Be Cool Marketing 101: Introduce Yourself

Let me ask you a question… Have you ever signed up or bought something online and then un-expectantly, you get HAMMERED with emails?

I bought a light for my wife’s meditation room from Pottery Barn and without knowing it, I was automatically on the force feed diet of promo emails. I was getting daily (sometime multiple times per day) emails about lights, sofas and everything else I would need to deck out a room.

Normally I don’t mind getting emails from larger companies. I consider it to be research. I like to see what they put together – I like to see their offers, their frequency, their design, etc.

But these guys…it was even too much for me, so I unsubscribed!

This is what we’re trying to avoid! So, as soon as somebody opts in to our list, we’re going to be totally transparent and let them know exactly when and how we’re going to communicate with them.

Simple right…. but nobody does it.

This introduction campaign is quite possibly one of the easiest campaigns that we will ever put together because most of the time, it’s only one email – but the purpose is profound.

By being very clear up front we accomplish a few different things …

  1. We set the stage for the relationship.
  2. We in essence get their OK for this type and frequency of communication.
  3. We tell them what to do next.
  4. We start to build value.

Let me give you an example….

Here’s the one I use:

SUBJECT: Welcome to Black Dog Marketing! Here’s where to start…

Hey there … Mike Linville here and I’m the Founder & CEO of Black Dog Marketing. I wanted to take a second to say hello and welcome you to the family.

Seriously, on behalf of myself and the entire Black Dog Marketing team I want you to know that we’re truly excited and grateful that you decided to join us…

Here’s what you can expect from us…

We’ll publish fresh pet marketing content to our blog once per week on Thursday, then once it’s live we’ll send you an email with a short description of the new article, why we think it’s important for you and a link to read the full article.

We’ll also send you emails about new expert Black Dog Marketing courses, software and other cool premium resources from time to time BUT only once we’ve vetted them.

Sound fair?


Here’s what you need to do now to get started…

STEP 1: Make sure you’re getting our emails! 

Whitelist and prioritize all emails from “” and “Mike Linville”.

This is important!

If our emails aren’t getting through, you’ll miss all the important updates about what’s working in pet marketing right now (and you won’t receive the full benefit of being a Black Dog Marketing subscriber).

So please take the following simple actions to make sure nothing slips through the cracks:

1) Follow the whitelisting instructions for your email provider at this page:

Email Whitelisting

2) If you are a Gmail user or you use any other web-based email that filters broadcasts away from your main inbox, be sure to “drag” any emails from Black Dog Marketing or “Mike Linville” into your Priority Inbox. (Again, you don’t want to miss something.)

3) Create a special “Black Dog Marketing” folder where you can archive emails from BDM as well as “Mike Linville” AFTER you have read them. This is important…DO NOT setup filters to automatically direct our emails into these folders, or again, you are likely to miss something. Simply move them manually to the folder after the information in the email has been consumed.

STEP 2: Let’s get social …

Take two-seconds and join Black Dog Marketing on Facebook or Twitter, as these are our primary methods of communication outside of email updates, and again you won’t want to miss a thing:



Talk soon,

Mike Linville, CEO, Black Dog Marketing

P.S. Did you know there are actually 5 different reasons to market your pet business?… and building a big business in only one of them.

I’ll give you all 5 tomorrow, but for now spend a little time thinking about what it could be. If you’re anything like me, you’ll get more benefit from the “thought experiment” than from the answer itself.

Be cool, and introduce yourself when somebody opts in to your list. Let them know what they can expect and when to expect it. Being transparent will reduce the number of unsubscribes to your list drastically.

Now It’s Your Turn

Use the comments section below and tell me how do you introduce yourself to your subscribers?

How To Increase Sales Without Spending More On Marketing (No Seriously!)

Traditional marketing isn’t doing so hot these days.

Don’t get me wrong, mailers and radio ads play a role in marketing. But if you’re a business owner on a budget, there are much more effective ways to find new customers and keep them coming back again and again.

