Looking through my junk email folder is always an adventure. It never fails to surprise me that people still do email scams. Do they work? Do people really reply or send money to the princes of countries we’ve never even heard of? I have to say, as an analytical, results driven person I’m curious if this tactic works and I’m always tempted to reply and ask them their success rate.
And it’s not just emails. I was once propositioned on the 6 train between Union Square and Spring Street. Anyone who has ever ridden the subway by themselves knows the unspoken rules — always wear your headphones, even if you’re not listening to anything, and never make eye contact. On that day, I made the mistake of breaking the no eye contact rule. In my defense I was caught unawares as a man slid his hand down the grab hold and placed it on top of mine. You can’t blame me for being startled and looking over to see what was happening. I slid my hand further down but it was too late. He knew he had my attention so he asked me to get off at the next stop and have sex with him. I replied with a curt “thanks but no thanks”. I looked away but my mind was off to the races. My stop was the last one before the train ventured into Brooklyn so naturally I was nervous that he may follow me off. His voice snapped me back into reality. He offered me one last chance as the train came to a stop at the Spring Street station. I shook my head no and off he went. Relieved, I couldn’t help but wonder about his success rate. To this day I wish I had asked. Does he ride the train daily looking to hook up with random women? Has anyone said yes? And if so, who are these women? What is the deciding factor that made them say yes?
It’s been said that there are buyers for every product. It’s just up to you to find them. Okay, that seems logical. But how do you find those buyers? Do you use the “spaghetti against the wall” tactic and hit up everyone in the tri-state area to see who sticks? Or do you build relationships and network with people who can potentially connect you to your target buyers? I’m quite confident that it’s a balancing act.
Email marketing seems to be both the most effective and most ineffective way to find buyers. Nowadays you would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t have at least one email account. So your target is huge, but do people really read your painfully slaved over and seemingly perfectly worded email? It’s a chess match that can be tracked and tweaked by analytics, bounce rates, unsubscribers and spam claims (ooops my bad, I really thought you wanted to receive these emails when you opted in :|).
If you’ve done at least a little relationship building, your proponents are most likely to forward your email on or tell a few people about you. Or if the need for your product and/or service comes up in conversation, the chances you will be mentioned as a viable resource are great.
Of course, the content of these emails is key. Even if you did painfully slave over the design and your wording is seemingly perfect, there’s always a chance you will fall short. You have to master the almost illusive skill of grabbing attention from the get go and presenting a call to action that can’t be refused. It takes time. It takes practice. And it’s always changing. Email marketing is just flat out hard work and not for the faint of heart.
So it all comes down to gumption, how badly you want it and what you’re willing to do for it. You have to be immune to not just the “no’s” but to the “hell no’s” too. You have to keep going even if your entire email list unsubscribes on you. There are buyers out there for whatever you’re selling. I’d like to think that at least one woman had sex with the subway solicitor. Maybe if he reads this he can tell me his success rate. And then I can say with confidence if he can implement a successful campaign, anyone can.