The REAL Truth About E-mail Marketing

Posted by Poppy Behrens on Jul 18, 2009 12:00:00 AM

By Derek M. Naylor

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One of my friends and mentors often relates effective e-mail marketing to Chinese Water Torture. And I believe he’s right …

Never heard of Chinese Water Torture? Here’s a quick rundown before I get to my point. I promise it will all come together for you and be worth the momentary trip to the dark side.

Say you have a captive that you want to extract information from, or just plain torture.

Simply tie them down to the ground and immobilize them. Then, setup a contraption that slowly–and randomly–drips drops of water on their forehead. According to Mythbusters make sure the water is chilled and the drops are released at random intervals. After a long enough period of time the person you give this lovely treatment to will go insane and start telling you everything you want to know. At least that’s the theory.

Now, for those of you who don’t know me too well, yet …

Even though it sounds like I know what I’m talking about, I’ve never done this to anybody and do not recommend you do either. The last thing I need is a federal agent breaking down my door and charging me with some sort of felony. But, I do recommend learning from why this form of torture is effective and applying it to your e-mail marketing.

First off, a drop of water seems harmless enough, right? So we’re not scaring anybody away immediately with too much pressure. Secondly, the randomness of the drop speed is very important. Not knowing when the next drop will hit you is a big part of what makes this work. And third, those drops of water begin to feel like nails dropping on your head after a while due to the frequency and consistency. Try this on your hand if you don’t believe me.

[Side note, getting the “drops” delivered and delivered legally is of significance in our context, more on that later]

The same is true with e-mail marketing …

Many people mess up right out of the gate by dumping the equivalent of an entire bucket all over their customer’s face. Keep it interesting, keep it light, and always add value to the reader. You need them to be excited to open your next message when it shows up. The more messages you get them to open, read, and enjoy, the more your influence increases with them. Read that again, and again, it’s a fundamental part of successful e-mail marketing!

Think of your e-mail inbox for a minute. There are messages you get that are all hype and all sales. What do you do with them most of the time? You either unsubscribe or just delete them without ever reading the message.

If there’s somebody who always sends good stuff, or does so 90 percent of the time, you open and read the message at your earliest opportunity.

We need to be the people who send important, relevant, and fun stuff on a random basis—or at least make it appear that way.

E-mail marketing is very attractive. It’s cheap, easy, and earth friendly. But, if not done right, it could land you with a huge fine from the FCC and on the blacklists of Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Add in the fact that most people don’t follow the “water torture” methodology and you usually get a formula that doesn’t produce good results and will eventually land you in trouble.

But, if you know your way around those obstacles, e-mail can be an invaluable tool.

Having an e-mail marketing system for prospective customers and existing tenants is a must for any operator these days.

Your tenant e-mail marketing system should:

Further increase the amount of referrals you receive.
Increase your average length of stay.
Improve the effectiveness of up-sell and cross-sell campaigns.
Help you get new rentals from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media hotbeds.
Give you an open door into the minds of your tenants for important communications and promotions you
might need or want to send.

Your prospect e-mail marketing system should:

Educate your prospects why they should choose you over your completion in a fun, interesting way.
Stay in front of them for at least 14 days while they’re in the critical decision making phase.
Address all of their hot buttons so they ultimately choose you and aren’t as concerned about price.

This should be mostly automatic and follow the “water torture” methodology we discussed at the beginning of this article.

The information provided here represents a portion of a very complex subject that is very relevant for our times. If you are interested in learning more, please see the banner ad above to register for a free teleseminar on e-mail marketing.