Many businesses think of a website one of two ways. Either they look at their website as a brochure which sits around all day or as a sales cart that people land on to instantly buy. The truth is a website should be both and more. So how can you make your website start doing more? Enter the nurturing campaign.
The email list is still the answer to a growing customer base. But not how most businesses use it. When is the last time you landed on a new website and got slammed with a pop-up to get on the newsletter? Did you even get to read the page before you got slammed? Hopefully, your own website is not doing this.
Now don’t get me wrong. You need to have a newsletter. But what a newsletter is of little value by itself. A newsletter is great for those that are already in the buyer’s journey. Those you are trying to remind them you are still around and kicking. For everyone else, it has zero incentive. You need more.
Potential buyers appear at all ends of the spectrum. They might be ready to purchase right then and there. Or they could be learning about your offering for the first time, hoping it could be the magic bullet to solve their troubling problem. What you need is a complete set of solutions to address each stage of the journey and lead them to the end goal: The sale.
Stages of the Buyers Journey
In my preferred model of the buyer’s journey, it covers all the bases from nothing to repurchase. So, what are the various stages of the journey and what type of content you should consider creating for each.
Stage One: Awareness
In the first stage of the journey your buyer is newly aware that they have a problem. They are not totally convinced they need a solution, but they are open to looking for potential solutions. This is the farthest they can be from the sale. At this stage you need to consider creating content that helps them learn about the problem, focuses on small ideas, and provides them with some basic low-level ideas to warm them up to you.
Stage Two: Interest
In the next stage of the journey, the buyer is now interested in solving the problem. They don’t know how, or what all they might need yet, however. At this stage you need to create content to poke at the problem and pique their interest in resolving the itch. Think of ways that you can ‘stress’ the problem without sounding overly critical. You don’t want to turn the small problem into a mountain they feel they will never climb.
Stage Three: Consideration
We have finally reached the stage at which point you come into the picture. At any previous stage, your solution is of little interest to the buyer. They need more information before you can ever think about pitching them your solution. Content in this stage should focus on different solutions. You can mix in the benefits to working with your solution of others. Focus on benefits, not technical specs. Not price.
Stage Four: Purchase
If all has gone well, by the time your buyer reaches this stage they are ready to make a purchase from you. At this stage, you finally get to talk price. This is the spot that all those little tech specs matter as well. They want to know the fine details. Content for this stage should be centered on asking for the sale. Remember, if you don’t flat out ask them for the sale you will never get it.
Step Five: Post-Purchase
The quickest and least expensive solution to selling more products and services is to sell to those who already have found your product. You should put out helpful content to let the buyer know other details or nifty tips and tricks about the item they recently purchased. You want to soothe any kind of buyer’s remorse that could be brewing below the surface.
Step Six: Re-Purchase
This is the best outcome for you and your buyers. You want them to come back again and again. And now we are back to the regular old newsletter. Your newsletter should spend time giving useful information about your offers, any special deals and of course ask for the sale.
On to the campaign
Now that you know the different stages, you should spend a little time writing up a freebie. You want this to be a PDF or other downloadable file that your potential customers would be interested in. Keep the journey in mind and focus the document on just one section of it.
Once you have written up your free ‘lead magnet’ then you should create a short 3-7 emails you could send to someone after they download your freebie. Keep it one to one and on topic. The focus of the emails is to expand on what you gave them already in the freebie and start to move them towards the sale. Normally these sequences will end with asking for the sale in some format.
Think of this whole process as a courting ritual. First you meet the new buyer. Learn a little about them (name and email) by enticing them on a first date (your freebie) and then you go out on a few dates before you pop the big question.
As you write the emails and even the freebie, I have often found it helpful to pick a persona to speak to. This has the effect of making the emails and such sound very personal and targeted. In turn your prospects will be able to connect to the problem and your solutions better. Even use a name if desired.
The setup and integration
This article won’t tell you exactly how to set up the campaign in your email system or website. But most email/newsletter tools such as MailChimp or MailerLite (our recommended solution) have automation tools to allow this all to work in the background so when someone downloads the freebie, they get the whole email sequence over the next few days. Hands free.
The freebie should be added to your website on key pages. For example, on blog posts and in various calls to action on the home and other pages. While we generally don’t recommend a pop-up window, this is the only exception. Use the action button to open a window to collect name and email and pass this over to the above-mentioned email tool.
Make sure once you set this sequence up to jump into it yourself. Test every step before you run it live on your site. Nothing is more embarrassing than you starting to collect emails only to end up with irate customers who don’t get the freebie you offered them.
Rinse and Repeat
Now it’s time to do it all over again. Create freebies and email sequences for each stage of the journey, and each different type of product or service you have. Sprinkle the calls all over your site, and even social media if the freebie fits the right stage of the journey for the media you choose. I have even used one of our freebies in an offline to online format, giving them a few tips and then calling them to get a second freebie on the website. Now go have fun getting to know where your buyers are and guiding them into a sale.