“Marketing is the art and science of finding prospects – people who are actively interested in what you have to offer.”
~ Josh Kaufman, The Personal MBA
That book changed my life.
Not because it introduced any sort of ground-breaking secrets or insights about how to start or run a business… but because it distilled so much of the Harvard-Business-Review-style academic mumbo-jumbo into simple, easy-to-understand chunks.
Five of them actually (as Josh outlines):
“There are 5 Parts of Every Business, each of which flows into the next:
1. Value Creation – Discovering what people need or want, then creating it.
2. Marketing – Attracting attention and building demand for what you’ve created.
3. Sales – Turning prospective customers into paying customers.
4. Value Delivery – Giving your customers what you’ve promised and ensuring that they’re satisfied.
5. Finance – Bringing in enough money to keep going and make your effort worthwhile.
Take away any one of these five parts, and it’s not a business.”
Pretty cool, eh?
Now onto what I want to explore on this fine, frigid Monday.
If we go back to the definition up top, is “Marketing” (with a capital M) really all we’re up to with all of this email marketing talk?
What about when we:
- Email people in our network to ask them to vet a new service we’re thinking of offering?
- Send out a follow-up email with a proposal for a new project, ready to be kicked off once the prospect on the other end clicks the “Accept” button?
- Follow up an in-person consultation with a report summarizing your findings and recommending next steps?
- Send yet another reminder to the aloof client who never seems to pay attention to the due date on your invoice?
By this view, an email system is not just for “Marketing,” but also can be the connective tissue that holds all five of those pieces together.
And that means the context in which you’re emailing someone matters… like a LOT.
And that means all of these supposedly inviolable rules, tips, and tricks for how to write emails should actually be violated depending on the context… like a LOT.
So here’s what’s up this week…
Tomorrow we’ll cover how all of this ties in with the idea of “buyer awareness.” The more clarity you have about where the person on the other end of your email is in “the process,” the more you’ll improve your odds of success.
Wednesday we’ll introduce another email marketing principle. Hint: it’s related to context.
Thursday we’ll break down an email that illustrates this principle well… and how you can, in turn, use context as a lever to grab attention and create movement towards your goal.
And then Friday we’ll ask another thought-provoking question that will help us understand how this fits together with the other marketing stuff we’re all up to.
Sound like a plan?