Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Gemeinschaft Building

German sociologist Ferdinand Tönnies in 1887 discussed the difference between the terms "community" (Gemeinschaft) and "society" (Gesellschaft). He argued that "community" is perceived to be a tighter and more cohesive social entity within the context of the larger society, due to the presence of a "unity of will."

He added that family and kinship were the perfect expressions of community, but that other shared characteristics, such as place or belief, could also result in gemeinschaft.

What the Fah?

Isn't this a blog about online marketing?

Yep... I'm the guy who uses the phrase "Create Value or Die". In other words, your online business must give value at every opportunity. But you know that... I've said it a hundred times.

So here is something new... don't use your sales copy as editorial in your e-letter. Let the well-written editorial content alone sell them.

Adverts, dedicated sales letters and Ed mentions are used for sales - not your editorial. Don't publish sales pitches. Publish content driven articles. If the essay is nothing but a sales pitch... pitch it in the trash OR save it for a dedicated sales letter. BUT don't confuse the two. Your e-letter is all about good writing and good content. End of story.

This will work... but only if you... work to the personal level.

In other words... as you build their trust with your e-letter your free names will move closer to purchasing something from you. Remember my motto.. "Don't just build a business, and build a community".

It's all about Gemeinschaft Building!

Let's go back to the beginning..

The Web is filled with thousands of websites... very bad websites. The so-called web designers and the marketers might not know it but their sites are really bad, untested and under performing. The e-letters associated with these sites are little more than advertisements, if not actual advertisements. The sites draw little or no traffic, and the e-letters do not generate revenue.

Why is this?

They didn't ask the important questions...
How can you make your site and e-letter different?
How do you get visitors to stay?
How can you get them to return?
How can you close sales?
Simply put… one must create value for an Internet business. You can do this by focusing on a clear purpose, and being entertaining, interactive, informative, current, AND most importantly – giving away value.

Then if you can reach your readers on a personal level… creating an exchange of ideas, opinions and facts, you'll have a solid relationship built on trust. That's when they read your e-letter everyday, read the ads everyday and buy when you ask them to. You'll have something special. You can convert the free name to a paid "front end" buyer and the more involved the community the higher the conversion rate.

You don't reach readers if they think you are just writing to sell them a pub.

Holding back the name of a profitable stock in your editoral does not build trust. Giving it away free does.

Just like you wouldn't charge a neighbor for borrowing a cup a sugar, right?

Well, not if you’re a member of a Gemeinschaft.