Last month the internet phone company I co-founded was sold to Vonage.
As Vocalocity rebrands itself as Vonage Small Business, Vonage will no doubt realize that it has acquired a pretty good sales machine.
Funnily enough though, even from day one, I do not attribute the company’s success to developing fancy online phone technology (which it did) but instead from a very early stage the team built a killer lead nurturing process and coupled it with a highly efficient inside sales process (which closed business hand over fist).
So, what does all this have to do with the sometimes non-sexy subject of email marketing where I’m now focusing my efforts?
Well, having helped build something in Vocalocity where a core mantra was to “sell-sell-close” in Flashissue I find myself preaching an unlikely message:
I wanted to do something very simple with Flashissue, make it mind blowingly simple and fast to create an email newsletter.
My goal was to build it for me, the individual – aka the sales person – and not the full-time marketing manager.
While doing this I want to solve three core problems I keep hearing about. They are embodied in these 3 statements:
“I can’t do email marketing: I don’t know what to write & I don’t have time for it”
“Please don’t make me learn how to use yet another online service”
“I don’t have a “mailing list” the people I want to target are in my address book”
Out of this came Flashissue a set of advanced email marketing and content tools for Gmail and Google Apps.
The stop selling part became important when i realized that engaging with the people I want to effect is far more important than trying to sell to them all the time.
With 5 important principles I’ve found that without a huge amount of effort or marketing savy most people can make great strides in email marketing.
- Stop “selling” and start engaging people with something you’d want to read yourself.
- Your “address book” is your most important mailing list.
- Stop writing content for emails and start curating it from others.
- Commit. Be consistent and frequent – at least once a month.
- Stop wishing for a marketing department and go do it yourself.
An extended version of this article is posted on a great blog site called the Funnelholic, so feel free to take a peek.