Creating (and Automating) Delight at the Bottom-of-the-Funnel with PersonalizationBy Chris Bintliff
Recently, I started giving a lot of thought to the very bottom of my marketing and sales funnel.
That precious, tender time between the decision and the purchase, or even the purchase and the engagement. A time that I think too many companies, sales and marketing pro’s, and consultants don’t give enough energy towards.
I know I wasn’t. And, it finally came to a head for me when I had a particularly busy time in my digital marketing consultancy, closing 8 prospects in about 3 weeks.
Working through the repeatable steps of my funnel at high volume like that showed me where I had some glaring weaknesses and inefficiencies, not the least of which was how manual my process was. I noticed something too about my customer’s experience.
Here’s how it was for me - see if it’s familiar:
A prospect does some research, maybe downloads something or opts in for something on your website. Next, they schedule a discovery conversation (or demo) and finally share their needs, pains and weaknesses over a discussion with you — who they believe can help them solve or better understand their problem.
As a result of the discussion, you promise a robust proposal and clear next steps for working together.
Up to this point, there’s a lot of inertia and momentum behind this initiative for the prospect. The more research they do or emails they get or conversations they have with you, the more excited they get. This comes to a peak after an engaging conversation — they’re emotionally energized, excited, and ready to go!
And then ... they’re asked to wait.
Wait for the next conversation or for the arrival of the proposal. Maybe that’s a day or two, but more likely it’s at least three days … or, maybe even a week.
“Give me a few days and I’ll have something in your inbox for you to review by Monday, does that work?” The prospect says that’s great - but in the intervening days they start to come off that high. Schedules get busy or business pressures emerge or stakeholders go on vacation — confidence gets shaky.
We’ve probably all been there - a done deal seems to evaporate when just a little too much time has passed between that last conversation and the real business starter.
More than a defensive maneuver, though, I just think this is a time for opportunity — to elevate beyond the status quo. Because really, your prospect isn’t expecting anything to happen between that last conversation and proposal. They’re used to hanging out and waiting for something. Which, for me, indicates a great opportunity to cultivate delight.
This has for me always been one of the most exciting ways to use RightMessage. Of course, the top of the funnel tactics are awesome, like changing headlines, images and text to be more relevant ... but I love personalizing past the pitch!
A 100% Automated Personalization Funnel
Last year I built a high-performance sales funnel that sent subscribers of my email course to a personalized sales page that made specific recommendations based on their behaviors and input. I used some of those same philosophies in developing a special page called the Launchpad for my most engaged, bottom-of-the-funnel prospects.
It works like this: I have five disciplines to my marketing consultancy that I focus on, and I get a fair number of referrals from Drip and Leadpages. With that in mind, I built an automation sequence in Drip that sends a personalized email with a link to a Typeform, which is sent immediately after a prospect schedules a conversation with me in Calendly.
The Typeform is really the discussion starter for me, and the results they share inform the discovery conversation we’ll have that they’ve just scheduled. This allows us to skip 15 minutes of get-to-know-each-other and lets us dive right into what they’re struggling with most and how I can help.
The first set of questions are just plain-language inquiries into what brought them to this point:
As they check the things that interest them and submit the form, Zapier tells Drip to create some specific tags, which come into play later.
Now there are a number of administrative and logical steps that are typical for any on-boarding process — I review what they’ve shared, we have our discovery conversation, and if there’s a good fit, I’m usually ready to commit to writing a proposal. Here’s where that “give me a few days” comes in, and where I wanted to do something special.
I mentioned my Launchpad - it’s essentially a library of content and lead magnets ... infographics, guides, ebooks, a free course, that sort of thing.
There’s one “giveaway” for each of the focus areas of my business (that I mentioned above), so for instance I have a guide for “email automation explained” that I use for people who are new to, but interested in, automation.
I also have a blog post and video for each focus area. Finally, I include some meaningful testimonials, which I’ll go into more later.
In the CSS for each element containing each piece of content on my web page, I’ve set the opacity to 0 to start — so if you viewed the page without any dynamic input you’d see a page full of nothin’ (as you'll see in the image below).
Once personalized, I include a welcome paragraph, personally thanking my prospect by name for our journey so far, which explains that while I’m working on our next steps, I’ve curated some of my favorite resources for them to explore (this is where it gets really fun!)
