THE SALES CYCLE AND EMAIL MARKETING = BFFs
When you think of email marketing, there are typically two things that come to mind: boring newsletters and sleazy sales funnels.
Which makes it sound totally unappealing.
But what if I told you that email can actually be used as a tool to support every stage of the sales process – often with the use of automations.
Imagine your prospects and customers being looked after and loved up at every stage of their journey with you. Without all the pushiness but instead dynamically responding to what they need next. All the way through the sales cycle.
WHAT IS A SALES CYCLE?
If you’ve heard of the terminology of a sales cycle or the original sales funnel, you’ll know that these represent each of the steps someone goes through before (and after) purchasing from you.
It looks a little like this:
The 5 stages are:
Let’s have a look at each of the 5 stages in turn – and how email marketing can support each.
Awareness is typically the domain of your other marketing activities such as advertising, social media or PR as it is when someone first becomes aware that you exist.
However, awareness can also be thought of as becoming aware of other solutions you may offer or you validating new offer ideas from your existing subscribers.
For example, if you have an email list already you can ask those subscribers if they will be interested in a certain new offer. This is creating awareness that you can solve a different challenge.
Interest is where someone has recognised that they have a challenge that they want solving and that you can possibly help them with it. This involves a combination of social media, content and email.
At this stage you want to be inviting them to sign up to your email list, likely in exchange for some sort of opt in incentive.
This also includes your nurture-based email marketing activities – things that keep their interest alive. This includes:
– Welcome Series
– Sales Funnels
– Content Funnel
Consideration is where they are really beginning to research buying from you. This could happen very quickly in the case of simple purchases or it could take some time. Email can support both scenarios.
In addition to the emails mentioned above there are a few email campaigns and automations you can setup to support this process:
– Promotions or sales campaigns with an element of urgency or scarcity
– Browse abandonment (someone visits a product page but doesn’t buy = automated email sent)
– Sales or services page abandonment
– Abandoned cart
– Waitlist nurture sequences
All of the previous steps have been about getting the sale – and now you’ve got it (YAY!). But that doesn’t mean the email marketing ends. In fact, email can play a critical role in the purchase and delivery process including:
– First time customer thank you’s
– Repeat customer thank you’s
– Automated Post-purchase sequences (customer service, tips, tricks, insights)
– Post-purchase bounce back (instant upsells)
– Client on-boarding
– Delivery updates
Finally, we want to encourage customers and clients to come back again and again. Or, if it’s not a “repeatable” purchase we want them to recommend us to their friends and networks.
Not only can email help with this process but it really comes into it’s full power as it can help get your customers and clients coming back again and again – on autopilot.
– Replenishment / Repurchase reminders (when they are likely to need to buy again)
– Client Off-boarding
– Upsells to next level services
– Customer win-back offers (when they haven’t purchased for a long time)
– Birthday / anniversary offers
– VIP offers
In addition, as part of your off-boarding or post-purchase automations you can include requests for reviews and testimonials.
Putting bluntly, if you aren’t looking at the ways in which email marketing can automate and support your customers or clients through the sales cycle then you are leaking sales in your business.
It takes a lot of time, effort and sometimes money to first get a subscriber. And even more to get them as a customer. So why not ensure that you are getting the most out of those as you can – by providing the best subscriber experience possible.
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