Marketing to marketers is always a tricky proposition. As marketers, we get hundreds of emails from various lists a day, and many of us are essentially immune to generic email messaging.
In order to stand out from the background noise, email content aimed at marketers has to be top-notch, while straddling the line of “often enough to not be forgotten” with “not so often that it drives people batty.”
It’s a fine line to walk, and when it was time to look at our lead nurture campaign, we knew we had to do it right.
Explaining the strategy behind our new lead nurture campaign
We recently built a new lead nurture sequence which is converting beautifully. In this article we’ll delve into how we came up with the
- underlying strategy,
- non-salesy content ,
- final push for the sell
with advice for applying the concepts to your own campaigns.
Accepting we needed outside eyes
We were geeking out on our own funnel data and found that the lead nurture sequence was a weak link. The short sequence we had was outdated and the long-term nurturing depended on us sending newsletters, which happened… less often than we intended. Our lead magnets such as the Ultimate Tagging Blueprint were popular, but only 12% were then signing up to a trial.
We could have rewritten it ourselves, but we wanted to make sure we were not only providing actionable information, but doing it in a way that was engaging.
We were referred to Zach Goldie, an email copywriter, who helped us rebuild the whole pitch. The resulting sequence is converting beautifully, so we wanted to share how we worked through it.
Realising leads are oblivious of missed opportunities
Zach began by helping us think through the typical mentality of a new subscriber. He quickly pinpointed them as:
They suspect stronger analytics would help but don’t know the opportunities they’re missing, so looking into options sits low down their priorities.
along with added details like how they’re using Google Analytics or their CRM’s limited data, but without an easy way to dig into the numbers.
It is easy to forget that prospects don’t realize the extent of their issues when it’s all we think about. But we accepted that any nurture sequence needed to start from this lack of awareness.
So now we had our aim for the emails – help subscribers realize the implications of their weak analytics.
DIY Guide #1: Pinpoint the lead’s decision making stage
First think through questions about the subscriber’s current state, such as:
- How are they currently coping with this issue?
- Are they even aware of the impact or that solutions exist?
- Is this decision high up their to-do list? If not, why?
- What’s the gap between your lead magnet and your product?
Then check your emails are relevant to that situation. It might even differ from lead source to lead source.
Picking a blind spot for each email
It’s easy to jump into writing about the features we’re most excited about. Instead Zach stopped to plan how each email will help readers realize how a lack of data is hurting them.
The aim was to help them discover these blind spots for themselves, to think about data they’re missing and ways it could be helping them. To plan our content we went through the questions that marketers either don’t think to ask or don’t realize they could answer, such as:
- Which Facebook campaigns bring in repeat buyers?
- Which upsell generates the most revenue?
- How long does it take to reach break-even for paid ads?
- What is the refund or chargeback rate?
From talking to new users, we know most forget that their analytics usually only record signups or first purchases. So, these questions were chosen to help subscribers realize they’re missing data on each funnel step’s long-term impact on their bottom line revenue.
If the sequence could guide subscribers into considering these questions, SegMetrics can then be introduced as the best way to find answers in a few clicks.
Guiding readers into realising the benefits (not just telling them)
‘Show don’t tell’ is a popular saying among writers, so we applied it to presenting SegMetric’s benefits. Instead of just telling them “you could boost revenue by 90%”, Zach planned out content to walk them through issues so they could discover the problems they had previously overlooked.
We grouped these data guides into four categories:
1) Data challenges – posing challenges such as whether they know the lifetime revenue of each lead source, giving them a question to chew over with suggestions of what it might reveal.
2) Case studies – showing the revenue lifts that users have achieved, to reinforce that it is actionable data worth digging out, not just pretty graphs and nice numbers.
3) Industry averages – marketers love a good benchmark, so we collected averages from our users that could only be discovered through SegMetrics.
4) Potential tactics – outlining tactics such as offering a high value upsell instead of the current cheaper one, with a note that SegMetrics could track the impact.
Each of these tied back to one of those blind spots we had previously identified, written with a gentle tone acknowledging that it’s understandable to not already know the answers. (Especially since we’ve been doing this for over a decade, and STILL run into issues.)
DIY Guide #2: Content planning
After identifying their decision stage, consider what is needed to bump your service up their to-do list.
- What is bothering them about their current solution?
- Are there pain-points they didn’t realize could be solved?
- Do they realize the impact that signing up will make?
Then plan how to show them these answers, helping it become their own realization instead of just something you’ve told them.
Admitting that yes, there’s a free alternative
As subscribers progress through the sequence they will hopefully start wanting this kind of information for themselves. Zach expected they might start looking for free alternatives, so wanted to stay helpful during those decisions.
Like many SaaS apps, the main alternative is a spreadsheet and lots of time. In fact, almost all of the data SegMetrics reveals can be found with a bit of pivot table magic.
That’s why we openly suggest they try to DIY it. We first gently mention it in a couple of emails, with rough steps of how to do so. An email then includes the link to our in-depth guide of how to manually calculate the lead value of an opt-in magnet.
Our good worst-case scenario is they spend two hours generating one KPI, appreciate having those numbers, but then look to SegMetrics to get it in a few clicks next time.
Really this is one big show-don’t-tell.
We could tell them “don’t waste hours trying to DIY this in Excel”, but instead we showed them the alternative and how much drudgery is involved.
This has a double effect of a) showing people that the data that we’re generating is trustworthy, because they can calculate it themselves, and b) that since it takes over an hour to get a single KPI manually, they should do it in a few clicks with SegMetrics next time.
Finally: pitching SegMetrics while addressing remaining objections
A couple of months after they downloaded the lead magnet, we go for a direct pitch.
We outline the trial in terms of what’s included and recap key insights they can find. It’s a nice friendly email, nothing overly clever.
Zach then had fun preempting common objections.
These are the typical concerns that leads have directly asked us or we suspect they won’t admit. We wrote an email to pre-empt each one and show why they should sign up anyway. These objections and counters were roughly:
Cautious it’ll take ages to set up? Talk about our free concierge service and how we walk them through the installation in a quick call.
Don’t want to yet more useless data? Similarly, we offer a free strategy call, helping them make meaningful decisions from their new numbers.
Considering popular alternatives? Link to our existing comparison articles, admitting the (few) cases when the alternative software is better suited.
To finish it off, we then had a short What’s Stopping You? email offering to discuss any concerns we have missed out.
DIY Guide #3: Removing sales blocks
Consider if there are common concerns that might stop them converting.
- Have they had issues with competing services that you might replicate
- Is there any nervousness about getting up and running?
- Are there details about your trial or product that are unclear?
Then plan out an email around each one to help them get past that stumbling block.
We’re happy to say that the lead nurture sequence is now happily converting at 187% what it used to, with some of the highest engagement rates we’ve seen — even 12 emails into the funnel. We even worked with Zach again on a similar educational approach for our onboarding sequence.
If you would like to test this strategy yourself, then the key steps are:
- Consider the decision making state of new leads
- Identify topics that will push your service up their to-do list
- Plan out educational content to guide them into action
- Pre-empt each objection with relevant content
Or alternatively, email Zach for help with your funnel:
DIY Alternative: Talk with Zach
Zach is a copywriter, specializing in landing pages and email sequences. He was instrumental in putting together the strategy we outlined in this article and so we’d highly recommend him if you are looking to improve your conversions.
You can find him here: Zach Goldie, Copywriter