We love them, and we hate them, but there is one undeniable fact about them; emails work.
If you ask anyone who has run a successful online business, they will tell you emails equal sales. However, many will readily admit one of their biggest mistakes was not growing an email list sooner to nurture prospects with email.
The importance of sending emails for your business is evident. Yet, many solopreneurs, freelancers, and business owners either don’t collect email addresses or only collect email addresses, rarely or never sending an email.
So with this email, I’m going to provide you with a methodology based on Robert Cialdini’s Six Principles of Influence, which you can use to develop an email nurture sequence you send once a prospect has provided you with their email address.
The 6 Principles of Influence
In his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Mr. Cialdini explains the psychology of why people say YES and how to apply these principles ethically in business and everyday situations. As a refresher, here is an overview of the six principles.
People identify with others who are similar to them or have common interests. Liking is the first step to building rapport, and it is the most likely (no pun intended) reason a prospect signed up for your email list in the first place.
Reciprocity is all about building rapport. In a world of take-take-take, reciprocity uses a give-first approach. Giving your prospects something unexpected and valuable with no expectation of getting something in return will make them feel an internal pull to give something back.
People tend to follow credible experts. As an expert in your field, prospects are on your list because they value your knowledge and insights, so it’s essential to highlight your authority without overdoing it and becoming “braggy.”
This principle is about getting prospects to make small commitments by taking action; the action could be as simple as asking for a reply to your email.
5 Social Proof
When unsure, humans look to others to provide us with the correct actions to take. People pay attention to what others are doing. When making decisions, they look to the actions and behaviors of others to determine their own. Testimonials, reviews, and icons on your website are all examples of social proof.
The fewer there are of something, the more people like and want them. So since we want more of the things we can have less of, scarcity makes prospects feel like they may miss out on an opportunity if they don’t act.
Create an email nurture sequence using the Six Principles of Influence
After an initial welcome email, the six principles, aligned in the specific order below, make for a great email nurture sequence.
For clarity, an email nurture sequence is a series of pre-written emails automatically sent by your email service provider after someone provides you with an email address via your opt-in. Your initial email should deliver your opt-in and set expectations for your new subscriber.
Email 1 Liking
Since people identify with others who are similar or have common interests, this email should tell a personal story to let prospects know you’ve been where they are. Understanding your audience’s objectives, obstacles, and outcomes will help you write a relatable personal story.
Email 2 Reciprocity
In this email, give your prospects something of value to help them move forward in some way. You can tie this email to the one before by giving away something that helped you move forward when you were in their shoes. Reciprocity is a great way to start conversations that matter.
Email 3 Authority
Since prospects are likely on your list because they value your knowledge and insights, use this email to communicate aspects of your personal story where you leveraged your experiences, credentials, or certifications to overcome obstacles you know they are facing.
Email 4 Consistency
This email has few words and one goal; get people on your list to make a small commitment. The commitment can be as simple as replying to the email or taking a particular call to action. This email is short, sometimes as few as nine words, but contains a direct ask.
Email 5 Social Proof
Knowing people look to the actions and behaviors of others when making decisions, this email is the perfect time to tell a customer story. Start the email by highlighting the struggles your client was up against and how you helped them overcome their obstacles. Then, if possible, add a direct quote from a testimonial.
Email 6 Scarcity
Often called a sales letter, the goal of the last email in a nurture sequence is to make a sale. The sale can be an actual sale, or it could be to take a specific action, like scheduling a call with you. In this email, it’s not enough to tell people about the benefits they’ll gain if they choose your products and services. You also must highlight what is unique about your product or service and what they stand to lose (consequences) if they fail to move forward.
Follow these steps and write your nurture sequence using the six principles of influence. You’ll find, as other successful online business owners do, that emails not only work but they will quickly become your path to higher revenue.