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Ian Brodie

Ian Brodie teaches consultants, coaches and other professionals to attract and win their ideal clients by becoming seen as authorities in their field.


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More Clients TV

3 Powerful Emails You MUST Have In Your Toolkit

Posted on 9th June 2015.

In this week's 5 Minute Marketing Tip I share 3 of the most powerful emails you can use either in an email marketing program or as one-off emails.

If you haven't already downloaded the template and guidebook to the 21 Word Email I mention you can do so below the video.
 
Click here to watch the video »

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More Clients TV

How To Write an Email Autoresponder Sequence

Posted on 24th March 2015.

I‘ve just started up a new initiative: a weekly Marketing Q&A video.

Every week I'm going to be answering questions submitted to me in a short video. This first question comes from Glyn and it's about writing an Email Autoresponder Sequence.

Autoresponder sequences can be hugely valuable. They let you quickly nuturue relationships with new subscribers to your emails. And since you use the same sequence for each new subscriber, everyone who joins can get your very best material and you can maximise your chances of turning them into a paying client…if you do it right.
 
Find out how by clicking here to watch today's video »

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Get Clients Online

The 15 Best Email Subject Lines To Get People To Open Your Emails

Posted on 26th November 2014. The 15 Best Email Subject Lines To Get People To Open Your Emails

Your primary goal in email marketing is to get results. That might be sales, client enquiries, offers to come and speak.

And, of course, the first step to getting people to take action is that they have to open and read your emails. In today's overcrowded world, that's no easy task.

Click here to find the best ways of getting people to open your emails »

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Get Clients Online

3 Simple Mistakes Which Stop People Reading Your Emails

Posted on 23rd June 2014.

A lot of focus gets put in Email Marketing on subject lines.

After all, if no one opens your email, no one is going to take action or buy.

But after opening it, if they then don't read it or they scan it and just close it without properly reading; it's the same end result. No action and no sales.

And frankly, making your emails readable is something even marketing experts screw up regularly as we'll see in a few moments.

Click here to discover the 3 big mistakes and how to fix them »

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Get Clients Online

Why you should NEVER subscribe someone to your newsletter without asking

Posted on 15th May 2013.

No Unwanted Emails PleaseLet me tell you a cautionary tale.

A year or so ago I was contacted by a marketing consultant who'd found me via the web. We swapped emails. Bumped into each other at an event. And eventually he asked if I'd like to meet for a coffee as he had a few questions he'd like to ask my advice on.

Click here to read what happened next and the impact of bad email practices >>

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More Clients Podcast

Email Marketing Tips from Steve Gordon

Posted on 14th January 2013.

Marketing consultant Steve Gordon reveals some of the surprising ways he's using email marketing to grow his consulting business

Steve Gordon is a marketing consultant for service business who's grown his number of leads and clients dramatically over the past few years by doing email marketing rather differently to most everyone else.

In this podcast interview, Steve reveals why he emails his subscribers daily (yep, that's right, daily) and why it works for him.

We talk about how to write effective emails that build credibility without “giving everything away”, the right length and format for emails, and how to sell professional services via email.

Subscribe To The More Clients Podcast

To get more from Steve and experience his brand of email marketing, head over to his site here:

Steve Gordon Marketing

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Marketing

My Worst Performing Email EVER (And How To Avoid Making The Same Mistake Yourself)

Posted on 24th June 2012.

Email PerformanceLast week I sent out an email to my Insider Strategy subscribers that had the worst open rate I've had for an email ever.

The email got 20% fewer opens than normal. For a business like mine that has email marketing at its core, that's a disaster.

And for someone like me who's studied email marketing in depth, bought pretty much every training course there is on email marketing, and who's been interviewed on email marketing best practices on more than one occasion it's a little embarrassing.

So what went wrong?

Well, the truth is, I fell into a trap that very many people do with their marketing. I got too clever.

Here's the offending email subject line:

“Spooked By Shadows”

You can probably see what's wrong with it straight away. There's no real motivation for people to open it.

The email itself is a good one. All about the importance of not being scared in your marketing by what your competitors might be doing.

So the subject line “Spooked By Shadows” is a clever one. Alliterative too, and reads nicely.

