FOR A MOMENT I want you to forget about the customer. I know that's a heretical statement but bear with me. What do YOU do with the mass mailed advertising YOU receive? Do you eagerly run into your house from the mailbox with a stack of flyers, postcards, and letters addressed to you “or current resident” breathlessly anticipating the wonderful deals you're about to be pitched?
If you're like most people the answer would be a resounding NO, perhaps even accompanied by raucous laughter. If you're like most people (like your customers), you probably dig through the mail to see what's important and immediately throw the rest away without so much as a casual glance.
Think about it. As a business owner who spends too much money on direct mail advertising with little measurable ROI, would it be better to skip the middle (mail) man and just throw your money in the trash can yourself?
Your customers are not looking forward to mass mailed advertising either. You don't want to use email marketing like you would use direct mail. The same goes for the mistake of using the powerful tools of social media in the same way that you would television and radio. Email and social media marketing are permission based marketing. That means the people you are advertising to, on some level, want your message. But it’s not enough for them to want your message and you to deliver a message.
You simply cannot advertise to people via email or social media without holding their interest. You hold their interest by adding value to their lives. It does not take long for savvy business owners to realize mass market ads fall flat. You'll soon learn your sales messages are not worth their time and will be tuned out.
That's what is going through their head all day, every day. It's the same thing going through your head as you try to craft a sales message. You briefly think of them and their wants and needs, but only so far as they relate to your own.
People want to have their questions answered. Whether you are in a service or product business makes no difference. Your customers have questions that you can answer. When you do this in person, one at a time, you usually impress them as someone who is knowledgeable enough to trust with their needs. It's not that you handled their question personally that impresses them, it's answering the question. That is all the customer is concerned about.
You need a lead magnet. A lead magnet is an attractive offer that is too good to pass up because it answers burning questions for the low low price of your name and email address. That's it, nothing else.
Now that you can see the importance is in answering the question rather than how you answer, let’s talk about an effective way to address the how. I spent a lot of time in the trucking industry so from time to time I may make reference to it. Just hang in there with me when I do and you’ll see the point. This is going to be one of those times!
Technology is almost never readily accepted. Yet once that technology is accepted, the thought is “How did we ever get things done without this?” The trucking industry is a great example of that point.
The system of communication with drivers once depended entirely on payphones. A driver would have to check in at least daily for a trucking company to know where the truck was and to get an idea of when it would be ready to get another load. It was time consuming for the driver and for the company because both had to actually take time to make and take the call. Can you think of where your business has inefficiencies that are grumblingly accepted as “That’s just how it’s done” as well?
Then a technology came along that would take all of that wasted time and frustration away. The satellite tracking system combined with communications made it possible to know where the truck was at any given point in the route. A dispatcher could look at a monitor to see where the truck is to estimate the time it would be delivering. Communications with the driver would be instantaneous if all was well or there was a problem. Downtime is costly. If a company had to wait until a driver could reach a phone…
Companies that adopted this technology early on have thrived. Those that stubbornly refused have unnecessarily struggled and many have perished. What’s important here is what all of the companies that adopted the technology will say to anyone (barring their competition of course!). All say they could never have handled the increase in business that it allows or absorb the losses it prevents without this new technology.
What keeps any business or customer from adopting a new technology? Price! plain and simple. People actively resist technology because they don’t fully understand it or its benefits and only see a hard upfront cost. They can’t see the business it will allow them to take on or the time it will save them.
Marketing automation is one of those technologies that businesses stubbornly refuse to adopt yet when they do, they become evangelists. Notice I didn’t say sales automation. That is because there should be a human component to the sales process. Customers don’t like full technology even with the price advantage it provides. Go to the supermarket and play with their unmanned check-outs if you doubt me on this.
However, marketing automation increases your business’ ability to handle more customers effectively and eliminates the time loss associated with talking to people not ready to buy. Think about how much happier your sales staff would be if they weren't drilling so many dry holes.
By having your sales staff dealing with people who are high up on the ready to buy scale, their conversion rates go up. When they sell more, you’re not losing your best and brightest people to your competitors.
So how do you automate the marketing process? I answer that question in the premium section below.
tags: email marketing, marketing automation, adding value, marketing funnel, follow-up sequence,