Develop Your Follow-Up Plan
We have been teasing follow-up, I think, since we got started because this, to me, is one of the big areas of opportunity for each and every one of you. You are leaving so much money on the table right now that you have no idea. You are going to be... (exhales sharply) (laughs) Just taking action on a few of the things that I'm gonna share in this lesson, developing your follow-up plan could double your sales. Would you like to have double the sales?
Okay, cool. Let me show you how this works. On that last campaign I was just talking about, that 24-hour campaign, 82% of our sales happened during the follow-up portion of our last campaign. So in other words, we had 18% of people actually bought during the pitch part of the webinar, so while we were on the webinar or just shortly after before I had sent the first follow-up email, we had about 18% of the people who would ultimately buy, buy. 82% bought after, and 50% of sales, 50% of total sales, not 50% of those 82%, 50% of tot...
al sales happened after the last chance email was sent out. If I had not sent that last chance email, I would've had half of the sales. I guarantee it. Those sales don't just materialize. They are created by you when you remind people of the action they wanted to take, which is buy your product. So if you would like to double your sales, I highly recommend following up with people. (laughs) I know that sounds very simple. It's because it is. I can't guarantee you, obviously, that you're gonna double your sales, but the data is very, very clear on this across the board. With online, digital small businesses, we see 40 to 60% of sales happen on the last day of any campaign. Like I said, I cannot guarantee it, but you talk to anyone who is making serious money and not just in the make-money-online niche, I am talking any industry, any field who's doing business with e-commerce, not even just digital products, and they will tell you that 40 to 60% of their sales happen on the last day of any campaign. But so often, the clients I talk to, the members I talk to have dropped off the face of the earth with their campaigns about two days into the follow-up period. Right? They sent that pitch out, they didn't get the number of sales they want, and they declare disaster and throw in the towel. Now, if I had declared disaster after those few people bought during our last webinar, I would've missed out on a five-figure sales period. Hello. (audience laughs) 24 hours, over five figures in sales. I say five figures, it was a little over $10,000, but you know, that's nice. That's a good 24-hour payday, right? Would you guys like that? Okay. So I could've settled for a few hundred dollars or I could have $10,000 by following up. I'm just trying to make this as clear as possible. Are you with me?
Yes. (exhales sharply)
Okay, great. So how many sales are you leaving on the table? Anyone have a horror story of follow-up that they'd like to share? Like, "Yes, Tara, I admit it. "I dropped the ball on my follow-up "on a particular campaign." Anyone wanna just come clean?
I actually, the first time I tried to launch a group program, I launched it and only one person signed up. And so I thought, "Oh, well, it's not even worth." And I closed up, and all these people came and said, "Wait, is there still time?" (laughs) And I was like, "Uh oh."
What did you do?
Well, so I closed it, I said, "Nope, this is done, "I'm not running it right now, but I'm gonna try it again." But all those people came out of the woodwork after. (laughs)
I said, "Oh, it's not working."
