April 12

Online Funnels 103: The Nurture

In this podcast, you’ll get discussions and interviews one hundred percent dedicated to helping small business owners tackle their marketing challenges. The Marketing Guides for Small Business podcast is produced by the Marketing Guides for Small Business, a collection of five small business marketing consultants with dozens of years of combined experience in helping small business owners plan, execute, measure their marketing plans and strategies in order to grow their business at a rapid pace.

[00:00:30.524] – Narrator

Your hosts and panelists include Ken Tucker, owner and chief marketing strategist at Changescape Web in St. Louis. Paul Barthel, chief technical officer at Changescape Web. Dan Gershenson, CEO of Calibur Brand Strategy and Content Marketing in Chicago. Ian Cantle, president and chief marketing strategist at Outsourced Marketing Inc. in Bradford, Ontario. Jen Kelly, founder and CEO of New Initiatives Marketing in Toronto. So thank you for checking us out and please let us know how we can better help you grow your business.

[00:01:05.834] – Paul

Hello and welcome to this episode of The Marketing Guides for Small Business podcast. My name is Paul Barthel of Changescape Web. And today we’re going to continue our series about online funnels and the role that the Nurture Funnel plays in the success of your marketing. As always, today I’m joined by Jen Kelly from New Initiatives Marketing in Toronto, Ontario. Ken from Changescape Web in St. Charles, Missouri. Dan from Calibur Brand Strategy in Chicago. And Ian Cantle from Outsourced Marketing in Bradford, Ontario.

[00:01:38.234] – Ken

Capital of Canada, right?

[00:01:41.004] – Jen

That’s right. That’s right.

[00:01:42.584] – Ian

Don’t let it out.

[00:01:45.134] – Paul

Well, Ken, let’s start at the beginning, because I think a lot of times we talk about the funnel, the different stages of the funnel and you have the top of the funnel that no one wants to acknowledge exists. You don’t want to spend any time or money there. But it’s important because you can’t have prospects to nurture if no one is aware of your business. So can you give us like a high-level overview of this awareness part of the funnel and what it is and what a business owner can expect during that stage of marketing?

[00:02:13.364] – Ken

Yeah, absolutely. First of all, it absolutely completely depends on the products or services that you sell. And I think a great tool to think through this is the Elements of Value pyramid that was created by Bain and Company and published in the Harvard Business Review. 2016-2017. But basically think of it is like a Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for the products and services that you sell. And so if you’re a restaurant or maybe even more of a lifestyle kind of business, you don’t have a long sales cycle maybe, you don’t really need much of an awareness campaign. You can actually go right to an offer, especially if you’re a restaurant. If you’re running an ad, driving people to an offer right before lunchtime, you’re probably gonna have really good success with that. You don’t need to build a long-term nurture strategy. So it absolutely depends on what you’re going to sell. If you sell something that’s aspirational, something that’s life-changing or something that’s a status symbol, like if you’re going to sell a luxury car or you’re going to ask somebody to spend twenty-five thousand dollars on a marketing program with you, for example, then you need to be prepared to build the awareness, because that’s where the ‘know’, ‘like’ and ‘trust’ has to happen.

[00:03:29.414] – Ken

And so you got to get them into the funnel for adding value to them, initially helping them solve a problem. And then the nurture is typically going to be educational. So it’s going to be providing additional content to help them kind of move through that ‘know’, ‘like’ and ‘trust’ stage. And then you may even have to kick them into a secondary funnel where maybe you give an offer to try something, some small paid but high-value consultation that you might have to offer or something to that effect.

[00:03:59.654] – Ken

And you got to be honest with yourself. And what is the nature of your business? What do you sell and who do you sell it to and put yourself in their situation? What is it that’s likely for them to take in terms of the steps based on that? Facebook ads can be a great example of, kind of that top-of-the-funnel strategy. Really Facebook advertising should really be broken out into the three phases that Facebook calls out, the awareness, consideration and conversion. And awareness ads really are, it’s audience building. It’s getting people to know about your business, to learn about your business, to trust your business. And so you might spend ads on Facebook literally to drive people to your website to read a blog post, without a call to action, just to, so that they start to become aware of your business. Maybe you do have a call to action for them to get a content upgrade, download an e-book, watch a webinar or something like that. It’s going to be different for every business and it’s really, really, really important to map it out, otherwise you’re probably going to spend a lot of money and be frustrated with the results.

