This entire follow-up sequence is simple but extremely powerful.
We start with the short-term 8-step follow-up which leads right into a longer-term 12-month follow up which is put on steroids with the inclusion of an ad in the signature file…
About 20 years or so ago I received an email that asked the question, “do you know of a good ebook software out there?” I was in total shock when I received that email.
This customer had just purchased a product of mine called eCover Generator. It was one of the first pieces of software that created eCover (ebook) graphics. They now wanted to find a piece of software to help them create the ebooks. What they didn’t know was a previous product of mine was the most popular software, at the time, to create ebooks!
Back then, ebooks were totally different than they are now. Basically, they were just a set of compiled HTML pages. I had created and was marketing the most popular software to create them. Once that software was successfully selling, I created the software, eCover Generator, to create digital covers for those ebooks. That’s why I was in shock.
I thought everyone knew about my eBook Generator software… it took receiving that email to help me understand that not everyone knew of me or my products. My software was selling so well that I thought everyone knew about it. I was fortunate this customer asked me and didn’t go elsewhere to look for it. I gladly told them about my product.
Because of this dose of reality, I immediately put a couple of things into play. I added my 8-Step Follow Up System, and I added an email signature file to our outgoing email. I know this may sound crazy to you, but we started listing every one of our products to the signature file at end of every email we sent out. We kept it up to date as we added new products and deleted old ones. At one time we had 20+ products listed.
The bottom line is, just by adding our products (with a clickable link to each one) in a signature file on the bottom of emails we were already sending out, we increased our sales by 10%. While this is still a very good idea, it finally became too cumbersome for us and looked terrible when the signature file was longer than the email.
We then changed to using a P.S. with me asking a question. For example (when we still were doing the Big Seminar) we added a P.S. to every response from our ticket center. It simply said, “Armand wanted me to ask you if you’re going to the Big Seminar.” It then had a link to the Big Seminar Sales page.
Other times we’d have little things like, “Armand wanted to know this…” or “Armand wanted to make sure you saw this…” Each one would have a link to whatever we were promoting. We’d blatantly promote an offer for a particular product at the end of all emails going out from my Customer Care department.
If you utilize a signature file, you should never receive an email asking where they can purchase a product which you already sell. You can promote your products like I did, promote affiliate products (if you don’t have your own), drive people to a list to gather names, promote your events and/or trainings etc.
Because most emails are now HTML emails, you can utilize them as mini sales letters. My emails have a graphic at the top which actually has a headline built into it. The emails contain a button or two for people to click on to be taken to wherever I want to send them. At the bottom of your emails, you can feature one or two products, include a picture and maybe even a discount for them. (Don’t add more than two.)
You may be sending an email about one subject, they read it and they may or may not take you up on it or maybe it’s just an informational email. Then they come to your little signature file with a 25% discount (for example) and all of a sudden, their eyes light up, and they purchase it.
I call this the Columbo close.
It reminds me of the old “Columbo” detective series on TV. If you recall, Peter Falk played a detective named Columbo. Throughout the show he gave the impression of being a bit absent minded, some may even say bumbling. But when he completed interrogating the suspect, he would prepare to leave the room, he’d say something like “Thank you very much, blah, blah blah” and open the door to leave. The suspect now let down their guard thinking they were off the hook. They thought they had pulled the wool over the bumbling detective’s eyes.
Then…just as he was walking through the door he would stop, turn around and say, “Excuse me…” and ask them a key question when they were off guard. He nailed them every time.
It’s a similar strategy here. The customer reads your email and reacts. They may react favorably or unfavorably; it doesn’t matter. They think they’ve made their decision; they are relieved and let down their “sales guard,” and then you hit them with a picture and a very attractive offer. You don’t highlight it; you don’t even talk about it…it’s just there in the signature. If you do it right, chances are a good percentage will buy.
Unless you are specifically sending an email promoting the sale or introduction of a product you should include this at the end of all emails whether customer service or promotional. You can do it in all the follow-up emails with the exception of the original eight, in my 8-step follow up.
I’ve covered the 8-step follow up system many times in Traces as well as many of my teachings as it’s a vital part of my business. So, start with the 8-step follow-up but do not use this in the signature field for these eight emails. BUT… use it in the signature file of every one of the remaining years’ worth of follow-up emails.
This entire follow-up sequence is simple but extremely powerful. We start with the short term 8-step follow-up which leads right into a longer term 12-month follow up which is put on steroids with the inclusion of an ad in the signature file, and don’t forget that your Customer Service department’s signature line should always include information about your products.
I’d love to hear how utilizing this has and does increase your sales!