A commercial photographer commented on Bob Bly’s blog last week complaining that email marketing has been destroyed by spammers. That anyone who signed up for one would invariably get spammed.
Another reader said she’d signed up for one, gotten the offer of a free consultation, and the sender never followed up.
What’s really wrong?
It’s not the newsletter (that’s just the tool). It’s the way people are using (or abusing) it. It’s like trying to break an egg with a hammer. It will work, sort of, but it will make a horrible mess.
Email without permission, build your newsletter the wrong way, or abuse the permission you received, and your readers will opt out, ignore you, or even report you.
Trust is essential
However, if you create a real relationship and they trust you, they will eagerly want to know what you have to say.
Say, for example, our photographer saw a newsletter from a digital photography software company. Instead of selling software directly, it had tips on how to use the software, where to get the best prices on equipment, and how to earn more money with fewer clients?
And, that newsletter offered regular, free, useful advice, without being annoying? What if subscribing got him access to exclusive ebooks or discounts? Or what if he got those things before they were released to the general public?
The problem with the free consultation offer was that it was never followed up. Not a good way to earn trust – regardless of whether the offer was delivered via email or snail mail.
If you want to break an egg, skip the hammer.
Image via art-core