Friday Reload #21: How To Get Clients By Sending Cold Emails, Case Study: Grow Sales by 185%, 25 Lessons from 25 Months of Content Marketing & More

Get caught up on what you might have missed in the week with The Friday Reload. Short, sweet and just the meat: we cut through the fluff and summarize the best posts, news and videos of the week.

For the week of September 26th, 2014

The Best Traffic Sources You’ve Never Heard Of

tc-15-touch-up

Today we have on Charles Kirkland the Founder of the Media Buyers Association.  He is one of the leaders in paid digital media, media buying and a repeat Top Vendor on Clickbank.

He tells us all about the secret sources that can drive HUGE amounts of traffic.

We cover a huge range of topics related to media buying and traffic such as…

  • The mindset of the user and how that affects your landing page and offer.
  • How important metrics are for paid media.
  • Dayparting to make sure your ad shows up at the highest ROI timeframe.
  • Why sometimes it’s better to be number #2.
  • Using Level A and Level B for your targeting.
  • A special tool that will help you generate 1,000s of sites to target from one competitor.
  • Becoming a ‘Sniper’ with your bidding.
  • Why targeting different variations of a URL can drastically increase or decrease your ROI.
  • Targeting based on User Intent.
  • Verifying your traffic so you never get burned.

NEWS

An Update to Tailored Audiences

Twitter made some updates to their Tailored Audiences (very similar to Custom Audiences).  They’ve improved the management side as you can see in the image above. Also, you can now upload audiences based on mobile phone numbers, twitter usernames, Twitter user IDs and mobile advertising IDs.  New targeting features look-alike-only targeting which targets users similar to your tailored audiences.

Once againTwitter’ss ad platform is making leaps and bounds.

How To Get Clients By Sending Cold Emails

how-to-close-client-cold-email-header-3

Cold is so hot right now!  Seriously though cold emails seem to be having a renaissance for everything from content promotion to now closing high-end clients.

The Coveted Consultant shows us “the exact process I used to promote a high-end consulting offer by sending cold emails. I want to show you exactly how I did it so you can copy the strategy step-by-step and close high-value clients of your own.”

He lists a few important points as follows:

  • The people I contacted had NO idea who I was when I reached out. They did not email subscribers, past clients or anything like that. This truly was cold outreach.
  • I kept the strategy very simple on purpose. I don’t like “sales calls” and I don’t like trying to “convince” people to work with me. This strategy includes four emails and two consultations…max.
  • The program I was offering was a $25,000 consulting arrangement. Feel free to offer whatever makes sense for you and your business. The price, size, and scope of the offer is far less important than the process you use to introduce it.
  • In no way am I saying you will have the same results I did. You might do better, you might do worse. What I am saying is that having a strategy (and following it every day) is better than not having one (and wishing everyday). I’m giving you one of my strategies to assist in your efforts. Take it, use it, work it, and tweak it until you win.

He’s included a 40-minute video walkthrough and a free guide but as always we’ll do our best to summarize a bit here.

How To Get High End Consulting Clients By Sending Cold Emails (Step By Step)

Step Zero: Shift Your Attitude

My decision was…if I was going to do the work of a campaign like this I wanted to get my “money’s worth”. I wanted to offer something interesting (powerful) enough to get a response from a cold email…and keep me motivated until I got that response.

Step One: Define Your Superpower

Fill in these blanks: I help people accomplish a goal with my skills

Step Two: Define Their Problem Fill in this blank: If you have a problem with big issue I can help you.

Step Three: Develop Your a Program – Price – Time Frame

How many steps does it take to go from where your prospective client is now to the end result they desire?

Phase 1 – Diagnostic check (So, what’s the problem?)
Phase 2 – Triage the worst issue (Whoa. We need to fix this now!)
Phase 3 – Reveal a better model (Here is the approach you should use.)
Phase 4 – Supervise them (You do it while I watch and correct.)
Phase 5 – Self-study (You do it by yourself and tell me what happens)
Phase 6 – Conclude (What did you learn? What’s next?)

Your program should be like aspirin for your prospect’s headache. It should easy to digest and quick to create results.

Pick a price and a timeframe.

