Have you ever heard the old adage, “It’s easier to sell again to an existing customer than it is to generate a new customer?”
It’s absolutely true, particularly if you know what you’re doing.
Here’s the problem. Most people don’t.
If you’ve taken my email marketing course, you’ve learned all about the importance of segmenting your email list – breaking it down into smaller, more targeted sub-segments that allow you to tailor promotions to specific people.
For most people, this is unfortunately often limited to two lists – a buyers list, and a non-buyers list.
And hey, this can work well. If you have a clear path that you want people to take, you can set up a system with your email marketing service to move people towards a given set of actions, moving them deeper and deeper into a sales funnel until hopefully you land a few big ticket sales.
However, if you truly want to maximize your income, you must pursue every single person on your list with the belief that you can get them to buy every single product that you offer.
In order for that to happen, you have to get very personalized, and very organized.
Quit Relying Solely On Your System
I love automation. I absolutely love it. I love that my autoresponder sequence is set up to sell my courses completely on their own, and these promotions are being sent to new sets of people every single day. It’s awesome, and one of the only reasons my online income is so consistent.
However, if you rely solely on your system, you’ll find that there will be lots of people who never go on to buy. You can tweak and test things to minimize that percentage, but in the end, there is money being missed out on.
If you truly believe in your products and you know that they can help people, then you should have the belief that your product can and should be purchased by that subscriber. Every subscriber has the financial capability to do so, and every subscriber needs the product. Therefore, there is no reason you can not sell it to them.
As you move higher and higher up in price, people will become increasingly reluctant to pull the trigger and buy whatever it is you’re asking. Objections and doubts arise, and these are often unique to the individual’s situation.
However, if you rely solely on your system, you’re never going to be able to solve these objections that the buyer is concerned about. How could you? You don’t know what they are. You can make changes to your system as time goes on to handle the most common ones, but in the end, you’re never going to get all of them.
The thing is that often these objections are quite small and the buyer just needs reassurance that their concerns will not be a problem. Once they are assured that the value is there and the product will solve their problem, closing is dead simple.
But you have to know what’s on the buyer’s mind, and to do that, you have to engage in two-way conversation.
Start Sending Out Those Emails…
When you use an email marketing service to deliver a promotion, the communication tends to be a one-way thing. You send out your message, and people technically can reply, but they often don’t. They know they’re on a list with lots of other people, and that message was not unique to them.
However, when you actually email somebody personally, everything changes.
Often times this is done most effectively when you have some ground to work with – perhaps you know them from somewhere else, or they’ve reached out to you.
For example, here’s a very brief email conversation that led to nearly $200 in sales, for less than 10 minutes of extra work. I’ve cut out pieces of it to keep it brief, but it went very similar to what I’m about to share with you.
“Hi James! I just wanted to say thank you for your traffic building eCourse. I originally signed up because I’m having a hard time building my email list and I’ve come to find out that there’s a lot more that goes into it then people make it seem. I’m looking forward to hearing more from you in the future.”
Ding ding ding! A problem! And I just so happen to have a product that offers a solution…
“Hi Charles! Thank you so much for reaching out to me, and I’m glad that you’ve found the eCourse helpful. If you don’t mind me asking, how many subscribers do you have now, and what’s your long-term goal for your business? What got you interested in email marketing?
Looking forward to hearing from you!”
Getting the buyer talking is a great way to identify additional problems, desires, wishes, and identify selling points when you go on to pitch them your product.
“Hi James, thank you for taking time out of your day to respond. I’m embarrassed to admit that I only have about 200 subscribers right now. I’d love to see accelerating growth but I’m having a hard time getting more than a few subscribers a day. My dream is to do this as my full-time job and work from home by this time next year.
New problem! The real problem is he wants to work from home and pursue entrepreneurship full time. He feels that more subscribers will be the solution to that problem.
“200 subscribers isn’t anything to be embarrassed about! In fact, it’s very possible to make a decent living even with an email list of that size, especially if as you said you are at least getting a few new subscribers each day. This is one of the great myths of email marketing – people think you need a huge list to prosper, but that really isn’t true at all. What you do with that list is far more important than how large it is.
I have actually come out with a course solely on email marketing that I think would be a good fit for you. Not only will it help you increase the number of new people that sign up, but it will really help you make the most out of every subscriber. I can’t promise it will allow you to quit your job tomorrow, but I assure you it will put you on the right path, and get you closer to where you want to be much faster.
You can find out more information by clicking here.
I know you’re the type of person who is going to take what’s inside and really make the most of it, otherwise you wouldn’t have reached out to me. I’m really looking forward to having you as one of my students. If you have any questions or there’s anything I can help you with, please let me know!”
