With email filters, blockers, and simply tons of unsolicited email, is email marketing still a viable option to build and grow your network marketing business? The answer to this question, in my opinion is "Yes, but."
Let's deal with the "Yes" first, then we'll deal with the "But."
I remember about 5 or 6 years ago putting about 400 leads into my autoresponder and enrolling about 8 - 10 people a month into my nutritional program. Today, if you had 10 times that many leads, you may get a couple of prospects, and maybe, maybe, one enrollment. It is true that times have changed, but that doesn't necessarily mean that email marketing is dead. Let's look at a couple of examples.
One colleague of mine from California literally cannot keep up with the large number of prospects inquiring about her program. She is signing up 10 - 15 people per month into her program which costs about $1300 to start. Eighty percent of her efforts are wrapped up in email marketing. She has gone through the learning curve and is what I would call, a professional email marketer. How many emails does she send? About 1 million per month.
Another colleague of mine from Georgia is enrolling about 30 people per month into his business, a $20 a month, non-nutritional program. He is not highly sophisticated in what he does, but is effective enough to send out about 250,000 - 300,000 emails per month.
What is the biggest difference between now and then? Numbers. With the vast expansion of the Internet and email marketing, it simply requires greater numbers to get results today. It is not uncommon for some folks to get a couple hundred unsolicited emails a day that you must compete with. With the billions of emails circulating on a daily basis, you need massive numbers to get results. So, how many emails should you send out? Keep reading.
Now let's talk about the "But."
The biggest downside to email marketing is that new recruits are weak. Email marketing is notorious for having a revolving door with new recruits. Why? There is no relationship involved except for exchanging a few emails. Email marketing is very impersonal, and without the relationship, there is no bond (or glue) to hold the new recruit in your business. Many leave as quickly as they come. So how do you overcome this?
With both of my colleagues whom I mentioned above, they are both fantatical about picking up the phone within a very brief time that the prospect visits their web site. One of the very first comments out of their mouth is "I wanted to give you a call and let you know there is a real person on the other end of the email." And it works!
Picking up the phone, reaching out and touching them, and beginning to bond with the new prospect or recruit is vital. If you are not willing to pick up the phone, then email marketing isn't going to be worth it for you. One of email marketing's strengths is sorting through the prospects, then giving you someone to talk to.
So, how many emails should you be sending out in order to get enough prospects to talk to so you can build your business? As many as you can. From my observation, 100,000 leads is minimum. Anything less will not produce results for you. If it is within your budget, 300,000 is a better number. For the "email marketing professional," maybe one million is a better number. Whatever the number, you must be committed to constant, consistent effort, followed up by a personal phone call.
One final thought before we wrap this up. If you are going to involve yourself in email marketing, you must take the time and learn how to do it right. Understand that some people will complain about not wanting your emails, you will get undeliverable emails and blocked emails, and your autoresponder company may change their policies on you and you have to switch companies. But take the time to become a professional at what you do.
In summary, is email marketing still effective for building your MLM business? Yes. You simply must increase the numbers of emails you are sending out. But, you must also understand that you must pick up the phone and reach out and touch your prospects and new recruits or you will lose them. It is still a viable option for those who want to use this as a means of growing their network marketing business.
Rich Niccolls has been helping networkers with leads for over five years. For a list of email marketing friendly autoresponders and mass senders, visit his web site at: Opt-in Leads