The definition of spam is any unrequested communication.
Buying lists no longer produces the results it used to because of the shift in control to buyers. Permission is becoming increasingly important, and the only way to develop it is to give people a reason to declare their interest and opt in to your content programs based on perceived value.
In Meatball Sundae, Seth Godin defines a permission asset as, "the privilege of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant ads [information] to the people who want to get [it]." He's right. Prospects who have opted in are an asset, no question.
Now, whether you choose to invest in developing your asset or waste it is something you have control over based on how you decide to use it. If you consider your prospect database to be your investment portfolio, you can either see your stocks [buyers] go up [transition to sales readiness] or you can see the value of your investment decline [inertia or opt out].
Content and communications designed to attract opt in grant companies a momentary opportunity to prove that it’s worth the prospect’s effort to pay for your content with their attention. The key about measuring opt in levels is to separate the one-timers from the truly interested. This is why it’s ridiculous to send every prospect your company acquires to the sales team.
What is possible is to create a stream of attraction that causes prospects to opt in and gives you enough information to discern whether or not they’re valid. Let’s face it, some people just want the information. And, that’s good. You never know when they’ll need more and engage fully. But, for the purpose of generating sales-ready opportunities, you need to think creatively about how to determine the degrees of separation from your goals and theirs.
One way to develop an opt in program that engages more than one-time, initial attention is to create a series of related articles that, combined, take a deep dive into a subject of high interest to potential customers. Give them the first article for free (no registration), provide enticing details about the rest of the series and ask them to opt in just for that group of content.
Deliver each successive article every third day, or once a week, and monitor responses. With the final send, promote the next series telling them they can unsubscribe at any time. An editorial calendar comes in handy when pursuing this type of e-marketing program.
Begin to think of yourself as a publisher, instead of a product promoter. Your prospects need to know why they should continue to give you their permission and even anticipate your future communications. Give them a lot of reasons to stay engaged.
A good way to measure the attraction strength of your marketing content is to demonstrate your influence over opt-in volume [your ability to acquire permission] and the percentage of prospects with ongoing activity in your prospect investment portfolio.
Take a look at the percentage of your prospects who appear to be immune to your communications. Then create a campaign to re-engage them. The value of your prospect investment is only worth the activity levels it can generate.
This doesn’t mean to discard longer-term leads, but it does mean to try and discover where their current priorities lie or if there’s another problem your company’s solutions solve that they may be unaware you can help them handle.
What are you doing to improve your ability to attract opt ins?