Every successful business fills some type of need. This is a useful thing to keep in mind when it comes to marketing your products and services, because you will be much more likely to make the sale if your potential clients clearly understand why they need to have what you’re offering. If they think your product is something that would be nice, but is ultimately unnecessary, how likely do you think they will be to open up their wallets at a time of economic crisis? In order to succeed, you need to show them why the benefits of your product are absolutely indispensable to them.
Now the reason we say that something is a “need” is because there are strong consequences if the need is not met. You need to eat, because if you don’t eat then you won’t survive. You need to sleep, because if you don’t sleep then a lot of very bad things will happen to you. So in order to demonstrate that your product is not just desirable but necessary, you have to figure out what will happen to a person who fails to buy it from you.
It might sound like an impossible task, making your product sound as essential as food or rest. In fact, you really don’t have to go to that kind of extreme. And if you were to try, it would be pretty difficult to sound convincing. But the scary part is that our world is full of twists and turns, and we’ve all had the experience of thinking we had something completely taken care of, only to find out that we had missed some crucial ingredient.
Here’s a great example: everybody eats because they know they have to, and they even enjoy it. But up until a few years ago no one had ever heard of Omega 3 fatty acids. Your brain is made of them, and your mood and immune system go wonky if you don’t get enough of them, but nobody ever knew the difference. Until suddenly, some ingenious vitamin marketer caught wind of the discovery and went around explaining to journalists and magazine writers that the food everyone had been eating wasn’t enough. We all needed more of these mysterious and elusive Omega 3s that we’d never heard of before. We call this creating a market.
And what happened as a consequence of this publicity? Supplements like Omega 3 fats are now driving the continued growth of a 25 billion dollar a year industry, even while the rest of the economy is tanking! So you see, the real meat and potatoes of remaining profitable is explaining what is missing from the meat and potatoes that people already have.
All of this is leading up to the real practical application, and that has to do with email marketing. If you set your mind to it, email marketing can be a really outstanding way to spread just the right kind of fear. In fact, if you do it right, your likely to increase your subscribers’ level of engagement with your newsletter. Because every company has some handy dandy product or service that would make life easier, and most of them send out “newsletters”full of product updates and sales information and the like. But very few of them ever contain any real “news.” And, coincidentally, very few of them ever get read.
Think about it: what kinds of things do you see on the front page of a newspaper? Mostly scary things. And why do you see them there? Because they sell newspapers! People are always drawn to scary information, because we know that we have this tendency to overlook things. I was sure something was missing from my diet, and so I listened when all the bloggers and TV doctors started telling me I needed Omega 3s. And I’m still listening! I’m waiting for someone to tell me what else I’m overlooking. Everyone is. And we’ve got 25 billion dollars to spend just on supplements that we never knew we needed before!
So if you’re sending sending out a newsletter, why not make it less about your product and more about the “news.” Point out some recent tragedy that could have been cleverly avoided through the judicious use of your product. Highlight some failing market that is plagued by a dramatic underuse of your product. Share a case study about some customer who almost didn’t make it because they weren’t using your product. Create your market.
And if you’re not sending out a regular email newsletter, in this economy? Good luck!