Prospect: "We don't really do email marketing but we're looking into it. We've seen that we can start for free with MailChimp or AWeber starts at $19 per month. What do you think?"
Me: "How big do you want to grow?"
Prospect: "Well, ah, as big as possible!?"
Me: "How big will your list have to be to 'grow as big as possible'?"
Prospect: "Probably several thousand if not tens of thousands."
Me: "And you think simple email blasts are the way to get there affordably and in a timely manner?"
Prospect: "Well, er, yes? I mean, maybe...?"
Me: "How many emails do you get a day and how many do you actually read?"
Prospect: "I get a couple hundred a day and I don't even read the emails I want to get."
Me: "How good are you at writing and developing content?"
Prospect: "I suck at writing. I'm terrible at writing. I DESPISE writing. I'm too much of a perfectionist. It takes me a month to write a shopping list, for heaven's sake!"
Me: "How much is a new client worth both up front and over the lifetime of them being a client?"
Prospect: "We make anywhere from $250 to $750 up front and we usually keep our clients a long time, so the lifetime value of a new client is easily in the $1,000 to $2,000 profit range."
Me: "So let me get this straight:
- You want to grow big and fast.
- You don't read emails.
- You can't write.
- You want and need to grow your list to many thousands of prospects and clients.
- You think starting with the cheapest, least functional, email-only autoresponder is the way to catapult you to fame, fortune and fun?
Prospect: "What should I do?"
Me: "Seeking help from a professional before you dive in and waste your money and, more importanly, your time, means you're on the right track.
"Email autoresponders help you stay in touch with contacts and prospects 24 hours a day, which is important.
"Creating and running multiple email campaigns including email newsletters is important as well. You also need the ability to create sign up / lead capture forms to embed into your website.
"To help you create these emails, it's important to not only have templates for the layout so the email looks pretty, it's VITAL to have templates for the actual CONTENT and sequences you will be sending since you and 99.99% of business owners are TERRIBLE at producing letters THAT SELL! Wouldn't you agree?"
Me: "Not only is it important to have relevant, timely emails that are delivered in the proper sequence but to really grow your business you must have the ability to create, coordinate and deliver multi-media, multi-touch marketing messages to your prospects such as voicemail and fax broadcasts as well as direct mail.
"I mean, come on! If you can make $500 per client up front, and $1,000 - $2,000 over the next 12-24 months from each new client, not counting their referrals, why are you looking at the cheapest, least-capable alternative out there to grow your business?
"So AWeber has a $19/mo plan that explodes to $149/mo as soon as you grow your list to any meaningful size but they can't do multi-media, multi-step sequences, you have to develop all of your own content on your own, you have no trackable links to trigger additional targeted actions and you still have to juggle and massage your leads in and out of and between some type of CRM, which, by the way, is not what Outlook was built for, and what if your prospect wants to become a client and buy additional products or services from you?
"What will you use to generate and track invoices, one-time purchases, and subscriptions?
"Will it integrate with QuickBooks or Outlook, for that matter, to track the history of your correspondence and orders?
"By the time you pay for the 3-4 systems you'll need your subscription fees will be in the $249 to $399/mo range for the systems alone with no idea how much time you are wasting
A) learning multiple systems,
B) integrating multiple systems,
C) duplicating data across multiple systems, and
D) losing clients because data wasn't
"WHEW! I need a beer and a Tylenol just thinking about what cheap, simple, basic, email autoresponders CAN'T DO!
"The ONLY way to grow today is to both outwork and out-think your competition. You have to be willing to do what they're not willing to do and you have to do it over and over again, consistently and without fail.
"Generating things such as
- follow-up sequences,
- action sets,
- trackable links,
- web forms,
- order forms,
- shopping carts,
- CRM platforms,
- email integration, and
- QuickBooks integration is flat out hard work BUT...with integrated platforms such as HubSpot, you only have to do it once for each product or service or special report you generate and then you let it run FOREVER!
"Then, while that product or service is making you money you can clone it, modify it slightly for your next offering and then let that one make you money. RINSE, WASH, REPEAT!"
If you'd like to see which is the Best CRM for you—HubSpot, Ontraport, Infusionsoft, ActiveCampaign, Nimble—stacks up against ACT!, Salesforce.com, Constant Contact, AWeber and 1Shoppingcart follow this link.