In my last post I discussed some ways that you can use email marketing to build up positive feelings so that people will look forward to receiving your messages and feel relieved when they arrive. Rewards, even small rewards, play a huge role in shaping our motivation and determining the types of actions we will take in the future.
However, as important as positive reinforcements are for successful marketing, they are only a part of what it takes to motivate people to take action. And this is doubly true when you are trying to market your products or build your brand during a slow economy. When fragile markets and shrinking budgets are making people more and more hesitant to invest their resources, you have to develop an understanding of their hesitation.

People hesitate because they are afraid of making the wrong decision. They are afraid of wasting their time, their money, and their manpower, and they are ultimately afraid of failing. There are two ways that you can work with this fear: by defusing it, or by turning it to your advantage.
Email marketing offers an ideal platform for defusing fear, because it allows you to portray your company as a solid and reliable performer. You can emphasize your commitment by developing a regular schedule of mailing that go out just like clockwork. Over a long period of time, you become as familiar and comfortable as an old pair of sneakers. People come to feel at ease relying on you because they find that you stay with them in good times and in bad times.
Of course, not everyone has the luxury of being old faithful. But there are plenty of ways that you implicitly and explicity build the perception of reliability into your mailings. If you’ve been around a long time, you can celebrate the anniversaries of important dates in your company’s history. But if you haven’t, you can build the sense of reliability into the very fabric of your company by sending out company timelines that stretch out years into the future.
Above all, you want to position yourself as someone who can help with the problems that your potential clients are inevitably experiencing. And the best way to do that is to talk knowledgeably about those problems. Try building your newsletter around the idea that you are in the business of solving the problems that your clients experience.  Then your actual product or service is reframed–it is just another way that you’ve come up with to help people overcome the problems that you seem to know so much about. There’s something very comforting about that.
In my next post, I’ll explore the flipside of this equation: ways that you can turn your clients’ fears to your advantage, by placing the emphasis on what will happen if they fail to fully utilize your products and services.