The Tao of Email Marketing

The sale that can be experienced is not the true sale,

The pitch that can be perceived is not real.

Without selling, the sale can be experienced,

Without the pitch, the profits can be known.

I’ll admit it – I’m a sucker for opt-in forms. As a copywriter and an internet marketer, I can’t resist the opportunity to learn more about internet marketing. So every time I run across a website that offers an email course or a free report, I can’t help but give up my email address.

Sadly, I almost always end up regretting it.

Why? Because most of the emails I get are non-stop sales pitches that are thinly veiled with useless information. Many marketers assume that once you’re on the list, you’re a sale that just hasn’t clicked the “Order Now” button yet. A sheep that just needs to be herded into the pen, and quickly shorn.

It doesn’t take long for me to unsubscribe from these marketers’ lists. Sometimes I keep the emails as examples of bad internet marketing, but once I’ve gotten two or three emails packed with hyperbole and affiliate links, I’ve seen all I need to see.

If I subscribe to an opt-in list, I want to see good, useful content. I want tips and techniques that I can use to make my own business more successful. I want to read an email and say, “Man, I’m glad I didn’t miss this!”

Of course, you don’t build an email list without the intent to sell something to your subscribers. That’s just business – without money coming in the door, there’s no reason to give up your evenings and weekends creating content for your readers. There are plenty of other people around to do that.

Therein lies the paradox of email marketing. You have to have sales to stay in business, but pushing for the sale isn’t going to get you where you want to be. People can smell a sales pitch instantly, and when they see an obvious pitch, the walls of resistance go up.

Like the Tao, successful internet marketing is not what it seems.

In order to build a successful email marketing campaign, you simply cannot turn every email into a sales pitch. In fact, only one out of every three or four emails you send out should be about a product you’re selling.

Your other emails should be about building trust and loyalty, and about establishing yourself as an expert in your field. Give your subscribers solid, useful information – not just vague theory, but real tips that they can start using today to improve their lives.

Ask yourself, “Would I pay for this information, if I were in my subscribers’ shoes?” If the answer is “yes”, give it away in your emails. Don’t worry- you’re not going to run out of useful information. You could write an entire library of content about any topic imaginable. Some of it, you will sell; the rest, you should give away to make subscribers want to buy your products.

Give away useful information, enrich your readers’ lives, and you will build loyalty and trust that will significantly increase your sales figures.

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