Everywhere you go online, more sites are figuring out just how awesome email is for building relationships with soon-to-be-customers and capturing value (that is, money) over time.
So you see newsletter forms, email courses, free reports, exclusive whitepapers, pre-recorded webinars, and other lead magnets that attempt to get a visitor to opt-in to something of yours popping up all over the web. But the majority of these websites are pretty dumb, to be honest. They’re showing that same newsletter opt-in form to people who’ve already subscribed. Or existing customers are seeing ads for products they’ve already bought. Not the best use of real estate, huh?
As someone who primarily makes an income through selling products through my websites and over email, I want to make sure I’m doing everything in my power to put the right products in the hands of the right people.
So here’s what I’ve been thinking about over the last few weeks, which I think was subliminally planted in my mind a few months back by Dan Norris. Wouldn’t it be bad ass if people who were happily on my list saw an ad for an intro-level product of mine, rather than seeing that damn opt-in again and again? And I have premium, ~$2,000ish products that don’t make much sense to show anyone but my best customers — I’m already targeting these customers through focused campaigns over email (using InfusionSoft), but why isn’t my website helping? Why’s it still showing that same stupid opt-in when a guy with a lifetime value in the four figures is clicking around my blog?!?
A few months back, I ditched MailChimp in favor of this beefy, “talk to a sales rep before signing up” email marketing product called InfusionSoft.
Imagine something like MailChimp, but instead of having a bunch of lists you have a database of customers, and these customers have tags, and you broadcast or trigger emails based on the presence / absence of these tags. That’s InfusionSoft.
When I send out newsletters, I’m finding any contacts tagged “newsletter”. There are other ways besides the obvious — filling out my newsletter opt-in form — for getting that tag, like joining an email course.
Additionally, when someone buys my book, “Double Your Freelancing Rate”, they get tagged “Bought DYFR”. And the same is true for all of my other products.
In my business, there’s a definite progression that people tend to go through. At the top of the funnel, you have my free newsletter subscribers. And then a subset of that group has bought DYFR, and then most who have bought my second book, The Blueprint, are already DYFR customers. And then there’s my Masterclass, which is almost always composed of people who have been on my newsletter for a while and bought both my books.
So my email marketing capitalizes on this, and I have campaign sequences (e.g. autoresponders) that sort of glue this all together. But I also have my weekly newsletter, which just about every customer of mine stays on. And it’s a bit like beating a dead horse to constantly promote my $1,799 Masterclass to the majority of my subscribers, most of which aren’t at the point in their business or financially to need something like that.
My Strategy For Continuous Promotion Without Being (Too) Obnoxious
I could just keep hammering my customers with emails, itching them along to buy the Next Big Thing… or I could pass that through to a weekly email of mine they really want to read, my newsletter.
Historically, my newsletter content was embedded entirely in the weekly email, and there was no way to view the email in your browser, which made it impossible to read later with Pocket and the like. This was done intentionally, as my email style has always been plain — I wanted the style to look like a casual note from me to them, and it would be awkward to see “View this in your browser” in your typical peer-to-peer email.
Starting this year, all of my newsletters will have a bit of introductory copy and then a link to the article hosted on my blog. And here’s where things get fun.
Within InfusionSoft, anytime I include a link in an email I can have it tack on the recipient’s contact info to the URL. Usually, this doesn’t do all that much for me, but what if I could pull that list of tags (remember: purchases and other actions) for my subscriber, and do something with that… starting with axing that damn newsletter opt-in form, since they’re obviously on my list?
So over the last few days, I’ve put together a pretty sophisticated WordPress plugin that will display a block of content based on where someone is in my sales funnel. I have this live on this blog now, and so far I can attribute a few hundred dollars in book sales to it — on its first day live. And that’s on top of the other sales captured today.
Now when one of my subscribers reads my newsletter, they’ll see a call-to-action that is 100% inline with where I think they should go next. If they’ve bought nothing, I want them to buy DYFR. If they’ve bought DYFR, the Blueprint. If they’ve bought both, my Masterclass. And if they’ve done all of that, I want to advertise my coaching services. (See the bit about product ecosystems in this post by Nathan Barry — but this progression should make a lot of sense.)
Here’s what I’m looking for: Right now, this is live on this blog and within a day or so it’ll be on another two sites. If you use InfusionSoft and WordPress, and want to take my plugin for a spin, please get in touch. (The condition being that if you like it and it makes you loads of money you’ll pay $297 for it.)
(Want more information along with some screenshots? Checkout Conversion Funnel for WordPress)