You got the opt-in, you got a vaguely interested prospect, great! Now what?
In this article, you are going to learn how to turn an email into a sale.
Lead nurture is not one-dimensional, it is not a case of just banging out your newsletter once a fortnight and expecting to get results. A fully planned out and integrated approach is required.
Failing to plan is planning to fail
Why is nurture so important?
Before we jump into turning your opt-ins into sales, let’s remind ourselves why great nurture is so important:
Step #1 – What Did I Opt-in To?
Warning: empathy required.
You worked out a high-converting message to your perfect audience – woo!
Now I am going to state the obvious, but 80%+ of the nurture we see get this part badly wrong: your nurture sequence needs to be 100% about the opt-in topic!
And no, not just one welcome email then bung them over to the newsletter! Cold opt-ins don’t care that Mary just enjoyed her 5th anniversary at your company, they really, really don’t.
And please, not “OH MY GOD YOU OPTED IN!! DO YOU WANT TO BUY MY STUFF NOW?? DO YOU??”. If you’re new to nurture, this is a common pitfall.
Step #2 – Make the sequence
At this stage, you are going to plan a CORE multi-channel sequence.
Then you are going to plan the TRIPWIRES. Both will be explained in detail.
Quick note: Gmail and Outlook.com ARE LEADS
It is perfectly normal for leads NOT to trust you immediately, and only give a private email address.
Sure, you want every optin to be firstname.lastname@example.org, and some will – but most won’t, and why should they?
The important thing is that you have a communication channel, and you do. If you get a flow of suspicious looking email optins from any source, run it through Mailgun‘s (free) validator to find out if it really exists:
Ask us about our auto-fraud-detection bots, which find & eradicate suspicious activity – a real problem on the Google Display Network (GDN).
The Core Sequence
Get your pen and paper out and decide which channels are relevant to this campaign:
- LinkedIn “Foreplay” (connecting, greeting etc…)
- Direct Mail & Merchandise
- “Warm” Calling
- Digital retargeting (requires volume)
We use a Google Drawing template, mapping out every channel and how they link, from top-funnel to sales call.
This is your core, unchanging sequence that will happen with everyone on your campaign list.
An easy and very effective sequence you can put together is: Tip #1 for <what they opted into>, Tip #2 for <what they opted into>.
As we bang on about all the time – the more niche the optin, the easier this is – when you know exactly who you’re speaking to.
Simply repurpose content you already have, or create more.
Do not sell anything for the first 3-4 emails!! Give away free gifts, including knowledge.
This is SO easy to set up on timed triggers (e.g. a Mailchimp “education series” template). And as you advance with nurture you will want to upgrade to AWeber or Infusionsoft for intelligent tree systems and triggers. Your CRM is not always the best tool for email campaigns (*cough* Agile), so you can use a tool like PieSync to synchronise CRM and email as necessary.
If you are just starting with email sequences, KEEP IT SIMPLE!
Somewhere in your flow it will make sense to throw in some LinkedIn foreplay with this lead.
It’s up to you to choose when. We recommend not too early!
Nothing puts off a lead more than an over-eager puppy on sales commission…
Direct Mail & Merchandise
“Direct Mail is dead” I hear you cry…
We recently chatted to a great company called All In Good Time, who run musical team building sessions within businesses, culminating in your team performing as a band at the end of the day with no previous musical ability! Check them out.
Anyhow, we discussed the possibility of targeting Manager/Director level businesspeople who play musical instruments themselves.
Part of the sequence ideas, upon proving some kind of interest, was to send them a branded Ukulele.
Now THAT will improve your ‘call-taken’ rate, will it not!?
By the way, on the topic of ukuleles, if you haven’t enjoyed the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain before, you really need to watch this:
This part is VITAL.
For every 1 direct coffee arranged from a ‘need now’ directly digital conversion, we expect a minimum 3 from warm calling.
The nature of your original list and the standard flow of your sequence will dictate how you approach “warm” calling.
There is a clue in the name “warm”… the leads should be warmed up first. Filtered. This acts as a pre-qualifier, saves sales overhead massively.
In standard ‘everybody’ sequences, we link the “warm” in calling to having received some (compelling) Direct Mail – a conversation starter.
Mostly, it comes down to TRIPWIRES, which we’ll cover shortly.
If the audience is big enough, you can continue sequences online too.
If the audience is not big enough, you can work on a timed basis whereby *everyone* moves to the next part of your digital sequence on a specific date.
Step #3 – Plan in your TRIPWIRES
Errrrr a trip-what? Alert: incredibly military marketing metaphors.
If you have ever seen Rambo, you have seen literal tripwires. They look like this (do not try this at home):
When someone ‘trips’ over that ‘wire’, a grenade blows up. Unpleasant.
Important note: we are not in the business of literal tripwires. We are going to make some METAPHORICAL TRIPWIRES.
Channel-by-channel, look at the standard sequence you have created.
Now warm calls are often ‘triggered’ by ‘tripwires’. An easy example would be:
- Opted into email chain
- Tip #5 was a calculator on costs
- That’s high intent – TRIPWIRE
- Get a call in
Visited your website and engaged with X, Y, Z is another obvious example.
A note on Lead Scoring
Not every lead that comes in is going to be a sale waiting to happen, sorry to tell you.
Scoring leads is an important exercise, to help focus time (and thus overhead) on the right leads.
Most CRM has some form of lead scoring, but most CRM is also really bad at certain things (like email sequences).
OUR LEAD SCORING AI FRED WILL SCORE LEADS, MULTI-CHANNEL:
- Any CRM
- Any Mail tool
- Analytics Integration
This multiplies the intelligence and value of sequences & tripwires by 10x
Results: A Pipeline
B2B usually has a sales cycle going into months, especially big-ticket items.
By starting nurture like this, you are filling up a pipeline and pushing people through stages of your cycle. Pipedrive provide a nice visual:
Here’s a quick video summary of this blog: