I’m drinking a coffee right now, reading emails and answering the most urgent ones. I carefully filter every single one into different priorities checklist. So, inbox zero is a actually a reality for me after a painful self-taught experience in several years dealing with it professionally.
One topic that’s becoming more and more recurrent is marketing automation. How to have a machine trying to convert subscribers or potential customers into real clients?
Well, you can’t. Not really. If you think about it that way, it’s not going to work. If you want to sell something to someone always imagine that being done by a real person/human and not a smart bot pretending to be a human being.
We’re not coming to that cold – hopefully – far future where everything seems be running by robots.
Having said that, what you really need to do is automate your conversation and relationship with your audience. You must think about it as a soap opera plot or a theater script where you conduct the conversation and the interaction between both parties on a natural way. Obviously, it’s not going to be perfect and you just can’t automate everything but guess what, the channels are open for a real conversation while the plot is being conducted in parallel.
Are you with me so far? Here’s when things become interesting.
I’ll give you a simple workflow for a general conversion from a potential interested person into a real paying client. Is it going to work for your particular product/service?
It will work much better than not doing anything at all, don’t you think?
Please, consider that I can’t possibly imagine all scenarios and item to promote. So, this is meant to be simple and almost universal on most of your needs.
Let’s get started, shall we?
This could be done, by email, SMS, mobile push, post mail or any other channel that allows a direct connection with your first lead or subscriber.
1 – Step One – Subscription – Acquisition Medium.
Yep, most people think that step one is the welcome letter, right? It could be, but in this case, depending on your main goal, it’s of the most importance to have the acquisition process well oiled in order to give you the fuel to complete every process that you need.
What am I talking about? It’s a simple data insertion, right? Yep, it is.
However, right at the moment you get that lead or subscriber, you must obtain as much information as possible right in that second. It’s a not a reason to implement a huge form or they will run like crazy from you. It’s a more simple collection data:
- The Main Address for what medium you’re going to use: email address if it’s a web newsletter, a full post address for direct mail or a phone number… whatever the main channel that you’re going to use as a lead conversion, this is key. You can also use different channels for different sources, but that could also be a huge mess depending on your resources to do it right.
- Name (may or may not be included). I’m not that fond on using that unless you make sure that you can get them to really place their name correctly. It can also affect subscription rate, so test it before deciding. For post direct mail is essential, by the way.
- IP Address which you can collect on a not visible way. That will give you a geo-reference from where he’s subscribing from. (not visible for the subscriber)
- Source – you can make your form collect the actual source of that subscriber or lead if you program it right. (not visible for the subscriber)
- Day / Hour of subscription. It’s essential for the automated process. (not visible for the subscriber)
- Interest – This is also something really cool that can be used on your automated process. For instance, if they’re coming from a determined source, but with an additional tag claiming that they’re interested on cars specially if you sell both cars and bikes. (not visible for the subscriber)
- OS and Browser used. This can give you a great insight about what Operating System or Browser he’s using. That way, if you’re a software seller, you can adapt your messages to them specifically. (not visible for the subscriber)
There’s a few more, but this works for most goals. Make sure that your database is really programmed to comply with this data.
You can and should collect even more information from them if you’re giving a lot of good value, like a great free ebook or a white-paper. You can ask them the company name, phone number, position and so on, but all depends on your main objective to convert them and what you need or not to do it.
Is it clear on this first step? If not, please share your questions on the comment box or even send me an email.
2 – Step Two – Subscription – Guide them In.
Wait. The second step is not the welcome message yet? In a way, yes. But it’s the welcome page that guides your subscriber or lead to really get your message. If you’re subscribing them to a email flow, you must teach them that they need to check their inbox and how your message looks like. What they should do and what’s their reward for doing exactly that.
Imagine yourself as a tour guide. If you let them getting strayed without guidance, chances are that they’re going to forget you for the next shiny thing, so don’t let go of their hand until they start the workflow process.
This “Thank You” Page must be thankful as the name already mentions it, however, it should also be a step-by-step guide tour telling them WHAT they should do and WHY they should do it. Don’t forget to give them something more like a infographic or something relevant for them if they follow those steps as a bonus treat.
3 – Step Three – Welcome Message – Finally.
Well, this obviously depends on what channel you’re using, but when using email, you should ask them to confirm their email address before accepting their subscription.
Yep, this is the third step. Send them a welcome message with the final treat as a reward for getting passed all the subscription steps. It should be a download or a special offer that they can use immediately or access it.
