Keith Perhac – Building Your First Effective Marketing Funnel – MicroConf 2017

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  • @harisenbon79
  • Run a marketing agency — DelphiNet
    • Horrible naming choice
    • Founder of SegMetrics
    • Co-founder of Summit Evergreen
  • I design strategies that turn visitors into customers
    • Help companies build email funnels
      • Landing page
      • To email address
      • To (eventually) customer
    • 13 years in Japan
    • Now in Portland
  • People I work with
    • Mixergy
    • I Will Teach
    • Toyota
    • Mainly infoproduct people — personality-based brands
  • Important – when I get excited, I talk REALLY fast
    • Marketing excites me more than pretty much anything else
    • My team often have to record me and listen at half speed
  • DevelopYourMarketing.com/microconf-2017
  • Building your first effective marketing funnel (for SaaS and products)
    • End goal: get visitors on your list; turn visitors into customers
    • Why are email funnels important? Isn’t email dead?
      • Email marketing — one of the most important funnels in any company
      • Emails give you personality
        • You can only have so much personality in a web site
        • Personality goes a long way
        • In large corporations — often a human face, a personality, for customers to connect to
          • People trust people more than companies
          • Hearing from people is more compelling than hearing from companies
            • Companies don’t give a crap about you. People do.
            • Email addresses in my Gmail Promotions tab
              • I don’t even use SamCart
              • But I know who Brian is, because I get emails from Brian at SamCart
          • When I first met Lars Lofgren, I felt like I knew him
            • Because I was getting emails from him for 8 months from KISSmetrics
              • If he asked me for a favor, sure. If Macy’s asked me, nope.
              • “You’re the guy from KISSmetrics. I read your stuff. That’s awesome”
      • Brennan Dunn got me to respond to a canned email, because I thought it was real
        • Another friend emailed me 3 times asking for a response because I thought it was canned. OOPS!
    • The key is having GOOD CONTENT
    • “That slide”: Mario + your product → better Mario
      • But really it should be Luigi, wanting to be Mario
    • We all have people we look up to
      • Mine: Stan Lee, Dave Spector, Ramit Sethi
      • Who does your audience look up to?
        • Ideally, you
        • You are the expert: now prove it
    • We teach people value through a NURTURE SEQUENCE
      • Goal: put people in a specific frame of mind
      • What’s in a nurture sequence?
        • 1. Prime the pump
          • Talk about the issues that your product solves. This does not have to be direct — as long as the person is thinking about the problem, it’s a win
          • Example: Salary Negotiation… “what would it mean if you had an extra $5k?”, not ramming the “YOU NEED MONEY!” thing down their throat
        • 2. Show the pain
          • Of the problem your product solves. Mention all the ways it makes life horrible
        • 3. The dream
          • Paint a picture of how much better life is AFTER the problem is fixed
        • 4. Reveal the solution
          • Your product, and how it helps
      • What does a nurture sequence look like? 3 main types
        • Hero’s journey
          • Connects with readers on an emotional level
          • Star Wars / LOTR built around this
          • Someone is called to action. Has a problem.
            • Walks through their pain; their success
          • Usually the hero is you who runs the product
            • Or can be someone else the customer can see themselves as
          • Gains trust through shared experience
          • Key points
            • Show your own situation and pain
            • How you’re like them
            • End of your rope “I didn’t know what to do. I thought about throwing in the towel”
            • Did A, B, C, conquered the pain
            • I wish I had these things back then
              • Provide educational content here
            • Don’t sell until the end.