Oh, yes, they need you to remind them. Right? We know that people need to see things seven to ten times, and really, in this day and age, in 2017, this media environment, we know brands need to present their products 15 times or more before someone is willing to purchase. If the first time they've seen your product is when you make that pitch, which is frankly what I recommend, you know, maybe talk about it a little bit beforehand, but you're not sending them the sales pitch, you're not saying, "Here, you want to buy this?" You are pitching that product for the first time, that's just one touchpoint. Most of your customers are gonna need to see that product again and again and again and again and again and again and again, I think that was seven, before they're willing to purchase. So if you're not following up, you're leaving the vast majority of your sales on the table. And I don't know about you, but I procrastinate, even on things I really want to buy, and if you don't send me a last chance email, there's a good chance you're not getting my money, either. (laughs) Or, you know, if there's a special discount that's going away, I wanna know about that. This isn't just about digital products and opening the cart and closing the cart. I wanna know if there's a certain number of products and you're down to your last three. I want to know so I can have one of those. I want to know if the discount's going away. I want to know if you're retiring that collection. I want to know so I can buy from you. People want to buy from you. There seems to be this pervasive attitude, especially in online business, that we have to work so hard to make our customers buy from us. What if, instead, we started every campaign with the idea that given the right amount of education, given the right opportunity to buy, everyone would buy our product, everyone wants what we have to sell? Instead of thinking, "I have to work so hard "for every single sale," what if it was easy? What if it was simply a matter of just reminding people of the action they already wanted to take? I'm not saying you don't have to work for it, but what if it was easy? Alright, let's look at how follow-up kind of adjusts the diagram that we've been looking at here. So we've got our brand awareness content going on, moving into lead generation, and then up until this very point, we've had conversion as the last little bubble. Well, I'm gonna break conversion up into two bubbles now. We've got the pitch and we've got the follow-up. The pitch is very short. It is such a teeny tiny little part of our campaign. We spend so much energy worrying about the pitch part. I'd like everyone to take the energy that they worry about on the pitch, minus the energy you're going to put into writing that amazing sales pitch, and apply it to the follow-up. Instead of stressing out about your pitch, stress out about the follow-up. I think you're gonna get a lot more bang for your buck, literally, if you put that energy toward follow-up instead of stressing out about your pitch. So the conversion part of your campaign is actually a two-step process. You make the pitch very short, very quick, it happens once and it's done, and then you follow up. You burn out the rest of that energy, the rest of that momentum in the campaign during that follow-up process. So how do you follow up? What does that actually look like? First of all, email marketing, email marketing, email marketing to interested leads. I want to take the people who I know have expressed a particular problem or a desire for a particular solution and I want to make sure they're completely educated on why my product, why my service, why my offer is the right one for them. A big part of follow-up is reinforcing that evaluation phase that all buyers go through. Is this the right one for me? They might already be sold on the solution, now it's time for you to sell them on your particular brand of that solution. Another way I really like to follow up is with Q&A or an open house, so I might have a call or a webinar or a Facebook Live where all I do is answer questions about my product. Michelle had mentioned yesterday how she realized she's been spending all this time hanging out in the unaware and problem-aware space and just really not talking much about her product at all, and I find there's a lot of anxiety about getting on Facebook Live or getting on a webinar and just answering questions about your product. Don't people need more from me? Don't I need to deliver more value? No, sometimes people just want you to answer the damn questions about your product. (laughs) Right? And give them the opportunity to get that done. Give them the opportunity to learn what they want to learn about your product. So yeah, Q&As are great, maybe an open house and I would make the distinction there where a Q&A is you're inviting questions, maybe you're pre-supplying some questions. An open house is actually kind of letting them behind the scenes. Maybe you share screenshots, maybe you take them through an actual tour if it's a digital product or a SAS application, you know, when we do open houses for CoCommercial, I'll take screenshots from within the community, things that people have allowed me to share, I'll talk about some of the members that we have in there, highlight those people, and I'll give people that sneak peek. So yes, I'm answering questions about what CoCommercial's all about, who it's for, can you get this question answered, can you learn this thing, but also, I'm giving them a real idea of what it means to become a CoCommercial member. Sales conversations are another fabulous way to follow up. Just because you have a digital sales page and a digital marketing campaign does not mean you may not