How To Set Up The Most Effective Email Follow Up System – Part 5

Getting Personal with Your Prospects

When’s the last time a billboard, or a magazine ad, or a radio spot made you feel like a business was talking to you directly? If you’re anything like me, probably never. So-called “mass” media can reach large numbers of people, but its great limitation is its inability to engage those people on a 1-on-1 basis.

One of the main reasons that email marketing outperforms mass media is that with email, you *can* speak to people on a 1-to-1 basis. You can engage them, build a relationship with them. You can make people feel like you’re talking only to them.

Personalization Helps Make It Possible

Inserting someone’s name into an email message is such a simple step, but over and over I see studies that link it to increased response rates. Of course, personalization doesn’t stop at a name. You can merge many pieces of information into your messages. For example, Aweber personalization allows you to insert and personalize with the following tags:

  • Name: {!name_fix}
  • Email address: {!email}
  • The date they signed up: {!signdate dayname}, {!signdate long}
  • Today’s date: {!date abb+0}
  • Or a future date, say a week from today: {!date abb+7}
  • Approximate Geographic Location: {!geog_city} {!geog_region}
  • Any other information you collect from subscribers

If this post was sent out as an email, all the above information would be filled in with your name, email, etc. For more personalization choices, check out AWeber’s knowledge base article.

“With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility.”

Yes, that is a line from the Spider Man movies, but more importantly, it’s quite applicable to what we’re talking about today. Remember: your subscribers aren’t dumb. Personalization is powerful, but it’s nothing new to most of them, and even before email, they received personalized direct mail.

Mix up how/where/what you personalize in your emails to get the best response. Don’t personalize just because you can do so – excessive personalization is transparent and blunt.

Right… So How Can I Creatively Personalize My Emails?

A few things to try:

  • Limited Time Offers: use a date variable in a follow up email to specify when a sale or offer expires. That way, regardless of when your subscriber gets your email, a sense of urgency accompanies it.
  • Build anticipation: tell people when they’ll next hear from you using day/date variables (I’ve done this in a couple of these Test Drive emails).
  • Use geographic targeting to isolate and email people in a certain part of the country/world — make offers to your {!geog_city} area subscribers.
  • (Didn’t realize you could segment based on where your subscribers are located? Not only can you do that, you can access geographic reporting *and* even map out your subscribers’ location. For example:

    World Map

    Pretty cool, no?)

These are just some of the ways you can personalize your messages to increase your subscribers’ response. As you go, you’ll undoubtedly discover all sorts of new ways to use email personalization to your advantage.

Don’t Delay Any Longer

If you’ve been getting just 100 people per day to your site, that’s over *2000* potential sales/readers that you may have lost to inaction. And 100 more each day. There’s nothing funny about that. Every website visitor is an opportunity. Don’t let yours go to waste. Remember, it’s only take $1 to set up an Aweber account.

What’s Next?

So far, I’ve focused on turning your website visitors into prospects and customers. But what about people who aren’t even coming to your website but are still interested in what you have to offer? Tomorrow, I’ll show you some simple ways to measure the success of your email campaign.

42 thoughts on “How To Set Up The Most Effective Email Follow Up System – Part 5”

  1. Richard says:

    Good stuff here on getting personal with your prospects, i read somewhere where you should actually write as if you are writing to your propsect alone. As though you are writing to a friend, thanks for this info…

    1. I have seen a lot of marketers talk about writing to some one like you are a personal friend as well. Keeping it casual, using slang terms here and there and just being really laid back in your approach.

      I guess the thinking is that your prospect will be more likely to buy from some one they trust and percieve to be friendly, over some one who comes across as a slick salesman.

      I have trouble with this though. You see I am a “wordy” kind of guy and often can come across as a little pompous to my friends as well, so I often feel my personality and writing style does me more harm than good.

      On top of that, everyone speaks to different friends in different ways. It’s a balancing act, but not one I have mastered yet.

      Awesome post though.

  2. nathan says:

    Never knew that there is a service that would identify from what country your opt-list are from. What a great feature that is!

    1. Volksphone says:

      Wow, this country identify service is very nice. Now you can sell stuff and send newsletter espacially for single countries ๐Ÿ™‚


      1. Benjamin Cip says:

        It’s great to indentify from where your subscribers come from. Especially when you want targeted traffic from a certain country, or sell a products only available to download for USA for instance.

    2. That is a super cool service and the map looks amazing!

    3. Aweber has it all,

      -Shanker Bakshi

  3. nathan says:

    I’m not using any email service yet but I’ll think about it. I’m currently informing my contacts of the Philippine Blog Awards that will be held in our country, just trying to be a little more personal to them so I won’t look like a spammer or anything.

    1. Volksphone says:

      Yeah this is right. You have to build trust before you can sell things and keep your business successful.


    2. I will suggest you to start using it from now on, specially if you are eying to money from Affiliate marketing. as they say Money is in the list

      -Shanker Bakshi

    3. Yeah I think it’s important not to bombard people with offers immediately, you definitely have to build their trust first, show them that you have meaningful content, and then introduce a relevant offer you think they would like.

