Ultimately, with EDM, we’re concerned with conversions. Of course a conversion can be defined as a sale for a business or a new donor for a charity or any other number of ways. Conversions are only beneficial if there is a good ROI. Targeting helps improve ROI and the hidden ingredient, persistence, can really boost your conversions considerably.
What is Marketing Persistence?
Let’s not beat around the bush; persistence in marketing is about being right in front of the customer so that the sale is yours when the customer decides to buy. Part of the process is also to convince the customer that they need to buy. It’s all about moving (pulling or pushing) the customer through the sales funnel and really using what it takes to get the sale.
Persistence pays off when it comes to marketing. The Huffington Post
Choosing the Right Channels
So how do we engage our prospects or leads and convert them into paying customers? There are many advertising and media possibilities available but money isn’t endless and neither is time. To maximize our ROI we really need to choose the way that we engage our potential customers carefully.
We were recently looking to buy a new car and the Honda sales guy was very pushy and used multiple means to engage us including telephone, email, SMS and of course face-to-face. We ended up buying a Toyota as the sales lady used similar channels to engage us however wasn’t pushy (positioning is incredibly important in marketing; watch the video below). Persistence marketing doesn’t need to be pushy, it can, and usually should be, way more subtle.
A Simple Effective Sales Conversion Process
My business is a small business; I work by myself and deliver Mailchimp training and consulting services. Per most business owners, time and money for marketing is limited. Here is a marketing and sales acquisition process that I have found simple and very cost effective (i.e. results in a good ROI).
My leads are predominantly attained through forms on my websites. A person visits one of my blog posts or gets to my website some other way (see the Google Adwords bit below). I ask for three fields to be filled which are email address, first name (for personalization) and nearest city (for segmentation). There is plenty of research to show that we should ask for as little information as possible to meet our business needs.
Once the form is submitted the lead is now added as a subscriber to my Mailchimp list.
Google Adwords works well for me in attaining leads (i.e. getting a prospect to my website so he or she may fill the form). Google Adwords can be costly if not managed efficiently so I ensure that my Quality Score is good by having relevant landing pages and concentrating alot on keywords and negative keywords. Adwords, if configured correctly can be very valuable in attaining qualified leads.
Many of my clients that attend trade shows or own a shop or restaurant use the Mailchimp Subscribe app on an Android or Apple tablet to attain leads and it seems very effective.
Through the Sales Funnel
Now that my lead is in Mailchimp, I’m able to nurture that lead. To do this I use Mailchimp Automation to send a series of preconfigured welcome emails to new subscribers. The emails are personalized by including the recipients first name and contain relevant training information relating to the subscribers city (as above, I ensure that the nearest city is entered by subscribers).
The best part about this is that this process is completely automated and doesn’t need my time at all once setup.
Get the Sale
By now I have attained leads and have communicated with them with drip-marketing (a series of automated emails). I haven’t had one-on-one contact with the lead by this stage (I’m time-poor as mentioned previously). When I schedule a training class in a city I already have ‘warm prospects’ and know which people are more likely to attend training in the city where I’m holding training.
My training event has been published to Eventbrite and now I want sales. My first step is to send a Mailchimp campaign with a button linking to the sales page on Eventbrite. Of course this campaign is segmented so that only people in or near the city where I’m holding training actually receive the email. I always create follow-up emails based on further segments; if the email campaign is opened then a follow up email is sent and if the campaign hasn’t been opened after three days a different follow-up email is sent.
Through Mailchimp reporting I’m able to tell who opened the campaign, who clicked and who didn’t open or click. It’s now time for me to get on the telephone (I don’t collect telephone numbers in my lead-generation forms as this is just another reason for people not to sign up and it’s so simple to find a person’s telephone through a Google search, Linkedin etc.).
Conversion rates of telephone calls with leads are way higher than with emails. Telephoning is however expensive and time consuming compared to emailing and this is why I only telephone at this stage (to close the sale). I therefore start calling those people that clicked on my previous Mailchimp campaign. After those people I call those that opened and didn’t click.
I’ve found the process above to be time and cost-effective in getting sales to my Mailchimp training classes.