You need three things to be successful online.
- Conversions, and
- A Lead Nurturing Campaign
You can’t really have one without the other either.
You’ve pretty much got to nail all three.
Most people think the trick to being successful is to just ‘get more traffic’.
How many times have you been told to pay an SEO company $1,000 per month if you want to make it online?
I mean SEO is important, and attracting enough of the right eyeballs onto your site is one of three very critical factors to being successful online – but not until your two other ducks are in a row.
The second key ingredient is conversions.
“What’s a conversion?” you might ask…
A conversion is an interaction with you, an engagement of sorts, an exchange like when someone hands over their email to you indicating they want to know more, or want something of value you have.
It could be a contact enquiry, eBook download, quote request, newsletter opt-in or similar.
It could even be a phone call that originated from one of your online channels like your website or Google Business Page.
And please, let me tell you something for free:
There is NO point driving traffic to your website if you haven’t yet nailed your conversion strategy.
It’s like trying to fill a bucket full of water when it’s ridden with holes the size of golf balls.
It just doesn’t work.
Sadly, it’s why over 80% of websites fail.
To avoid being a statistic, check out the blog I wrote about conversions: How To Triple Your List Opt-In Rate In 7 Days Or Less.
So let’s today talk about the third ingredient for website success…
WHAT IS LEAD NURTURING?
“Lead nurturing is simply the process of building trust and rapport with people you don’t know yet through a series of automated emails, in order to grow your sales.”
There are other ways to nurture prospects to become customers but for this post we’re focusing on email alone as it’s the easiest to setup and also the most common.
(If you haven’t read my last blog about lead magnets, in particular Step 5, go do so now then come back to this one and carry on. It’s important you hit the trifecta and be stellar in all three.)
Let’s assume you’ve created an irresistible lead magnet that has your site converting it’s little toosh off, you have a steady flow of traffic, and you’re ready to take your marketing to the next level so you can generate customers while you sleep.
Enter your new best friend… Mrs. Automation!
How to build an automated email campaign
What you’ll need:
- A lead magnet you can use to convert website visitors into leads. This can be either on your website or a landing page.
- A blank Word document or Google Doc to write your emails.
- A MailChimp account which is only about $10 per month. (You could also use AWeber, Campaign Monitor or any other email provider of your choice.)
- A good mood. You’ll want to write these coming from a warm and genuine heart space so you can be 100% your authentic self.
Some key points to remember before we get started:
- Know your audience.
- Write as you speak.
- Be genuine and come from a place of service.
- Set a goal for each email.
- Don’t go in for the hard sell too early.
- Take advantage of the P.S. — people love to read the P.S.!
- Craft killer subject lines. (Google examples if you’re not sure.)
- Write short paragraphs so people can skim, even just one sentence per paragraph.
- Don’t include too many links or images. (Gmail could flag you as junk mail.)
- Be patient.
- Be yourself!
Okay, let’s get started.
How often should you email?
It depends on the length of your sales cycle but I would typically suggest your lead nurturing campaign be active for 2-3 weeks for most people, in which case, afterwards you can continue to make contact through your regular weekly newsletter.
If you have the time to write more emails, you can stagger these emails using Fibonacci numbers which means you send one on day 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, and so on adding up each two previous digits to get the next.
I’m conscious of how busy you are and speed of execution is key, so if you only have time to write 5 emails as outlined below, send one every 3 days for two weeks after they opt-in to your free lead magnet which goes without saying, should be packed with incredible value.
What should you write?
You’ve probably heard that saying “People buy from people they know, like and trust”.
Well believe it or not, but it’s true.
So it’s important to be yourself in these emails, not just because it’s the done thing to do to be authentic, but also because you will naturally attract people into your tribe that you actually want.
People you connect with and share the same values as will end up being great customers.
That said, lead nurturing focuses on listening to the needs of prospects, and providing the information and answers they need.
Lead nurturing is about providing value through content so have a look over what you already have and see how you can repurpose it.
To give you some ideas, think about:
- Common questions you get asked all the time by prospects.
- Customer success stories or case studies.
- Free tools or resources you have to help people.
- Stories about why you do what you do.
- Common myths about your industry/product/service.
- What people can expect when they use your product/service.
- Rookie mistakes people make.
- Popular blog posts you’ve written in the past.
- Videos you’ve created that will help solve a problem or build a relationship.
- Webinar recordings, eBooks, cheat sheets, podcasts, interviews, Excel templates, etc.
Here’s a simple formula you can follow but feel free to adlib yours:
I’ve written a LOT of emails in my time since starting Web123 and each time I setup a new piece of content with sales funnel, I tweak and improve on what I’ve learnt.
The following is part what I’ve tried and tested, part what I’ve learnt from others, part writing formulas I’ve learnt in copywriting courses, and part just what feels right to me to say.
Let me preface it by saying:
“There is no right or wrong or perfect formula you can follow to write a compelling lead nurturing campaign.”
Every business is different.
Every person is unique.
Every brand needs to be authentic.
It’s simply something you get better at with experience.
That said, you can use this outline to get you heading one giant leap in the right direction!
