What if you never dropped the ball as a team or project leader?
Digital Growth Agencies Have An Obligation To Get Clients Results Quickly
You’ve decided you need an agency. Congratulations! You’ve made the right choice. No matter what your internal team looks like and no matter what their experience, an agency offers expertise and skills that your internal team can never deliver.
Agencies simply have more experience executing plans that perform than any internal team. Think about it for a second. How many companies has your internal marketing team generated leads for? One, two, three or four at the most, right?
Over the course of a year, agency teams work with four to eight times that amount. They simply have more experience and give you a better chance to succeed — if you pick the right agency.
Smart marketing is relevant marketing, and with the quantity of rich, contextual data available to marketers today, it’s easier than ever before to engage with customers at the right time in meaningful, relevant ways. That’s especially true post-holiday time when customers begin tailing off.
During any holiday season, people tend to step away from their normal routines, such as work social media, emails, and more. Customers may also use this time after they’ve stored away their menorahs and taken down their trees to purge what they don’t need. This alone makes it difficult to increase brand loyalty during the holidays.
More from PostFunnel on storytelling:
Why More Companies Are Expanding Their Storytelling With In-House Studios
E-commerce Storytelling: How to Captivate and Sell with Three Ingredients
Marketing and Storytelling: The Ultimate Duo
For this reason, it’s important to keep messaging softer and take on a more entertaining tone during these jolly times. Instead of aggressively promoting your new products, let that tactic take a back seat to sharing a story about your company relating to the holidays. Focus on your customers with short, entertaining or educational communications to keep you top of mind.
“Your promotional messages should be centered around big events and holidays. After the holidays are over, the vast majority of your messages should be centered around storytelling as well as creating content that helps your potential customers,” said Jacob Landis-Eigsti
owner and chief marketer of Jacob LE Video Production. “While you want to tell some stories about your brand and your company, you also want to tell your customers’ stories. Your customer should often be the hero of your stories. Place the focus on them and their achievements.”
It’s critical to form emotional connections with potential customers through storytelling as they’ll likely feel more emotionally drawn to your brand.
“Infusing storytelling in promotional messaging is a powerful strategy to utilize because it uses pathos to create an emotional and persuasive response in customers,” Leo Friedman, CEO of iPromo, said. “Customers will remember stories that are relatable, shareable and actionable.”
If the story captures customers’ attention, there’s no need to insert a pitch that’ll read more as desperate than engaging.
The Art of Storytelling
Sarah Tourville, CEO and founder of Media Frenzy Global, noted that today’s consumers don’t want to be sold to, but rather take part in an experience. Brands struggling with this will be left in the dust in favor of a new wave of consumer-friendly companies, especially where Gen Z is concerned.
“Through all of your marketing channels—from social media and activations to content marketing and media relations—you must tell an overarching brand story,” she said. “A story that pulls consumers in and captivates them. They should want to buy from you, not because you are telling them to, but because they feel a connection with your message.”
The use of influencers, she added, can further expand who interacts with the brand. A great example of this was Pepsi’s campaign at the recent Super Bowl in Atlanta. Pepsi placed a statue of its founder Caleb Bradham next to the iconic statue of Coca-Cola founder John Pemberton outside of the World of Coke museum, right in the heart of all of the Super Bowl festivities.
This sparked the #ColaTruce, a trending topic on social media that spread throughout Atlanta and the nation.
“While Coke may not have been thrilled about the stunt, the playful nature of it struck a chord even with devote Coca-Cola drinkers in the South,” Tourville said. “Pepsi took this a step further by pledging to donate a meal to the Atlanta United Way for every retweet of their #ColaTruce tweet.”
Pepsi told their brand story in a unique way and won big when the odds were against them. Other brands can duplicate this strategy during post-holiday times when there’s less “noise” from other companies.
A Mobile Message
CMO of Swrve, Tara Ryan, said that when designing mobile campaigns post-holidays, she encourages marketers to approach their messaging as storytellers—identifying customers at the beginning of their journey and providing relevant, engaging content until they reach the point of purchase.
“Marketing interactions, whether they’re on mobile, social or web-based, should serve to surprise, delight and entertain customers,” she said. “We’ve seen that companies that engage their customers across channels in meaningful, relevant ways see much higher conversion rates than those who spam their users with boilerplate push notifications, posts and spam emails.”
