Sunday, February 17, 2008

Mom was right: Saying thank you is nice, and it makes good busines sense, too

What is more valuable than a prospect asking for information that could lead to a sale?

Yet MarketingSherpa's recent report, the Dirty Dozen, a round-up of the most common e-mail marketing mistakes, finds many companies still don't send more than the most rudimentary of welcome messages to prospects who have signed up for a newsletter.

You've probably received these "welcome" letters yourself, the type which says thank you for your subscription, your user name is Jane Doe, your password is wedon'tcareaboutyourbusiness and gives details of how to unsubscribe.

Yet the e-mail that subscribers are most likely to read is the one after they sign up, the welcome e-mail. If you don't get attention then, it may be too late by the time the first "real" e-mail hits the inbox.

I recently got a great welcome letter from Ed Taylor, one of the best online marketers in the United States. His e-mail could act as a model for any other marketer. After subscribing to his Website Marketing Tips Newsletter, I received a welcome e-mail that:

  • Welcomed me warmly by name

  • Covered all the usual logistics (how to update e-mail preferences so his e-mail wouldn't end up in the spam folder)

  • Asked for suggestions (a nice touch. Already Ed is trying to get me involved and sending the message that he values my opinion) for the "Ask Ed" segment
  • Added value by referring me to the library of resources, and

  • Attempted to qualify me as a lead by offering a free Web site analysis.

As a parent, I spend a lot of time trying to teach my boys to say "please" and "thank you."

In business as in life, Mom was right, manners do matter. There really is nothing more valuable than a prospect giving a company permission to talk to him or her. It is a gift. And like any gift, it should be recognized with thanks.

On that note, I'd like to say thank you to our readers and the support we've been getting for the blog.

Posted by Internet Marketing Report editor Julie Power on Sunday February 18 at 10 p.m.


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