Step-by-step guidance on how to go from Zero to first 50 customers in any business, existing or brand new. Whether you're looking to start a new arm of your business or start it from scratch, we'll shed some light on how you can set yourself up for success. All of our techniques are based on what we have used to grow Goodman Lantern from $0, with no investment raised, to where we are today. We bootstrapped it all the way, and so can you!
The name of the game is being tactful. It's not about inbound or outbound marketing; it's about standing out and building trust. You can't build trust with customers if you haven't made contact with them yet. If you're merely relying on blogging, Facebook, or Twitter to pull in the punters, we have some bad news for you: outbound tools, like email, see an average click-through rate of 3.57%, compared to 0.07% for Facebook and 0.03% for Twitter.
If you've previously heard that inbound was the only way forward, it's worth looking at this:
- In an interview with Jeb Blount, author of Fanatical Prospecting, he mentions that he "was sold Hubspot on an (outbound) cold call " (scroll to 42.30). The term "inbound marketing" was coined by HubSpot, yet even they engage in outbound marketing.
- Tony J. Hughes, in his blog post, talks about a company which went "full bottle" social selling. They removed phones from the sales floor and tanked their top and mid-funnel.
Why Isn't Inbound Marketing Good Enough?
Before we identify why inbound marketing isn't sufficient on it's own, it's worth exploring why people don't have success with it as an alone-standing approach. It's worth noting that inbound works very closely with content marketing. The top reason why companies are likely to give up on content marketing, says Roman Kniahynyckyj, is due to the length of time it takes for the benefits to kick in, driven by these factors:
- Google indexing: The bottom line is that you need Google to index your website fully. Unless you are an internet phenomenon, based one experience, you are looking at a minimum of 3-6 months.
- Time to learn: Writing content takes time and you probably won't get it right the first time, so you need to maintain a trial-and-error approach.
- Building content: Once you have mastered the art of content creation, you need to build enough volume so it starts to snowball and you begin to receive leads.
Inbound is good but it's slow, outbound is quick but it's pushy. What we are proposing is to take the best of both inbound and outbound, making the latter a dialogue. The key is to make outbound part of the 6-8 touches required to convert prospects into customers.
Our focus with this campaign is to rely majorly on email. Why email?
- Email marketing alone drives as much revenue as all other digital channels combined, according to a survey of US marketing execs.
- Email is 40x more effective for customer acquisition than Facebook and Twitter combined.
- Marketers generate 174% more conversions with email than social media.
Where did the idea come from?
I will be the first to admit that the idea is inspired; it came from an email which I received in 2016 from Laura Hannan. It was probably the most well-crafted email I have ever read and I had no option but to respond asking for more information.
Subject: Goodman Lantern's Role in the Future Smart Home
I'd be interested to understand if you have a view on where Goodman Lantern might sit in the future smart home.
The smart home future marketplace is not properly defined yet, so JM of EC (Wiki page) has created an ecosystem of organisations who want to lead or participate in this exciting field.
Members include utilities, telcos, insurance, property, manufacturers, digital enablers and start ups.
They share insight, ideas, and by utilising each others strengths, technology and consumer bases, they co-create and test applications for the future smart home.
Can we please set up a call to discuss?
This email was doing the following:
- Selling me an opportunity to be part of an elite group in exchange for a phone call, without spelling this out.
- Qualifying me to see if I'm in the space of smart homes.
- Testing if I'd be interested in transacting with other members.
- Finally, it's up to me if I'd be interested in a phone call.
This is a push form of marketing where I have to request or 'pull' information. Now, here is the backdrop to this information: the person referred to as JH is someone who I know, as she has been on various business websites / social media sites, really getting her inbound marketing right. As a result, this combination of inbound and outbound marketing worked. Had there been no email, I would have never signed up. I would have never reacted to this via a Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook ad etc, as I wasn't searching for it.
So how did Laura find me and get in touch? What is the process?
Here is a step-by-step guide on how this can be achieved over a 3-month period:
1. Develop tool or content
2. Develop list of emails
3. Send out emails
4. Monitor results / compare with the industry
We call this technique the PACER (Promote > Collect > Email > Analyse > Repeat)
According to Eric Worre, Go Pro: 7 Steps to Becoming a Network Marketing Professional, you need to give away something in order to invite people to your network. To start your promotion, you need to give knowledge, webinars, software tools, and other freebies to get your target market interested in what you're offering. Some call it Inbound marketing, others Karma, but the fact of the matter is that genuine promotion is about giving, not taking.
Once you have done your promoting, you need to find a way to collect the email addresses of your target market and proactively email them. This is very much an outbound tactic, and yes, you will approach them cold. If you have done your promotion right, they would already have heard of you.
There are various tools in the market that enable you to collect email addresses. Alternatively, you can use data marketing agencies to buy lists. In a bid for shameless promotion, we also offer a free tool to help you generate a B2B list of leads including phone numbers and email addresses.
Once you have collected the email addresses, you need to carefully draft an email and send it out using a mail merge tool. Be warned: please don't send out newsletter or HTML emails, the default option on Mailchimp.
This section has three parts:
1. Drafting emails which generate high conversions
2. Sending out the emails
3. Developing effective landing pages
This is probably the most import aspect of the campaign. You need to make sure your campaign actually reaches the goals you've set and that you get responses. The best outcome of the campaign is that you receive several positive responses, mostly in the form of signups or a direct response to the email.
This email campaign will generate a much higher response rate than the industry email marketing statistics. Our previous campaigns on average have the following responses:
Open rates should be 45-60%
Average open rate is 9.2-20%
Click through rate of 4-11% and
Average CTR is between 1.25-5.13%
Conversion rate of 2-5%
Now repeat the process with new data and keep doing this recursively till you find a target market.
Let us know in the comments if this worked for you. We are always keen to hear success stories