The real lifeline of your business – Episode 5

The lifeline of your business, continuously collecting contact details of your potential client – the fourth episode in this series of the attracting clients model.

Episode 5

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Show notes

Hello and welcome to episode number 5 of the #1coachbiz podcast.

Personal: The most important thing I learned in a great workshop on sales in January 2014 was to floss daily because you will live longer. So now I floss daily, a great habit.

Today I will talk about the most important lifeline for your business. The proven system to build your lifeline and Why compiling news does not help your reader.

Que intro

When I was in my twenties there were many competitions to get in the Guinness Book of World Records. There are many weird world records just to get into this book. One weird record is falling domino stones. With large teams, they set up big patterns and shows with millions of domino stones. Then on the record day, somebody pushes the first stone and that makes the second domino stone fall and the third, and the fourth until x million stones fell when the last stone fell.

Then the official will start counting to verify if there is a new record. There was someone in the Netherlands that really wanted in the record book, so he set up millions of stones each year to break a new record because a few months later another country, often China, would have broken his (or our) record.

For the first few times, I remember me sitting in front of the television watching the first domino stone to fall and set this chain reaction in action. First, a single line of domine stones would fall and then something special would happen. The line would go off into two directions. One direction the camera would follow of falling stones revealing great images or creative ways of stones falling down. Then if one of those crazy ways was just a bit too creative this section would not fall and a few 100,000 stones would still stand there.

Normally this would have ended the whole show and the record would not have been beaten and the show would have been a failure. But then we would listen for the sound that later became famous, the lifeline, the aorta. This other line of domino stones that would continue to fall because it is very simple and no special tricks to it.

This lifeline would start the next pattern from the original stones to make sure the next few 100,000 stones will fall. And at the same time, the lifeline would continue to fall until the end of the show to rescue the record domino show a couple of times.

This lifeline was really important for the success of many domino stones world records.

It is important that you have a lifeline for your business too. You try new things, you relaunch proven things, some will help you to create a new record year others will fail. To make sure your business does not stop when one of those attempts fails you need a lifeline.

This lifeline is a continuous way of collecting data from people that have an interest in what you do and say. These people are potential buyers at various levels. So let’s start with the first part, the lifeline for your business.

The most important lifeline for your business

To make sure that every time you have potential people lined up for your existing products and new launches you need to be able to keep in touch with them.

There are several ways to keep in touch, you can call, send them letters, send direct messages or send them emails. Whichever way of contact you prefer you need the contact details for that.

One of the ways that work very well, is sending an email. Most of the people still will open the email when the topic is personal and timely.

When you want to build trust, keep in touch with your potential customers and be able to inform them about your next launch you will need to send them emails at the right time. Therefore you need their email address.

Collecting the email addresses of people that look like your target client is maintaining your lifeline. You need to find a way that she will give you her email address which is very personal. She really doesn’t need more email, her inbox is already overflowing and getting more and more difficult to keep up with reading the emails that come in.

You will need to overcome her objections to receive and open your emails instead of other emails she already receives.

The lifeline of your business is your database of email addresses. Not any email address but the email addresses of the right people. People that have similar problems as your target client. People that want to open your emails and really read them. People that at some point are ready to buy your products.

The number of email addresses is important but the right email addresses are more important. When you have email addresses from more potential clients you will have more people that hear about your new product or your next launch. This will lead to more people that buy your new product or enter your next launch. However, people that will never buy from you, don’t open your emails or don’t click the links are not valuable to your business. So the right people on your list are important. Sending out emails that nobody reads is just a waste of your time.

Let’s continue with step 2,

The proven system to build your lifeline

Collecting the email addresses and sending out the emails to the people that choose to hear from you is important. There are a number of things important to your lifeline.

  1. You want the right addresses.
  2. You want to make sure that email address that was entered is real
  3. You want to make sure that the person behind this email address really entered the address themselves
  4. Your email arrives in their inbox
  5. People can unsubscribe from your emails easily.

Let’s start with that last point first.

It feels very unnatural to make the unsubscribe as easy as possible because you want more people to hear from you. You want more people to learn about your latest product. What you don’t want is people clicking the spam button when they get your email. Even though they subscribed themselves at some point they don’t want to receive your emails anymore because they outgrew your information.