Step Four: Develop Your Outreach Email

You want to send out a short, welcoming, (but potent) email to describe who the offering is for and who it’s not for. A brief outline of the email flows like this.

how-to-get-clients-cold-email-template

Step Five: Develop Your Target List

If you’ve been doing business for any period of time you have contacts who know you and your expertise. Now that you have a refined offer, you can reach out to see if they’re interested. When I did this, I was sending individual emails to people I did NOT know.

  • Customer List (Best)
  • Prospect List (Second Best)
  • Google Contacts (Depends)
  • LinkedIn Connections (Depends)
  • Facebook Friends (Depends)
  • Business Cards (Depends)

Step Six: Send Out the Emails

I sent out a total of 166 emails and averaged about 8 emails/day. You might send out one/day, six/day, or twelve/day. There is no correct answer, but you’ve got to touch enough people so a conversion rate can take effect. I sent these emails myself, but this is also something you can easily outsource to someone else.

Step Seven: Set an Appointment

When people respond to your email you need to set up a free consultation time with them. The simplest way to do this offers a few times and they will pick one. You will call them at the time they select.

Step Eight: Listen First, Talk Second

You need to listen as hard as you can to their situation. Open up with the conversation with “so tell me about your experience with a problem“. And then let them tell you what their experience is.

How do you close? Let them finish their story. Be sure to ask enough questions so that you are clear on their problem. Once you’ve done those two, simply ask, “Do you want help with that”?

Step Nine: How to Handle the Second (Final) Call

Here’s your format for the second call

  • Here’s what I heard you say.
  • Here is how I can help.
  • Are you ready to get started today?

Then be quiet. They will tell you what they want to do.

Resist a third call.

With that said, this entire strategy makes it clear there are two calls…a discovery call and a follow-up. If done right you just don’t need a third call.

Case Study: How I Used a Case Study to Grow My Sales by 185%

tim sykes

Neil Patel shares the results from his case study experiment where he tested out 3 case studies on his site NeilPatel.com.The results were a bit unexpected. I didn’t necessarily generate many more leads, but I was able to grow my sales by 185%.

First what he noticed from his case studies. He assumed more detail would increase conversions but Google Analytics data showed that people don’t fully read his case studies.

At firs,t the case study was 2,286 words and the average time was 2 minutes and 27 seconds.

When he reduced it down to 615 words the average time was 2 minutes and 18 seconds.

In addition to that, shortening the page increased the number of leads we generated by 39%.

After multiple tests, he found that case studies are best for growing revenue not leads.

1. Email Followup With Case Studies

Although case studies may not generate you the highest number of leads, through A/B testing I found that integrating them within your sales and marketing process can drastically increase your closing ratio.

For example, I stole this concept from Single Grain: they email you case studies after you have a call with them.You want to attach a few case studies to that email – something Single Grain does as well. I found that by sending emails similar to the one above after calls and including case studies, we were able to increase our closing ratio by 70%.

2. Case Studies Included Within Proposals

In addition to that, we started including case studies within our proposal. We decided to run a simple test, in which we included them at the end of the proposal after the signature page.By including case studies at the end, we found that it helped build more trust with the decision-maker, which caused a 115% increase in sign-ups.

Two huge pieces on content marketing this week..

25 Lessons from 25 Months of Content Marketing

After 25 months of content marketing at Help Scou,t they’ve included 25 of the lessons they’ve picked up. Below I’ve included a few.

2.) Content is customer success. While effective teaching requires more than mere education (motivation, modelling, entertainment, etc.), the bottom line is that content succeeds when it helps customers succeed.

4.) You either have a content culture, or you don’t. Either the whole team rides the content train or you never leave the station. This doesn’t require everyone to write, but it does require interest and collaboration.

6.)

Work on your weaknesses, but compete with your strengths.

9.) Nobody wants to follow a story without a narrative.

10.) Design is deeply embedded into the experience.

11.) Email is the golden god. Just like Dennis Reynolds from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, email remains the golden god. It’s the channel of choice for marketers who want to make sales, not #hashtags.

12.) Hate SEO? “One page, one term.” Simply taking the time to pick a solid keyword for every marketing page on your site (blog posts included) can go a long way in giving these pages shelf life. The first example below is a post without a target keyword, the second is one with a keyword that was later able to rank as the #1 result.