One major European airline, for example, wanted to check in with passengers as soon as their flight landed.
“The perfect moment is the 20 seconds between when a user switches off flight mode, and before the phone connects to a network—and the deluge of calls, mail, social, etc. hits the phone,” Ryan says. “To target the right passengers, the marketing team set up their app to take information directly from a customer’s boarding pass.”
This lets them know exactly where and when a passenger was landing. With this knowledge, the marketing team targeted customers at precisely the right moment. This led to a whopping 70% completion rate in their customer satisfaction surveys when sent via pre-cached push notification, compared to just 1% completion rates when sent over email after the fact.
Instead of “selling” or pushing their products, brands must think outside the box and find different ways to connect with their audience. Risk-taking is rewarded, and those that blaze their own path will see far more brand loyalty.Read more
Old-School Sales And Execution Is One To Many; New-School Sales And Marketing Is One To One
The experience economy proposes that both consumers and businesses want more than just delivery of products and services; they expect that an exceptional, positively charged and memorable experience will come packaged with their purchase.
This is raising the bar for companies. For those who get it, they’re creating Netflix-like buyer journeys for their clients, and closing new clients faster and more frequently than ever before.
For those still doing it the old way, they’re driving prospects right into the waiting arms of their top competitors.
Does that scare you? If it doesn’t, it should.
From Gmail to DropBox, growth hackers are the brains behind the ideas that have pushed start-ups from zero to virality. Growth hackers break into the market using minimum cost and achieving maximum effect. Here are five lessons marketers can learn from growth hackers.
Growth hackers know that referrals are a great way to leverage your existing customer base to generate new business. PayPal achieved 7-10% daily growth through referrals alone. If you already have people who love your business, start a referral program. Some best practices:
For growth hackers, utilizing a loyal community is a great way to boost growth as it provides consumers with the social validation they need when finalizing a purchase decision. Ryan Hoover grew Product Hunt using community building exercises. Here are some successful community-driven hacks you can steal:
Wonder how Whatsapp grew to 400 million users without spending money on user acquisition? They had a great product people wanted. Successful growth hackers know that a perfect product-market fit makes marketing easier and helps achieve sustainable growth. Below are some tips from the product-market fit playbook that you can use to ensure you develop a product consumers want:
growth hackers are obsessed with data and use it to supercharge their growth. Take the guesswork out of your marketing with these tips:
While an aha moment sounds like something Oprah would say, for growth hackers, it describes when new users first realize your product’s value. Here are two things to know when using this hack:
Today’s marketing is about agility and experimentation. Ditch Mad Men era practices and adopt the mindset of a growth hacker. Get creative and see how you can leverage mobile, social, and location-based approaches powered by data and insights. Growth hacking doesn’t have set rules so experiment and don’t be afraid to push the limits.Read more
They’ve also done a little interview with me which, if you’re interested, you can read here
Over the last few years, organizations have demonstrated a renewed interest in bringing more and …Read more
They’ve also done a little interview with me which, if you’re interested, you can read here
They’ve also done a little interview with me which, if you’re interested, you can read here
Who doesn’t like a good cartoon?
I used to love them. I still do. But when I was younger, cartoons were an embarrassingly huge part of my life.
And one of my all-time favorites was Dragon Ball Z.
This Cartoon Network anime starred kung-fu powered humans facing off against spikey-haired aliens. And it used to get my heart racing every single day after middle school.
What I loved (and hated) about Dragon Ball Z is what I call the “Final Form” hook.
You see, every supervillain in the show followed the same exact pattern.
They’d cause havoc all over the world until the hero took a stand. And then, cue the epic battle.
There was armor tearing, muscle flexing, lots of over-the-top screaming, bruises and bloody noses and broken bones.
Finally… a crushing blow!
It’d send the villain hurtling into a mountain and collapsing under a heap of rubble.
But after what looked like the end of the battle and the triumph of our hero, an evil cackle would snake through from under the rubble.
The villain explodes out of his rocky coffin and emerges a faster, stronger, and more intimidating version of his former self—his Final Form.
