There’s a lot of studies out there that have proven that email marketing campaigns work. That’s why we keep receiving them as consumers. Brands send promotional emails and watch as sales come in. It builds businesses if you have the messaging is done correctly, and if you are doing everything right. The three main benefits of email marketing are it increases sales, builds integrity, and humanises the brand.
1) Increase your sales
When you keep sending emails that add value to your clients, they’re going to fall in love with you. They’re going to keep coming back willingly. They’re going to keep seeing your name when they come back to your website. They may end up purchasing your products regularly that they otherwise would not have bought. So, when you get those repeat visitors, it’s always going to be a good thing. Email marketing also is crucial to let them know of new complementary products that came out from their previous purchase or letting them know about other products that are coming out that they may enjoy. Once someone spends their money with you once, they’re much more likely to spend their money again on your complementary products or services.
2) Build your integrity
One of the best ways to create a brand is to keep getting in front of people. When you keep sending emails to them and provide them with value by helping them out, you’re going to build your brand because they’re going to come back to you. They’re going to tell other people about you. And it’s just going to increase from there exponentially.
3) Humanise your brand
Most people don’t always like doing business with a company. They want to understand the people behind the business. They want to make that connection to the staff who is sending the email. When you do this correctly through email marketing campaigns, you can convey who you are and all of your interests to people. At this point, they won’t just be relating to the brand any longer. They’ll be connecting to another person. They’ll understand there’s a person behind the brand. And when they do that, it can humanize your brand.
If you do your email marketing campaigns consistently and the right way, it can go a long way in helping your company establish authority in a particular area. It can get people to trust you and come to you for advice. When you create that authority, people are going to see that your brand is outstanding. Eventually, you become the go-to person or company in that particular niche.
If you want your email campaigns to land in the inbox of your subscribers, you should improve the email deliverability. The golden rule of email deliverability is not to act like a spammer. Every single email you send, including transactional emails such as receipts, passwords, and resets, should be as non-spam like as possible that your users in all probability need. Even though the email got sent on your end does not imply that it made it to your subscribers’ inbox. It could have gone to the spam or junk folder or got blocked altogether. It means that you need to put the following measures in place.
1) ISP compliance
Internet service providers are the guards of your subscribers’ inboxes. Its goal is to deliver emails that its users want and expect to receive. Nothing gets beyond without them. They provide the client with their email address. These include Gmail, Hotmail, AOL, Comcast, Yahoo, colleges that give out dot Edu addresses and enterprises. Each has its own set of rules, checks, and algorithms to decide whether your mail passes. Many even publish their standards online. Your job is to earn their trust because they watch what you’re sending by making a few inquiries to check whether anybody has heard about you or have read your message to ensure that you’re posting something that clients want. If they don’t trust you, regardless of how good your email marketing campaigns are, no one will see them. If you structure your email program with this in mind, then everything else typically falls into place.
2) Device compliance
For emails to make the right impact people need to be able to read them. They’ll do it using all sorts of devices and gadgets. So, you need to be open to exploring different deliverability techniques and methods.
3) Blacklist compliance
There are various blacklist organizations that ISPs subscribe to help them determine whether you are a spammer or not. These organizations hold large databases of spam domains and IP addresses. Some of the trusted ones are BSB, ACBL, PSP, and spam cop. Each has their spam filters. ISPs usually don’t publish which blacklist services they use. In any case, just knowing the big players can help you track if you ever get blacklisted. And so, you can get in touch with them to get you removed from their blacklist. The rule of thumb to follow to be blacklist compliant is never purchase or rent lists from shady sources and don’t scrape websites to harvest email addresses.
4) In and out compliance
Have a proper opt-in process. The sender must have either explicit or implicit consent to send email campaigns. The sender must document how it got the email address, including the opt-in date, connecting IP address, and the sign-up page. What’s more, the message must inform recipients how to opt-out of future messages. In other words, the email must include a functioning unsubscribe link. If a subscriber opts out, you must honour it within a reasonable timeframe.
