One of the biggest mistakes I see people make, especially via email is not matching their lead types to the right offer. You leave so much money on the table when you get this wrong it’s crazy.
I break things down into three simple types of leads:
– Cold Leads
– Warm Leads
– Red Hot Buyer Leads
Cold leads are people who don’t know you yet. They may have stumbled across you on social media, clicked on a paid ad you’re running or found your site on Google. This type of lead rarely converts immediately into a meaningful transaction albeit with some caveats we’ll talk about in a second. The goal of dealing with cold leads is to warm them up and let them get to know you.
The traditional means of warming up a lead has historically by getting them to join your email list and over time, you add value to them and let them get to know you before making offers. More recently, some of that role has started to happen on Facebook, YouTube, podcasts, Twitter and some of the other social media sites.
Warm leads are people who already know you and may already be customers of something you offer. These are people who trust you enough to open your emails and click on links that you send them. This generally takes time to establish and depending on the market that you target, it can range from being immediate (usually less sophisticated, less cynical niches) to taking a very long time.
Red hot buyers are a special type of lead and you should treat them with respect, but also be a little more aggressive. Contrary to popular belief, this group does not include ALL of your buyers. Just because someone buys from you once, doesn’t mean they’re likely to buy anything you put in front of them.
I tend to think of red-hot buyers in two sub-categories: one, is the person who buys almost everything you offer – they are super fans. The second type is people who are in the middle of buying from you right now.
Just splitting out that second group for a minute, this is why it’s really important to have a “back-end” to your business. If someone buys your front end product, you want to give them the opportunity to take something else as a related product or service. This often gets referred to as an upsell. I like continuity or recurring offers as upsells but many people prefer higher value offers.
Understanding how to handles these different types of leads is really important and helps you build out your offers.
Let me give you a couple of recent, relevant examples to walk you through what I’m talking about.
We’ll start off with an easy one, the Casual Marketer Monthly Newsletter sales page. This page is targeted squarely at warm leads – in fact, when I wrote the sales copy in my mind’s eye were people who already knew me. It speaks to a part of my audience that knows me and I know them, so the offer hits their pain points.
The offer and the copy don’t really resonate with cold leads. If you stumbled onto that sales page or clicked through to it from a random link, there aren’t enough sales conversion points for someone that wasn’t familiar with me. Simply put, it wasn’t designed to scratch their itch.
With respect to “red hot buyers”, again, that sales page wasn’t really targeted at the segment of my audience that buys most of what I offer. The reality is, I didn’t have to do much to get them over the line on that offer – in fact, some of those people just asked me for the order form link when I mentioned what I was doing.
The second thing I want to talk about is the coaching offer that went out earlier today to everyone. I’m not going to try and sell you on it (you should buy it though, I’m awesome to work with), I just want to use that as an example.
That offer only went out only to people on my Casual Marketer email list and again, that would have had all three potential lead types.
People who get these daily emails and don’t read them (shame on you) are cold leads despite knowing me and obviously having a level of trust where they are willing to give me their email address or even bought from me in the past. At present though, they aren’t opening my emails, so getting an offer for some one on one coaching isn’t probably going to resonate with them.
To be frank, I assume a 0% conversion rate from those folks and the email had nothing in it for them.
The next group I want to talk about are the “red hot buyers”. These people are almost certainly Foundation Members of the newsletter and so they got a “special” second email sent directly to them exclusively. That email was more about some of the perks of being a Foundation Member and just letting them know that they get a special deal.
I expect the bulk of my conversions for that offer will actually come not from the main email that went out, but from that second email to that smaller subset of people who really like what I offer.
The final group are the warm leads and I’m going to share some inside baseball about the offer and my thought process behind it.
I assume some of the people who read my emails every day may not actually want a physical newsletter, so that is a barrier to entry for them. They may want to do coaching with me though because they think I can help them take the next step in their business.
But I REALLY want everyone to be newsletter subscribers.
I’m going off on a bit of a tangent and break the fourth wall a little bit more here with you. There’s nothing wrong with wanting your customers and clients to buy one of your products or services. If you think what you have is that good and can really help them, then there’s nothing wrong with wanting them to buy it.
Back to our regularly scheduled programming…
What I did with the offer was give people who were interested in working with me more in the coaching program a really good discount IF they signed up for a year of the newsletter. I made a bet that if they take the newsletter for a whole year, it will add a tremendous amount of value to them and improve our relationship so I was willing to buy their attention with some discounted coaching.
The last thing I thought about was that some of these warm leads will probably still not want the Newsletter but will want to take part in my coaching program, so I made it easy for them and laid out some simple options with discounts for prepaid commitments. I’m a big believer in the time-value of money – it is worth more today than it will be tomorrow, so I like people who prepay.
Hopefully, that gives you a slightly better understanding of how to think about different lead types. It’s important to tailor your offers and how you present them to specific lead types for maximum conversions.