What happens after a new prospect downloads your lead magnet? Radio silence? Maybe a single follow up? Do you check if those who request it actually open the email with the contents of the lead magnet inside?
Your best, and least complicated, bet for moving a prospect from simply "aware" of your product and the problem your membership site will help them solve, is an automated lead nurturing campaign in the form of an email drip sequence.
Basically, you need 5-7 emails that automatically follow your lead magnet download request sent out to that prospect at regular intervals (say every 2-4 business days).
First things first: explaining features as benefits.
In each of your automated follow up emails, the most useful features of your membership must be explained in a way that expresses clear benefit to your prospect.
People don't care about your features yet, they care about what you can do for them and how your solution can meet their foundational desires and solve a real need/want.
For example, in my outreach emails to prospects we've identified as good candidates for MemberScore, I don't talk about how the app, in a technical sense, tracks members' actions and assigns an engagement score, then connects with your email provider to automatically reach out to those who are becoming unengaged blah blah blah.
They don't care about that yet. They care about the outcome: reduction of voluntary (engagement related) churn on their membership site, which allows them to save time with automated processes working around the clock for them; they care about making more money with less effort, and so on.
Don't tell people that your membership features 8 courses on how to sculpt abs; tell them that they're going to have the abs of their dreams and a strong supportive community behind them every step of the way. Tell them how much more confident and healthy they'll be. Paint a picture of outcomes and results using foundational desires as your sales anchors.
Takeaway #1: explain features as benefits to your membership prospects – they don't care about the modality yet, just the result.
Next up: Include social proof in each email.
Social proof can be a testimonial from a current member that provides the necessary proof to back up the particular claim you're making in each email, or even a compelling statistic from a survey of current members.
Whatever it is, make it relevant to what your prospect is reading. For example, when we promote our Coaching Sessions, we show a testimonial from someone who went through a series of coaching calls with us that explains her experience with that particular offering. It would be nonsensical to include a testimonial from a MemberScore user, or even a different consulting package.
So, if you're explaining how a feature of your membership site will benefit a member, back that up with a testimonial from a power user describing how that helped them achieve a desired outcome.
For instance, if you teach people currently in middle management how to move to a VP or executive position, then you'll want to have a social proof statement from a current or former member that describes the outcomes they achieved through their membership on your site – not just the work promotion, but the respect they earned from their colleagues, the financial freedom they finally attained, the confidence that came with the promotion, etc.
You can intersperse the social proof in the body of the email, include it at the end, or even include it as a "P.S". Since you're going to have a drip sequence of 5-7 emails, you can try each method.
Takeaway #2: The proof's in the puddin'. Use impactful, relevant words and/or statistics to back up the claims you make about your membership.
The right actions
You're not sending lead nurturing emails out to make yourself or your membership look good for looking good's sake – you're sending these emails out to move your prospect closer to a joining your membership.
You move them closer to a sale by asking for action.
In my 15+ years of sales experience, I can confidently tell you that not many sales are made that aren't asked for.
Think about the calls to action you can make for each email in your drip sequence. In the same way that your social proof must match the content of your email, your call to action must match what the prospect is ready to do.
There are very few instances where you should ask for the sale in the first email after your lead magnet. Your sales page should be easily accessible from your nurture email, perhaps in a P.S. that reads something to the tune of, "Ready to start working toward that big promotion? Click here to get access now", and link to your sales page with a sign up form at the bottom.
Otherwise, your calls to action could be to watch a video, read a blog post, listen to your podcast, visit your sales page, chat with you via a service like Intercom, get on the phone with you, reply to the email, or contact you if they "don't have all the information you need to make the decision that's right for you".
Takeaway #3: Include a CTA in your nurture emails that matches what your prospect is most likely ready to do.
Last time you learned that you must include a CTA in your nurture emails that matches what your prospect is most likely ready to do.
Today: tracking nurture campaign engagement and pivoting when necessary
Tracking how your prospects are engaging (or not) with your drip sequence always precedes a strong conversion rate of lead magnet opt-ins to paying members.
If your emails aren't getting opened, change your subject lines; if your CTAs aren't being acted on, perhaps you're asking at the for the wrong thing at the wrong time, or simply the right thing at the wrong time.
Using Zapier, you could get set up to receive a notification to send a personalized outreach (video email, email, phone call, etc.) to a prospect who is showing clear signs of engagement with your drip sequence (if your email provider supports sending that data to Zapier), and therefore strong intent to purchase.
If someone is opening all of your emails and clicking on your CTAs, it's time to ask for the sale.
Shorten your sales cycle by reaching out personally, answering any outstanding objections/questions the prospect has, and then ask for the sale once you've cleared all the necessary hurdles.
Sending a quick customized video using a script where you just have to insert the person's name and one relevant detail about them, like a feature they expressed clear interest in through doing a CTA in your drip sequence: "Hi Jen, I'm Amanda, co-founder of MemberScore. I hope our guide on maximizing revenue was impactful for your business. You seem interested in MemberScore's filtering feature. Do you have questions I can answer or need for any further resources to help you decide to take MemberScore for a spin or go a different direction? I'm just a click away and am happy to chat via Intercom on our home page, email, or even jump on a quick call. Have a great day and we're here for you when you're ready to chat!"
Takeaway #4: Take a look at the nurture campaign stats (open and click through rates) from time to time. If prospects aren't engaging, you need to change your message. If they are engaging – shorten the sales cycle with a personal outreach asking for the sale.
We'll wrap up with 4 additional, vital considerations when building your nurture campaign:
- Build and sell based on value so your price doesn't come in to question. If you follow my formula of explaining features as benefits, backing up your claims with social proof, and including an appropriate call to action in each nurture email, you will create so much value with your prospective member that your price should seem very appropriate, if not a bargain.
- Use short subject lines. 2-4 words are best, don't scream at people with CAPITAL LETTERS, ever!
- The 8 or so words that show up as an email preview on a mobile device, Gmail on a laptop, etc., should be prospect-focused and intriguing enough to get the email opened.
- Make sure the features being highlighted as benefits are the ones that your power users deem most important to success on your membership site. Then also highlight those same features in your onboarding so you're driving new users along the same feature adoption path of a power user. In order to do this, you have to know through either a tool like MemberScore, or something like a member survey, which features of your membership you should be touting the loudest.
- In your final 2-3 nurture emails when you're asking for your prospect to start a trial, create a free account, or become a paying member, it's vital to include some form of risk reversal. Risk reversal takes the burden/fear of making a bad purchase decision off of the buyer. It makes it easier for them to say yes to you if they don't feel like they're at risk of losing out. Social proof, especially testimonials from users who have achieved success through your membership, are very helpful in the risk reversal effort. Free trials help, too. A common risk reversal offering is a money back guarantee within a certain time frame.
Need some help with your lead nurturing sequence? Shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to schedule a completely free 15 minute phone call, and I'll help you sort it out.