A few months ago, I added my name to a subscription list to receive weekly email newsletters from a new online writing coach. We share the same belief that writers must not only write for themselves, but the community at large. I was interested in learning how he worked. He was promoting a new e-book. One of those "10 Steps to Writing Success," kind of tomes that always make money.
After the "welcome" email, I received an email a week as promised. They were well-written, to-the-point, and personable. I could sense the pitch, but it wasn't too hard-sell. I really liked him. He eagerly offered tidbits from the How-To book, with promises of real breakthoughs when purchased.
As the book's release date grew closer, however, the email rate increased. My phone started dinging several times a day. I wasn't suddenly more popular. It was just the same guy with a new spin on why I should buy him. He was starting to remind me of an ex-boyfriend.
Luckily, the emails stopped just before I reached the breaking point: unsubscribe.
The book was released. There were a few sincere emails thanking the online community for a successful launch. I did not purchased the book. I was happy that my phone would stop dinging and we could all go back to writing.
Unfortunately, several days later, a new campaign arrived. An offer to join an online writing community for a large sum. The topic for new writers wasn't news. Subsequent emails required scrolling...with many imbedded links which led to his site, with links which led to other pages on his site, as well as YouTube videos.
I am not a fan of imbedded links to add clicks to bring your site up to the top of Google. I understand the why, but it made me feel used as a means to an end. Not a member of a community. The hard-sell was on. True to his rhythm, the intensity of emails increased, with offers of discounts, tidbits to come, and warnings - if I did not act in time. I grew weary of the constant pitch. It was too much pushing, pitching, trying to reel me in at the last minute. I have never been a fan of the relentless pursuit. Trying too hard is a turn-off.
Finally, I hit reply, "What exactly can you offer me?"
I immediately received an auto-reply that someone would get back to me. The next day, I received another auto suggesting that I read the FAQs until someone got back to me. I went to the FAQ page. There were so many links I grew quickly frustrated. The following afternoon, an email arrived asking why I hadn't joined the community - with an imbedded link in every paragraph.
I hit unsubscribe.
Every action is relationship building. You can turn them on...or drive them away.
1. Send an introductory email. Tell people who you are. What your goals are. What they can
expect from you.
2. By the fifth email, it's time for a coffee date. This can be a video, a free e-book, or a
buyer's personal experience with your services or products.
3. Don't crowd your audience. Relationship building takes time.
*Footnote: I finally did receive a reply to my question. It stated exactly what the first email had offered. And reminded me that I had missed the deadline.