Enough with the email marketing sequences already
Michael Griffiths, the networking guru, says, “You’re forgotten in 45 days.”
That’s a depressing statistic for Small Business people who need to be known and remembered in a big competitive world so that people will buy their products and services.
I asked myself about Michael’s comment, “Will I remember that wonderful organisation I heard of last week?” Probably not. “Will I remember the name of a business a friend recommended?” Unlikely. “Will I know what it was that they do?” Not unless I’ve written it down somewhere. And then where would that be? In OneNote? Google Pocket? My diary? My notepad? An email to myself? Argh!
The quick solution that many Small Businesses use is an email campaign. Every week I get dozens of emails which are intended to remind me of someone I met or an organisation or business I have had contact with. I don’t find the time to open most of them. Even if they are carefully worded, kindly offering just what I need, it doesn’t help if I haven’t read them. When I do, I am usually frustrated by something that doesn’t apply to me referring to something I’ve bought which I haven’t or something I might want to attend when I have already signed up last week. In short, they are a reminder that I am just a number in someone’s sales funnel. Not ideal.
I’m already drowning in hundreds of posts on social media by Small Businesses, big businesses, and friends. At times the noise is deafening. It’s hard to keep on top of everything, especially when it’s not essential. While I pride myself on keeping up with the most important things; client information, promises I’ve made, courses I am running, groups where I’m the admin, my global virtual walking tribe, professional groups not to mention school emails and family messages. There’s too much going on to prioritise someone I met at a networking meeting or an organisation a friend told me of a while ago that I should contact. They don’t make it to the top of the urgent and important list.
However, I will always notice someone who has contacted me in person. Not just added me to their email list, but who has got past the noise by doing one thing; gotten in contact, in person.
Not pseudo-person (like having an EA or PA or VA send out emails in your name). Nuh-uh. Being in contact in person is a phone call you make, a personal message you send or a face to face meeting or a small gathering of people that you attend. It’s a personalised invitation or a tailored message. People want to be reminded to stay connected because they have been invited. It’s an authentic way of strengthening your network which can be backed up by support people.
Building a powerful network is relational and not transactional. While an email sequence or a general mail-out might be a good supplementary way of staying in touch, you need to first let people know that you genuinely want to connect, person to person.
- The be-sure-to-help rule: Find out people’s needs, then meet them. If you can’t, don’t fob them off, but be generous and pass them on to someone in your network who can.
- The 24-hour rule: When you connect with someone you want to stay connected to, follow up within 24 hours.
- The reliability rule: If you promise information or a proposal, let them know when it will arrive and then beat your own deadline by a few hours or a day.
- The name rule: Remember the person’s name and something about them. Have a system to record who you met where and what the discussion was. It will be invaluable in a few months.
- The be-interested rule: Remain interested in and connected with those who don’t choose to purchase from you. You never know when you might help one another.
- The contribute and benefit rule: Find ways where you can contribute to them and benefit from them; that’s the start of a real win-win. Make sure they have a chance to do the same. Engagement is built on both parties being able to both benefit and contribute.
- The Triple Win rule: Find ways to build triple wins from win-win situations; the more people or entities can win from an engagement, the more solid those wins become.
- The don’t-waste-time rule: Recognise that people are busy. Make it easy for them to stay connected.
- The time allocation rule: Allocate one day a week to your Tribe. Mine is Thursday. ‘Tribe Thursday’. Everything network-related lives on a Thursday (although I also have ‘Opportunity Tuesday’ to back it up, all opportunity meetings are scheduled then).
I am sure you can remember someone who, in the last week, has made an impression and drawn you closer to their network by following one or more of these rules. They have got past the noise and really reached you, the person.
So, back to Michael Griffiths’ statistic about how quickly people forget you if you’re not in touch in a way that gets through to them.
Just remember, mail-outs and contacts are never enough. As an add-on and reminder, yes. But as the main means of connecting? No. People want to have real contact with you.
I’d love to hear your experience.