Contributed by Richard Wall | Marketing Campaign Manager | Spotler UK
“You never get a second chance at a first impression.”
Wise words indeed.
The first time someone visits your website, they probably weren’t looking for you by name. If you’ve done your content strategy properly, they were looking for the solution to an immediate problem, like how to add UTMs to a link.
Add to this the fact that only 5% of your target market are in “buying mode” at any given time, and you conclude that how you treat first-time website visitors is a challenge unlike any other stage in the funnel.
So we’re taking a deep dive into Spotler’s own “net new” nurture series, which has been in place with only minimal tweaks for over 3 years.
A brief word on terminology before we begin:
A “lead” is a company who meets Spotler’s target criteria, but where there is not yet a selling opportunity.
A “prospect” is a company where the Sales team are speaking to them directly, there is an established need, and there is an immediate opportunity for them to become a customer.
Subject Line: 3x leads in 2 weeks
The first email in the series has 2 key features; permission and value-add.
Firstly permission; thanks to IP lookup, this email can go out to people who haven’t left us their details in a form. Therefore it’s absolutely critical to be polite and ask if they are happy for us to contact them. “Legitimate Interest” is the name of the GDPR provision which means their opt-in isn’t required for an initial email. Most people aren’t aware of this, so we still sometimes get replies along the lines of “GDPR!!!!!!”. The best way to lessen this is with a friendly, non-intrusive approach.
The second strand is the value-add, “get 3x the number of leads within 2 weeks”. Most first-time visitors to your website are looking for a quick fix to a pressing issue, rather than being in “buying mode”.
Because at this stage we don’t know much, if anything, about this person, we chose a value-add which is universally appealing. We’ve yet to meet a marketer who didn’t want more leads!
What there isn’t in Email 1 is a hyperlink. We’ve asked for one thing, permission to send another email. We want them to reply to this, rather than get lost exploring our website.
As soon as a new contact appears on our website, they get assigned to a salesperson. We then add that information to the email, to minimise the impact of the Marketing-to-Sales handover that will occur as they move down the funnel.
Subject Line: More leads and clicks for #[Person/CompanyName]#
2 days after Email 1, assuming the reader hasn’t unsubscribed, they get Email 2.
Oh look, links!
In this email, we’re linking to testimonials from happy clients.
Social proof remains a powerful tool, so providing names of clients and contacts (with their permission, of course) allows the recipient to do their own research. We work hard to gather testimonials from a wide range of industries, as this email will go out to a wide variety of people.
Link number two is based on the idea that if you don’t ask, you don’t get! While a single visit to our site is rarely enough to bring someone to “demo-ready”, it would be a real shame to miss them if they are. And since they’ve shown interest already, there’s a foundation to build on. Note that the ask is still quite small, only 15 minutes. It requires a little more from them than the ask in Email 1, but not much more. Asking a busy person to take up an hour on a product that may not be right for them is unlikely to have a high success rate. 15 minutes is much easier to give.
Now the email is not only signed from their assigned salesperson, the link to book a demo is personalised too. As we said in email 1, this makes the whole experience smoother, rather than allowing them to feel like an object being passed from team to team.
Subject Line: Best Subject Lines EVER
Another 2 days, then along comes Email 3.
We try a different tack as this person has still not moved on to “Prospect” status, where Sales are speaking to them directly.
In Spotler’s case our customers are marketers, so the “marketer to marketer” angle is a neat break from the overtly “salesy” tone of the previous sends. Notice the reference to previous messages in the opening line; this person has still only been directly aware of the Spotler brand for 6 days, so a little nudge helps to join the dots.
Again, we’re leading with helpful content. The page in question summarises the most effective (as measured by Click-Through Rate) subject lines that Spotler customers have sent through the platform.
An extra bit of social proof is never a bad thing.
It also contains a clever tool for scoring your subject line ideas and suggesting improvements.
We built this because the subject line is the part of most email campaigns which receives the least thought and attention, while being arguably the most important.
The average office worker receives around 120 emails a day, and it’s fair to assume that anyone with authority to spend money gets more than most people. If your subject line isn’t eye-catching, either by delivering value or by being different to everything else out there, it doesn’t matter how good the email design is, or how useful the resource it links to is.
Subject Line: I WANT THE TRUTH!
You guessed it, a 2-day breathing space, then we go again
There are plenty of articles out there arguing against all-caps subject lines, but if everyone else is avoiding it, you become distinctive!
That said, the subject line is still relevant to the value we’re offering. The “TRUTH” in question is the truth of where your leads are coming from, and the accuracy of pulling that information into your CRM where everyone who interacts with your customers can see it. We’re hitting them with multiple benefits here, all 3 of which are applicable across industries.
Subject Line: 🧠 Brain Power 💪
Yes, emojis in a subject line! They may mark your email out as obviously a marketing send, but there’s value in setting expectations appropriately before the email gets opened.
After pushing benefits pretty hard in Email 4, we dial it back and deliver our highest-performing piece of content EVER. The neuromarketing research that we did on emails and landing pages is unique and continues to be a great talking point in emails and at live events.
Subject Line: Don’t leave me hanging!
One more push!
This time we’re focusing in on a specific testimonial which shows off some of the most powerful features in the entire Spotler toolbox. These are our AI tools and the ability to target non-opted in data which makes us unique among ESPs, due to hosting data in the UK, rather than the USA.
1.3% of leads who go through this series have been converted to Prospects by the time they complete this series, which is pretty good when they’ve only been engaging with our content for 12 days!
For the rest, they will now be dropped into a different set of automated nurtures, based on what we know about them and their company.