Probably the most reliable way to solve the email delivery problems is to shift the desire for communications from the merchant (you) to the customer. By shifting this desire, the customer will now be eager to receive emails from you. The best way to create this desire is to give your customers something of value in their email each week.
People come to the internet for many things including entertainment, discussion, free stuff and diversion. But the very common thing that people want is knowledge. You must have a specialised knowledge which you can offer to your customers that will not only benefit. This specialised knowledge can also be used as a marketing tool to open communications to your customers’ email inboxes in a far more effective way than any blind email or mass mailing could ever do.
There are several ways to offer training courses online including ebooks or videos. But the most effective, for the sake of opening a long lasting communication channel to your customers, is an email course in which you can step by step lay out the specialised knowledge you have about your field of expertise over a period of twelve to fifteen instalments.
Sometimes this kind of offering is called an autoresponder series because the function of an autoresponder software package can be helpful with the distribution of the e-course. An autoresponder is a specialised service or type of software that either automatically responds to events or emails by sending out a response email or it can be used to generate email traffic on a schedule basis. So you can use an autoresponder to send the next installment of your email course to those who ‘subscribe” to it and know that it will go out without fail on the appointed day.
Now probably the biggest challenge of offering an autoresponder email course is how to create the course. Few of us are writers and while you may have the knowledge, you may not know how to transform that knowledge into a course.
There are a few ways to solve this problem.
1. You can hire a ghostwriter to compose the course for you.
2. You can record the course contents into a tape recorder and then have it transcribed into a written course that you can send to customers in short email instalments.
3. You could even ask a friend to “interview” you to draw that specialised knowledge out of you. The interview can be in a fairly free form and then you can take the transcriptions of the interviews and organize them by topic into an e-course to offer your customers.
Once you have the contents laid out, don’t publish it yet. Take a look at it and check the outlines where you can integrate marketing messages. Many of the products or services you offer as part of your business are directly related to your specialised knowledge. So by including links to your shopping cart pages or to web pages that can lead customers to purchase decisions, the course is both instructional and useful in promoting your web site and sales as well.
The next step is to get the course into the hands of your users. The first candidates that will become your ‘students” are those that spend a lot of time on your website. So look for the regular visitors in your website and open a conversation with them about offering a course.
You can also create multiple ways to allow your customers to subscribe to the course series. An online sign up is always a good choice because you can harvest their email addresses there then you can open communications with them by using their emails.
As the customer enjoys learning from your series, the added benefit of getting them want to have an active interaction with you and your web site is put in place. And the course can be viral such that, it will be passed along to friends and family members, so it recruits new customers as well.
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