An active, growing prospect list

For twenty years, on the first of each month, I’ve sent out a free newsletter to prospects, contacts, and friends. Not a templated item with my name slapped on it, mind you, but original, creative content.

It started with a list of 50 people wanting to learn more about my marketing capabilities. Recognizing that my readers are busy people, I vowed to keep my read short and interesting.

Failure in either area risked not being invited back to their mailbox the following month.

My task became constantly selling myself against the competition from every other newsletter arriving in a physical or virtual mailbox.

Periodically I’d survey readers about how to improve the product. This encouraged buy-in while guiding me towards increased sales opportunities.

Today’s list has grown to several thousand, and comments like “I have newsletter envy” aren’t uncommon.

This response has been anything but accidental.

Because in addition to referrals and online signups, I regularly expand my list by networking. Constant presence at Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, and a score of other organizational meetings provides substantial occasions for pressing the flesh, making new friends, and gaining new readers.

Sometimes these readers buy from me immediately; other times not at all.

Yet a significant portion get my scribblings and contact me when they’re ready…oftentimes years after our initial conversation.

And there’s the key phrase; they contact me when they’re ready.

Most customers hate feeling pressured to buy anything, so the trick becomes being present when they’re ready to decide. And the best way I’ve found for doing that is with a drip campaign.

Drip…drip…drip…wearing away reasons not to work with you. And when their need arises, guess who they think of?

All of which boils down to this:

  • Constantly add new names to your mailing list. Even a few each month adds up over time
  • Recognize that some readers are bored or overwhelmed and will drop you each month
  • Commit to a schedule. First Tuesday, 5th of the month…whatever works for you. Once established, consistently keep to that schedule.
  • Keep your read short, sweet, and interesting to keep getting invited back to a recipient’s mailbox

You’ll never do business with all your readers, of course. Still, you never know who they’re talking to…about you.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

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