Enter: lifecycle marketing, the business owner’s best friend.

With lifecycle marketing you don’t just throw money at ads and hope people end up buying. Every time a new customer enters your funnel they are taken through a well planned sales process that guides them towards a buying decision. If they don’t buy at the end of the process, it’s no sweat! They just go into another sequence that will help move them towards a buying decision again.

So all the money you’re spending on marketing stays in your business. It doesn’t fall out any holes, because they people you’ve invested in become email subscribers, social media followers or other types of warm leads.

So how does lifecycle marketing work?

Step 1: Attract Traffic

Let’s be honest, people don’t like ads.

There is a time and a place for ads, but it will cost you a small fortune if it’s your only form of marketing.

People want to be entertained, educated and engage with others; which is exactly what your marketing should do. Attract people to your website and social media with information that your best customers will find valuable and interesting, whether it’s via blog, videos or other types of content. This is the first, and perhaps most important step, to finding leads and raving fans.

Step 2: Capture Leads

Now that you have eyeballs on your content, it’s time to get those people to decide if they want more content and information from you, or not.

One of the easiest ways to capture names and email addresses is through a newsletter signup form. But people can be pretty protective of their information, so you have to give them a reason to click subscribe.

If you’re finding you have a good dose of traffic, but people aren’t making the jump from visitors to leads, it’s time to do some analysis. Walk through from the perspective of your visitors. Are you asking for too much information? If your content compelling enough? If not, what can you do to improve things?

Step 3: Nurture Prospects

The truth is, most buyers don’t see marketing and immediately purchase. They buy when they’re ready to buy. But to reach them, you need a systematic approach for developing trust and converting leads. The not-so-secret weakness of small businesses is that they don’t follow up with leads as well as they should.

So having consistent, valuable follow-up messages can prove to be a huge competitive edge. The trick is to have a plan of where you want leads to go in your process and to make sure you’re guiding them every step of the way.

Step 4: Convert Sales

You can attract, capture and nurture all the leads you’d like. But eventually they need to become paying customers, or your business will suffer.

Depending on your business type and set up, you’ll likely either use an online shopping cart or salespeople (or both). No matter which method you use, have a system in place to sell to these customers when they’re ready for it.

Step 5: Deliver & Satisfy

If you’ve ever received bad customer service (and who hasn’t?), you won’t be surprised to learn that most companies spend more acquiring new customers than keeping existing ones happy.

Winning lifelong customers requires the ability to not only get a prospect to buy again, but also to be happy while they do it. The benefits go far beyond inspiring loyalty and repeat business. Happy customers become brand cheerleaders, which can drive more referrals and increase sales.

Step 6: Upsell Customers

Unfortunately, a lot of business owners stop at step 5. Which means they’re devoting all this time and money on marketing without getting the full return on their investment.

Happy customers already know that you can deliver, so they’re likely to come to you when it’s time to purchase again.

Make their lives easier while continuing to build a relationship with the help of lead nurturing. This just means putting them into a long-term sequence where you’re constantly keeping in contact, so they remember you for next time.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to build a sequence around upsells. Let customers know when updates or additional products are available. Software like InfusionSoft or AWeber allows you to build out an email sequence, so you can just drop customers in there when they’re ready. Then they just go through the automated follow-up sequence at the frequency of your choosing, so they’re getting the best possible content and upsells for their needs.

Step 7: Get Referrals

Now that you have all your systems in place there’s one last step, to get referrals from your happy customers.

People are much more likely to do business with someone when they’re introduced by a friend, family member or coworker. Which is just another reason to stay in touch with happy customers.

It may feel weird at first, but simply ask your happy customers for referrals, or who they know who might benefit from your service. Just don’t forget to reward your customers and their referrals with a thank you of some type. Even if you can’t afford a gift card, something a simple as a handwritten thank you card can go a long way.