Wednesday, February 13, 2013

W07.03 Designing An Email Journey For Your Newly Found Followers…

You’ve seen them all over the web – email sign up boxes (like the one on the right) offering a gift (an “ethical bribe” some marketers call it) which leads you into a series of emails (auto-responders is the technical term) ending in some kind of offer. Getting people to join these lists is much harder these days, but that doesn’t diminish the necessity for it. There’s a reason everyone wants you to accept their emails…

Email is actually quite intimate. 

It gives you an entrance into a person’s email In Box. At first you are allowed in, but later – if you match their needs – you are welcomed in. It’s why you have to niche – you need to know who they are before you ask to come in. You are not a stranger to them, because they are not a stranger to you.

A Story Tells A Thousand Ideas
As I have written previously, most of us would not want anyone to have unfettered access to our email In Box. Private stuff comes in there, so to be welcomed into a person’s In Box is one of the holy grails of online marketing. Be careful how you use it. Be sparing, offer good information, don’t sell much. Particularly in our business, we need to develop a strong, trusting relationship. The primary purpose of your email auto-responder series is to connect, not sell something. Forget about that – first get a relationship established. The selling will then flow naturally.

Your relationship is based on your genuine wish to offer them Alexander Technique – which you know (even if they don’t yet) will eventually be greatly valued by them. So step one is to help them understand your motivation – why you are even in the business you are in…

That’s why in my first welcome email –published as yesterday’s blog – I use a story from my life to help make sense of my whole “make more money” thing. People relate better to stories, so it is an effective way to get across complex concepts. Use them a lot in your emails. Get your points across by illustrating ideas discovered from events in your life, or the lives of others around you.

Once Your Know Your Niche, This Is What You Do…
You are ready to start this process once you have your niche clear: my strong recommendation is that you choose a niche that you already have a strong affinity with. Now, make a list of all the problems these people have in their minds. So this is not a list of what you think are their problems, this is a list of what they think are their problems. This is a delicate, but fundamental distinction.

Write them down. For example, a ballerina might want to know which are the best muscles to use, how they can increase their flexibility, how to turn faster: I don’t know. I’m just guessing, which is why I would never choose ballet as my personal niche! (You don’t want to see me in tights, I promise.) I have no affinity, therefore no ability to know what ballerinas are thinking and wanting. I would need to spend time researching this – which is what great advertising copywriters do for a living.

You don’t want to become a copywriter do you? Well, providing you stay within a niche that you understand, you are already a copywriter for that niche, because you know how people in your niche are thinking.

Now sort your problems – listing them from the biggest problem to the most minor. This is your list of auto-responders. One problem = one email. For each of the “problems” you find a “story” about how you personally overcame these problems. Your story will be imbedded with Alexandrian ideas, but please no mention of inhibition, direction, primary control, faulty sensory perception etc. Use the ordinary, everyday words they are most likely to understand. By all means, use jargon terms known within the niche – that is a good thing to do.

Making Your Own Dumb Alexander Product (which is actually genius Alexander)
This is about designing your “dumb Alexander” Service Product (which is actually “genius Alexander”) that I have already written about. So starting with their idea of their problem will necessitate you abandoning your current teaching forms (forget tables and chairs) and instead inventing forms that relate directly to the niche you are in.

Alexander’s renowned “hands on back of chair” is just a form – it may be special, but it is not that special. If he can do it – why not you? You need to invent your own “hands on back of chair” exercises, but in the case of a ballerina, it may simply be a variation on already well-known forms; for example a set of new instructions of how to do a plié. Again, you connect to something they already know a lot about, then offer a revolutionary plan for them to follow. I’ve done this in class very successfully, but the memory of what I did has gone. Ooops. (Well, it’s not my niche.)

Writing your auto-responder series is a wonderful way to do the deep thinking that developing a new Service Product requires: First, recognize the problem from their perspective; Second, relate to their perception of the problem convincingly through telling a story from your own experiences; Third, from your story artfully identify the problem in an entirely new light - an explanation that is radical to what they currently believe, while still affirming their right to know (i.e. not saying they are wrong!); Fourth, (and this is where your genius begins) present a “dumb Alexander” exercise that can actually deliver them a new experience without you actually using your hands.

This is an email, remember?

An Email That Delivers An Experience!
You need to deliver something convincing in words for them to be willing to risk their time, money and reputation to make the trip out to see you. It may take you weeks, months to write a great auto-responder series, but once you have, it will take over a lot of the heavy lifting involved in convincing your niche to come to you. It happens automatically – isn’t that a wonderful concept?

A great auto-responder series, once built, “qualifies” the people who come to your studio. You don’t need to convince them, they are already convinced. They are not worried, they are excited – they are finally meeting you, a person they already feel they know.

Little do they realize what is about to happen to them…

TOMORROW: Bells and Whistles that Add Sizzle To Your Email Series
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PS And yes, please join my list. If you enjoy reading my personal stories, I have a lot more to tell ! Go to the box at the top right of this page now and Sign Up…

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