[00:05:06.174] – Paul

Those are some really good points, especially about the longer the sales cycle or the more expensive your product or service, the more important that top of the funnel, the nurture part is.

[00:05:16.464] – Ken

Yeah, the Elements of Value period, or Pyramid, is really a great guide and I would encourage everybody to go look that up and buy a copy of the article on the Harvard Business Review site, because it’s just super valuable. I keep a copy of it beside me on my desk all the time because we work with a lot of different types of businesses and it’s a great reference point and it forces me to think about things differently and really in the perspective of how the perceived value of that product is going to be or service is going to be for their ideal customers.

[00:05:49.464] – Paul

Moving on a little bit Dan, once we get past this awareness part, again, depending on your business, a lot of people may not be ready to buy yet. So is this where we really get to the nurturing part and what’s the strategy during this stage of the funnel?

[00:06:05.154] – Dan

Yeah, that’s a great question, Paul. I think one of the things that you’ve got to look at is, when we say nurture, I think the default tends to be, let’s just dump them all, all the other guys into a newsletter. And that’s just what we’ll blast out at them and that’ll be that. And I think most people do that, which to say, well, there’s an opportunity to do a lot more. And let’s assume for the moment that these people who are in awareness mode of you, they don’t want to just hear about you all the time.

[00:06:35.304] – Dan

I sure don’t. I don’t want to hear something from someone on LinkedIn five times in a row, do you? And they haven’t asked any questions about me? I think that’s probably a good opportunity for me to remove you. And so think about that when you’re nurturing someone, the best way to blow it really fast with someone in the awareness stage is to start pitching them. There’s a guy here in town. I don’t care, he was like, well, you should just start pitching anyway. Don’t wait, don’t, don’t try to get to know them. I think that’s the worst advice in the world. Like, why on earth would you try to pitch someone when you’ve just connected to them or they’re just becoming aware of you? I think instead you got to say, let me ask some deeper questions about what’s going on with you. If if this is somebody that you truly want to nurture, you think that there’s an opportunity, then now is not necessarily the time to start pitching away, at least in a very overt way, as much as give them, as Ken alluded to, something of value.

[00:07:33.594] – Dan

What is it about their business? You’ve got to study them. There are tools that allow you to not only follow the person, but also follow their company. The opportunity and nurturing then would become, how can I, instead of trying to nurture five thousand people, who are the 20 to 40 people maybe that I should be nurturing instead, or the 20 to 40, say companies and then I can have some messaging that is around what is going on in their world rather than saying, hey, here’s another thing about me again. I haven’t asked you anything about you, I haven’t gone to your website, I haven’t seen anything about your LinkedIn, I haven’t seen any updates about you. But by the way, here’s more about us. I think that’s a horrible approach. I will not mince words. I don’t think that’s a good approach for nurturing. Even better yet, the opportunity is that you can stand out by being that personal and so nurturing is great. Do it the right way, though.

[00:08:29.724] – Ken

But again, Dan, it really does depend, because what you described is really for more of a relationship and a longer term and maybe a higher value sale. You can accelerate, you can press your foot on the gas really hard, if it’s a lifestyle related business where, if you can find that opportunity, where somebody is going to be in a wedding, maybe they need to lose some weight to look good for the wedding pictures, or get their teeth whitened, is a dentist.

[00:08:55.944] – Ken

And so you can really press the gas hard and you don’t need a long sales cycle. You just need a great offer to convert them to become a customer, and then you’ve got to nurture them, to grow them into a long-term customer. So it’s really important understanding the dynamics of different businesses.

