Those Old Email Marketing Funnels Don’t Work Anymore and New Ones That Do!

It was really exciting.  When Aweber (I use Mailchimp a lot now) first came on the scene it was so cool to build what was then called “autoresponder sequences,” now commonly referred to as email automation.  Basically, a string of emails delivered over a set number of days to subscribers, with sales as the ultimate goal.  The results were amazing!  The emails were plain text, that is to say, they looked like any other email you would receive from a friend with “Hi (first name)” and that made them feel like personal communication, not advertising, which, of course, they were.

Fast forward to 2017 and all the same techniques are used but the results are not the same.  People are savvy to email marketing.  And so are the incoming servers (Gmail, etc.) – they know it’s advertising and like other advertising, folks ignore it a lot of the time and incoming servers are getting really good at throwing spammy stuff into the spam folder.

Still, email marketing is responsible for a very large portion of online sales.  So what works today?

It’s not complicated but many businesses are slow to make the changes.  They still have long automated sequences for their entire list.  This doesn’t work anymore.  Instead, you need shorter sequences targeted to segments of your list in order to make them relevant to your prospect’s desires and needs at that moment.  Both criteria are important.  1) Particular needs and 2) Right timing (touching them at the right moment with the right contents) and, most important so as not to be ignored, give them high-quality content.

99% of email marketing success relies on knowing your prospect’s needs and desires at a given moment and serving it up to them. That’s the key that unlocks email marketing success.  Or any marketing for that matter.  If you want someone to open your emails you need to understand what they want in relation to your product.  However, discovering the emotional tie between your prospect and the big benefit of your product is not a simple matter.  In fact, most companies struggle with this, often for years, before finally unearthing this connection.

Alright, let’s break this down.  People pay attention to things they care about; things that matter to them.  If your prospect is a parent, they care about the well-being of their kids.  If your business is dentistry then you’ll want to appeal to the deep need in parents for their kids to be happy.  So, to get their attention, make the link to something they really care about.  For example an image of a smiling Mom and kid with the headline, “A Lifetime of Smiles.”  This is akin to a lifetime of happiness for their kids – something parents really want!

Because if you don’t relate your product to something they truly care about before they ever know your product exists, then your are not going to get anywhere.  Let’s bronze this in our minds: you must resonate with something they deeply care about.  And by deeply I mean we are talking about values and long-term beliefs.  When you do this, they engage in a manner that has an excellent chance of conversion to a sale.  Without that on your side, you seriously cutting your business off at the knees.  Your marketing will always struggle.

But let’s not get so doom and gloom!  Just make sure you make the link to what they care about and you’ll be fine!  But it does take time and skill to get clear on how your product relates to something they care about deeply.

How about heavy machinery like bulldozers and such?  How are you supposed to relate heavy machinery to something they really care about?  After all, how does heavy machinery relate to the deep need for love?  Not going to happen, right?  Right!  Don’t force it – it has to be real.  You can’t fabricate it.  As a marketer, you are simply just uncovering what is in them already; making them aware of it.

So machinery and love, no, it’s not going to happen.

Heavy Machinery and what, then?

Take it in steps.  Heavy Machinery is for building roads, buildings.  They are part of particular business projects.  Particular businesses and particular projects.  So already we know a lot about the motivations of the buyer.  It’s business.  Making money is the business objective.  So when selling to business, saving money where possible is high on their list because it helps achieve the business objective.  What else helps the business meet its objective?  Product or service quality, of course.  And ROI.  And seller reputation.  That’s basically how a business decides to buy.

Now we ask: are those criteria related to something deep in they buyer?  They feed the business objective but how does saving money, wanting quality, ROI, and knowing seller reputation impact the buyer?  He has a job and wants to do well.  Everyone at a company wants to do well.  They want to do well for themselves, most of all, and most people have some desire to do well for the company.  If you hate your job, you don’t have much concern for the company.  Let’s not digress.  His desire to do well in his job is part of his motivation to buy from you.

So now we have two motivations driving the sale.  The company’s absolute need for the product (they can’t be in business without it) and the desire for the buyer to do well in his job.  In fact, there may well be more than one stakeholder making the decision.  Get clear on who they are likely to be because you need to relate to all of them deeply.

So, now you need to make it easy for them to make the decision.

  1. We have every type of heavy machinery you could ever need for your project (Trigger 1 = Easy – one stop shop.  Trigger 2 = Credibility. If you are that big, you are credible.
  2. We cost less than the competitors.  Show them the numbers. (Trigger = Proof.  The numbers don’t lie.)
  3. Award Winning machinery up-time.  We pay you for down time!
  4. See what our buyers say! (Show testimonials and independent reviews)

That covers what the business needs.  Now the buyer:

  1. What will my boss think about this company?  Will he like them? (Trigger: Looking for credibility, professionalism, reliability, etc.)
  2. Do I believe the claims they make? (Trigger = Trust.  No trust, no purchase!)
  3. Do they make it easy for me to take my next step to inquire about doing business with them?
  4. If they screw up, would my ass be on the line?
  5. If they succeed, will it reflect on me?

Everyone’s job is linked to their basic survival.  The need for money to pay for food, shelter and other absolute necessities.  This is indeed a deep value.  The buyer needs to believe that your company, your product, and your offer are not going to somehow jeopardize their job.  So you need to prove to them that doing business with you is going to be a very positive experience.  And in particular, eliminate the worry of things that could get them fired or at least make them look bad.

For example, such a prospective buyer would like to have an accurate estimate asap with minimum fuss.  The faster he receives it and the more accurate it is, the more likely he will buy.  Anything that speeds up your close rate is a good thing!

The offer needs to be the best.  That doesn’t mean the cheapest.  It just needs to be the best overall deal.  This obviously includes the terms and guarantee and anything else about saving money, quality, ROI, and reputation.  So make crystal clear why your deal is by far the best vs. any competitor…as quick as you can!  Again, move as fast as possible.  The consideration to buy decays quickly.

And proven credible guarantees, to mention it again, are so important to the buyer.  If things go south with the seller, none of the shit should land the buyer in trouble.  Prove this quickly!

Next, communicate that information using text and images.  For the headline, try and resonate with the thing that matters most in order to get their attention.  Your marketing and sales funnel contains the minimum of content and touches required to effectively communicate messaging that contains the above points.  It could be your website, landing page, live calls, demos, brochure, reports, emails, videos, etc.  Remember, you need to deliver this information into their consciousness as fast as you can!  The less marketing content the better.  Of course, that speaks to effectiveness.