I made a new friend this week. Her name is Kim and she emailed me in response to last week’s Journey about my virtual assistant quitting. She asked me,
I was wondering how much success you’re seeing with the recent email campaigns you’ve been doing, and if you’ve received any feedback? If you’re open to it, I have some I’d be willing to provide.
Here was a customer – in this case a customer of my free content, but a customer nonetheless – with feedback. Of course I was open to it!
We talked for 38 minutes, making me late for my next appointment (but I didn’t want to get off the phone). She wondered if “going personal” was working. She also suggested I shorten it. (Weighing in at 814 words, last week’s was too long for her tastes.)
I replied, Yes! “Going personal” is working for me.
- With a 43.9% open rate, my second Journey called “Let’s Get Started” was my third-best open and fifth-best click-through rate (among 181 emails) since September 2011.
- I received very generous email replies from some readers who reciprocated with lengthy personal stories of their own. Mitch Zoch is an avid Mount Rainier hiker; Karen Cote is a Canadian newlywed who finally updated her LinkedIn profile.
- My unsubscribe rate is going up: No problem. If I don’t have anyone unsubscribe then I’m playing it too safely. Moreover, when my email list transfers to Drip (next week I hope), I’ll actively purge those who don’t open three consecutive emails and ignore one “last chance” email. They aren’t going to buy anyhow.
- Kim, herself, called my approach “ballsy,” which delighted me so much I added her one-word testimonial on my new Journey archives page. (See it here.)
I need to break up this text with a photo.
Here are my parents on their November 26, 1950 wedding day.
(Mom’s a subscriber. Love you, Mom.)
Be original, write something worth reading
Do you have a favorite author for your category? I have a few: Joe Pulizzi, Jay Baer, Ann Handley (see my fanboy picture and writeup from Content Marketing World).
What do they all have in common?
They are all uncommon.
They write something worth reading. They share incremental thoughts in their own voices.
I do it too. I bet you can hear my voice right now.
Now you try.
A marketing analogy
The classic five phases in the marketing funnel: Awareness, Interest, Trial, Loyalty, Advocacy.
Let’s consider those Journey readers who unsubscribed after my last email.
- AWARENESS: They became aware of me somehow (Google search, LinkedIn group, other).
- INTEREST: They were interested enough to sample my product. But it wasn’t for them; they never got past this stage.
- TRIAL: Some bought tickets for my 10x Medical Device Conference. Others hired me for medical device marketing consulting.
- LOYALTY: Paul Johnson hired me for consulting at AllTech because he was happy with our Aris Teleradiology work. Rick Stockton‘s never missed a 10x event.
- ADVOCACY: Meghan Alonso wanted to tell her followers about me. I was her first podcast guest.
Implication for your business: Just as I am the product for my business, you are the product for your business. People do business with you because of you. That’s what they signed up for.
So, don’t be shy. Give them what they asked for.
Inspired? Go write something. I’d be happy to review it, no charge.
- Seth Godin wrote this 146-word piece on “Processing Negative Reviews.” A timely coincidence.
- This article, “Amazon is Terrifying.” Personally, I don’t mind their terrifying-ness. From my view, they’ve improved each category they’ve entered so far. And don’t get Ted Rubin started on this topic!
- This article for you web design-curious folks about “ghost buttons.” Never knew that was a term. Very interesting read. What do you think of these ghosts?
I planned to share more but I have a 6:15 a.m. flight in six hours. I’m exhausted.
Thank you for joining me on The Journey.
See you next week – or sooner – if you choose to reply to this email,
P.S. Now that I have an archive page with a proper subscription form, please share this email with someone in your network you think would enjoy it. They can get their own subscription here.