I’ve written a story for you about a kid, his lawn mowing business, and his neighbor.
…But it’s not just any story.
See, hidden inside is one of the most powerful lessons for e-mail marketing lessons that I was ever taught. Now, I could just come out and explain it – but with a story I can show you this concept in action, and help you understand it even greater.
So without further ado…
Lawn-Mower Kid (By: David Tendrich ;))
In a small suburban neighborhood, in a small city of the good ole U.S. of A there was a boy who mowed lawns in the summer.
He would mow 5 yards a week at $20 each. For an 11 year old – that was pretty good mulah. But something in him always wanted to do better.
One day, his neighbor approached him…
“Did you know…” the man said, “That if you do this one little thing – you’ll get twice as many paying customers this week.”
Well, the kid was all ears, as you can imagine. And he didn’t blink once as the man talked to him. He just stood there, eyes wide as full moons, taking it all in.
The kid tried out the tactic that the man taught him…
And got 3 new paying customers that week.
Now, that’s not quite double the amount he started with, 5, but it was darn close enough. It was a failure the kid could live with.
He felt on top of the world.
Until, a week later, the man came back…
“Mister! Mister! It worked! It worked!” the boy beamed.
“I’m so happy to hear that, kid. But you know, the best part is that you took action on the ideas. Otherwise it’s just talking and jibber jabber.”
The kid smiled.
“Say, how about I teach you something else this week? This time you could triple the number of houses you mow.”
So the boy listened. And he acted on what he heard. And in one week’s time not only did he have 24 houses…
…He was paying another kid to mow them for him!
The boy was making money while sipping on lemonade all day!
And then the man came back.
“Mister! You wouldn’t believe it! I have 24 houses – and a friend of mine mows them all! That idea you gave me worked so great!”
The man smiled.
“I’m so glad to hear that,” he said, “Say… I happened to see one of the houses your friend mowed, and he did a mighty fine job… How much do you charge? I’d like to hire your services to mow my yard.”
The boy arched an eyebrow, “Mister – your money is no good here. You’re the reason I have as many houses as I do – and why I’m not doing a single ounce of work to collect the money from them. I’ll pay my friend to mow your house for the whole rest of the summer. Thank you for all you’ve taught me.”
The man smiled, tipped his hat to the boy, and went on his way.
So… Did you catch the single most important secret of successful internet marketing?
Wanna go back and look again? Or do you think you got it?
I can boil it down for you in 4 little words…
Giving. Leads. To. Getting.
It’s as simple as that.
The man gave something of great value to the boy. In fact, he did it twice. And when the man asked for something – the boy jumped to his aid.
He thankfully jumped to his aid.
Think of the last time someone did something really nice for you. Didn’t you want to appreciate them back by doing something for them?
Like when a stranger opens a restaurant door for you – don’t you want to do something in return?
Or when a friend gets you an awesome gift for your birthday – don’t you just want to one-up them and get them something even better?
That force that makes you want to give back has been called the “Law of Reciprocity.”
It works in e-mail marketing too…
The key to successful e-mail marketing is to constantly provide awesome, free content to your subscribers. What happens is they get that same, “Wow – I wanna do something in return” feeling building up in them.
Keep providing it until their “law of reciprocity gauge” hits overload.
Then you pitch them your product or services and out of the desire to give back, and out of trust for you because you always come through with the content…
They start buying from you like crazy!
But the key is in the value, and in the desire to really help.
If you don’t genuinely care – then this all kinda falls apart – because people can see right through it.
So keep providing value.
Often when I talk about this, someone will ask me how much value can you provide before offering someone the chance to buy your product.
While there’s no “set in stone” rule for this, until you get the feel of it you can follow this simple plan:
Something Free –> Something else Free –> A bonus –> A product
That’s the gist of it. Just make sure the “free” stuff is GOOD.
A lot of people don’t provide as much free stuff in between pitches – but I like to really provide people with great value before I ask them for a sale.
I want them to have no doubt in their mind that my product is extremely effective – because they see how effective my free content is.
Now, I do have one rule of thumb that I suggest you follow…
I only provide content that I feel is worthy of being paid for.
For instance, I only provide the quality of content that I would to my private coaching clients.
You can stand out really easily if you do that – because 99% of internet marketers give away junk.
Which gives you a golden opportunity to be the Hero of Your Niche!
Give away for free what people would gladly pay for. They’ll really appreciate you – and want to return the favor.
So what’s your take on all of this?
How do you personally view the law of reciprocity, and how to use it?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Feel free to share in a comment.