Recently I’ve received several marketing emails from people I hadn’t heard from in years.
Now one or two did apologise for the long period of silence. But most didn’t.
Here’s a typical scenario:
We meet at a networking meeting, have a short chat and I say I’m happy for you to keep in touch via email (I’ll not get started on the people who add you to their marketing list without permission or we’ll be here all day).
I maybe receive 3 or 4 emails from you over the course of the next few months. Then nothing.
Time passes – I’ve moved from Yorkshire to Manchester so we don’t meet at networking any more. My business has developed in different ways and so has yours.
Then out of the blue I receive a standard “Buy My Stuff” email from you via Mailchimp or whatever email marketing tool you are using.
Am I going to buy your stuff? Not a chance!
If I’m in a good mood, I’ll unsubscribe. If I’m having a bad day I may well hit the “Report Spam” button.
Now as small business owners it’s tough to keep up to date with all the marketing we optimistically said we’d be doing when we did our start of year plan. I’m as guilty as anyone of missing an email or blog post. Whether it’s work commitments, illness or struggling to know what to say, those regular emails to your subscribers are all too easy to skip.
But the longer you leave it the colder your list gets. And if you leave it for years then most people are going to think “Who on earth is this?” rather than “Let’s buy that”.
So make it a priority to keep in touch with your subscribers.
Keep sending emails regularly. If you struggle for time, then cut back the frequency – it’s better to send a good quality email every couple of months than the feast and famine approach that so many businesses adopt.
If you have let things lapse, then you need to warm your list up again.
Don’t suddenly email everyone on your years old list with your latest offer. At best it will get ignored. At worst you’ll get a ton of spam complaints and blocked by your email provider.
Do a clean up of your list. Go through and remove any people you know have moved on or are unlikely to be interested.
Craft a “sorry I haven’t been in touch” email. Ask those remaining if they still want to be contacted by you. Include something that they might find useful – even if it’s just a link to a blog post with some great advice.
Then send it out in batches and check the responses. If you get too many spam complaints or bounces then clean up your list some more before you continue. If things are really bad then you may need to just scrap that list and start again.
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