We’re considering reaching out to everyone who at one point had been invited to sign up with AwesomeCorp, but for whatever reason didn’t. Are there any tips you can offer in this kind of solicitation? Do you guys do anything like this now?
Any tips you can share would be great!
Here is my advice:
1. Don’t ever let people go too long without hearing from you.
Don’t underestimate how busy well intentioned people are. Maybe the current week was just bad timing. They may very well want to try out your service, but they’ve forgotten about it. Don’t ever go more than a month without sending out an update.
2. Inspire passion – Your emailing should inspire love and hate.
Some people worry too much about unsubscribes from their email list. This leads to a fear of sending them or terribly bland content that doesn’t inspire action.
I believe if someone is turned off enough by what you are saying then either:
a. You aren’t delivering them useful content. In this case you suck.
b. They were never going to be good customers for you. Your list is better off without them.
To inspire action you have to make people feel something. Bland infrequent emails don’t make people feel anything. Sure, no one will unsubscribe… but no one will take any action either.
3. Develop an incentive for action.
What are you going to give them in return for coming back to your site? No one is doing this out of the goodness of their heart. Do they get a discount? Are they missing out on things their peers/friends are doing? Do you have a success story that makes them think “I’m missing out…”?
4. Change your pitch frequently.
Every email is a chance to try a new pitch and catch the attention of someone you didn’t reach before. Everyone has different triggers. If you use the same (or similar) pitch every time you aren’t going to inspire the people that weren’t inspired the first time they read it.
5. Leverage cohort analysis to know how engaged your customers are.
We recommend KissMetrics. They make this easy. You’ll get to see users in groups over time to see where they drop off. From there you can start to infer how frequently and what triggers you need to pull people back in.
6. Demonstrate progress & traction.
No one likes going first. Your first customers are the risk takers. A lot of people may have signed up, but they won’t use the service unless they know they aren’t alone. So tell them “Hey… we’ve generated over 100k leads for 3,000 customers since you passed on your first opportunity… it’s not too late to get started… “
7. Be transparent about your goals with a clear call to action.
Why are you sending this mail? If I’m inspired what action do you want me to take? Be clear and focused. No one will infer what you want them to do. No one really cares about a list of small features you’ve added. They care about human stories, how you can help them, what they are missing out on, and what you want them to do.
Hope that helps. If I were to boil it down to one sentence of advice for new businesses…
You need to inspire passion in the form of love and hate. Done properly, you’ll get both. You just need to make sure you make money off of one of them.