14.) “Big content” is still worth the effort. Whether it be interactive, animated, beautifully designed, etc. etc., going big generally pays off if you take the launch seriously. It took a while for some of our resources, like The Art of Customer Loyalty, to finally get the attention they deserved, but it was worth the wait.

16.) Put the spotlight on customers. Let customers do your selling for you by inviting them to provide quotes or even write for you.

21.) Networking is something everybody overlooks. Getting syndicated, getting featured on big sites, being able to reach out to other people who already have audiences – all things accomplished with networking. The cabin dwelling novelist is not the person you want for your first content hire.

The Definitive Guide to Content Marketing

In the early days of iDoneThis, we had never heard of content marketing. We had no cash, no knowledge on how to acquire customers, and no idea how to run a business, and we figured that we would write a few blog posts about what we were trying to accomplish with iDoneThis.

That tiny idea is how our journey into content marketing began, and it’s how we grew iDoneThis from nothing to becoming a million-dollar business — entirely through content marketing.

This guide includes absolutely everything we’ve learned about content marketing. We’d love to hear what you think on Twitter at @idonethis.

Being a definitive guide it’s a huge one so I’ve cut it to size.

1. Tell Your Own Story with Content Marketing

2. The Power Law of Content Marketing

Often, what’s commonly known as the 80-20 rule is described by a power law distribution. The 80-20 rule is that 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort.

What’s problematic about the power law in the context of content marketing is that it feels like a hit-driven business in which you’re on a constant treadmill. However, the flip side of the power law is that, with data, you’ll begin to see that to get the 20 articles that are hits, the only thing you need to do is write 100 articles.

3. Content Marketing that Leverages Community

4. Content Marketing that Gets Featured

5. Content Marketing as a Distribution Problem

6. The 3Rs of Content Creation: Remix, Reuse and Republish

Leo Widrich of Buffer advises the exact opposite approach: “Copy the hell out of others.” While you should never steal another person’s writing, you should always look at what content has been successful in your area and mimic it while making it your own.

I wrote a blog post that over 30,000 people read in less than an hour using Leo’s technique. My product, iDoneThis, helps make people and teams more productive. So I knew that I wanted to write a blog post about personal productivity. Instead of racking my brain for ideas, I took to Hacker News, a popular link-sharing site, and searched “productivity”.

Using Hacker News to source content marketing

The two links that got by far the most attention were: Marc Andreessen’s Guide to Personal Productivity and Jerry Seinfeld’s Productivity Secret. I pulled out one interesting tip from Andreessen’s guide on how he stays productive and made that interesting nugget an entire blog post. Then I played on the title of the successful Seinfeld post by calling my article, “Marc Andreessen’s Productivity Trick to Feeling Marvelously Efficient.”

I had no doubt that people would love my post because the content had already been de-risked. Sure enough, tens of thousands of people read, shared, and learned a valuable productivity technique from the article.

7. Company Culture as Your Content Marketing Differentiation

Don’t Compete with #1, Compete with The Stretcher

I think this is a great principle for competitive research that can be applied to different industries: don’t just analyze the #1 guy but focus also on the guy ‘stretching the map’.

The example comes to us from Local Visibility System.

Which of your local-search competitors is most worth learning from?
One obvious answer would be, “Whoever’s #1, Sherlock.”

A lot of times I’d agree that – all other things being equal – you should probably pay more attention to the King of the Hill than to the Prince of the Pile.

But what I’d really want to know is: Who’s stretching Google’s map?

Dig that D-ranked lawyer.  Pretty much all the other attorneys in Jackson, TN are right in the middle of town.  If not for that one guy, the map would be centered on central Jackson.  But he causes the whole map to pull north – by 5 1/2 miles.

Then Dana DiTomaso said something that I thought was brilliant:

Find out whatever D is doing – they’ve managed to drag the map which means that they’re doing something right.

Turns out that the attorney who stretches that particular map isn’t doing anything extraordinary.  On the one hand, he’s got clean citations, a page for every case type, a good homepage title tag, and no toxic links.  But on the other hand, he’s got no Google reviews, no noteworthy links, and he doesn’t seem to be listed on many attorney-specific sites.

But being solid on the fundamentals is usually all you need to rank pretty well – if not to stretch the map.

