How ‘Marketing Guilt’ Hurts Your Customers (And Your Sales)
Yesterday I showed how teaching flips an “analytical switch” in your would-be customer’s brain that more often than not will kill your sales.
When I first got into marketing, I really struggled with this.
Teaching is fun—it comes natural to me and I really enjoy it.
The idea of teaching *less* in my emails just to make more sales felt like holding out on my audience, like I was cheating them somehow.
Subscriber Jennifer is dealing with this too.
I struggle with putting too much in since my background is course writing/instructional design and my strong point is being able to break down complex topics into easy-to-apply lessons.
It’s just that before I was thinking constantly, “How can I get them to apply this?” And with email courses it’s “How can I get them to buy the real lesson?” Totally different, but I’m sure I’ll get there.
I might be off base on this, but I detect a note of “marketing guilt” here—like deep down Jennifer feels like she’s pulling a bait and switch on her unsuspecting prospect.
Here’s the way I’ve come to understand this.
When you’re in business, your main goal should be to put your customers first, and serve their needs above your own.
And if you’re selling a product that fills a legitimate need that your ideal customers have, your focus should be on, “How do I structure my marketing and my business to help the most people possible?”
On the surface, giving everything away for free seems like the best way to do that.
But is it really?
Try this exercise:
Think back over the last 3 days.
How much free information and advice have you received?
If you’re an info junkie like me, you’ve probably read a dozen or more tweets, Facebook posts, blog posts, etc.
Now… How much of an impact has that freely given information had on your life?
How much have you actually applied?
How much do you even *remember*?
In the past several weeks, I’ve had several people give me (for free) access to courses they’ve created that they charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars for.
And to be honest I haven’t even looked at them.
What I’ve realized is that sometimes the best way to actually help your customers is by “holding out” and requiring them to pony up their cold, hard cash before you share your valuable insights.
Your customers don’t benefit from *reading* your information—they benefit from *applying* it.
And in today’s “information wants to be free” world, 99.99% of people will never apply your free teaching.
By saving your best ideas for paying customers, you’re not “holding out” on your customers.
You’re ensuring that your customers value your hard-won experience.
And you’re giving them their best shot at benefitting from your wisdom.
Does that seem like something to feel guilty about?
I think it’s an amazing point you’re raising with your post here. Thank you for that.
You hit the nail right in the head. We, first timers in Email Courses, believe that if we give them our best stuff they’ll love it and then buy. But I like the analogy with kids (I have a 2 kids at home, ages 3.5 and 6 months) when you say “Want people to eat all their food? Have them starving for 4 days!”
The analogy to the “free” email course (permission to spam 🙂 is amazing.
Right now I’m just learning how to shift the wrong mindset (feed them, teach them in the free course) to the “get them hungry” talking about the what, not the how.
Learning from you, who else 🙂