Clever. But not effective.

Many years ago John Caples studied the most effective headlines for adverts – and identified that the three types of headline that work well are:

  • Benefits: the headline indicates the benefit you'll get by reading on (or buying the product)
  • News: the headline refers to something in the news that people already want to hear about
  • Curiosity: the headline invokes curiosity – the prospect reads on to find out what the headline means

The same principles apply to email subject lines.

Benefit headlines are often the strongest. Subject lines like “How to find your ideal niche” work because they promise to reveal how to do something your readers (or in this case my readers) really want to know.

And you can often combine types. “5 ways of winning clients with mobile apps” is a benefit headline (winning clients) combined with news (mobile apps are hot at the moment) and it's also curiosity (“I wonder what those 5 ways are…”).

And my email contained…none of them.

Well maybe a bit of curiosity. Perhaps someone wondered what I meant by “Spooked By Shadows”.

I fell into the trap that so many do of trying to be clever and funny with my marketing.

But I really should have stuck to being effective.

If you're writing emails, adverts or sales pages you should stick to being effective too. Follow Caples' advice and stick to benefits, news or curiosity.

If you'd like more in-depth tips on email marketing – completely free – you can sign up for my series of Email Marketing Power Tips here:

Email Marketing Power Tips >>.

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Get Clients Online

How To Get More Clients Online: Part 2 – Build Relationships

Posted on 5th September 2010.

This is the second in a series of posts on how to get more clients via online approaches for your professional business. It's written specifically with small and independent consultants and coaches in mind – but the lessons are applicable to other professional businesses.

Relationship Building: The Missing Link

If you've been looking into internet marketing for any time you'll no doubt have heard the “secret formula” for success on the web – traffic x conversions.

It's a statement of the blindingly obvious really: to get business on the web you need to get visitors to your site and convert them into customers. In some ways it's about as insightful as telling an offline retailer that the secret of success is to get customers into their shops and persuade them to buy.

At least it's succinct and it helps to focus your activities.

But for getting consulting, coaching or other professional services clients online – it's not sufficient.

The trouble is that unlike buying a book on amazon or even a TV from an online electronics store, clients aren't going to buy complex, costly, intangible services after just one visit to your site.

Before clients have the confidence to hire you to perform a high value, high impact service for them they need to be convinced you understand their issues, you have the capabilities to help them, and that you'll be a good fit to work with them and their team.

That confidence isn't going to be built in one visit to your site.

You need multiple interactions. And the deeper those interactions are, the more the client's confidence will be built.

This is a big gap for most professionals. Visitors to their site passively consume the content, but there’s nothing to engage them and start up a relationship with them. Nothing for them to interact with – except perhaps a lonely contact form asking visitors to make contact if they need their services.

In fact, there are many ways to build relationships with website visitors. You can encourage comments and feedback on your blog. You can run surveys. You can create a forum for discussion around specific topics. You can encourage them to link up with you via social media. Anything that takes them beyond being passive consumers of the information on your site to being active participants.

Active participation and interaction is the key to taking your relationship to the next level. The more they feel they’re communicating directly with you – not just reading your material like they’d read a book from a distant author – the stronger your relationship will get.

For most professionals, the simplest way to get more interaction and more direct communication is via an email “newsletter”.

I put newsletter in quotes, because although that’s what they’re most often called – in fact their focus shouldn't be on news. Updates from professionals with news on what’s happening in their company, who’s moving departments, which clients they’re working with, and the latest services they’re offering are typically filed straight in the trash by clients.

But newsletters which share useful information about the area in which the consultant is an expert – and which the client needs ideas and support in – are read with enthusiasm and filed where they can be found.

Not by everyone, of course. Not everything you send out will be valued by all your subscribers. But keep producing valuable, insightful material and you’ll find you engage much more with your potential clients.

They’ll start emailing you. Thanking you for your material. Asking you questions. And eventually, contacting you about your services.

And, most importantly, since by signing up they've given you permission to pro-actively contact them – you're not reliant on them remembering to come back to your website and remembering how to find it. You can actively keep in touch and nurture your relationship with them – you're in control.