            • Use scarcity
              • For SaaS, this could be an hour consultation if you sign up now
          • Nurture: 16 days
            • 2 heros, interleaved (Tim and Mary)
            • Customer stories along the way too
            • Don’t even mention a product in the nurture. 100% emotional and educational
          • Sell: 3 days
            • 4 emails. This is the offer. This is when it ends
            • Still educational, too
        • Educational + pain/dream
          • Not a narrative like the hero’s journey
          • Works well for SaaS
          • Uses education of the problem-space to teach readers, and gain trust as an expert
          • Key points:
            • Educate on topics that fit your audience
            • Show yourself as the expert
            • Put links to your product in all emails
            • Don’t overwhelm off the bat
            • Target content is key for getting through inbox noise
              • Most educational content is crap. People just putting out generic emails because they know they “should”
              • “5 quick year-end tax savings” vs “5 quick year-end tax savings for freelance developers”
                • Feels like it’s for me
        • Weekly Newsletter
          • I don’t recommend it
            • But it’s better to have something than nothing
      • Example: SegMetrics
        • 7 day mix of both emotional and educational
          • Day 1: all the data you need (5 minute guide to the data you should be looking at as a marketing) and how to get it with your CRM
          • Day 2: we lied! It’s even easier — show that SegMetrics does what took them 1.5hours yesterday, in 5 mins
          • Day 3: “why we built SegMetrics”
            • More emotional / hero
          • Day 4: “How EOFire used our reporting”
            • Customer success story
          • Day 5: “Tip #2: stop leaving money on the table”
          • Day 6: “Let’s hop on a call”
      • How do you know what to write? How we start a new funnel…
        • Thanks to Jordan Gal for letting us use this real example from CartHook
          • 1. Hero, or educational?
            • Is this a product that we can have a “face” for? Does it make sense to use a hero journey?
            • Here we’ll choose educational
          • 2. Customer exploration
            • Who is the target audience?
            • Where do they live?
            • What is their financial situation?
            • We had 2 groups. The retailers, and the marketing mavens
          • 3. Identify drivers
            • What problems are they trying to solve?
            • Why do they hurt so much?
              • They’re very particular about their customer experience
          • 4. Brainstorm headlines
            • No bad ideas now. Write out 10 or more. Then order them from best to worst
          • 5. Get multiple eyes on it
            • People in the company
            • Friends
            • Do other people like the same 3 or 4 that we do?
          • 6. Build the flow
            • Like we already talked about. The email sequence
      • Getting people on your list
        • What do you offer people?
        • Best opt-in magnets — get people started quick, or answer the question “do you have a problem?”
        • Opt-in pages that are for commonly searched terms can get a lot of organic traffic
        • Opt-in page examples
          • WPEngine — WordPress speed test
            • Put in your email address, get the results, and a 28 day nurture sequence (educational)
          • SegMetrics: “Take the business health test”
          • “The Anxiety Test”
          • Boldheart — The Boldheart Business Assessment
          • Hubspot Website Grader — How Strong is Your Web Site?
  • Recap — What should you be doing next?
    • Understand who your audience is. Sub-niches are more powerful than broad strokes
      • You can always move to the next sub-niche next. Start narrow
    • Find an emotional hook for your product. People connect with people, not companies
    • Create a landing page that solves a problem, or answers a question — instantly
      • A quiz
      • Or a checklist if you don’t have time to build a quiz
      • Anything that makes people succeed faster
    • Write 8 emails that lead people through a nurture sequence, to get them in the right frame of mind for purchasing
  • Q&A
    • “How have you seen on page conversion rates change over the past 4 years? It seems it used to be 15%, now I keep hearing 1%”
      • I think they’re talking about different things
        • Blog post to newsletter opt-in I’ve seen pretty steady at 1-2%
      • I haven’t seen a change. Top pages with a clear CTA at 10-20%, quizzes and assessments ~60%. Webinars 20-30%
      • Depends on the traffic you’re getting
    • “For 2-sided marketplace apps, would it be proper to create 2 separate email sequences, one for each”
      • Yes. 2 different lists at that point
        • (Or segment them within a single CRM/ESP)
      • It’s all about segmentation. Understanding where people are coming in, how you can connect with them
    • “What are you looking at to determine 1 per day, 1 per week, 28 days, etc”
      • It’s all off the cuff. Every audience is different
      • Generally start 1 email per 2 days. 1 per day in the selling part of the sequence.
      • Start with best guess. Watch the open/click rates. Where’s it falling down?
        • If numbers are dropping off, try sending sooner, to stay top of mind
      • The way each audience interacts is different. Don’t take any marketer’s suggestion as gospel. The advice is just a jump-off point to start iterating from
    • “That looks awesome, but I’m not there yet — I don’t have something to sell at the back end”
      • I would start off with a newsletter to be honest.
      • Start with a landing page, opt-in for a checklist or similar
      • “What is the #1 thing you would tell someone at this conference if they asked about [your field]?”
        • Put that in an asset
      • Email opt-in for “my newsletter” — almost always a bad conversion rate
      • Email addresses are valuable to their owners. You need to convince people to part with theirs

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