The over-arching goal of marketing can easily get overshadowed with the details, the numbers, the never-ending content demands. Still, every once in a while, marketers need to step back and remember the goal of marketing is to produce leads.
Not only should your marketing produce leads. Those leads should be warm. In order to get to that point, those leads should be ushered smoothly down the lead funnel to become a sale.
I know, I know. Why don’t you just do their laundry for them too, right? Well, it’s not as complex or as difficult as you might imagine. The key to a smooth lead funnel is to map out that lead funnel BEFORE you plan out marketing activities to go along with it. No need to complicate it much more than just three sections of the sea…
Jump In to the Lead Funnel! The Water is Warm
This area of the “sea” lead funnel is to entice prospects with interesting and relevant content. Identify a need and how you can address that need. In order to begin a relationship, they must trust you and the best way to establish that trust is to set yourself up as a thought leader in the industry.
You may refer to this section as nurture marketing and you are correct. Here are some good examples of marketing activities that can entice prospects into the water, but first some tips! Before you enter into marketing activities plans, do some research and cleanup first. Segment your contact list enough to understand how they are different. It may be a geographical differentiator or categorizing the list into what interests them. This extra research and cleanup of your contact base will pay off. Start small and you will see more of a return.
Now, let’s get those leads in the water!
Multi-touch email campaign
Once you’ve organized your contact list, now you can plan out a 3 to 5 touch email campaign to help prospects identify a need and how you will fulfill it. Focus on educational, informative, and helpful content to ensure the best possible chance of turning that lead into a sale.
Some offers can’t be ignored. This doesn’t mean you have to give your products and services away, but you should think about what makes your buyers tick and why they should buy from you…now. Even if you don’t have any takers; offers can make prospects pay closer attention to what you may have available in the future, especially if they think twice about acting.
This leads into the next section of the lead funnel where prospects are gathering information. If you have a few high-level marketing webinars that quickly explains your product, or provides top 5 tips of how to leverage your services, it’s a great way to entice buyers your way. Think of this as one of the first ways your prospects engage directly with you. All the more reason to make it good. These also make a good call to action within your multi-touch email campaign.
Scuba Diving Time
Scuba diving requires prospects to get more engaged with you and dive deeper into the sea of what you offer. Engagement means they are downloading your whitepapers, asking specific questions about you and your products, and reading online reviews or testimonials. Mapping your marketing activities to this stage is time and labor-intensive, but worth it to turn warm leads into sales.
Whitepapers or fact sheets
Depending on your product and the investment involved, you may need to offer up detailed information about both what you offer and the industry it helps. If you sell software, for example, you can showcase the product’s technical features and upgrade functionality. The purpose is to teach prospects more about your solution.
Case studies and online reviews
This may be the most important marketing activity aligned with this stage. Referrals and a good reputation hold a lot of weight in prospects making a buying decision. Find those happy customers and turn them into the story behind your business. Case studies cover three basic stages: the customer’s problem before working with you, why they decided to work with you, and the benefits they’re now seeing as a result. Easy as can be. Get started and have a good library of case studies for prospects to reference.
Demos and/or informative webinars
Whether you’re show-casing your solution or asking direct questions from customers, demos and webinars are a great way to speed along the research process for prospective buyers. Different from the discover webinar described above, demos and informative webinars get down to the nitty gritty and are relevant to those who already know a lot about your business and the products/services you offer.
We All Live In a Yellow Submarine
At this point, if your prospect hasn’t bought from you yet, they will very soon…that is if they don’t see negative feedback from your current customers. In short, they are invested. They know who you are, what you offer, and hopefully like what they see. In order to keep that relationship going, certain marketing and customer engagement activities need to be in play.
Regular check in emails and phone calls
Customers don’t like to be inundated with emails, obviously. But once a month or even once a quarter, touch base with them to see how you can help. Try your best to make this a personal email interaction and phone call so they know you’re there to support them.
Keep that education going. Sure, customers don’t need to read it if they’ve already made their buying decision, but customer loyalty isn’t as high as it once was. If you can go the extra mile, offer up information customers should know to be well-educated in their buying decisions- do it! It might be as simple as tweaking the content you create for the second stage of the sea, but make sure customers can easily access it.
Announcements on product updates, sales, and offers
Similar to a personal touch-base email mentioned above, holding regular special offers just for your current customers keeps those contacts loyal. They’ve also already been through the other two stages. They are living comfortably in your submarine and are your best chance of repeat business and revenue. Make the most of that relationship and treat them right with special discounts or service offerings.
I hope this little adventure under the sea helps you better outline marketing activities with important stages of the lead funnel. There may be more subsets to these stages, but if you can focus on these three, you’ll be well ahead of your competitors. What are you waiting for?! Dive in![Tweet “Mapping Marketing Activities with an Under the Sea Lead Funnel”]