We as marketers work tirelessly to get leads to opt-in or subscribe…but then what? Often times, we just send them random emails with no rhyme or reason.  Then we wonder why leads don’t turn into customers as predictably as we’d like.  The truth is, in today’s competitive inbox environment, we need to design a welcome sequence that will help us segment interests while letting them better understand who we are.

So I thought I’d share with you, what we do – to provide a guide for how you could also tackle your communications with brand new leads.  But before we begin…

Let me take you back a moment and tell you how I discovered the power of the first emails I send after we get a new lead. One day, as I sat at my desk anxiously squeezing a foam fedEx ball struggling to formulate a strategy on welcoming new leads, Kim, president of Genoo, introduced me to a new training program she developed, called Email Expert Academy.  In the second module of the program, called “Start”, she talks about the “Getting To Know Each Other Sequence.” And that’s when this whole lead follow-up thing started making sense in respect to building relationships and delivering relevant content. That’s when I…

Began focusing on the 97% and building those relationships, rather than ignoring them for the 3% who are ready to buy.

How you “welcome” leads and get to know them makes a HUGE difference in the longer term 

Email marketing is a major touch point in the new hyper-fast, multi-touch engagement world. And email is the most effective way to capture a leads attention because you have their undivided attention…or so you hope! Hate to break the news to you, but gone are the days of getting that second chance to make a first impression! That ever-so-critical first interaction you have with a lead is becoming more and more important.

With more competition than ever before, brands are fighting for that precious inbox position and the importance of a “Getting To Know Each Other” Series for lead engagement can be overlooked far too often. This is your one chance to stand out from the crowd, court your new leads, and eventually take them on that honeymoon of a lifetime!

What exactly is a Getting To Know Each Other Sequence? Well, It’s the Honeymoon Phase.

Is there a better feeling legally than that of the newness of exploration and discovery? Think of the GTKEO Series as the honeymoon phase, where each new day brings new discoveries. OK! That’s my sentimental view of the series.

To be clear, a GTKEO Series delivers a series of emails [ours is a set of 3] that acknowledges, educates and engages customers. With each email, sent in consecutive days, our goal is to deepen engagement, build trust, and advance the conversation we can have with each lead. Here’s how we defined and executed ours:

  • Email #1: Thanks the lead for taking a committed approach to helping their online marketing get the results they deserve. We promise to send future emails about new tools, checklists, shortcuts and other goodies to help them become a better, more well-rounded marketer. We also promise that in the coming days, we’ll deliver our best-of-the-best tips.
  • Email #2: Gives the subscriber a sneak peek into Kim’s personal life [Photo of Kim sipping Coco Locos in Mexico]. This adds a certain level of emotional connection. We also deliver some of our BEST attractors (downloadable free offers) that will help with key aspects of their marketing. This email has a more conversational tone. Have fun with it.  We expand the lead’s understanding about who Kim is as a person while providing another link to some of our best content.
  • Email #3: Reminds the subscriber what they’ve received thus far and encourages them to go back and check them out if they haven’t already. Our best attractor is sent with this email because that is what the subscriber will remember last. As a P.S., we reiterate what they’ll be receiving in the coming weeks and ask them to whitelist our email address.

Important: In the third email, we ask subscribers to whitelist our email address. By whitelisting our address, that lead is choosing to make sure that our content lands in their inbox… that it’s valuable enough for them to pay attention to.  We ask them to whitelist our email only AFTER we’ve provided value to them.  This is why the last action we request in our Getting To Know Each Other series is that they please make sure they’ve whitelist my email address: Whitelist Instructions

Although you might not know much about your new leads in the early stages of your courting, you can still use the information you do know to give your GTKEO Series a personalized touch. WPMktgEngine allows you to access behavioral metrics that show exactly how the lead came in, where they went, and what information they viewed. This affords you the power to personalize! To personalize on a level where predictive insight is science, not an “old college try.”  In less than two months, we’ve sent our GTKEO Series to 86 leads – and look at these results:

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 5.24.53 PM

(and I can click on the bar chart and dial all the way down to what got viewed or downloaded and by which lead… it’s powerful!)…

And look, mom, no Opt-Outs! And the open rates…quite impressive all the way through the series! With lead nurturing and triggers based on behaviors – you can keep your open rates this high… but more on that later!

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 2.40.44 PM

Remember, you shouldn’t be treating all your new email subscribers the same way. So before blasting a non-relevant welcome email, view key metrics of the interactions you may have had with the customer in the past or through engagement in other channels. So to prepare you for future email greatness, go read How to Increase Click-Through Rates with Better Engagement – You’ll wanna pay close attention to the segmentation part of it!

Before I forget – let me show you how we automatically trigger new leads into this welcome series.  It’s done with a Smart Rule from WPMktgEngine – that fires when new people opt-in.  We also make sure that it’s not a lead that has been imported into the system (say, from a trade show or conference – we do that differently – watch for an upcoming blog post where we’ll talk about how we do that).  Check it out:

automate and nurture your leads

 

If you’d like to see our Getting To Know Each Other series – we’ll happily send them to you so you can reference it to create your own:

Yes! I want to see your GTKEO series!

About Jason Hoelzel

Freud would've diagnosed him as a "walking conundrum." We just call him Jason. He's a blossoming copywriter and marketing automation specialist who enjoys surfing, golfing, sarcastic bantering, and eating boatloads of guacamole. Jason has the ability to turn any frown upside down with his clever one-liners and radiant smile ;)

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