There are few shortcuts in online marketing. Despite what others may say – like “just do this one thing to your website and you WILL appear on page one of Google”. Or “just pass us your Google AdWords account and we’ll apply these technologically enhanced tools that enable us to alter your account every second so your cost per clicks plummet and your conversion rates soar”.
But right now, I am going to present a strategy that will help you do more with less effort than you would expect.
Think of it as email marketing on autopilot – although the correct term is “email autoresponders”. Most email marketing tools that send “load and blast” campaigns have an autoresponder feature. Some let you decide what time of day and day of the week the sequence follows. Others allow you to even move people between sequences depending on the interaction the person has with the first series of messages. Think for example – if the lead clicks on a certain case study link then the current sequence ends and a new sequence begins.
Unfortunately it doesn’t take all the work away. You still need to a) write the content you want to send and b) decide who you want to send it to and even c) plan out what message is sent after what sequence of time. However, do all these things right and then you are left with the relatively simple job of loading up all this work into the technology required and letting it decide who receives what message and when.
Here are three examples of how this technology could be applied.
1. Welcoming a new client to your business.
Usually there’s a bunch of information you need to send to new customers. For instance, the hours of your support, the account manager responsible for their account, how invoicing works and what to do if they need to contact someone in a hurry.
Depending on what you sell this could be a sizable list. By breaking it up into a series of email messages that you drip feed out, say over a two week period, you increase your chances of it being read, binding the customer to the account manager, and ensuring they feel valued. A triple whammy.
2. Nurturing a prospect towards becoming a customer
Earlier this year we ran a customer conference call with a focus on online marketing for those extended sales cycles. One message: Thinking in months instead of days helps you deliver relevant and valuable content, keeping you top of mind when customers could be considering others or fighting other priorities.
3. Delivering a follow-up course of content after someone attends a live training event.
I am “borrowing” this one from a successful client of mine, Ken Grace. Ken runs a business (www.departmentofwriting.co.nz) that delivers coaching for those who want to improve how their business communicates in written form. Ken runs in-person training events that are then followed up with a series of podcasts and tests, all delivered through his autoresponder.
As you can see, in each situation there’s no magic bullet and the time consuming matter of writing content still needs to happen. But once you are over this hurdle you can sit back and let the autoresponder manage who gets sent what and when.
Sound interesting? Why not brainstorm this month all the situations where the same pieces of content need to be sent to the same types of people. Then pick the one that would benefit the most and start along the content creation piece.
Call us at the start of this process. We have helped dozens of companies set up autoresponders for their clients and can advise on the content, sequence design and technology required to make it work for you.