[00:09:11.784] – Dan

Yeah, no, I don’t disagree with that Ken, I think in that situation, though, you’re getting a sense of, oh, well, they’re interested in offers. So they’ve made that move. They have said at least, I have an interest in what you have to say as far as your offer or another piece of content or something like that. And I totally agree with you, when they have made that move and that clue that they want to hear more in that way, and they’re, especially with an offer, all bets are off, I think. And I agree with you. Yeah, you can go full throttle. It’s when, what we see out there is, none of that’s being done. Right. I haven’t responded to an offer. I haven’t indicated anything about you other than maybe connecting with you, liking your Facebook page, and that’s about it. So I wholeheartedly agree if they’ve made that move, you can move it up for sure.

[00:10:01.924] – Ian

And that’s a great point, Dan, sometimes we forget what the key word in this is, and it’s nurture, but the one that gets lost in there is relationship. You’re actually not nurturing a robot. You’re nurturing a person. You’re trying to create a relationship with them, connect with them, and understand them more and more and more, and help them understand you more and more and more at each stage. Right. It’s, it’s this, this dance. It’s a beautiful relationship dance, everyone.

[00:10:28.804] – Dan

Yeah. Well, I mean, I was saying this probably in the last week or two. I said, you know, everybody’s bagging on marketing automation, like marketing automation is evil. And I said, marketing automation isn’t the problem. It’s that you have lousy messages in your marketing automation that are totally impersonal. And there are ways to do this in a way that is focused and can be personal. You can scale this, again if you’re doing this the right way and focused on your ideal client.

[00:10:57.754] – Paul

So, Jen, when we talk about lead nurturing, also think of it, I guess, as customer engagement, we can tend to get into this linear thought pattern. So is this something that, OK, we did this part of the funnel and now we can move on and we’re done with that? Or is this something that happens throughout the entire marketing process?

[00:11:19.054] – Jen

I would suggest it needs to be done throughout the entire marketing process. The thing is, OK, so for the small business owners listening, I always want to bring it back to real life because we can get kind of complicated with all our marketing speak here. But you know what it’s like in real life when someone wants something for you, and they’re from you, and they’re all friendly to you until they get it and then they ignore you. It’s kind of the same in your lead nurturing, right. You can’t be all friendly and then get the sale and then not do a good job fulfilling the order or being a good client manager in the case of services. So lead nurturing, it has to happen at every stage. It’s going to change a little bit as we go through the, first of all, they get to know you, like you, trust you. There’s a, there’s a little bit of a difference going on there with the different types of content and the messaging, right. You don’t have to introduce yourself anymore when they’re at the try stage, you know, trying out a free offer, a low cost offer from you. But I would suggest that you really treat it like a relationship, like Ian said, and pay attention at each stage along the way, even while they become a customer to after they finish becoming a customer, whether it’s a restaurant like, like Ken said, you want them to come back next Tuesday. Right. If it’s a longer-term product or service that they’re buying from you, you want them happy that whole year through. And then at the end of it, you want the renewal. You do want the referral. So think of lead nurturing as like really paying attention to this potential customer, once they become a customer, really paying attention to your customer.

[00:12:49.504] – Paul

I think you made a good point in there, we talked about the content, where the content has to match the stage that you’re in with that particular customer. That could be a whole other podcast.

[00:13:00.514] – Paul

Ian, so Ken touched on this a little bit. Is this a good time to have an introductory offer? Is it too soon or should you, I think, Ken kind of touched on it, maybe you can do it a little earlier. What are your thoughts?

[00:13:12.154] – Ian

The way we would normally get people into the funnel is through some sort of offer. It’s, it’s a value exchange always. It might be totally free with no strings attached just to get them to know you. So as an example, you might be presenting an ad for a free checklist on how to choose the best web developer or something like that. And then that checklist, from that, all we’re asking for is their name and their email address. And so the relationship is starting.

