Do you struggle to devise effective email marketing campaigns, ones that actually lead to sales further down the line? Are you unsure what to send people who have opted into your list in order to move them further through your sales funnel?
If you’re in this boat then this post should help.
Aligning Email Marketing to the Buyer’s Journey
1. First up, you need to get people on your list to start with. That means coming up with content that will help answer a question a prospect might have. You want to write the content to fit your customer avatar, namely, your typical best value customer.
Close your eyes and picture him or her. What do they look like? What do they read? Where do they shop? How old are they? Are they a home owner or renting? Car owner or do they go via public transport? Conservative or liberal? Happy go lucky or a little blue? Frequent impulse buyer or protracted researcher?
Once you have your prospect in mind, you write your content, publish it to your site, keyword optimise it, ensure all technical SEO on the page (and sitewide) checks out, push via social media, etc, etc (alas we don’t have time in this article to go into everything you need to do SEO wise but if you read through the blog we cover a lot of such material or simply leave a comment with your question below and I’ll be happy to answer it).
Hey presto you appear on the Google first page for a keyword your prospect is searching for.
2. Next the prospect comes to your site from Google/Bing, like’s your writing style as it really speaks to their tastes, see’s you have some additional material available (a report, a video series, an ebook) that they can get if they enter their email into a sign up box. They do so and are currently mildly committed.
3. Now is the time to build on that rapport. You want to help the prospect move through your sales funnel by building on their interest, helping them to evaluate your service/product offering against your competitors so you move them onto the purchase stage. But how?
Solve a genuine problem
You want to demonstrate your expertise by solving a particular problem they are having. Think through the problems you have solved for customers in the past. Think about a time when your knowledge of your industry filled in, you had a eureka moment, and something formerly complicated became a little easier to understand.
Let’s take the example of online dating. Why do people join online dating sites? Whilst some people will be there for sex, most people fundamentally want to fall in love. But you don’t go straight from date to love. There are a number of steps in between.
First you need to find someone you like the look of and feel compatible with. Maybe someone keeps making bad choices and is getting frustrated, so a guide on weeding out genuine people from the blag artists may be in order.
Then when it comes to the actual date, for some people, a guide on small talk may be useful. For others, a little bit of etiquette training may be in order. For others still, maybe a little style guide would come in handy.
There are any number of problems you could help a prospect overcome in such a situation. If you’re able to really put yourself in your prospects shoes (remember the avatar process above), then you can craft any number of guides, videos or ebooks to help them solve a problem.
Do that and you earn that prospects trust. And who do we ultimately buy from? Companies and people that we trust and have faith in, who’s products solve our problems (real or imagined). Keep solving problems, even after the purchase, and you can turn your customer into a brand evangelist, which leads to referrals, more business and the great enchilada in the money sky!
Ensure you align your email marketing to the journey that the buyer takes. This includes following the purchase funnel of the buyer, from the first stage of awareness to making them a loyal customer that will refer others time and again in future.
I’ve included a link to a related article on the Kiss Metrics blog below. It does a nice job of explaining some of the techniques and process paths in a little more detail.
- Having the user go through awareness, consideration, and a decision are key to an effective email marketing campaign.
- Providing a solution to the customer is key in the awareness phase.
- It is just as important to attain a customer after a successful email marketing campaign as the campaign itself.
“Today, consumers can research a product online, compare brands on cost, reputation and more, and decide which provider is best for their needs. This progression—from becoming problem-aware to making a purchasing decision—is called the buyer’s journey and it’s one of the most important marketing concepts you need to be familiar with.”