have to get on the phone with people. Yes, that's right. In your online business, you might have to talk to someone. (audience laughs) If I can do it, you can do it. Really. I can't make a doctor's appointment to save my life, but I can get on the phone with a customer or a potential customer, that's fine. (laughs) Okay? So you may need to do actual sales conversations as part of your follow-up, and if I were you, I would just plan that in. You can always get rid of it if people are ready to just buy right away. I would plan that energy in, make room in your calendar. If you are in an open-cart period, if you're actively selling something, make space to talk to people. It's worth it, trust me. Okay, and then individual outreach, as well. You know, it's okay to look through the people who have asked you questions about a particular product. Maybe they've emailed you in an off time when you didn't have something available or you didn't have any capacity in your calendar. You can follow up with them individually. You can say, "Hey, you asked me about this particular thing "a few months ago, I wanted to let you know "it's available now, I've got a new group starting now, "I have room on my calendar now. "Did you get help or would you still like to work with me?" Just like sales conversations, real phone calls with real people, this is something that a lot of digital small business owners seem unwilling to do. They think it has to work in the one to many broadcasting model of marketing, but so much of marketing, so much of actually converting sales, even with the big guys, the people you look up to as like, "Whoa, they are powerhouse salespeople." You know why they're powerhouse salespeople? Because they have powerhouse salespeople working for them doing individual outreach and actually booking sales, one by one by one. It does not just happen, hundred thousand email subscribers to thousand customers automatically. It happens with powerful sales teams and powerful sales conversations. The best part of that is, you guys are all already powerful salespeople because I know, and I hear it over and over again, if I could just get on the phone with someone or if I'm talking to someone in person, I can book them. Right? And then you stress out because you can't do it via email. Just get on the phone with them. Build it into your plan. Build that into your follow-up plan. So let's break this down. Here are some of the ways that I like to follow up best. This is not an all-inclusive list, again, there are all sorts of other things you can do to follow up, these are just the ones I like best. So I love sending out case studies or testimonials. I want to show off the people who buy my product. I want to show off the people I work with. I want to show off our members. Social proof isn't just for sales pages. It's not just the logos that you put up, it's not just the testimonials that you put up. You can send those bad boys out in an email, you can put it up as a blog post, you can share it on Facebook. I was just talking with Bridget, our marketing director, about how I'm gonna tag some of you CoCommercial members here and get videos of you after we're done talking today, and I'm gonna use that social proof everywhere. Okay? And also, testimonials also help the prospects see themselves as a customer. A big problem that we face as experts, as the faces of our brands, is that people say, "Well, that's fine and good for you, "or maybe your system worked for you, "your system worked for you because, Leia, "you're a brilliant systems-minded person, "but that's not me." So you want to show off people who have made mistakes. You want to show off people who are not good at these things and how they're getting results from the products or services that you create. Social proof also helps overcome objections. You can overcome objections til the cows come home and you're still not gonna convince everybody. You use testimonials to overcome objections and you've got a really powerhouse campaign. Testimonials also are probably hands-down the best way of explaining the true value of what you offer. Just like with objections, there is nothing you can say that's gonna demonstrate that value the same way a testimonial or a case study can. Here's a look at how Brass, again, uses just some really simple visual testimonials or case studies. And this was an email I got just a couple weeks ago. What they did is take a couple of their key pieces and they wanted to show what real women looked like in their clothing and show how versatile it is, no matter what size you wear, no matter what kind of style you have, and so they shared, this is a person, her name is Charlotte, she works in finance, this is what she's wearing, this is what her size is, and she says how much she loves it. Same thing with Hoda. She works in civil rights law and is a political fashion blogger. Who know there was such a thing? (audience laughs) I'm gonna look up her blog. This is what she's wearing, here's her sizes, here's her saying why she loves this product. And this email was not just these two examples, it was a whole list, I think there were six. It was a long email, and it was so fascinating to see all the different kinds of people who wear Brass clothing. And this was the actual headline from the top of the email, too. "Here's how our real models think about dressing for work." So they took this super-common use case, how we dress for work, and they broke it down for six different people. This is what they look like wearing our clothes. Don't you want to look like this? I don't know, I want to look like those people. Those people look amazing. Okay? I love this company, I love their marketing. If you want a case study in great physical