I started by adding a list of 150 names that I thought could do business with me or refer me to business. Notice I said could not would. No guarantees. Some names on the list I knew would probably just like to follow along.
I asked most of these folks if they wanted to opt in with personal invites. I made it real clear to anyone on the list they could, and should, opt out if I didn’t add value.
My only goals were to add value and earn trust. I figured that would lead to possible clients.
Before I sent out the first email, I sat down and came up with 8-10 categories I would update each week. I decided on a set time and day for consistency. Don’t sleep on this one.
Then I filled in as much of the content for each category that I could for 52 weeks. If memory serves me correctly, I had it filled out pretty comprehensively.
Some of the categories were digital tools I recommended, inspirational movies I suggested. I also had books I loved and motivational quotes. I sprinkled in some promotion of those I added to the list. This created a Tribe like feeling before Seth Godin ever wrote Tribes. I think it was a big key.
I intro’d the email with a unique message each week. I allowed myself to shift the various info in each category based on timing throughout the year. Hoosiers is a better movie to plug in the winter during basketball. An MLK quote obviously made the most sense around mid January.
The emails had an open rate close to 50% each week. I learned to check simple stats like open rate, click through and I figured out who was the most engaged. I shifted my messaging and wrote my intro’s with those folks in mind.
Eventually one by one they started replying. Yeah, I’d like to connect with you soon and learn more about what you’re doing. You betcha.
All of our initial clients came from this list. We worked with a few for 8 to 10 years before they sold their business. We still work with others. A few others came and went. This launched our business.
All this from one simple but powerful marketing tactic.
In 2021, email still works if you work it.
Next up maybe we’ll talk blogging.