I was once on a course that had nothing to do with sales and email marketing. It was all about questioning techniques. The biggest problem for anyone engaged in interviews is trying to get to the truth and we were introduced to a number of methods of, they said, getting the person to open up.
One chap who gave a talk used to be a salesman, his last product being caravans. His method – he had quite a number – was the soft approach. It can be summed up as getting the potential customer onside. Once that was cracked, the selling was easy.
The basis of the technique was to avoid barriers to buying that potential customers would put up. He didn’t mention selling, buying, prices, availability or any such detail. He talked to them about sunny days on a campsite up in the hills, near the beach or as a method of touring, depending on whom he was talking to. All this without the benefit of email marketing data.
His proposition, and one that was proven later, was that to get a person to respond to you, you need to put them at their ease. Make them feel as if they are in control by asking rather than telling. This must seem counter-intuitive, as we’ve all been told to instruct on a marketing email; bright and bold ‘Buy Now’ buttons being recommended.
It is a method than can be exploited by us, especially with our greater knowledge of those whom we are marketing to. That’s not to suggest that directions, and ‘Limited Time Offer’ should not be used. But for big ticket items, ones where the subscriber might think carefully before getting out their credit card, it has a lot going for it.
You should not hide the price of course, but placing the person in or on the product, showing how their lives will change, that particular problems are solved, of describing rather than telling, can work just as well. We have enough data on subscribers to our email marketing lists to produce the quiet, chatty, friendly pitch that will make them want to buy.