Let me break down how this all works. Remember the tags that Zapier creates in Drip, based on the Typeform feedback my prospect provides earlier?
In RightMessage, I’ve created segments based on those Drip tags, and for each content element that corresponds with that segment, I use RightMessage to set that opacity to 1, exposing the content block.
For example, a prospect tagged with “interested in marketing identity” and “interested in marketing strategy” will belong to those segments in RightMessage and will see specific content and resources that speak exactly to their pain points. But, they won’t see the content somebody tagged with “interested in content strategy” and “interested in web experience” and “interested in personalization” will see.
I customize the testimonial as well - a referral coming from Drip or someone who is only interested in automation sees a quote from Brennan Dunn and will see my Drip and RightMessage certification badges, while a person who’s interested in other aspects will see a testimonial from one my clients that’s more focused on business results, without the certification badges.
The Launchpad is part of a fully automated on-boarding engine that I built using Zapier as the brains and Drip as the data store that gets sent automatically to my prospects two days after they’ve moved to the appropriate stage in Pipedrive, the CRM I use.
My prospect, of course, doesn’t know any of this. What they know is that two days after I promised a proposal, they get a friendly and personal email that says something like...
Hey [first-name], thanks for waiting ...
… while I’m working on your proposal, I had a few ideas I wanted to share with you. I put together a special page just for you where you can download some resources and read more about the things we’ve been discussing.
Can’t wait to hear what resonates for you.
They click the link, go to a page that greets them by name, and gives them great conent that’s connected directly to their precise business needs. None of the resources I provide on the page are gated — I’m not trying to lead capture at this point, so it’s a hassle-free experience.
From the prospect’s perspective, this makes for a pretty remarkable experience.
It communicates to them that I care about their needs, that I’m actively thinking about them, and that I want to keep the conversation going.
The fact that I have all these resources readily available gives me credibility and indicates I’m serious about the work I do and the effort I give.
With a landing page experience that is completely on brand (my company is called Not Really Rocket Science, so “Launchpad” and pictures of space on the page are all on point), it says that I’m professional, thoughtful, and intentional.
Some of this is obvious and clearly understood while some of it is more subtle, but all of it matters.
The response from my prospects (I mean new clients!) has been nothing but positive.
People have commented on how helpful the Typeform survey was just in shaping their own thoughts and giving structure to their ideas. Others have said how grateful and appreciative they are of the “effort” I’ve taken to build a special page curated just for them. And for a few of them, they told me that the content has helped shape their thinking on the project.
These are all benefits for me, of course, and in fact give me leverage with the imminent proposal - I think it has smoothed the runway if the proposal was a bit higher priced than they thought or more involved than they’d anticipated. Also, their feedback after experiencing the page has helped me know them better and has advanced our discussions, sometimes bringing new things into the the proposal.
Some of my clients, who are consultants themselves, have asked me to build similar engines for them, and in response I’ve built a course; the engine I built has become an unexpected revenue generator!
Most importantly though, I think it makes me distinctive and remarkable, which is something I coach a lot of marketing and sales professionals I work with to do. If my prospect is having the exact same conversation with another consultant, are there things I can do that would make me impossible to ignore or overlook? More poignantly, can I do something that sets the bar, so that anybody else they’ve talked to would be scrutinized under new criteria because of something I did?
"Yeah, that person seemed capable, but I really like how Chris put that page together just for us and had a lot powerful insights to share."
That’s what I’m after — creating my best customers by demonstrating my value and delighting them. RightMessage lets me do that with my Launchpad.
My encouragement is to think a few degrees off from typical as you consider your customer’s journey and where it intersects with what you offer and how you offer it.
I coach my clients constantly to look for easy opportunities to do something extraordinary, and the power of personalization that RightMessage allows empowers the ability to really command that buying journey.
When we go beyond marketing and really consider the experience, transformative things can happen.
I’d love to show you more about how I built the entire automation engine for my new client on-boarding process, including exactly how I enlisted RightMessage. Learn more and start the course at The Automated Consultant.
Chris Bintliff is the Founder of Not Really Rocket Science, a modern marketing and automation consultancy, where he helps businesses (both large and small) create modern strategies and solutions that affect change and create impact.