[00:13:36.244] – Ian

And then in the next email we send them to, we’re going to offer them something else. And I would suggest that tries are actually things that should be presented throughout your funnel, but always with a quick action buy. So Ken talked about, in the restaurant industry, people are probably ready to buy when they’re looking for you because they’re hungry. And so that’s a great example. But even in longer relationship building, longer sales cycle type scenarios, you should always have a buy when, because you want to give people the ability to fast track themselves if they’re ready to buy.

[00:14:13.924] – Ian

It’s kind of a, one way we like to talk about in the marketing world is micro agreements. You’re getting people to move themselves. If we think about kind of that dance analogy, I’m not a good dancer, so I’m no expert here. But I’ve watched, I’ve observed dancers.

[00:14:28.834] – Ian

It’s kind of like two people starting far apart. And each part of that nurture is about them taking a step closer and, and, and being able to engage more and in bigger and better ways. And then just to kind of bridge off of something that Jen said, just like in a relationship, if you’re looking for a spouse and you’re dating and you’re building that relationship over time, you don’t usually put a fast track button there because people aren’t ready to get married, usually right away, but some are.

[00:15:00.444] – Ian

But then it’s, after that marriage happens, you never stop nurturing the relationship, right, if you stop nurturing the relationship, it will die. And so it’s similar to that in your business relationship that you have to continue to nurture people, and post-sale you can still use tries, you might have a new service that you want to offer these clients of yours that already trust you. And maybe you’ll offer them a try in order to test out that new product or service.

[00:15:26.214] – Dan

That’s always, the try, I think Ian is, is what’s so huge and that can be such a defining moment. I mean, we know this as consultants is that, some of the tries that we’ve all used, it’s not like we need a giant getting-to-know-you period. It’s pretty much like, OK, we’ve had a discovery meeting. I’ve said pretty much everything I can say about me. I don’t have, I don’t need to have another meeting. Do you want to do a try and see what it’s like to work together with a strategy let’s say, just a baby step and you don’t need another meeting, if all the decision-makers are in the room you don’t need another meeting for that. Are you, are we going to dance or are you a nurturer? So I think the sooner you can figure that out, via a good try, we’ll tell you everything. But the one thing I think you always want to avoid is a getting to know you stage where you just never know where they land. Right. Is this a person who’s a prospect or are they just going to be a continuous nurture?

[00:16:27.294] – Ian

And that’s a great point Dan, I know from our perspective, because we all know each other on this podcast, is that our goal when we do our tries, especially if it is a discovery call, so we might offer a checklist or an ebook or something or even a physical book that we’ll mail people to get them to trust us and to see us as experts in the field. The discovery call is usually a very large try because it’s that value exchange again. They’ve now given up a certain portion of their time, which is their most important treasure they have, and they’re giving it up to spend a little bit of time with us. And our role as consultants is, is to listen for sure, but also to offer enormous value on those calls, because, again, we’re exchanging value so that they can see, wow, like I love working with these people. They will deliver exactly what I need because they’ve already delivered enormous amounts of value in this free call.

[00:17:20.454] – Paul

Excellent. So Ken, we talk about this whole lead nurturing process, and we’ll go into this a little deeper in a little bit, what are some of the components that go into this process of lead nurturing?

[00:17:32.364] – Ken

I think you have to think about the whole concept of value in advance and it’s got to be value throughout the entire process. And so there are multiple ways to deliver value. It’s channels, but it’s also the content that you provide through that. And it could be something that is designed to get somebody to take that next step, or it could just be to give them some more information to help them solve a problem. And just building that trust, think about problems that you solve and then map out a strategy on, one of the things that I like to do for, something that takes a little bit of a longer sales cycle is, highlight like a case study or success story with something we had, provide a customer testimonial, answer those core objections that maybe your ideal customer or client might have, and just provide that as part of the nurture sequence. Always have a call to action in there, but don’t make it the main thing. Make it something that, here’s something that we found is really successful. Let’s say that we’re doing something on social media. Here are five tips that we find really help somebody build their audience on social media, and we just share that information.

