I’m drinking coffee, reading emails and answering the most urgent ones. I carefully filter every single one into a different priorities checklist. So, inbox zero is a reality for me after a painful self-taught experience dealing with it professionally in several years.
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 actual clients?
Well, you can’t. Not really. If you think about it that way, it will not work. If you want to sell something to someone, always imagine that it’s an actual 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 to 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 theatre script where you conduct the dialogue and the interaction between both parties naturally. Obviously, it’s not going to be perfect, and you can’t automate everything but guess what? The channels are open for a real conversation. At the same time, the plot is running 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 an actual paying client. Is it going to work for your particular product/service?
It will work much better than not doing anything, don’t you think?
Please, consider that I can’t possibly imagine all scenarios and items to promote. So, visualize it as simple and almost universal on most of your needs.
Let’s get started, shall we?
You can do it 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. It could be, but in this case, depending on your primary goal, it’s most important to have the acquisition process well oiled to give you the fuel to complete every function you need. If you want to convert subscribers into clients, this is vital.
What am I talking about? It’s a simple data insertion, right? Yep, it is.
However, right when you get that lead or subscriber, you must obtain as much information as possible right in that second. It’s not a reason to implement a colossal form, or they will run like crazy. It’s a more specific collection of data:
- The Main Address for what medium you’re going to use: email address if it’s a web newsletter, a full postal address for direct mail or a phone number… whatever the main channel that you’re going to use as 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 of using that unless you ensure that you can get them to place their name correctly. It can also affect the subscription rate, so test it before deciding. For post, direct mail is essential, by the way.
- IP Address which you can collect in 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 really cool to use on your automated process. For instance, if they’re coming from a determined source, but with an additional tag claiming that they’re interested in cars, mainly if you sell cars and bikes. (not visible for the subscriber)
- OS and Browser used. This can give you a great insight into 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 are a few more, but this works for most goals. Make sure that your database is 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 it all depends on your main objective to convert subscribers and what you need or not to do it.
Is it clear on this first step? If not, please share your questions in the comment box or even send me an email.
2 – Step Two – Subscription – Guide them In.
Wait. The second step is not a welcome message yet? In a way, yes. But it’s the welcome page that guides your subscriber or leads to get your message. If you’re subscribing them to an email flow, you must teach them that they need to check their inbox and what your message looks like. What they should do, and their reward for doing precisely that.
Imagine yourself as a tour guide. If you let them get strayed without guidance, the 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. Don’t forget to give them something more like an infographic or something relevant for them if they follow those steps as a bonus treat. If you want to convert subscribers, get this done.
3 – Step Three – Welcome Message – Finally.
Well, this 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.
This welcome message should be a follow-up of the subscription process and continue the conversation about what you will 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’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’s mastery. 😉
Wait to convert subscribers into customers later on.
4 – Step Four – Jab, Jab, Jab like the Cinderella Man.
Get out of your sales machine head and place yourself in your audience’s 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 or solution do they need your assistance with? 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 your brand excels on. It means creating a plot between you and this person. Imagine their struggles, and you answer to everything 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, speciality.
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.
It happens to me every time. Why? Because we feel more comfortable that someone we trust will do it because they seem to have all the experience instead of doing it ourselves. Even with the entire solution disclosed.
Keep doing some friendly jabs, get a few rounds working your moves and build your reputation. That’s how you convert subscribers into clients.
5 – Step Five – Swing your Pitch like a Gentleman to Convert Subscribers
Final step but not the decisive one. If you do Step Four regularly and keep giving value, there are infinite chances of trying to swing a “right hook” – GaryVee inspired, obviously, – and close a deal.
Here are 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. But give them a choice.
- After creating a series of ways to solve their problem, show your solution that 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 to use your solution/product, which is not at all obvious and surprises them.
- After giving them the idea of the actual value of your product or service, let them know how much of a steal it is to buy it from you. It looks like a bargain.
It could also work with premium products, where you shouldn’t focus on discounts and bonuses while giving more insights about the exclusivity experience. Remember, converting subscribers into customers is by transpiring that you’re trustworthy by every skin pore.
Where’s the Automated Process on this Workflow?
These steps work really great, but you need to automate them and let them work for you. How to do it? Well, you need to create an auto-responder flow on an 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 do it manually with a calendar helper.
Considering that you can automate it using your platform, there is nothing to it. You create each chapter of your conversational plot on different messages according to the period people expect to receive them. For instance, if it’s an event, it’s pretty natural for them to start by getting a weekly newsletter and then see that increment by twice a week and then almost every day 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 review according to their response. For example, you send a message exploring how to use your travel pillow on an aeroplane, and one or two subscribers respond to your message questioning your product. The following messages on the schedule shouldn’t feel out of place or overlap with the ongoing conversation. 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. It is much more than that, and it triggers notifications according to user behaviour. For instance, if someone navigates on your site and reveals a significant interest in a topic, you can send them targeted messages that are just waiting for a rule to set in.
However, the article’s headline claims that these are “Simple 5 Steps Workflow to Convert Subscribers into Real Customers”. SIMPLE is the main word, and if you apply these rules to your marketing program, I’m sure you’re going to convert subscribers into real customers paying for your services.
Please, share your questions in the comment box or even by email. I promise to answer every single one. I hope this can be of use to you.