The other day, I was on a conference call with one of my regular MSP marketing clients. I consider them as someone who I’ve had a great relationship with over the past few years. We were preparing a new email to send out to their email list subscribers and we were going over everything one last time with a fine-toothed comb. In the end, we had what I thought was a really effective email — one that would resonate in a meaningful way and hit on some of the key emotional strings with this particular MSP’s target audience.

 I felt that way, at least. But right before we were about to send it, the client said something that really made me pause — even though it was based in what I firmly believe is a significant misconception about the current state of email marketing.

He said “Hold on a second, I’m worried this email is too focused on our target audience. I’m afraid it’s going to alienate the rest of the people we could potentially reach, and I don’t want it to cause people to end up unsubscribing.”

To be fair, his thought certainly makes sense from a strictly logical, Vulcan-like perspective. If you get too specific with one core segment of your audience, you run the risk of suddenly not being relevant to everyone else. But like I said, this is founded in a misunderstanding about what your emails are supposed to do in the first place. Oftentimes, I find that people think that by trying to please anyone and everyone with their marketing, it’s going to give them the best chance of landing as many new customers as possible.

In reality, the opposite is true — and usually it is the one lesson you can only learn the hard way. In this post, I’d like to help you skip “the hard way” and get right to the root of the matter.

You can please some of the people some of the time

Pleasing as many people as you can, particularly with your marketing, is a good thing. After all, you don’t just want people to be aware of your brand — you want them to genuinely like it. The issue is, when you try to please everyone under the sun, your message naturally dilutes itself. That unique voice, that thing that made you special in the first place, becomes bland and ultimately blends in with the competition in a way you can’t afford.

You don’t have to worry about alienating anyone because at that point you’re not making a strong enough impression to move the needle one way or the other. Instead, you’re no longer speaking to anyone.

Think about it like this: if you go the “path of least resistance” route, you probably won’t get a lot of unsubscribes. But you also won’t have anyone responding to your emails, either. You certainly won’t be fielding responses from people who actually want to work with you.

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On the other hand, if your emails speak directly to the specific and unique pain points that your ideal customer is facing, it WILL resonate with the people you REALLY want to work with.

Sure, everyone’s issues are different and it might “alienate” some people who don’t fit the model of your ideal customer. Yes, they might unsubscribe, but remember: those weren’t the people you really wanted to work with anyway.

So from that perspective, unsubscribes are actually a good thing. There’s nothing personal about them, it’s just business. Unsubscribes are an effective way to get the people who wouldn’t necessarily be a good fit for your business out of your funnel as soon as possible. Using this practice leaves you the maximum amount of time in a day to focus all of your efforts on the people who you really want to work with in the first place. This isn’t just common sense. This is how you build the IT business you always dreamed you’d one day be running.

As an aside, you’re also likely to find that this approach will result in far fewer unsubscribes than you really think. You’d be surprised by just how many people are concerned about the same basic things, even if you don’t necessarily think they’d be at first glance.

It’s your move — time to make a stand

In my experience, I find that a lot of MSPs are guilty of sending the types of emails that don’t connect with their audience. This is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s a lesson we all have to learn one way or the other. This is born partly out of a fear of unsubscribes, which was certainly the case with the client I mentioned earlier. However, it’s also often coming from the fact that you’re just not sure who your audience actually is, which means that you’re unaware of the best avenues to connect with them.

If you don’t know who you’re speaking to, how can you be sure that you’re saying the right thing to begin with? So much of your marketing success has less to do with what you’re saying, and more to do with how you’re saying it. Once you’ve mastered that, there’s really no limit to what you’re able to accomplish. Until you get that point, you’re just shouting into the void and hoping someone is paying attention. That’s not a great position to be in, regardless of the age or existing success of your brand.

Need a hand?

If you’d like to figure out who your audience is so that you can get started on crafting the types of emails that will deeply connect and resonate with them, all while getting the results that you’re after — that’s precisely the type of thing I help MSPs with every single day. Feel free to reach me directly at Tech Pro Marketing and schedule a one-on-one call so we can take that next step, together.

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Photo: Raw Pixel / Shutterstock

Nate Freedman

Posted by Nate Freedman

You don't want marketing help from just anyone — you want it from someone that doesn't just know MSPs, but someone that is focused exclusively on helping MSPs generate leads through digital marketing. As the founder of Tech Pro Marketing, Nate Freedman has more than two decades of web and IT experience and manages a team that has worked on more than 1,000 different projects. After launching his first website project in 1998, he's spent more than 5,000 hours working with IT businesses on new and innovative ways to guarantee the marketing results they need when they need them the most.

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