5) Country compliance
Numerous nations have laws regulating what you can and can’t do with emails. And even if you aren’t operating in the country where the rule applies, you may still be subjected to their requirements if you’re sending emails to that country. Complying with them is to your benefit and should be part of any good email marketing process. The more well-known ones are Canspam in the US and Casle in Canada. If you’re sending your emails to other states, you may want to consult their local laws. However, complying with Canspam and Casle can put you into compliance with a vast majority of countries. Canspam stands for controlling all non-solicited pornography and marketing. Some of the requirements include the message cannot have false or deceiving header information. The email cannot use misleading subject lines. If the content is in an advertisement, you must identify it as such. The campaign must clearly state the location of the business. Casle stands for Canadian anti-spam legislation, and it has one of the strictest anti-spam laws in the world. Some of the requirements include the message must identify the sender and must provide a way for the recipient to contact the sender. Even if you don’t have Canadian subscribers, compliance with Casle would be a decent practice because it will cover your bases with most other countries’ email and anti-spam laws.
Even if you are not a spammer, the mailbox providers do all sorts of complex and sophisticated analysis to determine whether your message is worthy of the inbox. So, you need to understand how this process functions so you can utilize it in your favor to improve your email deliverability.
Think about ditching the sales pitch. It’s not merely an important profession. Sales is an honorable field, too. But there’s a part of sales that feels undignified to me, something the industry could do without. I’m talking about the pitch.
Ethics is defined as a system of moral principles concerned with what is good for individuals and society. If that is true, how can a pitch be ethics-based when the effort is focused on trying to get you to buy something before I know whether you need it or want it or whether it would even be of benefit to you? It can’t, so drop the sales pitch. A pitch is a self-centered technique that isn’t focused on helping other people. In my estimation, it violates what is ethical because it focuses only on the salesperson without taking into account how a prospective customer might benefit, too.
People like to buy, but they don’t like to be sold to. A pitch is an example of focusing solely on the latter. If you start with a pitch, you have no idea what the prospective customer wants or needs or what would be a good fit for that person.
Focus on What Fits
I arrived at this stance early in my consulting career. Corporate life can often force you to focus on quotas and targets. Leadership, meanwhile, might dictate that hitting your numbers — regardless of whether the product or service fits the client’s wants and needs — is more important than anything else.
To be clear, this approach doesn’t make it harder to hit your quota or target; it makes it easier. You now spend time with prospective customers who might actually buy from you rather than trying to force people to buy from you when have no intention to do so.
The problem with the pitch became clear to me when I sold a client only to later realize that the company had been a bad fit for what I could deliver. The client wasn’t ready to make the necessary changes to the company. I was left trying to help make it work, but the client wouldn’t let me. Now, we teach our advisors that both parties get to make a decision regarding whether they’ll work together. Focusing on a mutual fit rather than what can be sold is one of the most crucial lessons a salesperson can learn.
Being a good salesperson is about helping a prospective customer satisfy a need or a want. It is, after all, the honorable thing to do. The problem is that too few salespeople take this approach. Don’t just take it from me. Consider the evidence.
While less than 20% of salespeople think they are being pushy to drive a transaction, half of all buyers feel like they are being pushed too hard toward a sale. To improve relationships, ditch the pitch. Without pitches, your people can have more effective sales conversations with prospective customers because they don’t have to try so hard to make a sale. They only have to determine whether there’s a mutual fit.
Make It a Two-Way Conversation
To do so, start by asking plenty of pointed questions that get to the heart of the customer’s wants and needs. By taking this approach, your prospective customer conversations are all going to be different, so start by focusing on what is important to the client. This will make your prospective customer conversations much more collaborative because you are focusing on helping someone buy rather than convincing someone to buy. From these conversations, you can determine whether your product or service actually fills your customer’s desires. If not, walk away or refer the customer to someone else.
The best businesses focus on putting customers first. Salespeople ought to do the same. By prioritizing a customer’s wants and needs, salespeople can see whether their product or service aligns well. It also shows customers that they are more than just a number. So drop the sales pitch and start making customers feel important.
