Nobody likes to be bossed around.  It makes them feel like a child.  So why do all of the so-called marketing experts tell you to give a clear (bossy) call to action in your website design and other marketing materials.  Call Today!  Act Now!  Don’t Delay!  Subscribe Here!  Those sound like the commands I might bark at my kids when they’re not getting ready for school.  “Don’t Delay.  Hurry Up!”  Do you want to be treated like a 7 year old?  I sure don’t want to be told what to do when I’m reading a website.

Sure, it’s nice to know what the next step is.  You can tell people how to do things.  Just don’t tell them what to do.

In fact, why not ask for their permission.  After all, when people subscribe to your email list, that’s called permission marketing because they’ve given you permission to market to them.  But have they really given you their permission to market to them or were they just following your orders when you commanded them to subscribe NOW?  Do you think they’re excited to receive your materials or did they just acquiesce and they’ll either add your email address to their junk mail filter to stop the barrage of emails or unsubscribe?  On the other hand, if you ask for their permission to send them materials in the future, they feel respected and can make up their own minds without the arm twisting.   Perhaps fewer people will opt in, but those that do are the ones that you care about.  They’re the ones that really want to hear from you.  They’re the ones that will read your materials.  Sure, you may ultimately have a smaller list that you’re marketing to, but what’s the point of marketing to thousands of people that don’t care?  That just gives you a false sense of reality and skews your marketing measurements.  You might waste your time trying to improve your marketing message because only 1 our of every 10,000 people on your list responds when you do an email blast.  Is that because your emails stink?  Or is it because nearly all of the people didn’t read your email because they were strong-armed into subscribing?  It’s tough to know unless you have a list that’s full of people who like your emails in the first place.  I hope that helps.

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