Closing a new customer is a herculean task. It can take upwards of 12-15 touches to get a prospect from their first interaction to the point at which they’d be willing to buy from you. No matter how good your sales team is, leads will almost never be ready to buy right away.
For this reason, it’s incredibly important that you have a program in place that works to build trust and demonstrate expertise over time, staying top of mind with your highest value prospects until they are ready to buy.
Historically, this kind of nurturing was put on the shoulders of sales, who would juggle a list of follow-up tasks as they tried to stay front and center with prospects until they moved further in the sales cycle. Today, lead nurturing is more about content. It’s about providing real value to the lead at their current stage of the sales cycle in the form of blog posts, eBooks, webinars, and other information-rich content.
But this leads to an entirely new set of challenges for organizational leaders and sales teams that don’t have the time or the skill needed to write the tedious number of followup emails, blog posts and eBooks for their leads. That’s where automation comes in – providing an opportunity to program and run recurring workflows that trigger based on lead behavior, keeping them engaged until they are ready to speak with someone. Here are four of the most valuable such campaigns every MSP should be running.
Email #1 - Nurturing Campaigns
Your first potential tool is a well-written nurture campaign for new website visitors. Your nurture should be designed to keep your company top of mind. Emails should go out at least once a week and discuss topics of relevant interest and educational value for your prospects. Answer the questions they typically have about working with an MSP or about security or cloud-solutions in general.
But how do you get people into your nurture in the first place?
To keep people on your site longer, engaged with your content, and ultimately convert them to a lead in your database, you need to offer resources that are highly relevant.
A sticky bar or exit pop-up – neither of which intrudes on their research experience – can capture leads that might otherwise not provide contact information. By offering an opt-in form to a sequence of follow-up emails explaining a common problem,you can get them into your nurturing track at a higher rate.
Pro Tip: Don’t annoy your visitors. Give your visitor the time to do what they came to do on your site. Instead of showing them a pop-up right away, use a sticky bar or exit pop-up.
Email #2 - Conversion Campaigns
Once someone has joined your email list through your website and indicated an interest in receiving more information from your company, you can shift them into a conversion campaign. These are designed to move someone from one stage of the funnel to another.
What does this look like?
Consider the top of the funnel the highest point in your marketing and sales cycle. This is where business managers and eventual decision-makers are looking for answers. They may not even be researching MSPs at this stage. They’re seeking answers to common questions that an MSP might eventually help them solve.
The middle of the funnel, on the other hand, is a stage for evaluation. This is where those same prospects know they need an MSP and are evaluating who will best fit their needs.
When you have a new marketing lead in your database who opted in to an educational email series or subscribed to your blog or newsletter, a conversion campaign can help move them from the top of the funnel to the middle of the funnel.
This is where resources that showcase your expertise can be incredibly valuable. At a simple level, an eBook providing a checklist to help a company outsource their IT might be a good fit, or at a higher level, you might offer a detailed guide to choosing and working with an MSP for their specific vertical.
Pro Tip: Promote conversion campaign materials to your existing clients too. Your clients may not be aware of all the services you offer, or they simply use the campaign as a reference to other leads they may refer to you.
Email #3 - Consultation Campaigns
A consultation campaign is designed to generate new, qualified sales opportunities by offering free consultations. Consultation campaigns can be made more effective by using automated scheduling tools.
For prospects who have been in your marketing funnel for a long time at the educational or evaluation stages, a consultation campaign is intended to push them toward the bottom, where a sales conversation is designed to happen.
Nurturing tracks and email automation allow you to create and run these touch points without manual outreach, but at a certain point, you want these prospects to raise their hands and say, “let me talk with someone on your team.” That’s where consultation campaigns come in.
To implement such a campaign, you need two things:
An automated scheduling tool that allows prospects to search and choose a time on your calendar without direct interaction with a human operator.
A landing page or form that they can reach by clicking a link in your email for scheduling a consultation or asking a question.
How you choose to implement this in your emails will depend largely on how personal of a touch you want your outreach to have. The goal, though, is to drive your most valuable leads to reach out and engage with your sales team once your prospect has had the ability to evaluate you.
The best part is that you don’t need a dedicated consultation campaign to do this. You can include these links in the final paragraph or P.S. section of your other nurturing emails – always giving your leads, no matter how high in the funnel they might be, an opportunity to raise their hands and move forward in the sales cycle.
Email #4 - Survey Campaigns
The fourth form of email automation you should consider is a survey campaign. This type of automated campaign allows you to reach out to people at key stages in their relationship with your company to solicit feedback.
Surveys to existing customers and follow-ups for referrals when you receive positive feedback are immensely valuable, but it can be nearly impossible to do manually. That’s where a CSAT (short for Customer Satisfation) solution that automatically appends these surveys to customer service followup emails can be so valuable.
At the same time, having a scheduled, regular net promoter score (NPS) email that goes out every 2-3 months, for example, can help to get a high-level view of your customers and any potential issues in advance of them becoming cancellation risks.
When properly integrated, these types of automation can make it easier to identify your promoters and solicit reviews on Google Business pages that can help attract new visitors.
Pro Tip: Use a CSAT solution such as Simplesat to simplify your workflows. SimpleSat can help you get Google Reviews to boost SEO and its also easily integrated into popular MSP technologies like ZenDesk and ConnectWise.
Leveraging the Value of Email Automation
Email automation can help you reach a larger number of people more often and build trust and brand awareness in a way that manual outreach often cannot.
It’s important to start small and build your lead nurturing and email marketing automation over time – this ensures the automations you create respect the time of your prospects, but also so that you don’t get overwhelmed in trying to manage too many campaigns. The key is for this to be a living, breathing mechanism. Don’t just set it and forget it. Keep your data updated across the different systems you use to run your business and adjust your workflows as you learn from conversations you have with leads and clients.
More than anything, though, keep it simple. Complex workflows are more time consuming to build and more difficult to fix if there is a problem. Simpler workflows allow for faster campaign launches and greater coverage of your database with the necessary follow-ups. Just getting it done is half the battle for many MSPs – make it easy on yourself and you can benefit from the recurring communications made possible by this type of automation.
If you’re interested in putting together an automated email program for your MSP business, schedule a call with us and we’ll discuss how Pronto can help.