If there's one thing I’ve learned in my 25 years in the managed IT services business, it's that I must continue to learn something new to benefit our clients each and every day. I start working toward that goal bright and early each day. I'm usually out of bed around 6 a.m. (used to be a lot earlier, but as I age, I need more sleep), put on the coffee, and dedicate the first 60 minutes of my day to reading new information.
Right now, I’m reading “Invisible Selling Machine” by Ryan Deiss from Digitalmarketer.com. Like many other books I’ve read throughout my career, "Invisible Selling Machine" is full of great ideas, and I think these ideas can help MSPs improve their email marketing.
In one of opening chapters, Deiss speaks about five phases you must run each and every member of your email list through. (By the way, list size doesn’t matter. Big or small, the true value is in the quality of your list, not the quantity. But, most managed IT service companies look for quant over qual, to steal a line from Gary Vee.)
According to Deiss, every contact needs to go through five phases during your email marketing cycle. This is an absolute must. Unfortunately, most MSPs jump right to the sales pitch and then wonder why they get ZERO results.
5 Phases Every Contact Needs to Go Through
To do email marketing the right way, all of your contact should go through these stages:
- Congratulations, you have a lead. Now what? Do you just spray them with everything you've got? Of course not. You need to first introduce your MSP to them — you need to indoctrinate them. Tell your new subscriber who you are, what you stand for, what makes you different, what they can expect from you and how often you are going to connect with them. Finally — and this is the most important part — tell them what you want them to do next.
- This step is simple: Convert your new prospect into a customer. This email (like all emails, it should come from a real person, not a company) inspires your new subscriber or lead to take action. It could be an invitation for a complimentary cybersecurity assessment or a free trial of your managed services. You need to encourage them to take action.
- This is where the big money is made. What more can you offer them after they sign up with you or purchase a service from you? How can you take a basic customer to your top client level? The ascension series of emails educates and incentivizes your customers or subscribers to purchase more services or more products from you.
- This part of your email marketing strategy is designed to get your prospect to raise their hand and show interest in other areas of your business or services you have to offer. Having a sales and marketing automation tool like Infusionsoft is perfect for handling this. For example, Ulistic works with Infusionsoft, which allows our clients to link and promote different services inside their emails and then have their prospects run through an entirely different campaign based on their interests and engagement.
- Re-engagement. What do you do when your customers and prospects stop opening your email messages? If you said NOTHING, it's time to shut down your business and get a different job because you’re leaving so much on the table. Setup a re-engagement series for all your low-hanging fruit. You’ll need to give them something of value in exchange for their re-engagement.
Email the Right Way
Many MSPs see email marketing as the great taboo, almost a no-go zone. They hate spam; they hate junk mail; so guess what? They don’t do email marketing, and if they do, it's half-hearted at best.
Email marketing is very much alive and can net your managed services business some huge results if you know how to do it correctly. And, if you use these five phases as a guide, you’ll be well on your way to doing just that. There are so many ways to make your email marketing rock — and it all starts with you.
About the Author: Stuart Crawford is the CEO and Creative Director with Ulistic. Ulistic specializes in working with IT service companies globally helping them connect with their markets and achieve stratospheric success. Need help? Please feel free to reach out to Stuart and his team at Ulistic. Every day, they help managed IT services companies overcome many of the challenges they have with marketing. Learn more about Ulistic at www.ulistic.com or call 716-799-1999.