Just when our hero thought he’d finally won, he had to face one more battle before claiming sweet, sweet victory.
Now, I think everyone can relate to that feeling. You’re so close to the end and then surprise! One more bump in the road. And sometimes it’s a doozy.
When we’re launching sales funnels here at AutoGrow, we call it The Evil 5%.
Today, we’re looking at a few real-life examples of The Evil 5% we’ve experienced, and what we’ve done to prevent it in the future. And hopefully, it’ll help you prepare for unforeseen problems and make your own launch even smoother.
So, what is The Evil 5% exactly? And how does it apply to building your business’ own sales funnel?
Well, we like to think of it as that last little stretch before the finish line after already running 95% of the race (hence the “5%”).
And even though you can practically see the end and hear the cheers of the victory party, you almost always run into a mission-critical problem that stops you dead in your tracks. That’s where the “Evil” comes in.
In our experience at AutoGrow, we’ve found that The Evil 5% can be broken down into 3 main categories.
These are the primary categories that describe the overarching problems holding us back from finally launching a successful and lead-generating sales funnel.
And just to be clear, not all sales funnels (or even marketing efforts in general) will suffer from one of these problems. Why? Because each sales funnel is a unique snowflake of course. And we never EVER lump them together or deprive them of their own special beauty.
But seriously, you may experience a variety of other problems that don’t fit into these categories. These are just the major 3 that we’ve come across so far.
Alright, now that we’ve clearly defined the 3 most common categories of The Evil 5% that we’ve seen so far, it’s time to jump into the real-life examples that we at AutoGrow have experienced firsthand.
For each, I’ll point out which category of The Evil 5% we encountered before launch. On top of that (and this part is important), I’ll share with you what we learned from that problem and how we’ve ensured that the next time it shows its ugly face, we’ll be ready for it.
We’re already predicting that our AutoGrow app for the On-Demand Service we’ll be offering soon is going to help us solve a lot of the problems discussed below by giving us a more complete overview of each client.
But that being said, there are quite a few lessons we learned from The Evil 5% we ran into with our clients. And I’ll dive into each as we go along.
Now, we love our clients. And we always do everything in our power to forge real and lasting connections with each of them. Because doing so actually helps us serve them better.
But in the following examples, I’m going to change the names and a few other key details about each business to help keep things anonymous. So be forewarned: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Industries is not actually a real business.
Type Of Evil: AIM
This Evil 5% came from one of the worst possible problems on our end—AIM.
For this one client from our Done-For-You service, we wrote a convincing copy. The web design we created was crisp and pleasing to the eye. And all of our funnel assets were set up to usher prospects smoothly through the sales funnel.
However, after launching this client’s account, we found that we weren’t bringing in nearly as impressive of results as we were hoping for.
And the problem was we weren’t attracting the right kinds of prospects.
The result? The people who landed on our page weren’t interested in what our client was offering, no matter how good the copy and website design were.
We were tossing out a big net into an ocean of fish trying to catch tuna. But when we reeled it in, all we got was a net full of grouper.
After taking a closer look, we realized there were two main reasons for
The Takeaway: We’ve since refined our ad creation process and developed new ways to weed out keywords that don’t match what our clients are selling. This allows for more targeted ads that only bring in the right kind of prospects. On top of that, it ends up saving our clients on ad costs and boosts their return per dollar invested.
We’ve also tweaked the way we create copy too. Clarity is now front and center when writing the copy. And while we still inject plenty of personality and pizzaz to keep prospects reading, it comes second to easy-to-understand writing.
Type Of Evil: CLIENT + TECHNICAL
This one was a mix of both client-side problems as well as technical problems. As we started getting closer and closer to the final launch date for Picture Perfect, Inc., we were right on time with all of our funnel assets.
Landing pages (copy and design) were finalized, the lead magnet was looking irresistibly clickable, and ads were ready to go. We were set!
But not long before the official launch, Picture Perfect reached out to tell us about a few organizational changes on their end. They were bringing in a changeup of executive-level leadership. And as a result, they needed to put everything we had worked so hard to create on a full pause.
About 6 weeks later, Picture Perfect was ready to begin again, but restarting came with its own challenges.