[00:18:45.564] – Ken

At the end of that, you can say, hey, by the way, do you want to talk? Let’s schedule a discovery call and then they can take that next step, maybe that, maybe they started out by downloading a checklist or an ebook or something like that that you had on your website or that you did a Facebook ad for something like that. But you really want to focus on the problems that they’re having and how to help them solve their problems, focus on benefits, not features.

[00:19:11.004] – Ken

It’s really easy for all of us to say, you know, we can do this, this, this, this and this. And our solution does this, but it doesn’t really talk about how you transform their lives, how do you make a difference. And so you’ve got to incorporate that. In terms of the channels, I’m a big fan of omni-channel, so if you’re going to have a nurture, you want to communicate with the people who, who are dropped into your funnel in the channels that they want to be communicated with.

[00:19:37.464] – Ken

And so you look at text message marketing, look at email marketing, Facebook Messenger, periodically drop in, maybe a phone call. And so you can send a reminder to somebody on your sales team to just reach out and contact somebody, or if they’re already a customer and you’re looking at trying to advance them to maybe with an upsell or a new product or service that you’re offering, drop in a reminder that your account manager just needs to call in and check in with them to build that relationship.

[00:20:07.414] – Ken

And so omni-channel is a really important strategy. It’s going to vary so widely in terms of what content you need to provide. But I think in general, surveys work great, quizzes are fantastic, ebooks, checklists, case studies, videos, webinars. If you’re dealing with something existential where somebody like, they’ve got to eat, give them an offer to come in immediately to try your business. It really just depends on that whole elements of value that you have the ability to deliver through your products and services.

[00:20:45.484] – Jen

I want to pick up on something that Ken said, and you said something about objections. And I think that’s a really great subject matter to have in your nurture stream. What objections are, the objections that you hear, or your clients hear, as they’re going out to sell their products or services. And that’s a great point, because you can get ahead of the objections, have enough time to explain your situation, and so you can bring the prospect along as well. So one of our big objections from my company prior to the pandemic was, oh, you guys are virtual, you’re remote, mm, we kind of like to work with a company that had an office in town and everybody was in that office. And for whatever reason, that was their objection. So what we had going out in our email nurture was exactly that for a headline, and then an explanation about how long we’ve worked this way, how we work this way, larger companies that work this kind of way and that kind of thing. So we got the chance to sort of put this why we do it this way and try to overcome that objection and make them feel good before we even got face to face with them to try and close the deal.

[00:21:52.774] – Paul

So, Dan, let’s switch over to something a little more concrete for a minute, implementation. If someone’s listening to this, maybe they’ve never heard of it or have none of it in place. So where would they start? What are the first steps in planning and implementing some kind of lead nurture strategy?

[00:22:08.014] – Dan

Probably the best thing that you can do if you haven’t already, I really recommend them, before they send anything out, to really think about your ideal client profile. If you have not done that in any way, it is not just 35 to 50 year old women in Chicago. It’s not really a profile. I think there’s something to be said for doing that, because that’s going to help you start to think about, you do need to put a kind of a face to this, a human element to this.

[00:22:37.354] – Dan

So you’ve got to do that first. But once you’ve done that, then I think I would use a tool like LinkedIn Sales Navigator or similar to start to identify who are the people and companies within your ideal client profile so that you can follow them. And again, I keep that number small, I wouldn’t go like more than 20 to 30 or so to start with. And why do I say this before any kind of messaging stuff? Well, you’re not going to know how to do personalized messaging, funnel or nurture, if you don’t know anything that they’re going through, and you don’t know what they’ve been talking about, you don’t know what’s on their LinkedIn profile. You don’t know what their company’s going through. Have they been going through a merger and acquisition? Whatever the trigger event is, you’re going to need that before you reach out to them, because otherwise you’re going to be one more sucker out there who’s going to be saying, well, let me tell you more about us.

