Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Shoe-leather marketing

A few years ago, when I was marketing one of my shows, I sent individual emails to people on my list. I knew that mass emails were too easy to ignore. There's no real accountability or moral obligation for a person to respond or acknowledge it.

A couple of people wrote back and asked if I used some kind of special software to customize and individualize the emails. Um, no. Here's what I did:
  1. I opened a new email window and typed an address into the "To" line.
  2. I wrote some personalized comments to the person I was writing to. ("I hear your show's going well," "I hope you're enjoying your new job," "It was great seeing you last week," etc.
  3. I pasted in information about the show.
  4. I hit send.
  5. Then I repeated steps 1 thru 4 approximately 200 times.
They were kind of disappointed to hear there wasn't an easier way. But marketing isn't always easy. Sometimes it takes a lot of good old-fashioned work.

When I switched over from the old High-Performance Communication page to Act Like You Mean Business, I did the usual posting on my page and the old page and the mass invitation via Facebook. But I knew that wouldn't be enough, so I sent individual invitations to each of the old page's 150 or so fans.

And even that wasn't enough. I imagine some people saw the change as an opportunity to gracefully opt out. And there were a lot of people among my Facebook friends who had only gotten the mass invite.

So over the past couple of days I went through my Friends list and sent individual, personalized messages to 80 more people. So far it's reaped a 25% return.

There will be plenty of mass marketing to come, and larger audiences will be attracted to the page (and, ideally, the book) once we start getting the word out beyond my network -- via press releases, articles, blogs, interviews and other things. But I would feel bad if I didn't do everything I can now to get as many interested people on board as possible.

And now to move on to LinkedIn ...

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