The Takeaway: As we’ve seen, client-side problems are often the hardest to fix. Our main takeaway from this client was that it’s best to clearly set expectations from the outset. And getting buy-in from key decision-makers can prevent having to continually re-sell your service should organizational changes arise.
On top of that, launching quickly can help bring in results early on. And that means happier clients that won’t need to be sold on why your service works. Because the numbers already speak volumes.
It’s why we’ve tweaked our Done-For-You service to focus on leads first so our clients can start seeing results right away.
Type Of Evil: CLIENT
So there we are: we’ve made it through the entire process of creating the funnel. And everything (everything!) is ready for launch. The only missing piece—a thumbs up from the client.
The problem—they didn’t show up for the final walkthrough.
Now, life is messy. We know that. And things pop up at the last second that demand your attention. It’s understandable.
And that’s exactly what happened with Happy Homes. So once we didn’t hear from them after the final walkthrough, we reached out to reschedule a few days later.
Their response… crickets.
When we did hear back, they had already missed two scheduled final walkthroughs. And what made this all so frustrating was that this was literally the last step before launching.
We did end up launching (albeit a week late). But even still, this delay may have cost them leads and money.
The Takeaway: We actually solved this problem through a bit of creative thinking.
Instead of risking another missed final walkthrough, our lead funnel strategists actually filmed a short 20-min video and sent it to the client.
They covered all the same points that were planned for the walkthrough and still got all the same quality assurance benefits (checking correct linking paths, looking for small design or copy inconsistencies, etc.).
And this way, the client could go through the funnel walkthrough on their own schedule.
It turned out to be a fantastic solution that everyone benefited from in the end.
Type Of Evil: TECHNICAL
Digital Artists Unlimited is a SaaS (software as a service) business. This, of course, can be an awesome and lucrative model (as our interview with Tranual’s founder Chris Ronzio showed). But it also means that their product is custom-coded and integrate into their own website.
And with Digital Artists Unlimited, that caused some serious technical difficulties on our end when it came to presenting prospects with a special offer.
For instance, one of their main pain points was their prospects would love all the free content they put out. They’d engage and consume that content at a fantastic rate. But very few would ever take the next step and become actual paying customers.
So our solution was to help sweeten the pot with a special offer.
Originally we wanted to offer prospects a free trial for the service with a credit card required. This would help turn prospects who were only ever consuming free content into actual paying customers.
However, they already had it built into their site that prospects could go through a free trial without needing a credit card.
And switching things over would have meant that they would actually have to re-code how their app functioned.
The Takeaway: Instead of asking the client to put in an enormous amount of work on their end (after all, that’s the opposite of the point of our Done-For-You service), we tried to work around their system.
Rather than focusing on adjusting the free trial built into their site, we instead offered a $100 discount for any prospects that quickly upgraded to a paid version instead of going through the entire 14-day free trial.
This gave leads a direct incentive for signing on immediately instead of just consuming the free content and moving on.
We also learned that it’s in our best interest to set technical specifications we need at the outset. For instance, communicating with the client beforehand about whether or not they could actually implement the changes we were planning could have saved us a lot of trouble down the line.
The Evil 5% can be a beast—especially when you’re on the verge of breaking out the champagne to celebrate another well-made lead-generating sales funnel you wouldn’t be ashamed to write home about.
But as with almost any other problem in life, the Evil 5% can’t stand a good ol’ dose of foresight, strategery, and planning.
The more you can anticipate the twists and curveballs of a business initiative, the better you can prepare for them. And with any luck, the better you can prevent them entirely.
So I hope that these real-life examples will help you pick out potential soft spots in your own personal business sales funnels. They’ve certainly helped us tighten up our processes and implement new changes to safeguard against them.
Because no matter where you’re at in your business, there’s always always room to improve. And the best indicators for improvement are, of course, falling flat on your face. We’ve certainly learned from them. Have you?
What is your dreaded Evil 5% in your business? What kinds of unexpected problems have taken your legs out from under you on the 5-yard line? And what are the invaluable lessons you’ve walked away with, leaving you eager only to make that final dash again?
Let us know in the comments below.
And as always…
Keep funnelin’, stay focused,
Alex T.Read more
Episode 10: Data analytics: What does it take to be a BA with Adrian Reed