There are two assets which will be responsible for driving your revenue opportunities more than any other areas you work on – your online content and email list.
We work hard week after week for our clients to help them grow these two assets and build a flywheel effect to getting found and getting new sales leads. Your content that is optimized and valuable lives forever. It continues to get read throughout time after it has been published.
Your immediate sales opportunities will be in your email list, which is the modern day sales pipeline.
The people in your email list are part of your distribution channel, in addition to social media, which is more of an outpost. Thus, it is critical to carefully manage your email list and how it grows over time.
As we work with our content marketing clients, we not only publish and distribute content that will connect and last forever, but we also develop ways for growing the email list. Here are a few strategies which are important for a healthy content marketing approach to grow your second most important asset:
- Optimized indexed articles. Our team has a thorough and lengthy publishing process. We ensure content meets Google’s standards and guidelines to help the pages that content is published on to get found. This includes ensuring high correlation of keywords with the overall site theme and authority by linking to other relevant content. Without the optimization, there is not an initial engagement with the content.
- Clear calls to action. After each article is read, there are pre-designed calls to action to get an email address. Depending on the client, we develop a process and strategy that would invite a stranger to take a next step that makes sense. We test this and optimize the conversion process. We track conversions from web forms and pages that are designed to draw in a reader and then modify accordingly based on what we see.
- Aligning the sales process. For clients that have a sales team, this is an excellent front for helping initial touch points with prospects to continue engaging your brand. We create kiosks or web forms that the sales team can use to add prospects that need to be nurtured with thought leadership content. Or we can integrate with CRM systems that the sales team is using to manage their relationships.
These are some of the ways we help build the email list. It is worth taking a look at how salespeople and the sales process helps and how they benefit.
Selling Without Annoying
If a salesperson identifies a prospect and then initiates a conversation, what is the process? Can they call this person every day? Will they beat them up until they commit to a sale?
The likelihood of making a sale immediately is improbable because there is low trust and relevance. It takes a long time to build a relationship.
Furthermore, nobody likes to be sold. It creates tension and sets up a person to say, “No,” if they are not ready.
However, the mind of a customer can change, but it takes a while. If a salesperson continues to position their company’s message and thought leadership, then each touch point they make with phone calls and emails becomes more valuable. The prospect knows your company and brand. They see you as an expert rather than a salesperson.
So imagine this process:
- The salesperson reaches out to a new prospect and makes an introduction via email. They search for and send a valuable article from their content library.
- The salesperson makes an initial call to connect and see if they can schedule a meeting. There will likely not be a commitment. The salesperson lets the prospect know they will stay in touch and continue to provide value in the mean time with their company’s newsletter that brings industry thought leadership to help them with their goals.
- The prospect is subscribed automatically via a CRM sync or on a salesperson web form kiosk to the newsletter.
- The prospect starts to receive the newsletters. They read some of them and it helps to work on their mind. They start to read the other content that the newsletter links to.
- The salesperson follows up again to check in. They sense more warmth and trust. The prospect feels like they know the company and brand from the content they have read and are open to have a meeting.
- They have a meeting but a decision to move forward hasn’t been made.
- The prospect continues to receive valuable content.
- A crisis happens.
- The prospect calls the salesperson after reading nurturing content and want to move forward.
This scenario happens frequently. When the salesperson tries to follow up too often and without positioning, it becomes selling. The prospect feels sold. This does not build trust.
Besides, how many times can you call or email an unready prospect per week?
Positioning with thought leadership content is far more effective. It helps work on the mind of the buyer. They see your company as a leader over time from the consistency and the depth of knowledge being shared.
In addition, the amount of content that is being distributed and also indexed with Google builds momentum and authority. Now sales can use their growing content library as a resource. A salesperson can search relevant content and send it as they are talking to new prospects.
If a salesperson connects with twenty new prospects a week, then the email list grows. In a year’s time, that can grow your list by a thousand new people tuning into your message per salesperson.
When people are not ready to buy, you still have to follow up. Integrating substantive content that brings value and positions you as an expert will keep you from having to sell. In fact, it makes selling far easier. Your content is doing the follow-up for you.