In 1999, Seth Godin published a manifesto although many people didn’t notice.
It was called Permission Marketing and it should’ve changed the course of marketing.
The premise behind it was simple. Don’t try to sell to people if they don’t want you to sell to them. Wait until they ask you to sell to them before doing so.
Sounds insane. Why would anyone choose to be sold to? They don’t. Nobody wants to be sold to, but if you tell them you have a solution to their problems then they have no issue with listening.
That’s truly what Permission Marketing is all about.
This concept should’ve revolutionized marketing for everyone but it didn’t. Why?
If you value money over everything then why would you bother asking permission? You’re better off casting a wide net and hoping that you catch some decent fish. The Internet gives you access to billions of people, why wait for permission when you just need a small percentage of them to fall for your trap?
There is a reason spam still works in the 21st Century.
If you don’t value relationships over conversions then you don’t care about Permission Marketing. The closest you get to it is thinking that because someone signed up for your newsletter that means they’ve given you permission to sell to them.
But as we’ve discussed, if the timing isn’t right, what kind of experience does that do for people?
I know you signed up for this newsletter, but I’m going to send you 10 emails over the next 9 days to try and get you to buy something. Got it?
You can’t blame people for wanting to unsubscribe. But that’s okay, people unsubscribe all of the time!
However, I do think there is a difference between someone unsubscribing because you aren’t providing the value they wanted and someone unsubscribing because you’re giving them something they didn’t ask for.
The Numbers Game
People will tell you that marketing is a numbers game and they are right. But not all numbers are the same.
For example, there are people that have HUGE followings that make the same amount as people with small followings. I know someone on Money Twitter that has over 150,000 followers and proudly talks about how they make $10,000 a month.
Don’t get me wrong, $10,000 is good, but with an audience that size you begin to see their audience isn’t really an audience.
In contrast, here is how I made $2,300 in one day on a particular offer. I’ve made more in a day, but I like this story because it really drives home the point.
The New Years Day Offer
It was December 29th and I had an idea for an offer. Something along the lines of Plan Your Year for 7-Figures. I had an email list of 5,000 people.
I told the list I had something that would help them plan a path to 7 figures and if they were interested to click the link in the email. By clicking the link they were tagged to receive a sales sequence that started on December 31st.
About 120 people clicked the link. That’s 2.4% of the list.
Not a lot.
But those people raised their hands to say they wanted to hear more. And guess what? That means they were expecting to hear more.
The sales sequence had an open rate of over 80%. 23 people bought the offer. It was $100.
All I sent were 3 emails:
- The one asking them if they wanted to hear more
- The one telling them about it and that it was available
- The one telling them the doors are about to close
Nobody unsubscribed because of the sales sequence because they all asked to receive it. Nobody outside of the sales sequence unsubscribed because they didn’t get it.
Now the counter to this is what would’ve happened if I just forced the 3 emails to all 5,000 of my subscribers? It’s possible the numbers would’ve been better, but also possible they would’ve been worse.
More importantly, what signal does that send to my audience? That I will randomly try to sell them things out of the blue whether they want to hear it or not.
That’s not great especially when it’s a spur of the moment idea like I had.
And I’ll tell you there are better ways to do a sequence like this. I just didn’t have the time. Ideally, I’d send people 5-7 days of amazing emails that taught them something and then ask if they wanted more.
But I was short on time so I did what I felt was acceptable and who is going to frown at $2,300 in a day?
1000 True Fans
In 2008, Kevin Kelly wrote the essay 1000 True Fans. It’s the only business plan that you need.
Find 1000 people that are willing to pay you every year for value.
But here’s the part that everyone misses. Those 1000 True Fans can attract 10,000+ Happy Citizens. Because what happens when someone becomes a true fan of what you do?
They tell others. They have to tell others. They feel obligated to.
That’s the unspoken (until now) motive behind this course. If you knew someone was going to become a true fan of yours at some point, how would you treat them right now?
This is the whole premise behind Feel Good Funnels. By waiting for people to raise their hands you should never feel bad about showing them solutions to their problems.
It’s like your neighbor coming over to ask for milk (do people still do that). You’re not going to their door every day and knocking to see if they’re ready for the milk yet.
Why don’t more people do this?
Maybe because it’s scary. What if nobody had clicked on my NYE email? Then I couldn’t go back on my word and send a sales sequence to 5,000 people that didn’t ask for it.
But this is also why everything that you do goes back to giving value to your audience. If you’re always serving them and putting them first, then people will naturally want more.
Admittedly, the challenge is to ensure you have systems in place that still get your offers in front of your audience. I want you to treat your people right but I also want you to make money.
So most of what you do is preparing people to say “Yes” when the time comes.
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