on your every word.
But are they really?
When emails go out and they get very low open rates it’s a bit of a soul-crushing feeling. And when they make no sales it’s even worse.
I should know. I’ve been there. When I owned a remodeling company we had almost 5,000 people on our email list at one point. But very few of them wanted to be there.
I was sure that list was going to lead to an early retirement. Ha! In reality that list didn’t lead to one single sale. Not one.
So the list only served to fuel my emotions and crush my dreams.
Marketing is powerful
Be careful how you use marketing. Participating in black magic marketing isn’t the right way to build a long-term, trustworthy local business.
Most local business owners I meet are honest hard-working people who would never dream of deceiving their clients. But somehow when it comes to starting a marketing campaign they get caught up and cross a line.
Instead approach marketing as a way to start new relationships with honesty and the desire to serve the right people.