If you’re interested in learning more from Mark Thacker, join the SMEI webinar on December 3, 2019.
Mark Thacker is the president of Sales Xceleration, a firm specializing in sales strategy, sales process, and sales execution. Mark has a 33-year history of sales leadership and success in diverse industries.
A natural leader and motivator, Mark has led sales teams with annual revenue responsibility from $1 million to in excess of $800 million. Prior to the founding of Sales Xceleration, he personally worked with more than 50 companies in the small business community, serving as an outsourced VP of sales, helping many to record-breaking results. As the leader of Sales Xceleration, he has overseen the growth of over $1 billion in revenue from Sales Xceleration clients since 2011.
Mark is the author of “Hope Realized: Finding the Path to Sales Success.”
How do you overcome your fears as a salesperson? The life of a salesperson isn’t easy. Whether you’re cold calling, dealing with a difficult prospect, or finding yourself filling the silence in conversation, everyone encounters a situation in which they are not totally comfortable, like Dorothy and her companions entering the forest to find the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz.
The sales process (much like the journey to the Emerald City) is filled with challenges. As 2019 comes to a close, many salespeople are reflecting on the year and determining how to improve in the future. It’s important that salespeople identify weaknesses or fears and address them head on.
Here are some of the most common fears among salespeople that I have found over my 25+ years of experience, and tips on how to combat them to make the most successful year possible. Just like the Cowardly Lion found courage was inside him all along, so will you – all you need is confidence in yourself.
Saying ‘I don’t know.’ Don’t ever lie and make something up. While it may be tempting to do so in a moment of uncertainty, the end result will not be in your favor. Instead, offer to follow up shortly after your conversation (“I just want to check on that and I’ll get back to you”). This builds another level of trust with your client; first, they know that everything you’ve answered thus far is accurate and correct, or else you would have said so. Second, following through quickly gains you respect and allows you to continue a relationship built off of honesty.
Not hitting a quota. Plain and simple – don’t find excuses or blame other people. Instead, pause and take a good look at your day-to-day activities. Are you doing enough to drive a sale? Do you have enough leads? Are you able to qualify those leads and pursue the strongest ones? If your metrics add up, then it might be your technique that’s off. Play back phone calls, evaluate talk time, and review the follow up materials you send out. Identifying the underlying issue will help you correct it sooner – whether that be partaking in additional training or more networking.
Asking what you think is a “stupid” question. Just ask it! Put yourself in your clients’ shoes and ask any question you’re embarrassed to ask about their business. Don’t worry about being perceived as not smart; ego can sometimes get in the way, misaligning messaging and creating mistrust. Put your ego aside and ask the question that will give you the information you need to help the client. In the end, be authentic, always.
Hearing “no.” Don’t be afraid to make that next phone call even after you may have been rejected all day long. You won’t get 100 “no’s” before at least one “yes.” Celebrate your no’s because they mean you’re closer to a yes. So make that call that you’ve been dreading and count down to your next yes.
As the 2019 year end closes, you may be wondering what are some of the best ways to leap the hurdles that could prevent you from closing out the year on target. If so, join us for a webinar on November 13, 2019 and you can hear some tips and advice first hand from a panel of experts.
Tara Bryant is Senior Vice President of Global Sales at Pipedrive, the first CRM built from the salesperson’s point of view. With 25 years of sales experience, she drives the company’s global sales and customer support functions, and manages its strategic partnerships.
Photo by Ray Grau on Unsplash
We are experiencing a significant shift in the real estate industry. More and more people are engaging in property transactions using digital money. In cities like Los Angeles, Miami, and London, people purchase expensive properties with Bitcoin. Stories abound of developers accepting Bitcoins for new projects in Dubai and New York. Many industry experts are excited about the potential for digital money and blockchain when it comes to real estate. But although digital currency transaction is the future, insiders say that we are not quite there as yet. However, when it comes to real estate market, the many benefits of buying and selling in Bitcoin can hardly be overlooked.
