The new GDPR regulations from the EU have me, among many others, reflecting on the state of online, particularly list-driven, marketing. And rightfully so. This is an aspect of industry that has gotten completely out of control, driven largely by huge marketing machines but sweeping us little guys, creative entrepreneurs, along with them.
The mantra has been to build your list- no matter how- get those emails on your list. You need to create the freebie. What will it be? A PDF with the 10 best ways to do whatever? Or perhaps a free course? Or words of counsel that drip out over 12 days? Or maybe it will be a collaborative effort of 15 accomplished artists, each providing a fully developed video lesson? All this for free, just to get you to sign your email address to their list. Whether they’re adding your name to their list is crystal clear to you or not. Most of the time it is but what about those times we’ve been less than completely transparent to get the ever coveted email address. You may not have done it but I admit to being less than 100% pure and I know I’m not alone.
What do we get with these emails? As consumers, we have PDFs that may never even get downloaded, let alone read, webinars that we really aren’t interested in listening to, as well as some things that deliver real value and keep our attention. As marketers, we get a lot of names on our list. This may make it easier to plan our conversion rates but otherwise, does it really serve us? If we have gotten these names from some far flung sources, how do we talk to these prospects? How do we make them compelled by what we have to say and offer when they wouldn’t have been sufficiently compelled to even give us their name before?
I don’t think we should even try. Why would we waste our time trying to sell our wares to someone who has no affinity for them? Especially when there is a person out there who is just waiting to be offered this thing that is perfect for them. Isn’t that the person we want to be talking to? The one who wants to hear from us? To learn what we’re doing, what’s new? That’s the person I want to communicate with.
They have us playing the numbers game. When you have so many names, if you convert at the standard 2% then you will have X number of people responding to your offer. But what if you change the whole game? What if all the people on your list are people who really want to be there? Then perhaps you can change your conversion rate from 2% to 25%. And those who are on the list and haven’t yet converted are still prospects because they were truly interested in the first place, we just haven’t found what it would take to get them to see why it’s really just perfect for them. Because it is, you see, because that’s the reason they came on the list.
I think the list part is really the easy part of all of this. The bigger challenge is to continue to create things that are perfect, that are just what “our folks” want/need/like. And going out and finding the people for whom the products are perfect. The way I see it, it’s a symbiotic relationship – where the perfect people buy the perfect products made by us who make the things that are perfect for the perfect people.