From there, a couple more brief emails were exchanged answering questions, handling basic objections, and finally, closing the deal. The emails took me less than 10 minutes in total to send out, and I ended up selling him both my email marketing and my blogging course as well. $200 for 10 minutes of work really isn’t that bad of a return, now is it? So I’ve got to wonder, why aren’t more bloggers doing this?
It’s because they’re placing the importance on the system rather than what the system is meant to do – build connections.
How Bloggers Can Use A CRM To Maximize Sales
How many bloggers use a CRM to keep track of contacts and leads? Not many. And if you have multiple products to sell, not using a CRM is a huge mistake.
If you’ve never a heard of a CRM, it stands for customer relationship management, and it’s a piece of software that allows you to keep track of information regarding customers and their place in the sales process.
I personally went for a long time without using a CRM. However, as your pipeline gets fuller and you’re exchanging more and more emails with more sets of people each day, you’re no longer going to have a choice. If you do not use some sort of system to keep people’s information organized, you’re going to forget important details or mix people up.
Right now I am using a CRM called Insightly to manage this information. Bear in mind, I’m not familiar with all of the major CRMs on the market, and I may change this if I find a better option. However, right now I am using Insightly to carry out tasks such as:
- Keep track of people’s information, websites, email addresses, and so on.
- Write down what’s important to them, what they value, what problems they have.
- Keep track of what products they’ve already bought, and where they are in the sales process for other products.
- Set automated reminders to follow up with them, with the goal of moving closer to the close.
- Stay organized, and keep everything I’ve learned about a person in one place. This is vital to selling effectively.
With this data, I can make personalized recommendations for further purchases, ensuring higher conversions while also keeping a good connection with the customer at the same time.
Is it additional work? Absolutely. Is it worth it? Absolutely.
Because once again, it is far easier to sell again to an existing customer than it is to generate a new customer. And this means you really don’t need as many subscribers as you may think to make a good amount of money if you really make the most out of each subscriber.
– James McAllister
Our Email lists are the most important part of our business. We do have to get up close and personal on them. Each one is different if we are doing various things. And yes, we do have to segment them otherwise no one is going to open an email we send them.
I do a thing on Fridays called Friday Focus on one of my lists. I have received more action there than anything. It’s getting so great that I have done very similar things as you have in your examples. Give Give Give….. I once had a question from an email subscriber and I knew I had a video presentation done from last year to answer it. When I sent it the feedback was amazing. This person purchases loads of things needed in the area of business.
And that’s the thing, we need to know who on our list is selling what or needs particular information so that is why we need to segment. I will check out Insightly because things are growing. Thanks for the heads up.
Donna Merrill recently posted…SEO Basics | And Beyond
You’re absolutely right and it’s something so many bloggers ignore. It’s not enough to simply have a list. If you want to really make the most of it you need to have a system in place to deliver targeted messages to specific sets of people who have specific sets of problems. This is especially true if you’re investing in paid advertising. Even a small increase in ROI can blow you up way quicker just because of the compound reinvestments.
I’m glad to hear you took advantage of that opportunity to sell them your video presentation. I’m always looking out for these opportunities becuase you know if somebody’s emailing you they’re already engaged with you, so it’s fairly straightforward to sell to them once you identify their problems.
James McAllister recently posted…The 7 Rules Of Selling All Bloggers Must Follow
Your post and examples you’ve included in it, prove so much why building a list from word “Go” is so important. In fact, I started my list before I even started my blog. Do this helped me discover what my blog’s real niche and message should be.
I blog about Blogging in the main, which is such a huge and crowded niche. But starting my list and engaging with list members really helped me discover what would make me and my blog stand out.
Now, I have an engaged audience that is really getting a lot of great results from what I teach about taking the frustration out of getting traffic (and everything that goes with it) and it’s all because of my list, the people who’ve joined my list and my engagement with them.
The biggest struggle people have with list building is knowing what to send their list members by way of emails. You’ve given some great examples of what here to start them off.
Btw, I saw a question on Quora from someone asking they can keep track of buyers. I’ll give this post’s URL to them so they can find out, it’s that okay with you, James? I think the info about the CRM will be especially useful to them.
Tom Southern recently posted…How To Get Traffic When Everything You’ve Tried So Far Has Failed (and You Feel Like Giving Up)
Sounds like you’ve got your priorities straight. Far too many people think that their blog itself is their business. I know that I’d be just fine with only my list and a squeeze page – the blog just helps move people onto the list, and move people on the list closer to a sale. It’s all a huge system and these systems have to work together to achieve an end goal.