This welcome message should be a follow-up of the subscription process and continue the conversation about what you’re going to provide for them. Better yet, the welcome message should be like a testimonial from different sources giving them more reasons for choosing you. Build more rapport with it.
This message it’s also a great way to start your conversion workflow and should give much more information like a curated list of links to where they can find more information about what you’re doing and how they can benefit from it. Don’t be pushy. This is not the right moment for a hard sales pitch. First you must “jab, jab, jab” a few times and then you can apply the “right hook”. Yes, I completely steal it from Gary Vaynerchuck mastery. 😉
4 – Step Four – Jab, Jab, Jab like the Cinderella Man.
Get out of your sales machine head and place yourself on your audience shoes. Imagine John, Melinda and Joey (they’re your subscribers/leads). What do they expect from you/brand/business? What’s their difficulty? On what they’re struggling about? What kind of help, solution they need your assistance? That’s where you should focus on.
Give them that assistance. Care deeply about giving what they need. Try to solve their problems on that particular subject where your brand excel on. This means creating a plot between you and this person. Imagine their struggles and you answering to everything that you have answers on. Give them resources that will help them. Become that nice guy/girl (yes, personal, not business) they recognize and will search for related to that line of work, specialty.
Now remember. It’s not like sending one message with a single solution and that’s it. It’s a continuous flow of relevant information regarding their potential needs and eventually some of them will relate with more than one.
Guess what? Sometimes, you give them the solution right on these messages and still they want you to perform that solution or product instead of doing the work themselves.
This happens to me every time. Why? Because, we feel more comfortable that someone that we trust will do it because they seem to have all the experience, instead of doing ourselves. Even with the full solution disclosed.
Keep doing some nice jabs, get a few rounds working your moves and build your reputation.
5 – Step Five – Swing your Pitch, like a Gentleman.
Final step but not the decisive one. If you do the Step Four on a regular basis and keep giving value, there’s an infinite number of chances of trying to swing a “right hook” – GaryVee inspired, obviously, – and close a deal.
Here’s some ways to do it without being seen as a jerk:
- Give the very best solution on what they could do on a subject and then suggest buying a service/product from you that does just that. But give them a choice.
- After creating a series of ways on how to solve their problem, show your solution that just makes it all happen seamlessly and naturally.
- Give a special discount for being a subscriber that they can’t get anywhere else.
- Teach them some new ways on how to use your solution/product which are not at all obvious and surprise them.
- After giving them the idea of the real value of your product or service, let them know how much of a steal is to buy it from you. It looks like a bargain.
This could also work with prime products, where you shouldn’t focus on discounts and bonuses, while giving more insights about exclusivity, experience.
Where’s the Automated Process on this Workflow?
These steps work really great, but then you need to automate it and let it work for you. How to do it? Well, you need to create a auto-responder flow on a email, SMS, direct mail platform, whatever you’re using as a channel. The implementation is not that hard if your platform already enables it natively. If it doesn’t, it becomes much more difficult. Basically, you need to program your way around or just do it manually with a calendar helper.
Considering that you can automate it using your platform, there’s nothing to it. You just create each chapter of your conversational plot on different messages according with the time period that people expect to receive it. If it’s an event, for instance, it’s quite natural for them to start by getting a weekly newsletter and then see that increment by twice a week and then almost everyday as the time goes by and the event day is closing in.
Use your imagination and make sure that each “chapter” of your plot doesn’t need to be revised according to a response from them. For example, you send a message exploring ways on how to use your travel pillow on a airplane and one or two subscribers respond to your message questioning about your product. The next messages on schedule shouldn’t feel out of place or overlapping the conversation already going. Make it almost ubiquitous.
So, This is What Automated Marketing is All About?
Actually, there’s much more to it. It’s not just a bunch of scheduled messages waiting for someone to subscribe. Is much more than that and it triggers messages according to a user behavior. For instance, if someone navigates on your site and reveals a significant interest on a topic, you can send them targeted messages that are just waiting for a rule to set in.
However, the headline of the article claims that these are “Simple 5 Steps Workflow to Convert Your Subscribers into Real Customers”. SIMPLE is the main word and if you apply these rules into your marketing program I’m really sure that you’re going to see a lot more conversions and subscribers turning to be real customers paying for your services.
Please, share your questions on the comment box or even by email. I promise to answer every single one. I hope this can be of use to you.