product e-commerce marketing, get on Brass's list. You will not be disappointed. There's also a really great Profit Power Pursuit episode with the founders, so listen to that, too, cause they really explain how they think through this kind of marketing, too. Send out an FAQ email. This is a must-have as far as I'm concerned. Doesn't matter if you have a physical product, a high-end service, a digital product, a group coaching program, send out an FAQ email. FAQs aren't just for sales pages, either. Yes, you can just copy and paste the FAQ from your sales page into your email. I recommend zhuzhing it a little bit more than that, but if you have to, if you're pressed for time, be my guest. No one's reading it on your sales page, or not everyone's reading it on your sales page. Might as well send it out in an email and make sure people are seeing it. FAQs, most importantly, are there to overcome objections. Take that whole objections list that you have, turn it into questions, and smack it into an email. Your FAQ email also explains all the fine details and features of your product, so if you feel like, "Well, I really erred on the side of storytelling "and transformation in a sales page," this is an opportunity for you to clarify all of those other features and show how they relate to the benefits that you've promised. An FAQ email's also gonna dramatically cut down your workload, because what is the thing you're gonna spend the most time doing during a campaign? Answering questions. So the more you can anticipate those questions and add them into an FAQ email early in your campaign, the less you're gonna have to do, especially on that last day, because when do most of those questions come in? On the last day when people are trying to figure out whether they're gonna buy or not. And then finally, your FAQ email gives an opportunity for prospects to reach out to you. So you may still have to answer some questions, but at least this way, you're getting questions. I know also a big fear people have is, "It's not going well "and I haven't heard anything from anyone." When you send out an FAQ email, it gets the gears turning. People are likely to reply to those. You can ask, "Hey, if I didn't answer all of your questions, "will you hit Reply on this email "and let me know what you're thinking about?" Then you can answer those questions, you can meet the objections that individual person has, and make the sale. This is an example of an email I sent out a couple weeks ago. It was part of that 24-hour campaign that we ran around a new offer at CoCommercial called The Leaders Circle. And in this email, I talk about who our members are, first and foremost, and one of the wonderful things that I love about our members is that they're skeptical. They've seen it all at this point. Doesn't keep them from still looking for that hot new trend or fad, but they're very wary, even when they come across it, right? And so I say, "Hey, if you've got questions, "if you're wondering, if you're thinking 'This sounds great, "'but I don't know about this,' you're not alone." That's a hallmark of all of our members, and so kind of highlighting that, calling that out really sets me up for being able to say, "If you've got questions, I've got answers "and I hope that this helps meet "some of your inquisitiveness or skepticalness." And so I answer questions like, are there business owners like me at CoCommercial? Top objection we get. Why do I have to commit to a year? You don't have to commit to a year for regular CoCommercial, just for The Leaders Circle, just so we're clear. Answer that question. What kind of training is included with CoCommercial and The Leaders Circle? I get to really explain what our core value proposition is, what our positioning is in the market. There's no training included at CoCommercial and yet, there's all of it. And I explain how that works. How is this different than the Facebook groups that I'm in? Oh, let me tell you. (audience laughs) I don't know if I have time for CoCommercial or The Leaders Circle. Put that in there, it gives me an opportunity to talk about one of our key value points, we save you time. What if I join and I find out it's really not for me? There's a 30-day money back guarantee on The Leaders Circle. Easy peasy. Then I wrap that email up, give them all the finer details again, create that call to action, and even at the end of this email, I include one of our testimonials. So you can kind of mix and match on these follow-up pieces, too. Alright, that's it for FAQ. We're going through these fast and furious now. I also love to send out a cost of delay email. Cost of delay is one of your building blocks, right? It's in building block number nine. What happens if people try and put this off? What if they say, "Yeah, this looks great, "but not right now, I'm gonna wait "until the next time you're selling this." Alright, that's what we're overcoming with this cost of delay email. In this email, I want to make sure that I'm really highlighting the prospect's goal. What is it that they're ultimately aiming for? That's building block number one, right? I want to make sure that they are as invested in that goal as possible at the moment that they're considering this option because my product, my service is a tool for helping them achieve that ultimate goal. I want to explain the consequences of not acting soon. We like to think, or I think we forget sometimes that inaction, not solving our problems when they arise doesn't have any consequences. It's just, eh, status quo. No, status quo has consequences, right? We continue to drop the ball, we continue to not get the gig, we continue to waste our time blogging, and those consequences have consequences. You lose the