Marketing Q & A
Marketing Q&A
By Al Jabaly


Al Jabaly is a certified marketing and business consultant with over 20 years of small business experience. Email your questions to al@FloridaBA.org. All questions will be answered via e-mail. Some of the most interesting questions will be posted in this weekly column. For further information, Al can be reached at 1-888-899-3190

“AL. EVERYBODY I KNOW HATES SPAM E-MAILS. HOW CAN I SEND E-MAILS TO MY PROSPECTS WITHOUT ANNOYING THEM!?"

Stay away from broadcasting unsolicited emails to everybody, known as spam, as this is counter-productive and can easily shut your e-mail account down if someone complains to your ISP. Having said that, it does not mean that you cannot e-mail individual prospects, have these e-mails opened by them and generate leads from them! I send out customized emails to prospects when I publish my county-sponsored maps and I get good results. Here is how I do it.

1) THE SUBJECT HAS TO BE INTERESTING AND IGNITES THE PROSPECT’S CURIOSITY!
The subject of an e-mail is the deciding factor that will determine whether it will be opened and read or junked. Compare these 3 subjects (again in reference to my map publishing business):

A) “I need an A/C contractor!” If I know my recipient is an A/C contractor, nothing will stop him from opening
the e-mail and reading it! His curiosity and the desire to sell his A/C service will be great.

B) “Do you service the whole County!?” is another attention grabber.

C) “Let me promote your business!” It is so generic and stale that there is a great chance it will not be opened.

2) SUMMARIZE THE REASON FOR THE E-MAIL AND CREATE URGENCY!
Do not use the e-mail to talk about your business and how great your service or product is. This e-mail follows subject (A) mentioned above:

“I need an A/C contractor to promote on the Official Map of XYZ County that I am publishing for the County Government, and I am offering you a FREE no obligation presentation at your office to show you the many benefits you will gain from participating in the project. If you agree and decide to join, I will then sign you up. If not, I will thank you for your time and then contact the next A/C company on my list. What do you have to lose except 5 minutes of your time? Don’t be left out! E-mail me back or call me at xxx-xxxx. Al Jabaly, name of my company.”

3) KEEP THE E-MAIL SHORT AND TO THE POINT!
The above e-mail is ideal in size (4-5 lines) and to the point, highlighting the most important subject, namely promoting the prospect’s business and offering him or her a FREE presentation. Include only the most important details, highlight the benefits, create urgency and leave a phone number, in case the prospect wants to call you!

4) REFER TO A PERSON OR PARTY THAT THE PROSPECT RECOGNIZES OR IS INVOLVED WITH!
For me, one of the best sources of local e-mail addresses is the local Chamber of Commerce! Their membership directory usually shows the e-mail addresses of their members and also their websites. When I send e-mails to the members, I always reference their Chamber membership the e-mail itself! Here is an example of an e-mail I would send to a member of the local Chamber that is in the A/C business:

SUBJECT: “Joe: Do you service all of XYZ County!?” (How can Joe not open and not read this e-mail!?)

E-MAIL: “Hi Joe. If you do service all of XYZ County, then don’t lose this opportunity, exclusive to members, like yourself, of the ABC Chamber. Don’t miss your only chance to promote your A/C business on the Official Map of XYZ County distributed by XYZ County Government AND to grab the special discount granted only to Chamber members! I offer you a FREE presentation in your office! Before you say NO, let’s get together, find out what this is all about and then decide! I need 5 minutes of your time. E-mail or call me at XXX-XXXX. My name / company.

If you use the above strategy when you e-mail prospects, you will get better response than by spamming everyone! Don’t buy e-mail addresses. Usually, they are junk and could be of people all over the world! Collect your own.