This was really brought home to me a few months after I started producing my own newsletter.

I noticed the number of emails and contact form submissions I was getting from potential clients had gone up. So I tracked back the communications from a few of the recent enquires which had eventually turned into clients.
Over half of the emails had come within a few hours of the person contacting me reading the latest edition of my newsletter.

It wasn’t the first newsletter they’d had from me. In most cases they’d signed up a few months previously. They’d read a few issues of the newsletter and clicked through to a number of other articles.

But reading the latest issue of the newsletter in each case had “tipped them over the edge”. They’d been convinced I knew what I was talking about and had contacted me with details of a particular issue they wanted me to help with.

And notice – in each case they contacted me. I wasn’t pushing anything at them. Over time the articles on the website and the newsletter had convinced them I was the right person to help them.

As you can imagine – that makes the sales conversations with these potential clients an awful lot easier than if I’m pushing and promoting, or up against other equally well positioned competitors.

There’s a saying in the world of online marketing that “the money is in the list”.

I hate the saying. I hate calling valued potential clients who’ve chosen to receive communications from you a “list”.

But the meaning behind the saying is absolutely true. Your valued subscribers are your greatest asset online.

Featured

Mindset

Don’t Put Me On Your List

Posted on 21st March 2009.

You've got mail!A topic I've blogged about frequently is the importance of good follow-up and of nurturing relationships over time.

In The Importance of Good Follow-Up I highlighted the futility of the “Nice to meet you, if you ever need our services…” email follow-up to networking meetings and suggested a number of value-adding alternatives.

One trend I've noticed recently is the increasing use of email newsletters as a follow-up mechanism. It's a trend I whole heartedly applaud – my business is driven by email marketing. But only when you do it right.

And signing people up for your email newsletter without their permission is absolutely the wrong way to do it.

On at least half a dozen occasions recently I've found myself subscribed to email newsletters from people and companies who I've met briefly at networking meetings. I've given them my business card and they've plugged it straight into their email distribution list.

This is a follow-up mechanism that has the potential to add value if the newsletter is of high quality and relevant to me. But how does it make me feel to have my details “harvested” in this way?

To be honest, not great.

It feels impersonal. I've not had an email or call from them. Nothing mentioning any connection we made at the event and no thought from them on tailoring the message to my specific needs. I've just been fed into their email marketing machine.

I wondered whether I was the only one who felt this way, so I posed the question on Twitter to see how others felt:

How do you feel if you're auto subscribed to an email newsletter?

As you can see from this sample of responses, people's feelings are almost universally negative. They range from “I want to *smack* them!” and “it sucks!” to at best, “my junk filtering can soon take care of them if they fail to send me anything interesting or useful”. And remember, these negative responses are to something as seemingly innocent as adding someone's name to an email distribution list after meeting them. For me, Kneale Mann summed up the sentiment best best when he replied: “A handshake does not make you a customer”.

Obviously, Twitter followers are not a sample that's representative of the public at large. But I do believe they represent an important and growing sensitivity to the appropriate use of information.

So what's the alternative?

Well, since you are interacting face to face with them, there should be ample opportunity to offer to send the newsletter and get their permission.

If the time isn't right when you meet them, then send them an email afterwards with a sample copy of the newsletter suggesting it might be of interest and giving a link to sign-up if they are. Personalise the emails – recalling topics you discussed or better still – add value by suggesting ideas for questions they posed or challenges they highlighted when you were talkign with them.

Now don't get me wrong, this is my opinion as to what you should do rather than something that is proven to have better results. I haven't done any testing to see what results in better long-term subscriptions, click throughs on the newsletter or eventually sales.

But for me that doesn't matter. If you want to establish a reputation as someone who can be trusted then you mustn't do anything early on in the relationship to suggest an abuse of trust. Auto-subscribing people to your newsletter without asking is hardly the crime of the century – but to many people it suggests that you will not treat them as individuals with their best interests at heart.

Personally, I'd rather lose potential newsletter subscribers than lose that reputation of trust.

Ian

PS Many thanks to all the Twitter users who replied to my poll on this topic – your answers were most helpful.

You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ianbrodie