You’re absolutely right about call to actions in emails. I swear many people seem to be building a list just for the sake of building a list – because they feel like it’s something they’re supposed to do. Maybe they throw in a little bit of value and a little bit of promotion, but they don’t really go far beyond that. And then in their minds the solution is always more subscribers because they do not know what they’re missing.
I think to really thrive you have to have a clear of understanding of who you’re trying to attract, how to attract them, and how to make the most out of everybody.
Oh, and absolutely! Thank you so much for sharing, I always appreciate that.
Good talking with you Tom!
James McAllister recently posted…Your Power Base – Why You Need It, How To Build It, And How To Use It
As most of my years of sales and business experience has been off line (that’s how old I am), this means that I still look at ‘leads’ as people rather than traffic. We were always taught to sell ‘benefits’, but now we offer ‘solutions’ instead, which makes much more sense to me. But of course, in order to offer solutions rather than benefits, we have to be even more specific in our research and targeting.
I am sure there is still some advantage to this off line marketing mindset I learned, which still applies at this time in on line marketing. We still tend to see people rather than numbers. The disadvantage is the need to learn that we can be become just as engaged using software. That has been the learning curve for me.
I have always taught people that one personal ‘warm’ lead is worth 100 ‘cold’ leads any day. As you said in your post, “…a list of 200 is nothing to be embarrassed about” as long as they are engaged. In the end, most of my high ticket conversions have come through good old-fashioned one-to-one interaction, which only works if we use it from the first time we contact that person.
I don’t yet have the volumes that require massive automation, as my list is only about 450, but I can now see how CRM is a must with blogging and I’m sure this is the best time to start learning to use it.
Thanks for this insightful post, James.
Richard Seaton recently posted…Find Your Passion
You know, I definitely see that being a huge advantage because so many internet marketers forget that there are actually real human people behind the numbers. It’s easy to forget when you’re working with so much data but you have to think of things from their perspective.
I agree that it makes more sense to offer solutions. People buy products to solve problems, even if the problems aren’t obvious. People buying $100,000 cars have different problems they need a solution to than people buying junkers. Selling benefits only really works if the benefit itself is going to solve the buyer’s problem. Identify and solve the problem first, then add all the other benefits on top. That’s how I see it anyway.
And hey, it’s never too early to start automation. It doesn’t have to be extremely complex at first – even something as simple as moving people to another list and promoting a different product when one is purchased can cut out a lot of the work. When you get personalized emails though… those go in the CRM for me!
Thanks so much for adding value to this post Richard, it was very nice to hear from someone who came from an offline background because I went the other way!
James McAllister recently posted…7 Stages Every Blogger Goes Through On Their Way To Success
You’re on the money when you talk about automation. But automation without personalisation is counterproductive.
The fact that you communicate directly with subscribers who reach out to you is the ultimate personalization tactic. People love it – they see you as a real problem solver who has their best interests at heart. When that happens more income is usually the end result.
I also agree with your stance on list size. To me, the size of the list isn’t nearly as important as the quality and responsiveness of the list. I would rather have a list of 500 engaged people than a 50,000 subscriber list with low open rates and as a consequence, little or no engagement.
Keeping track of info is another important point. I must admit I’m a bit weak in this area so will check out Insightly – thanks for the head’s up.
Good one, James!
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Hey Kim! It’s definitely valuable.
Really I think the most important thing is that we have systems in place to deal with and make the most out of every situation. The autoresponders can handle almost everything but once you reach a certain volume of people you’re interacting with you need something to further keep track of people. We can only remember so much about so many people and we all know how much easier it is to sell to somebody you know – and somebody who feels like you both know each other.
Too many people you can make up for poor conversions with volume but in my opinion this is a bad way to go about handling things. Then again, I invest a bit in paid traffic so ROI is very important to me.
Let me know what you think of Insightly, or another CRM if you decide to go with one. I’m just now really starting to get the hang of it!
James McAllister recently posted…Most Bloggers Are Using Social Media For The Wrong Reasons
lol, james i love you man, this post was so detailed i feel like it shouldn’t be free. you post such great content that we just have no option but to keep coming back. keep doing great stuff man.
i don’t really have any lists of my own yet so when i do, I’ve bookmarked this so i’ll know exactly what to do.
Hey Moses! Hahaha thank you.
Definitely start building a list now – even if you’re just sending people to a landing page. My list is more important than my blog, social media pages, YouTube channel, pretty much anything else. Without it I’d hardly make anything.
If you need help, let me know alright? Thanks again Moses!
James McAllister recently posted…10+ iPhone / Android Apps Every Blogger Should Be Using