I’m not sharing this to bash the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). I’m sharing it to demonstrate how easy it is to make a mistake. Basically, someone in their IT department needs to configure outgoing email (DKIM and SPF):
Every site shows an email signup popup, and 98% of users click the close button. Why? Because the signup request doesn’t have the right context. The user has just landed on the site, they don’t even know what makes your business unique.
Tacklewarehouse.com also needs email sign-ups but they use a clever context tool to present their request. On each of their category pages they have this (red arrow in screenshot below):
And when users click it they show this context-rich pop-up:
And that’s how it’s done.
Received this great email from Lyft asking why I hadn’t used the service in a while. See screenshot and notes below screenshot:
Love this email for 4 critically important reasons:
1: It’s personalized to my actual behavior (“why have you not used Lyft since 6/14.”)
2: Headline makes it clear this is a quick email (“One-Minute Feedback”).
3: I just have to click one link to submit my response.
4: Lyft doesn’t send a ton of emails so I noticed this message.
The best way to have your audience take action is to casually ask them to keep a secret:
You may have a subscriber who subscribes to your newsletter and then unsubscribes. You could just let them go, or you could do this:
… because it allows for an infinite number of interesting business models. My friend Mike Johnson pointed me to something new. Scott Keyes is the Scott behind scottscheapflights.com. Scott’s Cheap Flights is a subscription service that sends out email alerts to subscribers on international flight deals. It’s basically a human powered flight price alert system. But what makes it stand out (for me) is their personality:
Threadless.com regularly runs 30% off deals. They used a different hook in their latest email. I love this idea because, as we’ve seen before
(link), the human mind is addicted to challenges/questions/puzzles:
Having a sales force is expensive, which is why only large businesses have them. But, even little ecommerce sites have access to a sales force; their customers. This dormant force can triple the visibility of your brand, and they don’t even need a sales commission.
But, to activate them you need to establish an authentic relationship first. And it’s not like you have to sell a cool item like giantmicrobes.com to have a relationship with customers. Even a vanilla product like “business loans” can have an active customer marketing army.
But your customer’s wouldn’t market for you on their own, even if they love you. The relationship has to be kindled, and the only way to kindle it is to send heartfelt agenda-free custom communications (aka emails). Scott Jordan, CEO of Scottevest.com randomly selects 2 new customers each week and makes a personal “thank you for buying Scottevest customer” video for them. The video isn’t super polished, it doesn’t have to be. But it is 100% authentic and it makes it clear to the buyer that Scott cares about his product and customer.
You don’t have to copy Scott, in fact, you shouldn’t. But you should start thinking about ways in which your product or service is truly remarkable. And don’t think you aren’t remarkable, that’s a slap in the face of the brave shoppers who trusted you with their credit card info. You are remarkable, you just need to spend time thinking about this.
Take 4 weeks thinking about this. It’s a fucking important question.
Once the answer is clear start talking to people who bought from you. Email people who bought 2 years ago and didn’t buy since. Email the new order you had from Birmingham, Alabama 2 days ago. Email the customer who just wrote a review on your Facebook page. Email the person who just placed their 3rd order.
I know, the list looks daunting. You are busy and don’t have time to send personalized emails all day long. Are you planning on spending indefinitely to acquire new customers? Because if you aren’t then you don’t have a choice. So just get over it.
Also, using software automation to get the job done isn’t an option. Stop being lazy. Also, software automation doesn’t work. An online e-tailer had 7 customer reviews on their product page. They were sending the standard template “review request” email to new purchasers, to which hardly anyone responds. They then updated their review request email and made it super personal. The outcome? A 4.6x improvement in customer reviews collected.
If you do this one thing well you will singlehandedly change the trajectory of your business. Do it.
Hat tip to Paige Kusmierz for sharing this great Spirit Airlines (spirit.com) email blast. Love their sense of humor (read text at bottom of screenshot):
When I unsubscribed from a mailing list I was taken to a page with a funny video that begged me to stay subscribed:
You can see this page live here: https://spc.gc.epsilon.com/optout/OptOut.aspx