client. You don't book more gigs. You lose out on money. You keep wasting time, you don't have time for the things that actually work. And so I want to highlight what some of those consequences are so that I increase my prospect's motivation and agitate the prospect's need. I also love to send out a your story email or a my story email, or your brand promise. What is it about your brand that's unique? What is it about your brand's mission that you're trying to fulfill? Bring people into the story. This is really when you're getting to them to that most aware phase, where they're not just falling in love with the solution that you're offering and the product that you have for sale, but they're falling in love with your brand and with you. When you send out a story email, your story creates context for your offer. It's not just your offer in a bubble, but now it's part of a bigger picture. Your brand promise points to your big why. Why are you doing this? Why is this so important to you? Why are you so passionate about this? So my friend Joanna Wiebe at Copy Hackers back in February launched a brand-new product called Air Story. The idea is it's supposed to be the best parts of Google Docs and the best part of Evernote and the best part of collaborating on templates for your copy. It's super cool if you're not familiar with it, you should totally check it out. And she sent out this email, which was super cute, about the story of developing Air Story. And the email was super short, it just had a couple calls to action to this story and then that went to an epic blog post. This blog post is a few thousand words long, so much so that she created a table of contents for it. So if you don't think your story is important to your customer, hopefully Joanna here is proving you wrong. She thought it was so important to her customer, and she knows these things, that she was willing to invest that much time and energy into creating an epic post like that. You could do it in a video, you could do it with a podcast episode, doesn't matter how you do it, but sharing your story is an important part of your follow-up. Again, you could host a Q&A. You invite your prospects, people who have landed on your sales page, the leads that you've gathered, to a call or a video session, you reiterate the offer, you highlight the parts you're really excited about, you might even screen share the sales page and talk about each aspect, talk through it. You've done the work, you know it's great because you followed a cool template and you've done all the building blocks. So why not re-share it with them? Some people need to hear things instead of just reading them. And then you can answer frequently asked questions and take specific questions live. If you're gonna do a Q&A, the biggest objection I get to this is what if no one shows up and/or what if no one asks questions? The way you combat this particular objection for yourself is that you come with a list of questions. You've already written the FAQ email, so you know what some of them are. Come up with another five or six. No one has to know that no one asked you those questions. (audience laughs) But most likely, someone has asked you those questions, so you just start answering them. And as you answer questions and as people get familiar and comfortable with the situation, they'll volunteer their own questions. One more to go here. Sending out at least one last chance email is key. Keep it simple. Focus on the goals of the customer and the results that you're willing to promise or the results that you're working towards in your product or service. Definitely, as long as there is some amount of a deadline, whether it's a discount's going away, the cart is closing, the group is filling up, send out at least one last chance email. How many sales are you leaving on the table if you don't send out this email? Half. Half. Okay? Depending on what the offer is, depending on how the urgency and the scarcity works, a lot of you are leaving half of your sales on the table by not sending out this email. Do you guys promise me to send out at least one last chance email in your next campaign? Great. If you want extra special bonus points, and more money, you can send out more than one last chance email. I have sent out as many as three in one day. I'll send a last chance email to all of my prospects at the beginning of the day, then I will send out an afternoon last chance email, I'll hit another couple of points, so those emails will be different. And then I send out one final, final last chance email and I'll totally make a joke about it, right? Like I will say, "Look, I know we all procrastinate, "I know this is sounding ridiculous "that I'm sending out a final last chance email, "but I know if you're reading this, "you're still considering buying, "and I just wanted to remind you, you've got an hour." (laughs) You know? Keep it light. It does not have to be this high-pressure thing. It's just acknowledging consumer behavior. We wait, and then we get sad when somebody closes the cart on us and we haven't had a chance to buy. (laughs) So make sure you send out those last chance emails. Follow-up is key, so make sure you save time and energy for it. Another big issue that I hear all the time is that people put all of this energy into their pre-launch, the first part of their campaign, all the brand awareness pieces and the lead generation piece, and when it comes to actually closing the sale, they are tapped out. Please do not let that be you. You will make so much more money, your business will feel so much more easy, you will have so much more confidence if you leave energy at the end of every campaign to do that follow-up. Any questions about following up? Melissa.
