Stage 1 Stranger
This is the first stage of the relationship. You will need to get more information about the person if you want to find out what their interests are what their goals are, and so on. At the beginning of any relationship, it takes a little bit of time for that initial trust to be formed.
In order to get a chance to do this, you ask for some information (email address) in return for something of value, preferably something they are in search for already. If you provide them with something of value, you can then proceed to the next stage of the relationship.
Stage 2 Acquaintance
This is the stage we turn a person from a complete stranger into an acquaintance. We must continue to provide value and communicate our personality through email newsletters/messages. This can be a tricky part for a lot of people, and yet it’s the most important stage to get right. People don’t want to build a relationship with someone they can’t relate to.
They similarly do not want to communicate with another hard selling marketer either. (There are enough of those out there already.) Give them a reason to like you, to want to hear more from you, and most importantly, give them a reason to want to buy from you. Be truthful, open, sincere, and helpful and let your true personality shine through with every interaction. If you get this right the transition to the next stage becomes easier.
Stage 3 Friend (Customer)
At this stage you should have built up rapport with our prospect. You have given them valuable content, free advice or training. You have shared information about yourself, your family and your pets. They feel like they know the person behind the computer screen now.
So, how do we get to this next level? Well, it’s important to note that not everybody wants to be your friend. Not everybody is going to connect with you. Some take longer, some never come around. This shouldn’t worry you though. It’s not a numbers game, it’s a conversions game.
You can now offer products to your list. You see, people love to buy things and that is true. They will buy from you ahead of other marketers if they trust you. It’s really as simple as that. This is why stage 2 is very important in email marketing. Without that trust being built, you will not stand a chance in selling your offer.
Now, if you were to sell an item to one of your offline friends, what would you offer? I mean, would you offer support? Would you take time out to help them with the information or product you have provided? Would you give them tips on how to get the most out of the product? These are the things people want to know before they buy from you.
If you are at the “friends” stage of this email marketing ladder, you should offer as much support as possible. Be a friend, be a person who actually cares, be yourself and treat your customers like you would treat your closest friends!
Stage 4 Lifetime Customer
This is the last stage and the one all marketers want to achieve. Very few actually get to this stage, at least not on a large enough scale. The best buddy person on your list is the one who opens all your emails, clicks on all the links, downloads all the reports, watches all the videos and buys whatever you recommend to them. You have built up such a strong bond that they know you will only recommend valuable stuff to them.
To get your leads to this level you need to provide consistent value to them. You need to help them in any way you possibly can. You must only recommend top quality information and products. You must over deliver in everything you do. Repeat buyers are the holy grail of any business and you need to bend over backwards and do whatever it takes to get to this stage.
Building a lifetime buyer doesn’t happen by sending offer after offer. It doesn’t happen by sending crappy eBooks. It doesn’t happen by sending them content that isn’t great, and it doesn’t happen by being dishonest in your marketing.