The source of frustration addressed in his article may be all too familiar if you happen to work at an Internet-based home business which relies on personal relationships and/or teamwork.
I am often contacted by members of my business team with a tale of woe regarding a lack of response from their affiliates. It typically goes something like..."I send out lots of emails to all of them and I very rarely get any response. What am I doing wrong".
If your particular internet business involves selling well known branded items, personal feedback is not an issue. Visitors to your website (potential customers) are primarily interested in selection, availability, and price. If it is a returning customer, then you can also throw customer service into the equation. Once the desired item is selected, your mouse does all the "talking" without any human interaction involved.
However, there are many types of internet-based home businesses where feedback and interaction are quite important and getting an affiliate or business team member to communicate with you is a definite objective. It's not at all surprising that this can be a challenge when you stop to think that what you are trying to do is initiate a dialog between two complete strangers who have never even seen each other.
Heavily branded websites like walmart.com or amazon.com are household names and carry an implied trust with visitors. However, the vast majority of websites are not well known and are found and visited as a result of searches performed by search engines. In these instances, the visitor is probably arriving at the website for the first time and human nature often dictates a sense of fear or suspicion of the unknown which is manifested by a reluctance to respond to email messages from an unknown party.
It seems that there is no pat answer as to the best way to elicit an initial email response from a person. I have tried several approaches with varying degrees of success. Individual styles will vary, but the following four points should be kept in mind:
- you need to build trust & credibility with thorough knowledge of your business and with straight forward talk about realistic expectations
- don't over-sell or indulge in hype as many people are expecting this and it can be an immediate turn-off
- send messages with at least one open-ended question that requires a response
- keep the messages fairly brief, long winded messages that go on and on quite frequently will not be read
One other thing to keep in mind is that your messages may not even be reaching the intended recipient and they have no opportunity to give you a reply. At the end of your messages you might want to ask the recipient to send you a return email just saying "got it".
We all agree that spam is a very serious problem. These days, many email providers and ISPs have appointed themselves to be the "information police" and are employing various schemes to try to recognize and block messages that constitute spam. Unfortunately, these mail filtering or blocking techniques are often very inaccurate and many messages that people actually want to receive are arbitrarily being sent off into the ozone.
I have some first hand experience with this situation. Not long ago, the ISP that my mother was using suddenly decided that she would not be allowed to receive messages from me! It took us a while to figure out what was going on, but once we did, that ISP was history as far as my mother was concerned.
In the final analysis, all you can do is give it your best shot. Some people will respond, some won't...and the beat goes on. Remember, it's nothing personal, just human nature at work.
Kirk Bannerman operates a successful home based business and resides in California. For more details, visit his website at http://business-at-home.us