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At Sprint Education we know the value of email strategies, and boy-o-boy do they help gather wonderful shiny new leads for our clients! But what do you do with those leads? Well, I guess you could blanket email them with the same old stuff like:
“So, how about it, can we sell you our [insert your offerings here]?”
You know the drill. But, what if I said there was a new kind of ‘after-strategy’ strategy that is more dynamic, more engaging than that?
As marketers, we always want more, there’s competition out there primed to snaffle your warm leads, so how about we make them hot leads and go one better to trump your competitors?
This doesn’t have to be a headache: it’s as simple as 1, 2, 3… (well, 4 and 5 are advisable too, but you’ll see why they’re worth it if you read on). Once you’ve created this new-fangled strategy, you can use it again and again, or even tweak it for new kinds of strategies.
Let’s take the ‘Free Trial’ as a classic example; many education marketers make great use of this little nugget in their emails. Whether you're promoting a free test drive of your new online maths resource, or a free chapter from your brand new Pirate book (educational of course), the free trial has always been, and probably always will be, a top contender for gaining broader audiences.
Let’s set the scene. You have just sent an email strategy out to UK schools offering a super-sweet free trial of your [insert your offering here]. A week later you have a fairly sizable list of qualified leads and you’re pretty pleased. What are you thinking?
A. “I’ll just ping out a blanket email to these guys and hope for the best? They’re sure to buy!”
B. "Easy, I’ll add my leads to the company CRM and wait for the sales to pour in after the free trial period is up, the boss will give me a pay rise and I can swing on over to Nandos – I’ve earned it."
C. "Read on, and then afterwards still pop over to Nandos."
If you chose A or B, you were wrong.
Those who signed up for a free trial often need a little guidance and convincing that your product is for them and their school. Below I’ll take you through the 5 email stages you should be creating and sending after your leads have signed up for a trial. To do that I’m calling on the man who coined the phrase '30 Days to Sell': Mr Alan O’Rouke.
Email 1: The Welcome
This email is designed to lay bare what your recipient can expect from signing up to your free trial in the coming month. Important hooks like the offering of handy tips, inspiring customer stories, and new features to the paid plan will help whet their appetite for more. You can even provide a cheeky offer too, such as 10% off your annual subscription.
Email 2: The Mission
Now, here’s where things get a little personal. Like all great brands the Founder needs to set out their mission statement and vision. You can’t expect to build a following by just spouting facts and features about the service, you’ll need to appeal to the ‘why should I buy’ part of your recipients’ brains, the part that tells them “Dang, you need this!”.
A personal message from the Founder detailing the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ they want to make a difference to your life, and how you can do it ‘together’, is a tried and tested method for getting people on-board with your brand. It’s the best method in my opinion, but one that’s seldom used. Remember, people buy ideas, they don’t just buy products. Take Apple as an example: you can buy a portable music player from pretty much any electronics store. In fact there are heaps of companies out there specialising in music technology, so which company do you buy from? Move over Sony, we want an iPod!
Email 3: The Activation
In the last two emails you laid the foundations for a high conversion after the trial period ends. First you got your brand identity noticed with an introductory hook in the form of a discount, and next you defined your intentions with your core brand values and aims.
In this email try highlighting a selection of key benefits of your products with succinct copy. Team this with a time-sensitive voucher, beautiful photos and a bold call to action and you’re nearly there!
Email 4: The Last Chance
The free trial is nearly up. Are they still not on board yet? Well, the last chance email acts as a reminder that their lovely and more importantly ‘time-sensitive’ voucher is about to expire. Keep this email short and punchy, don’t get distracted by additional information that just isn’t necessary to your message. The key with this email is to guide your leads directly down the route to purchase.
Email 5: The Hail Mary
The so-called ‘Hail Mary’ is possibly the most effective email in this strategy. A little like the last email, it reminds your lead that you’re still here, but more importantly that you (wonderfully generous you) have extended the time-sensitive offer by an extra few days, just in they missed it.
You can set this email out in a number of ways, but we find a plain text, personal approach with a single link to purchase, along with a signature and even professional (yet friendly) photo at the bottom, works best. After all, it’s rude to ignore people, and even if they reply with a polite “no thanks”, at least they’ll know you exist and are more likely to recognise you in the future.
Now this strategy is just one approach to modern marketing, but you can apply almost any product or service to it. From this, you can build upon and test your own methods and see what works best for you (or you can grab a little help from our in-house experts who can devise a strategy for you. Now you have the info you can get cracking, but first, Nandos!
Today is the second part of my analysis of what happened when two companies used an email campaign to promote the sa...