  4. DJ says:

    I just started using Aweber about a week ago and it is not that bad. Finding the location of subscribers is pretty cool. Thanks for the great info John.

  5. I think Aweber went a bit overboard with their price hike last year. Sure, they added some value, but they also added a lot to the price too unfortunately putting financial pressure on many newer bloggers.

    1. Volksphone says:

      Yeah this right but if you know other email marketing services like aweber?

      Iยดm looking forward…


      1. $30 per month for subscriber base of more than 500. But aweber is undisputed king in email marketing arena.

        -shanker bakshi

  6. Blogging says:

    I love the map, seems I am a pretty lonely subscriber in my neck of the wood. SY

    1. Volksphone says:

      Where are you living? ๐Ÿ™‚


  7. EarningStep says:

    amazing…this is what i miss from email marketing.. thanks john…

  8. LetUpdate says:

    Yes, personal approach is really good to make sell. Almost in all kind of business. ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Volksphone says:

      And this is the reasion why I am not understand that blogger or webmaster sell their site after a few month. The best days are the days which are coming after building trust!

  9. Greg Ellison says:

    I need to come up with more follow up emails for my list. Greg Ellison

  10. Bibokz says:

    Awesome… it will create a viral impact when you distribute your email properly.

    1. Volksphone says:

      Viral sounds great ๐Ÿ˜‰ This would be a nice article. How viral could be effects a success of bloggers?


      1. nathan says:

        I’m not quite familiar with viral marketing yet, but I do know how to spread a chain of emails. ^-^

  11. Gabe says:

    Lots of useful info here. I’ve been so focused on content that email follow up is definitely one thing I need to improve on.

  12. fas says:

    All this makes me realise how important email marketing indeed is.

  13. Benjamin Cip says:

    If nobody subscribe to your AWeber links after all of these great posts you wrote recently about email marketing with AWeber, I’ll cut my hand. Seriously, I really enjoyed your method. Of course, I already have read similar method in ebooks, but well, it wasn’t written in the same compelling way as you did, plus your method is more detailed!

    1. nathan says:

      So you write a series of post too to sell products? How did it go for you?

      1. Benjamin Cip says:

        People like to know more in details about a digital product they intend to buy. In my case, when I write a couple of posts about the same products with some details, using screen shoot, they are more likely to buy from me, because they understand how to use the product properly. In this finance crisis time, people don’t want to waste their money on unnecessary products. So to answer your question, writing a series of post turn out to work pretty well, but too much is not good… people might feel you are pushy about selling a product!

        1. There are live example where people have paid huge amount to build a list, the good thing is to run a campaign where you offer some FREE ebooks or Bonus.

          -Shanker Bakshi

  14. Dave Doolin says:

    Good inspiration for me. I’m getting about 100 hits per day myself, and that’s plenty. If I even picked up 3%, that’s 1000 subscribers. Time to get to work!

  15. Fakhrul Alam says:

    Your step by step process is great and I like the way you organize your email marketing system.

    I heard that Aweber is very expensive and very costly to generate leads but I have joined with an company that provide in one stop shop so I think it is best but your step by step guide is very helpful and which I can implement in GVO(Internet Marketers Needs it).


  16. Diabetis says:

    $1 for starting out on Aweber?

    1. Benjamin Cip says:

      yes, it is a $1 first month trial. You can also ask for refund if you were not satisfied because it is a money back guarantee service.

  17. Localization & making the email relevant to their lives & issues is really wonderful idea. But the context of loosing on existing readers is one issue of email marketing that is heavily unnoticed & underestimated. It’s good you mentioned it, John.

  18. I would say that mass media is one of the key things to do,.. cos it could reach huge numbers of people.. But just like what have you said.. you can never do a 1 on 1 basis which is also important.

  19. I had an issue with people not revealing their name – they just subscribed with their email.
    So, every other month I grouped these no-name emails and send a special email to them asking for their personla name and how they would liked to be addressed. I told them that I see email still as something very personal (especially when you communicate with Santa ๐Ÿ™‚ ) and see my emails as a letter from Santa to Username but not emailaddy.
    The feedback I received also made it possible to group my list by gender, so i can send even more targeted mails.

    Did you know that it is only 93 days until christmas – Do You Have Everything For Christmas?

  20. personalization plays a great role, and an e-mail with a name in it is the one that has much more chances to be read and paid attention to.

  21. I like this article a lot. I think I also should build an email list for my Home Business
    blog. I would probably try the free services first provided by Yahoo Groups or Google Groups. Thanks.

  22. Keldorn says:

    Too bad aweber only takes credit cards its really burning my ass.

  23. Money-Era says:

    The picture is worth a thousand words. Just how meaningful the map of subscribers is! Reminds me of Google analytics map overlay functionality. Couple of seconds and you get the overview – instead of browsing through tables and columns of numbers.

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