- A Bitcoin transaction is cheaper as it cuts costs by eliminating third parties. The fee to process the transaction is only 1%, which is a requirement for Bitcoin transfers.
- Also, digital sales are compelling in international property markets because they are quick, and in some cases even instantaneous. They remove the need for transfers between foreign banks and currency conversions, which can slow down the process by taking weeks or even months.
- Moreover, it is more transparent than the method for tracking fiat money as the firm just checks the legitimacy of the prospective Bitcoin buyers. Moreover, it is easier and more efficient than traditional currency from a technical perspective.
- Buying property in Bitcoin essentially involves fixing the price in fiat money and then converting it to Bitcoin. But the property seller absorbs none of the volatility as long as they exchange it back to fiat money as soon as the transaction is complete.
Mass adoption obstacles
Some Bitcoin analysts are less convinced that the property market would more widely adopt the cryptocurrency. First, the mechanics to convert their cryptocurrency into fiat money is very limited. But the biggest problem is the fact that Bitcoin and property appeal to different types of investors.
LinkedIn is the largest professional social network, yet many business professionals are only scratching the surface in using it as an integrated part of the sales process. LinkedIn provides the opportunity to create meaningful connections throughout the sales funnel when used strategically, and many active sales professionals say that LinkedIn is their most powerful online tool for finding prospects and building relationships.
If you are ready to take advantage of LinkedIn, the 5 P’s method will help you to focus your efforts strategically to get the results you want.
Your profile is your online resume – it needs to stand out and be compelling. This is your opportunity to position yourself as a powerful business professional. Think of your profile as your first impression with a potential lead or prospect. The most important elements of your profile are your picture (60% of your picture should be your face), your headline, and your summary. These are all at the top of your profile and follow you around LinkedIn. Complete the rest of your profile as much as possible and consider adding sections like certifications or projects to make it more robust.
TIP: Think about searchers when writing your headline, summary, and job descriptions on LinkedIn and use keywords to be found.
You don’t want to be talking to an empty room, so growing your network is important. Consider your objectives for being on LinkedIn and begin to target new connections who would be helpful to you in achieving your goals. This could be prospects, leads, people in your industry, thought leaders, or other business professionals. Building your network on LinkedIn is about both the quality and quantity of your connections, so don’t focus too much on numbers, but make sure that you are connecting with people that are relevant to you. You can also use LinkedIn search to find people and map out organizations to determine who the decision-makers are.TIP: When connecting with people who may not know you include a personal note as it increases the probability that people will accept your request.
Stay top-of-mind by posting regularly. This keeps you in front of your target audience and establishes you as an expert. Aim to post a few times a week, or as much as once a day. In addition to posting on your newsfeed you can also post to groups or longer format articles.TIP: Video posts are top performing right now. Consider adding short videos to break-through the noise and be seen.
Being active and participating is a great way to grow your visibility. Comment on and interact with the posts of others. Search hashtags and participate in conversations that are meaningful to your industry.
Consider participating in three places: 1) With people in your network on your own posts, 2) With people in your network on their posts, and 3) With people in your target audience.
TIP: You can also send private message to LinkedIn contacts once you have established a relationship and want to create a deeper discussion. Aim to take the conversation off of LinkedIn.
Finally, look at what is (or isn’t) working and optimize your approach. People not responding to your posts? Try asking questions or including a few popular topics (like travel tips or productivity) to generate interest. Evaluate your efforts and try different things to see what resonates. There isn’t a “magic formula” for LinkedIn – different things work for different people in different industries.TIP: Take some time each month to evaluate and improve.
LinkedIn can be a powerful tool – but only if you take the time to use it properly. Make a commitment to get more active on LinkedIn to boost your visibility, stay top-of-mind, establish yourself as a thought leader, and connect with prospects and clients.
TIP: Use the LinkedIn mobile app on your phone to stay active in downtimes throughout the day.
To learn how to use LinkedIn effectively, join us for a webinar: Mastering LinkedIn for Sales on October 10, 2019.
Photo by LinkedIn Sales Navigator on Unsplash