Email 1: Lead Magnet delivery + welcome email
Email 2: Just checking in…
Email 3: Your mission / your big ‘why’
Email 4: Share a success story
Email 5: A free gift and/or offer
Day 0 | Email 1: Lead Magnet delivery + welcome email
Your first email should be warm, inviting and conversational.
- Thank them for opting in to your free lead magnet.
- Provide a link to access their free download, as well as an image of the freebie which is clickable.
- Tease them about something really amazing in the actual freebie so they actually go to download it and consume it.
- And if you can, link them also to a low-price offer you have which can convert those that are ready to move through your sales funnel.
- In the P.S. be sure to ask for feedback and even suggest they leave you a comment on your Facebook or Twitter channels. Even if they don’t leave you a comment, they might at least connect with you which will give you another nurturing opportunity.
Here’s an example of one of mine:
You could also ask them to reply to you with their biggest challenge to spark a conversation and also to guide your future content creation.
You’d be amazed at the amount of insights I receive from this one tactic.
Here’s a screenshot of my newsletter opt-in welcome email:
Day 3 | Email 2: Just checking in…
In this email you want to be like an old friend checking in to touch base, see what they thought, see if they have any questions etc
- Keep it short and sweet.
- Respect their time (or lack thereof).
- Go easy on the sell at this stage but remind them that you’re there to help.
- Remember, it’s about them getting to know, like and trust you so just be yourself.
Here’s an example of one of mine:
Day 6 | Email 3: Your mission / your big ‘why’
In this email you want to start telling stories about ‘why’ you do what you do.
People don’t buy what you do, they buy ‘why’ you do it.
(For a great explanation of this, check out this Ted talk by Simon Sinek.)
Stories go a long way build a connection and people remember them, which means, they’ll remember YOU.
- Keep it relatively short if you can.
- Be authentic, raw and honest.
- Be vulnerable.
- Dig deep into why you started your business in the first place, what’s your mission?
- Extend an offer of help again, just like you would a friend.
- Let your personality shine through.
Here’s an example of one of mine:
Day 9 | Email 4: Share a success story
Have you ever heard that saying “When you say it about yourself, it’s fluff, but when someone else says it about you, it’s fact.”
It’s true for online marketing, any marketing for that matter, and so it pays to showcase testimonials, reviews, success stories and case studies to establish credibility and trust.
Which is why now is the perfect time to bring out some evidence of your skill and expertise that your users can easily relate to.
- Give your lead a reason to trust you.
- Make sure it’s a story they can relate to.
- Ensure you solve a real problem.
- Make it engaging.
- Leave the door open to connect.
Day 12 | Email 5: A free gift and/or offer
Now you could combine these two emails into one or just as easily send them separately a few days apart. It’s entirely up to you.
Like I said, there’s no right or wrong formula here, do what feels right for you.
This will be your first of many lead nurturing campaigns you’ll set up in this lifetime so practice makes perfect!
That said, you do want to start getting a little more direct with your offer to help them through one of your products or services.
Sometimes you just gotta ask for the sale, you know.
What’s the worst that can happen?
They say ‘no’. So what.
If they’re not ready, that’s totally fine.
And if they never buy from you? That’s okay too.
They might instead tell 10 other people to buy from you and that’s awesome, right?!
So now that they know you a bit better, and they feel comfortable with what you’re all about, they have some evidence you can do what you’re claiming you can do, and they’re a warm lead, it’s time to start closing the sale.
- Be of service.
- Offer incredible value, value that people would happily pay for.
- Consider offering a free strategy session or consult as a lead-in to the sale, depending on what you do.
- Be a problem solver.
- Communicate the benefits of engaging you.
- Make it easy for people to reach out to you.
- Be confident!
Here’s an inside look at some of mine:
Or something like this…
And if you want to do different kind of low-risk offer, you could try something like this:
Have some fun with it, let your personality shine through and most importantly, be authentic!
When you write your first draft, sleep on it, come back with fresh eyes and edit them until you’re happy.
The trick is though to get these puppies out into the wild.
An almost perfect campaign is better than a perfect one that never sees the light of day because you’re afraid what people might think.
Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.
If you really want to, get a friend or colleague, or hubby to read over them and give you some feedback, otherwise, jump into MailChimp (or other) and follow the instructions to setup an automated campaign.
- Create a basic email template, the plainer the better.
- Use size 14pt or larger.
- Setup your automated email sequence 3 days apart.
- Research killer subject lines.
- Use symbols in your subject lines to stand out in the inbox.
- Send yourself test emails for each one.
- Check all the links work.
- Make sure there are no typos.
- And hit ‘publish’ while you sit back while the world gets to know you, and love you, on autopilot.
I’ll say it again, just in case you didn’t hear me the first four times…
People buy from people they KNOW, LIKE and TRUST.
Look for ways for others to get to know you better, love what you do, and trust what you say will help them and you have yourself one hell of a lead nurturing campaign!
Now go forth and conquer, my friend; and if you need help, sing out to me over at Web123 and I’d be more than happy to offer you a hand.
Until next time,