[00:23:29.824] – Dan

And I think it was Ken that said, I’m glad you touched on this is, just hammering away with seven or eight emails and then just changing the subject line like every Tom, Dick and Harry does that, if you want to be changing this up, I would start to explore how you can do two or three different types of mixes in a cadence that let’s say, seven to ten touches. Email is one, but perhaps it’s time to experiment with some other techniques.

[00:24:01.234] – Dan

There are some great technologies right now for video, whether it’s BombBomb or another one called Bonjoro. Some of these that you can put your video in the email, and so that you can say, hey, Jen, glad we’re connected, I just wanted to reach out and say hi. And I know you’re busy, but I made you this video to quickly introduce myself. Loom is another as well.

[00:24:24.934] – Dan

These things that are out there are a great way to mix it up a little. People don’t fall into a slumber during oh, it’s this guy again, if you mix it up with some different things, that will help during your nurture campaign. So I do, though, really stress, if you haven’t already, do the profile, do the twenty or thirty folks that you’re going to follow, and then make that part of your personal outreach, I think that really sets the table for you to do something that feels good rather than just blasting away at people.

[00:24:55.804] – Paul

Great. So, Jen, we’ve talked about a lot of different things, and we’ve all heard terms and we use these terms like targeted content, multichannels, lead nurturing, multiple touches. Can you explain what that means and why? Why is it important in any strategy, really?

[00:25:13.124] – Jen

Absolutely. Nothing like a stacked question, eh Paul? OK, I’ll explain it and then give you an example. So we got targeted content here. Imagine you are an HVAC company and someone’s inquiring, put up their hand for an air conditioner. So your content that you’re sending out in that email or text message or whatever stream it is, is going to be air conditioner-focused as opposed to heating-focused. So that’s an example of how you may have all these products and services in your company. But if a potential client puts up their hand for one type of product or one area that you serve, feed them that kind of content.

[00:25:53.464] – Jen

We were just going through this other day, we’re doing a landing page for our clients and oh, we should put the demo on there and this on there, and we have these apps, and it was just like, hold on a second, one thing at a time. We have other things to offer, but let’s take them through the step one, one at a time. So that would be an example of targeted content. So you’re A/C as opposed to anything around your heating.

[00:26:15.734] – Jen

You asked about multi-channel lead nurturing, so multi-channel, another marketing term, so multi-channel, so many different channels. There’s a famous example of buying a car. So let’s say you’re, you’re ready to buy a new car. Except for a Tesla, by the way, did you know Tesla does not advertise? I heard this on a podcast today, does not advertise and there’s no employee pricing. So everybody’s paying full price for their Tesla.

[00:26:47.274] – Ian

They’re wizards at PR.

[00:26:50.354] – Jen

There we go. There we go. Absolutely. OK, so let’s say you’re buying anything but a Tesla. An example of multi-channel could be is, say you go on to the website and you’re looking at the latest models. You can build your own, find a dealership that has that model that you want. Say you’re on Spotify and let’s say you’re not on the paid version, you hear an ad for that car company. You’re watching a video, you see ads for the video and you’re on the Internet and you know, they’re retargeting you, so they’ve got ads following you around the Internet. So those are different channels that are advertising to you and messaging you, as you have put your hand up in the early days in order to say, you know, I’m kind of interested in this.

[00:27:34.964] – Jen

The multiple touches, that would go back to, link this to real life. So as we said in the beginning of the podcast, you need multiple interactions in order to bring someone along to know, like and trust you and your company. So multiple touches would mean you’re not just having one phone call, one email, and then you’re sealing the deal. There is a series of getting to know the person, getting to know the company, getting to know what they are after and then feeding them the content that is specific to their needs. So I’m going to say the latest stat I’ve seen, it’s a wide berth, so 8 to 20 touches until you can you can have a client, client say yes to buy into your product or service.

