Emailing Your Prospects on Their Terms

The Five P’s of Marketing are Dead. Long live the Five P’s.

Back in the “good old days of marketing,” which really was only a few years ago, it was simple. Just follow the 5 P’s of marketing (Product, Price, Place, People, and Promotion) and your customers would come flocking to your store with cash in hand. You, at least, had a chance to make your pitch and sell your product with ads and clever marketing campaigns. That type of marketing still exists, but now the paradigm has shifted and customers aren’t as willing to wait for you to come to them. In the age of Google, Amazon, and eBay, instant gratification is just a few clicks away. Prospects are becoming less inclined to pay attention to ads or a sales pitch when they can find the information themselves. They might do some research and read some information on a few sites, but it’s usually a quick process – they get the info they need and then they’re off to the next viral cat video. That’s why it’s so important to make sure the content you provide online for your products is useful and leads your prospects down the right path. This is what is known as inbound marketing, made popular and evangelized by companies like HubSpot and others.

Marketing automation is a great way to help make life as a marketer easier. If you set up the right automation, you can let things run without needing to manually do things such as push out email blasts. Some people think that email automation involves complex formulas and large, convoluted workflows. However, there’s a simple automation you can set up that can help you make a quick impact – what are usually called “triggered emails”.

Why triggered emails?

It’s getting harder and harder to understand what is going on in the heads of your potential clients. With the availability of so much information and with large online retailers to compete with, it’s difficult to lead your prospects down a certain path without them getting distracted and off to another site or section of your own site. Of course you should always do your best to optimize your website and landing pages with your customer in mind, giving them the information when you think they’ll want it, and how they want it – that’s CRO (conversion rate optimization) and a topic for another post. Ultimately, however, it’s up to them; they will most likely not go to every page laid out in their path – people are not very patient creatures. So let’s think of a different way to market to them. Enter triggered emails.

Start Simple

So how do you start? The easiest kind of triggered email that you can set up are abandoned cart emails. You probably have been targeted by one of these already if you have gone to a site, put something in the online cart, then not followed through with a purchase. Marketers from these sites take the information you’ve given them (as long as they have your email) and will send you emails with promotions and other suggested items based on what you originally started to purchase, or perhaps a follow-up email to something you’ve already purchased.

Abandoned cart emails are fairly easy to set up via many marketing automation programs, which can link into your eCommerce platform and allow you to craft a custom email to the prospect. Sit down and write out an email letting these potential customers know that the item they were going to buy is still available and there are other similar product available. Keep it simple and direct and send it soon after the abandoned cart happens to get the most bang for your marketing buck.

Stepping it up a Notch

Say someone comes into your site and downloads your latest eBook. Great! Now you know their basic info like name and email — let’s put that to good use. Say that after they download this piece of content, they end up browsing other pages on your site and end up on the “Schedule a Demo” page. You really want them to fill out that form and take the next step and talk to your sales team… But they don’t. They may leave the demo page and come back a couple of times, but never really fill out the demo form before leaving the site entirely. How do you influence these prospects to take that next step? Triggered emails.

If you need an example, here are some steps you can follow in any system — in my case I use HubSpot’s Marketing Workflows tool. In this case, I set up a new workflow, put in the qualifier as “Has visited my demo page 3 times and has not filled out any demo form”. From there, I set a delay of a few hours or maybe even a day, just to give the prospect some space. I then set up a personalized email to go to them, perhaps directly from a sales rep, with a “special offer” of a $25 Amazon gift card for scheduling a 15-minute demo of our product. The point is to offer something you wouldn’t normally offer on the site. At Solutionreach, we tend to mix it up with what we offer and try to get the best mix. It’s worth trying different combinations and messaging. You can even go further and set up delays and further drip emails to remind them of this offer in follow-up emails. You can also set up reminders to your sales reps to follow-up with a call – the possibilities are endless. Don’t go overboard and keep things simple until you start to get some results and prove that things work before making it more complicated.

Let’s Get Personalized

Your prospects are smarter than ever. The power is in their court more than ever before. Wouldn’t it be nice to take back some of that power or at least leverage the information you have to your advantage? Marketing automation is the answer and a great way to get more customers to click that “Demo” or “Complete Purchase” button. Fire up your HubSpot, Marketo, Eloqua, Pardot or other software and get automating!

Cameron Evans
Cameron Evans, Marketing Operations Manager at Solutionreach
www.linkedin.com/in/cameronevans

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