I’ve had clients in that nice position, and I’ve had clients up against stretchy competitors.

Pay attention to businesses that stretch the map (in your market and in others).  They’re easy enough to spot.

You Can Incentivize Google Plus Reviews…Just Not in the Way, You’d Think

Another one from Local Visibility Search, this time focusing on a unique angle for getting customers to write reviews.

Now you aren’t allowed to incentivize people to write a review but you can go Mr. Rogers instead.

You do it by telling customers that whichever employee, technician, hygienist, etc. who helped them will get a small bonus for any positive feedback about the job they did.

It’s not a new concept, but it’s worked like a charm for my friend and long-time client, who’s put it into practice for getting reviews on Google and elsewhere.  Here’s exactly what he tells customers:

By the way, any members of our crew who served you today will get a bonus for any positive comments you’d like to add about their performance.

This works because you’re not waving money or an Amazon gift card in reviewers’ faces.  You’re not telling them that their word – their very reputation – is worth just $25 or $50.

Rather, you’re appealing to the part of human nature that enjoys helping other people out.  You’re also referring to your customers’ judgment.

Some Great Input From The Comments

Mikel says:

This is a great point to mention, Phil.

Currently using a tactic like this with a client and made a competition out of it. If the reviewer uses the servers name in the review we keep track and the server with the most mentions wins $100 cash money at the end of the month.We placed a grease-board where all the employees walk in and out and keep the top 5 up there. Needless to say, a little internal razzing goes a long way.Result: 250 reviews (and counting) in 9 months.Also, we suggest that the servers only ask tables that they feel are excited about their visit. This is double sided because we have found that more employees work harder to connect with their tables a.k.a provide better customer service. So a win, win. If you know what I mean.

Marcus says:

Hey Phil

We have found that simply asking nicely can be enough. Better still, a simple customer service orientated email after the purchase is complete and where the customer responds with glowing praise a simple, heartfelt request for a review works wonders.

“That’s great, so glad you are happy. I wonder if we could ask a small favor? We are a small company and online reviews really help demonstrate the level of service we pride ourselves in. If you had a few spare moments and could leave us some feedback at the link below we would really appreciate it.”

We all need to avoid the temptation to overcomplicate these things and follow the path of least resistance! 🙂

referrals

The pitch?: Want more, higher quality customers with a lot less effort than it takes to do cold outbound sales or inbound marketing? Use this simple referral sales system to grow your business starting today.

Referral sales can be your #1 source of new hot leads and turn into a massive growth engine for your B2B startup if you do it right. The funny thing is most startup don’t do referral sales. And those that try do a half-assed job at it.

Why are referral leads better?

No outbound lead you could ever generate in any other form will ever have the same quality as referral leads. There are two levels of quality:

1) Your best customers will most likely know others who run very similar businesses, which means they are highly qualified leads for your company. &

2) You are being introduced to them via a friend and have the benefit of trust right at the start of the relationship.

Why are so many salespeople doing referral sales wrong?

Because they’re afraid. It’s scary to ask for more once you close a deal. Salespeople worry that they might jeopardize a deal, or that it’ll turn a positive conversation awkward. Go where others are afraid to go and you’ll find massive opportunity. Don’t let fear get in the way of winning.

When is the best time to ask for a referral?

Right after somebody made a purchase. I know that people like to wait until customers have been around for months. That’s fine, but it’s also a waste of time. Once someone decides to buy they are likely to be convinced enough to tell others about it. You should take advantage of this moment to grow your business faster.

The right way to do referral sales:

  1. Ask for a referral.

  2. Anticipate the no (or “I’ll think about it.”). Ask one more time right then and there.

  3. Make sure to give them an email template and make it easy and frictionless to actually make the introduction.

  4. After you closed a referral, make sure that your new customer thanks the person who introduced you, so you’re closing the feedback loop in a positive way (inspiring more referrals from the original referrer).

Referral Sales Script

You: “Are you happy that you chose our product?”

Customer: “Yes.”

You: “Great. Who else do you know who could benefit from a solution like ours?”

Customer: “Hmm… I’m going to think about this later and get back to you.”

