Millions are made selling products and services via email. Are you using email to sell? And if you aren’t, should you give it a try?
Email has been tainted by companies that spam (sending the same message indiscriminately to large numbers of recipients on the Internet) prospects, alienating them. But by persuading prospects to opt in to your mailing list and sending them useful valuable information, you can build a relationship with them which can lead to opportunities for selling.
Blatant sales pitches don’t work because prospective buyers have build resistance towards sales messages. We’ve all been sent unsolicited emails on products and services that we have no interest in. For example, cellphone manufacturers send me emails announcing their latest models. These emails contain no information on the features and benefits of the cellphone, availability or special prices. All you receive in your inbox is an HTML spam email with so many graphic images that your computer can’t upload them all.
Yet some high interest products and services lend themselves to email selling. For example, health, food, business and electronic products are popular. Consumers want more information on the latest products, features and benefits, prices, availability and places where they can buy.
My favourite emails come from Brian Tracy (sales), Robert Fritz (creativity and leadership), Dr Chester Karras (negotiation tips), digital dictation manufacturers and experts (digital dictation and voice recognition) and Michael Michalko (idea generation and ideation). All sell products or services but the information they offer on their subject expertise can’t be found anywhere else. I enjoy their personal, individual style of communication.
For a start-up or small business selling by email is possible without specialised skills as long as you have an email list of reasonable size. Small business owners can send out emails to their list once or twice a month with the following type of information:
1 Features and benefits of products or services
2 Stock availability (small wholesale nurseries, for example, send emails providing availability list with information and stock quality)
3 Use and maintenance of products
4 Special promotion and discounts
5 Product, technology, consumer and market trends
From time to time you can send straight sales pitches to your email list when you have special offers. But don’t overdo it otherwise you stand to lose your readership.
Many Internet marketing consultants are offering email training courses on selling. These courses are for small- and medium-sized businesses who sell online. The cost of these courses are high ($1,200 and more a year) for most small business owners. They teach ways to gain opt ins, build your list and to write emails regularly (even daily) that build customer relationships and pave the way for selling. If you plan to use email for the bulk of your selling, it would be worthwhile to take a course or be coached by someone who knows how to sell via email.
Email selling will never be as effective as closing sales with face-to-face selling. But the low cost of email selling compared to putting a salesperson on the road has resulted in many small business owners taking a serious interest in email selling.