[00:28:16.664] – Jen

Now, that, again, it depends, is it a restaurant? Probably not. Is it a longer, longer type sales cycle with a more expensive product or service? Probably. You need the multiple touches in that way. In closing on that one, the multiple touches as well, sometimes we have to realize that, and this happens especially in B2B, there’s not only one buyer, right? There might be one person that has the final decision and there might be many influencers, they might be a committee that actually has a final decision to sign off on it. And so the multiple touches can actually have to be going out to multiple different people. From my time in B2B software marketing and sales, you’re talking to finance a certain way. You’re talking to IT a certain way. You’re talking to an end user a certain way. Those are all a major decision-makers if they’re going to bring in your product or your software. So there’s some examples for you.

[00:29:07.484] – Dan

And what you just touched on Jen, is so huge because I think we’ve all had these moments where, somewhere in the nurture, somebody reaches out to you and goes, hey Jen, that sounds great what you’re talking about in that message. Can you send me a sell sheet on two of those products today? And so you’re suddenly like, I can’t emphasize enough, nothing’s ever going to be totally perfect all the time. And you shouldn’t wait to launch your, your nurture, but do you got a folder somewhere on your desktop that has all your stuff, your diagrams, your sell sheets, your first six months of what this is going to look like for most clients, your video links, all your stuff that’s ready to go, because you’re going to get those questions, and they’re not going to want to wait a week for it.

[00:29:51.644] – Dan

So just be ready, within forty-eight hours you have stuff that’s ready to go if something came up and they asked a question about, hey, that sounds great on the seventh touch that you just said, I want some information on it and I need it right now. And if you wait three days, it’s done. It’s past. So I think that’s just what you were saying is, is so huge for conversion. It’s just a hidden secret weapon.

[00:30:15.774] – Paul

Yeah, those are some really good points, especially on the multiple touches. I think a lot of times all of us forget about it. And it’s like, OK, think about how you interact with a business. You do the exact same thing. So other people are going to do that, too, and you have to recognize that.

[00:30:31.344] – Paul

And so Ian, moving on here, I have a stacked question for you, too.

[00:30:36.504] – Ian

All right. Hit me with it.

[00:30:39.834] – Paul

Ken actually touched on this a little bit. Can you give us some examples of lead nurture campaigns? Obviously, they’re not always email. There can be other channels. But another question is, is there an order to how you use these things? Should you send out an email before you try to call them, like I think Dan mentioned, should you put a video in the email? And if you do, should that be in the first email or should that be later on in the process?

[00:31:04.584] – Ian

The answer is yes, and the answer is no, and the answer is maybe. The real problem, the real question goes back to what Dan was saying, is you have to know who you’re connecting with. You have to understand them as intimately as possible, whether it’s an avatar of your ideal customer and understanding, OK, these are their pain points, these are how they like to communicate generally, there’s always outliers, but you’re looking to create the simplest funnel you possibly can for both yourself and for them.

[00:31:41.934] – Ian

An example of a lead nurture campaign and how you would use the different pieces, first of all, actually, I’ll, I’ll just go over the pieces again because you said some of them, email. Email is one of the highest converting forms of connecting with people when you have their buy-in to get those emails. It is very high converting, but then there’s additional pieces. You mentioned direct mail. Yeah, especially in B2B. I have seen some what we would call in the industry lumpy mail campaigns that are very powerful.

[00:32:12.594] – Ian

Ken mentioned this a few weeks ago about sending out to roofers, I think it was, a book about roofer marketing, or some form of roofer marketing when they get into his nurture campaign.

[00:32:23.274] – Ian

And so that’s a great example of a lumpy mailer. Other ones I’ve seen, in the corporate world, we used to send like custom-printed jerseys for their favorite team. We’d find out what their favorite team was. We’d send them a custom printed jersey with their name on the back of their favorite team. And it was because, what you’re trying to do is create that value exchange, but also to excite them about the potential of what’s ahead. So other things you mentioned, sales calls. Yeah. You have to build out your plan according to how you think people will best respond in that value exchange. In most circumstances, a sales call too early is like asking for marriage too early in a dating relationship. Right. Date, date number one, two and three. You’re not going to ask? Probably not even for a year or so, whatever. Everybody’s different. E-newsletters, webinars. There’s actually ways to actually build out Facebook funnels that are ad campaigns, that are tiered campaigns where you are basically attracting people at the top of the funnel with a very easy try offer.

