I’ve got a bee in my bonnet and I hope you’re not part of the group that’s causing it.
The subset of affiliate marketers I’m talking about are characterized by the following:
They want short cuts, things done fast, and reward with no effort.
Wouldn’t we all! But what really irks me is when they sniff at the thought of developing a relationship with subscribers to their email list or social media groups and ask:
“Can I actually sell through this channel, or is it for relationship building only?”
That question isn’t valid!
I extend an invitation to anyone who thinks they can successfully and repeatedly sell without first forming some kind of relationship with the buyer to please enlighten us on how they do this.
Let me clarify again why you must put effort into relationship building for all those who disregard such practices as a mere waste of time and simply want to cut to the chase and sell:
Relationship Building = Sales
Relationship Building ≠ Waste of Time
In a recent blog post I covered newsletter incentives and call to action language that speaks to your customer. The question now is: how do you treat your customer once they’re on your list?
Well, who are your customers and how do they want to be treated? What do they want from you?
To create the relationship you want, what you say must resonate with the reader. This means you need to get inside their heads and appeal to their needs and desires.
Sound a bit tricky? It doesn’t need to be. If your newsletter incentive and call to action are getting a targeted bunch of people signed up, then you probably already know a lot about them.
You know that they are curious about the subject area of your newsletter series, and this means they are more than just a little bit interested in your niche - they are intensely interested in it. In fact, they will relish the informative and educational emails you send, lapping up all that they can on the topic for as long as they remain captivated.
So how do you keep them captivated? Psychological triggers must be crafted into your writing in order for you to sustain the connection that makes the reader go “oh yeah, that’s me. Wow, you’re answering all my questions right when they occur to me”.
We’ve all heard this line before: “It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it”. This sentiment applies to the written word too, as every word is laden with emotions. Painting a picture with your words so the reader can imagine him or herself with the product is crucial to priming your subscribers to make a purchase. You can do this by creating a feeling of involvement or ownership with the reader and your words.
Let’s say you’re writing for the dog training niche:
“Stops dogs barking with Product X”
“Your cute puppy will be quiet and content with Product X”.
Both of these sentences tell the reader the same information, but they convey different emotional messages. The latter makes it easier for the reader to imagine a happy scenario by using product X due to the personal language appealing directly to the reader, and the words describing the benefits of stopping a dog barking. Consequently, a stronger relationship between you and the reader can be formed, leading to a higher likelihood of sales.
Establishing credibility is another factor that goes a long way towards creating a relationship that is going to increase your conversions. People seek out advice from those that they trust, and trust comes from being honest and sincere. Your readers are smart; if you’re falling short on these values then so too will your sales.
Frequency of communication is the final factor I want to draw your attention to (see this blog post if you’re wondering ‘how often?’). I can’t stress enough the need to make use of the opportunity that your email list gives you to build a sustainable and mutually beneficial relationship with your subscribers. Don’t miss out on this!
Yes, writing these relationship-building emails is damned hard work at first. But when you think about it, what are a few weeks of blood, sweat and tears when you can enjoy literally years of benefit and autopilot income as a result? In a few months, you won’t even remember what you suffered to get there. It’s like making new friends – there is a period of initial awkwardness and effort, but it is so worth it for years of good times together.
Keep your eyes peeled for next week’s post that will tell you how you can use Twitter to interact and build rapport with your subscribers too.
Have you got some relationship building tricks up your sleeve that work for your subscriber base? Do tell!