Posted by Amanda Gagnon
What’s black and white and feels just as unwelcome as a sales rep’s cold call?
An email marketer‘s cold email. Jumping on prospects before they’ve oriented themselves, coaxing them to buy right off the bat.
Sure, they subscribe because their interest is high – their interest in finding out what you’re all about. Before they fork over any cash.
That’s why the current name of the sales game is relationship marketing. You build trust with subscribers, showing your brand’s value before making any pitches.
This concept gets discussed ad nauseum. But what does it look like in action? We asked Steven Vrancken, artist and musician, how he humanizes his own email campaign.
What Steven Sends
Steven sells mandala coloring meditation kits. He has over 7,000 subscribers and has been making sales steadily since he launched his kits a few months ago.
Broadcast messages that consider what his readers are dealing with at the moment, reveal his own personal quirks and offer value – whether in the form of inspiration or actual, printable art.
“I believe that costumers feel it intuitively when you are pushing them to make a sale,” Steven says.
So, instead of pitching his kits, he writes his broadcast like a note to a close friend. He includes his picture and autograph, so readers can get to know him as much as possible. And he sends free gifts.
But Steven’s friendly largesse doesn’t mean he doesn’t make sales. His meditation kits are always available for sale. And the social media buttons through which readers share his work attract new subscribers and kit purchasers.
As he explains,”Relationship marketing is about a constant evaluation of yourself, your marketing intentions and your sincerity.”
So with every email, Steven asks himself,
- “Am I sincere with myself?”
- “Is my heart involved in these marketing tactics or are these soulless imitations of the so called ‘marketing gurus’ tactics?”
- “Am I making real, genuine efforts to really help my costumers, even without expecting a purchase in return?”
And the most challenging of all:
- “Is the product or service I’m offering something that really helps people, instead of inventing a new desire or need to let people believe their life is not complete until they purchase my product?”
With these questions, Steven infuses his marketing with sincerity and kindness. And that sincerity and kindness gets his product sold.
You’re Up, Ladies and Gentlemen
Steven’s not alone in his approach. At January’s Marketing Sherpa conference, Real-Time Marketing and PR author David Meerman Scott said, “I know I sound really California-crunchy-granola-airy-fairy right now, but I believe the more you give away, the more comes back to you.”
Or do you still think more sales can be made while your leads are “hot”?