In this article, I want to discuss the differences between short term versus long term marketing relationships.
I think you know what I mean…
How quickly do you go for your customers wallet after they have subscribed to your list?
Should you have a packed sales funnel after the initial optin or should you seek to offer additional value before asking for more?
Personally, I have little objection to a long sales funnel immediately after optin, as long as the products offered in the sales funnel meet the following criteria:
- they genuinely complement and add to the initial purchase
- the initial offer delivers a valuable solution that is not dependent on buying the upsell i.e. that I am left with a feeling of being ‘tricked’ into the initial decision.
- The upsell offers good value e.g. perhaps a discount or a genuine step-up in performance
You must leave your customer thinking that you are genuinely interested in delivering excellent value versus an impression that the vendor sees you as a gullible consumer who is there simply to hand over as much cash as possible before you move onto the next product or customer. In the make money online niche, this is known as ‘burning your list’.
For this reason, it is important to think about how your business can deliver genuine value. For this to happen, you need your customer to actually do something with your product.
Also, consider whether you can you really deliver value across a whole range of niches or unrelated topics within your niche?
Or is it perhaps better to focus on a particular area and ‘go deep’ so that all the products you offer to your customer list are related to delivering the solution you offered initially when they first came to your squeeze page.
This means that you become a genuine expert in a particular area rather than a superficial generalist.
I believe that by focusing on your area of expertise and going deep in the creation of your own products, you will have more credibility and will be able to create a longer term relationship with your clients.
This does not preclude you from then offering the products of other experts in your niche who have genuine expertise. These must be selected carefully because your customers are buying based on your recommendation and an unscrupulous vendor could quickly degrade your relationship of trust with your customer.
One of the biggest keys to business growth is increasing the number of times customers buy from your business and it is therefore sensible to sometimes sacrifice short-term monetary desires in favour of long-term growth of your relationship.
One way to think about this is by first considering whether or not you would send this email, or make this recommendation, to a friend or a member of your family. If you hold yourself to a standard like this and write with their best interests at heart, then you will not go too far wrong.
You may be saying to yourself that you would freely offer your product or services to a friend. I don’t think that this is appropriate and I’ll tell you why.
I have discovered in my consulting business that people do not value that which they get for free. If they don’t value it, they won’t use it or learn from it so you are actually doing them a disservice by offering it for free, assuming you have a genuine solution to their problem.
Far better to fully explain the benefits and get them to commit to the solution by putting some ‘skin in the game’ which requires them to do something to get a return on their investment i.e. pay for it and use it!
Whilst there is a short-term imperative to at least cover our initial costs of marketing, taking a longer term perspective on the relationship you create with your customer is usually the most profitable way to proceed. However, the only way to create a genuine long-term relationship is when you persuade your customer to take action on what they get from you so that they actually receive the benefit you offer.
In order for that customer to be persuaded to take action, most times they need to have paid for the product or service that they received from you because otherwise they will not attach any value to what you provide (particularly in the info marketing niche where value is somewhat subjective and often based upon the willingness of the buyer to act on what you tell them.)
It is still possible to promote early on in your relationship with a subscriber if you do it with some finesse and elegance. An example of this, is offering plenty of free value along with your promotional link.
Also, a great way to not be overtly promotional is to extensively use personal stories based on your experience that somehow end up leading to your promotional link.
Great exponents of the story-line technique are Matt Furey, Ben Settle and Andre Chaperon. I am on Ben Settle’s list and I own training by the other two so I can speak from first experience of their techniques.
Andre likens short-term (or front-end) marketing and long-term marketing (or ‘backend’) marketing to an iceberg. The front-end being the tip of the iceberg in terms of profitability and the backend being the 90% of the iceberg that is hidden underwater and that generates the bulk of his profits.
In Autoresponder Madness, Andre refers to his story-line as a ‘soap opera’ – in other words his emails are an ongoing story so you are eager to open up the next email to find out what happens next. This is particularly powerful if you can leave the reader on a ‘cliff-edge’ at the end of the email.
What I particularly like about Autoresponder Madness is that when I read it it was in its third iteration i.e. the product was under constant revision and improvement. (I suspect that buyers of the initial book were offered a discount to buy the updated version.)
In Matt Furey’s case, the email story-line often has very little to do with the promotional link at the end of the email. The promotion is almost an after-thought to the story. Matt’s training is called Tao of Email Copy That Sells and I highly recommend it.
One of the best products I ever bought was a simple 45 minute webinar by Peter Garety called ‘Content Creation Framework Secrets’ in which he outlined a system for creating a structured framework for content creation that meant that all content created whether for blog, products or email marketing is created around a coherent framework which when taken together creates a coherent whole. This framework could be for all content created within a specific time-frame, say 3 months, dependent on the size and scope of your project.
Hopefully, these few ramblings offer you some insight into the differences between short-term marketing and the benefits of taking a longer term view of your content creation strategy.