It's not actually a question, just a validation that every marketing campaign I think I have ever run, two-thirds of my sales have come at the end, so validation. (laughs)
Yeah. Hey, and guys, that's another reason that you don't want to draw out your sales period is because you're gonna get a nice bump of sales at the beginning. Maybe you get 40% of your buyers happening in that first 24-hour period. And then, it's going to be crickets, because most people do not buy in the middle of a campaign. And when I say most, I mean the vast majority. 90% of your sales are not gonna come in the middle of your campaign. So when you take your open cart period and you make it three weeks long, that means you're giving yourself three weeks of torture. (audience laughs) While no sales come in. And then on that last day, you're like, "Oh, God, this has been terrible," and then finally, you get this huge spike in your Stripe account and you're like, "Thank God people were actually paying attention." But I think overall, as well, when you draw things out that long, you're actually missing out on some of your sales, too. Keep it to a week, try three days, try five days, experiment. That's the other thing that you can do more of when you're planning is you can actually plan for experiments and you can see, I'm gonna play with this here, I'm gonna play with this here, I'm gonna compare and contrast and see what works best for me. Other questions about following up. Lisa?
How do I fix it? (laughs) If I've done a really long cap, and I think I mentioned earlier, I have a pilot so I just want to put it out to my personal emails and my list and then I kind of extended the date. It was gonna be, I don't know, last week or this week or something and then I expanded it another three weeks thinking I didn't give it enough time, but now I didn't give it enough brand awareness time, so I kind of pitched it really early.
The living room strategy style sort of didn't really get the uptake, and then I still got a couple of weeks until I'm planning to do this thing.
And I think it's great, I'm really excited about it. I know that I'm committed to it and there's potential, but I don't know now what to do in the middle of this three weeks away process.
Yeah, so you get the chance to start over again, basically.
You can never totally recapture the momentum you could've had planning it out the way I've showed, but I know there are people listening that are in your exact situation right now that are like, "Oh, crap, I realized everything I've just done wrong. "How do I fix it?" Start over again. If you've got two weeks til you go live on this thing, you've got time to literally do a new campaign. Do the brand awareness piece, create a lead generation offer, probably a webinar is the easiest thing to do. You might do it through free consultations, though. Maybe do a whole bunch of brand awareness, each one of those says book me for a free consultation on the first step to whatever it is the workshop is about, and then you sell them on the workshop, whether it's in the webinar or whether it's in those free consultations, but just rebuild the whole campaign. You've got time.
And what about the people who've clicked on the sales page already, because even though no one's bought, they've looked at the sales page and I don't want to re-launch everything to them. So how do--
I think you could.
I could, I just can't keep going, cause they've obviously interested enough that they're clicked, so then I just keep going.
Yep, show them more of that content. Remember how we said, you know, if they got to here, you kind of had to back up because it meant that they weren't motivated or agitated enough in the unaware stage or the problem aware stage? That's probably what your situation is, as well. People thought, "Hey, that sounds really good," but they didn't feel the natural sense of urgency that they needed to actually end up buying. So you can come back in with some of that unaware and problem aware content that's gonna help agitate their need, motivate them to want to buy, and then you can make the offer again.
And have an event.
And then have a really short I think opening, like three days, because it's been open for awhile, and should I change my sales page back to a coming soon or wait list or something?
No, I would just leave it as it is.
Cause it's not even on my site, it's somewhere in the background.
Yeah, don't worry about it, don't overthink it.