[00:33:24.504] – Ian

When they buy into that, they get put into the next level funnel, and so on and so on. And you’re increasing value through that relationship and taking that step closer to them. I jokingly said yes, no and maybe at the beginning. But that’s a true answer. You have to really plan it out well. You need to execute it, so actually implement it, monitor it and determine what’s working and what’s not in that funnel. And you can always tweak it. That’s the beauty of it. And that’s especially the beauty of digital marketing, is that, it’s far easier to tweak that than if you’re custom-printing jerseys for clients. That’s a bigger mistake if you do it wrong.

[00:34:03.774] – Ken

Can I just add something to that? If somebody does claim an offer, sometimes the offer requires them to actually redeem something, too, right? So if they claim an ebook, then they’re automatically going to get sent that ebook. But if they claim an offer, you need to have your nurture to make sure that not only did they claim the offer, but are they redeeming the offer? And so you send reminders, hey, you still have twenty-four hours to redeem this offer, if you’re using a scarcity or some kind of a model like that, that can be a nurture campaign as well. Just because they claim the offer, you really want them to become a customer. And so make sure that you’re nurturing there. And those reminder messages could be email, could be text message. And if they don’t respond that way, then maybe you force a phone call where you notify somebody in the business to say, hey, I saw you, you claimed this offer, but you haven’t redeemed it yet, I just wanted to check in and see, is there an issue? Then you can build that relationship.

[00:34:58.244] – Ken

So there are a lot of different things and we all work with different types of businesses, I think Dan’s very much B2B, Ian I know you do a lot of work in the dental space. We’re kind of the human-alien hybrid throwback to like an X File, which I’ve been watching the latest episodes of.

[00:35:13.724] – Ken

We work a lot of different types of businesses. So it really is important to understand the nuance of what’s going on in your business. There are some best practices. There are things that you can bake in that are largely systematic. Take advantage of that, as Dan talked about, marketing automation can be your friend. But don’t just rely on a campaign that you buy from somebody. You got to personalize it. You’ve got to make it relevant to your business and the situation that your customer or client is facing, because they’re looking for you to a solution.

[00:35:42.734] – Dan

Ken, I think one of the things that it sounds like something that everybody should know but they don’t is, what their specific numbers should be as far as their goals when they do this stuff, when they’re doing the nurturing. A guy we all know and love, John Jantsch, once said to us many, many times, how many clients do you actually think you need? I got to admit, the first time he said it, I was like, I don’t know how many.

[00:36:09.054] – Dan

And I realized not only did I not need as much, but that if I was charging more, I wouldn’t need as much. And so I think as you think of it, through these nurturing kinds of relationships with people, think about how many clients you really need and ideal clients you really need. It may be a lot less than you think, or a lot more than you think, but yeah, either way, once you know that, it just changes everything, I think about how personal you can get, and I will say that much. We’re going to have a guest here on Marketing Guides in a few weeks and I can’t wait for her because recently I saw her in a webinar and she said I got better results talking to 20 to 40 people than I would five thousand. And she’ll have a lot of insights on this. But let’s just say personalization is going to be a bigger word than we have ever heard before. And I can’t wait for the technology to catch up with that.

[00:37:07.134] – Paul

Yeah, those are some good points. And I think personalization is going to, especially the environment we live in now, it’s going to become more important. And with that, this is probably a good place to wrap up. I’d like to thank everyone for their insights and knowledge and thank everyone for listening to the podcast. We will see you again next week.

[00:37:29.834] – Narrator

We want to thank you all for taking the time to listen to today’s podcast. Please be sure and subscribe to the Marketing Guides for Small Business podcast in your podcast software. We’d love for you to rate and review us wherever you get your podcasts. And please don’t forget to visit marketingguidesforsmallbusinesses.com for more episodes, free resources and links to set up free consultation calls with any of the hosts of this podcast. Thanks again. And stay tuned.


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