I recently spoke with a marketer who told me he had 80,000 names in his house email list. While he was correct in the assumption that he had the records of 80,000 individuals in his database, many of these names were so fatigued by his constant bombardment of tired old, sales campaigns, his effective list size was probably only half that size (at best).

As marketers we are often all too keen to hit our lists and sell, sell, sell. But this isn’t always the best way forward.

Sometimes it’s better to hit our lists, deliver valuable content and wait.

This is particularly true for marketers promoting more complex solutions or services where the buying cycle might be a little longer than the average impulse purchase.

When potential clients make buying decisions that may have a financial impact (hopefully with a positive return) or significantly change the way they perform important tasks, they want to be sure they are doing business with someone who can add real value to their business.

Drip, Drip, Drip, Sell – The Power of Autoresponders

Delivering solid thought leadership via email is a practical, cost-effective method of positioning your business as a reliable business partner.

A great way to deliver content that carries a maximum chance of being consumed is to break it down into bite-size chunks and deliver it via an autoresponder as part of a series of educational emails.

One or two paragraphs delivered on a daily or weekly basis has the potential to deliver more impact than a long-winded, downloadable whitepaper or e-book. This approach will also give you several chances to generate interest and start that sales conversation.

For a great example of how we use this approach at iContact/Vocus, check out this campaign from the UK team delivering 12 Marketing Tips for Christmas.

This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.