Then they want to unsubscribe from your emails, make this to difficult and she will click the spam button. When more people click the spam button you will increase the chance that your emails will not end up in the inbox of people that do want to receive your emails.

When more people click spam it becomes more likely that you are spreading spam. So the providers that deliver the email to the inboxes will automatically place it in the spam box and skip the inbox. You really don’t want that.

  1. You want the right address.

You want the email address of people are your potential customer. People that want to read your emails, tips, and information you send out. So you will have to set the right expectations. What do they get when they subscribe to your emails. Be as clear and complete as possible. How often do you send an email? What is the content? What will they learn? How does it look? How can they unsubscribe? Set the right expectations and deliver.

  1. A real address.

An email address has value, especially for people that send out spam. There is so much spam out there that it is a continuous battle to reduce the spam in people’s inbox. One method is to add test email addresses to your database and when you send an email to that address without the confirmation from the receiver you are a potential spam sender. So you want to use a so-called double opt-in. A new subscriber enters their email address into your list. Then they get an email with a link that she needs to click to confirm that she really wants to receive your emails.

  1. person self-entered the email address

It is very easy to enter the email of other people into your database. So when you want to overload someone with newsletter just enter her email address into various lists. This is another reason to use a double opt-in. The person will have to confirm that she wants to receive your emails by clicking that link in the confirmation email. Just an extra step to make sure that you get email addresses of real people that want to receive your emails.

  1. landing in the inbox

There are many things that can go wrong before your email actually lands in the right inbox. Especially when you are sending out emails to a list of a couple of thousand email addresses. You want to make sure that your emails actually land in the inbox of the person that subscribed. She subscribed to your emails and really wants to receive valuable information and tips from you.

There are a few points why you want to make collecting the email addresses seriously. You don’t want to send out emails with Outlook and add email addresses in the bcc. That was just too many chances to go south. Use a decent newsletter provider like Aweber, MailChimp or Autorespond (Dutch).

Building this lifeline is one of the most important functions of your Power Platform (listen to episode 3 People can land on any page or article in your Power Platform via search engines or social media. When she reads just this one page on your Power Platform you want to give them the opportunity to subscribe to your emails.

Make sure that you have the opt-in for your emails clearly visible on each page in your Power Platform.

Now that you have their email address you want to send her an email that she wants to read. So let’s continue with part 3 of this episode.

Compiling news does not help your reader

There is a reason why I don’t call sending out these emails a newsletter. Because it is not a newsletter. When we read the word newsletter in our inbox or on websites we will have a negative feeling about it. We don’t need more news in our inbox. There is already too much.

What do we want? Help to solve our problems. Information and tips to tackle the problems we are experiencing today.

So you don’t want to send out some news about your company or your market. You don’t want to send just offers and discounts. You don’t want to send out information that doesn’t address the reader.

So what do you want to send? You want to send out information that the reader can use. Articles, tips, help, cases and offers that will help her to start solving the problem in her life. Offers? Yes, you want to also want to send out an offer for your latest product or your workshop or an older performing product. When the reader is ready she wants to move forward and does not want to wait for your next email. She wants to take action. So the right product will help her to do just that.

Then there is consistency. You need to make sure that you deliver what you promised, you want to meet the expectations of when they subscribed to your emails. Send out your emails regularly. Once a month is a minimum, once every other week or once per week is even better. Don’t be scared by this I can show you how to do this. Sending out your email not on a regular basis like once every quarter the subscriber will have forgotten that she subscribed and perceive your emails as spam. In her mind, she never subscribed to your emails because it has been too long since your last email that she forgot all about it.

That concludes this episode where I talked about the lifeline for your business, How to build it and how do you keep this alive.

In episode 6 I will tell you more about networking for the introvert coach.

By Erno Hannink

Sparring and accountability partner for entrepreneurs who create sustainable positive impact. Explores decision-making. Shares his insights on this in, articles, books (Dutch), podcast, newsletters, and tools. Has a life mission to reduce social and ecological inequality. Father of two children, husband of M., runs, referee for the national soccer league, and uses stoicism for calm. Lives in the Netherlands. Speaks Dutch, English, and German.