You: “I appreciate that, and I’m sure that over the months and years as you benefit more and more, we’re going to get lots of referrals from you, which is going to be awesome. Today, let’s take a minute right now and think about just one friend who is in a similar position and would really benefit from this.”  

Some will tell you “No” in a slightly more annoying way. That’s ok. Just tell them “Okay, I respect that, I will follow up in an email, I really appreciate that you are offering your help.” And just leave it at that.

Some will give you one or more names just because you pushed one more time (my experience has been that 40% of people will give you referrals after the second ask).

Write those names down and tell them: “Great, thank you. I want to make it as easy as possible for you to make that introduction. So you’ll get an intro-email from me. Just copy paste it and send it to Bob and Steve. Feel free to make edits or write something yourself if you like. Let’s make this happen today!”

The post also includes a Referral Intro-Email Template, what to do after the close, making them a part of every deal and how to handle referral incentives.

8 Ways to Use Hyperlapse Video from Instagram

use hyperlapse video

 

With no Tool Time this week, I wanted to include SocialMediaExaminer’s 8 different ideas for utilizing Hyperlapse.

  1. Show visitors what to expect
  2. Create buzz for new products
  3. Sell the experience, not the product
  4. Pull back the curtain
  5. Give a tour
  6. Build excitement around events
  7. Highlight product or service features
  8. Tell a story

Check the blog post for video examples of each of the mentioned methods.

Jon Loomer’s Story: How a Business Was Built in Three Years

Jon Loomer tells all about how he got started and become (the most) well known Facebook Ads expert.

I love how raw it is.  When starting out we always think the experts and people we look up to have been perfect all along.  Most of the time they’ve gone through their own problems and ugly first drafts.

The Secrets to My Business Growth

  • Niche Focus
  • Writing A LOT
  • Experimenting
  • List Building
  • Products
  • Monthly Recurring Revenue
  • Investing
  • Delegating
  • Scaling
  • Planning

14 Marketing Tactics To Drive Online Sales and Apps to Execute them 

This was actually originally an infographic but was summarized on GrowthHackers.

  1. Improve store design with Shopify, which has over 100+ customizable free and premium themes
  2. Make an exit offer with… Exit Offers, which allows you to track success rates and A/B test different messages
  3. Conduct targeted email campaigns with Emma, which lets you segment your customers according to purchase history
  4. Encourage users to subscribe to your mailing list with Email Pirate, which creates a fully-customizable opt-in window and allows you to track user behavior
  5. Optimize Facebook ad-spend with PropelAd, which targets prospective leads who are similar to your past customers
  6. Leverage Social Proof with Product Reviews, which is fully-customizable and includes theme-adaptive design. (Also check out Yotpo!)
  7. Anticipate and prepare for future sales with Out Of Stock, which allows you to take orders in advance (and sneakily test demand for product ideas, too!)
  8. Up-sell Products with… Product Up-Sell, which allows you to offer different products depending on the contents of the shopping cart of your customers
  9. Reduce Cart Abandonment (2 in 3 get abandoned!) with Abandon Aid, which automatically reminds your customers of their incomplete orders
  10. Remind your customers about the products they’d like to buy with Wishlist + Reminder. (LOVE this. Will discuss in comments)
  11. Encourage gifting with Gift Reggie, which adapts completely to your store design. I might not be into your products, but a friend of mine might be.
  12. Launch a Facebook store with… Facebook Store. (Customers can share their favorite products with their friends)
  13. Leverage Instagram with Instagration– lots of fashion brands especially benefit from the social proof. People like buying things that look good on their friends.
  14. Promote Word-of-Mouth with ReferralCandy (disclosure: that’s us!). Most happy customers say they’d refer products to their friends, but few actually do. They get distracted, they forget, etc. We help you remind them, and make the deal a little sweeter.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

[CASE STUDY] Manu Kalia – Taking an Offline Business and Productizing it Online

A Content Strategy Template You Can Build On

Are You Making These 5 Common User Onboarding Mistakes?

Searchmetrics Ranking Factors 2014: Why Quality Content Focuses on Topics, not Keywords

VEGAS BABY!

Everyone enjoy your weekend!  I’ll be in Vegas next week so expect the next Friday Reload to come around end of day Friday.  If anyone is gonna be out there as well give me a shout @DanSweeney on Twitter.




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