Your Free Sales Army

Having a sales force is expensive, which is why only large businesses have them. But, even little ecommerce sites have access to a sales force; their customers. This dormant force can triple the visibility of your brand, and they don’t even need a sales commission.

But, to activate them you need to establish an authentic relationship first. And it’s not like you have to sell a cool item like giantmicrobes.com to have a relationship with customers. Even a vanilla product like “business loans” can have an active customer marketing army.

But your customer’s wouldn’t market for you on their own, even if they love you. The relationship has to be kindled, and the only way to kindle it is to send heartfelt agenda-free custom communications (aka emails). Scott Jordan, CEO of Scottevest.com randomly selects 2 new customers each week and makes a personal “thank you for buying Scottevest customer” video for them. The video isn’t super polished, it doesn’t have to be. But it is 100% authentic and it makes it clear to the buyer that Scott cares about his product and customer.

You don’t have to copy Scott, in fact, you shouldn’t. But you should start thinking about ways in which your product or service is truly remarkable. And don’t think you aren’t remarkable, that’s a slap in the face of the brave shoppers who trusted you with their credit card info. You are remarkable, you just need to spend time thinking about this.

Take 4 weeks thinking about this. It’s a fucking important question.

Once the answer is clear start talking to people who bought from you. Email people who bought 2 years ago and didn’t buy since. Email the new order you had from Birmingham, Alabama 2 days ago. Email the customer who just wrote a review on your Facebook page. Email the person who just placed their 3rd order.

I know, the list looks daunting. You are busy and don’t have time to send personalized emails all day long. Are you planning on spending indefinitely to acquire new customers? Because if you aren’t then you don’t have a choice. So just get over it.

Also, using software automation to get the job done isn’t an option. Stop being lazy. Also, software automation doesn’t work. An online e-tailer had 7 customer reviews on their product page. They were sending the standard template “review request” email to new purchasers, to which hardly anyone responds. They then updated their review request email and made it super personal. The outcome? A 4.6x improvement in customer reviews collected.

If you do this one thing well you will singlehandedly change the trajectory of your business. Do it.

Using Email for Word-of-mouth Marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing is so powerful.  But it’s hard to get right.

Here is an idea I thought up:

DANAT is a gourmet chocolate manufacturer (not a real company).  Their fans absolutely love them but only 0.005% of chocolate lovers in the US even know of DANAT.  DANAT could spend on spray and pray marketing but they want to use their marketing dollars wisely.  DANAT wants to reach friends of DANAT fans.

So they send their super fans an email with an interactive map.  The teaser copy reads, “Can you think of 1 close friend who would love DANAT?  Where does this friend live?”:

DANAT_Map

The reader feels compelled to interact with the map (all humans feel compelled to interact with interactive maps).  Picking a state takes them to a landing page.  For the sake of argument assume they click Michigan.  This is what they’ll see on landing page:

DANAT_LP_Message

When they visit this page a cookie is set.  That way if visitor returns to email and clicks on some other state the site recognizes the cookie and prevents user from making an alternate selection.

Super Cool Order Confirmation Email

Order confirmation emails are boring.  And the reason is simple: order confirmation emails are generated after the customer has given up their credit card info.  So why bother making it cool or interesting?  That’s what the retailer is thinking, anyway.

But that isn’t how CDbaby.com thinks.  Here is their order confirmation email:

Thanks for your order with CD Baby!

 

Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow. A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure it was in the best possible condition before mailing. Our world-renowned packing specialist lit a local artisan candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy. We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved “Bon Voyage!” to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day.

We hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. In commemoration, we have placed your picture on our wall as “Customer of the Year.” We’re all exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Sigh…

We miss you already. We’ll be right here at www.cdbaby.com patiently awaiting your return.

Was the product you received defective or damaged? Check out our Return Policy.

All your friends at CD Baby
Sell your music on CD Baby and in stores worldwide

Lesson: Show your personality every chance you get.