I’m currently working on the next version of my book The Marketing Nurture System. Over the next few days, I’ll share some additional sections that are going in the revised book…
Social Media Strategy (That Won’t Drive You Nuts)
Building a sizeable email list from cold traffic is basically impossible in many markets. In many cases if people don’t already know like and trust you, they won’t opt-in with an email address. Or if they do, they’ll use the email address they created when they were 13, which they now check once a year. Which perhaps is now a spam trap. Which helps you not a jot.
When people opt-in with an email address, you need them to be already invested in you in some way. They need to really want the thing you are offering, or else they’ll give you a dud email address, or they won’t stick around.
I’ve seen this by running my own Facebook ads. When I run Facebook ads to cold traffic (people who don’t already know me), I can generate email opt-ins by pushing different emotional hot-buttons in my ads. But I’ve found that these people mostly do not stick around. I got them to opt-in out of curiosity, but they weren’t really committed. I could generate email opt-ins for say $5-$10, but cost per engaged opt-in was prohibitively higher. If I wanted to build a list of 100,000 contacts, I couldn’t afford to.
My assessment from these experiments is that asking for someone’s email address should rarely be the first step in your marketing. It’s more effective to deliver some value up front, and add the contact to your remarketing lists. You then use your remarketing ads to gather email addresses cost effectively.
One approach is to first invite potential customers into some sort of social media presence you control. Most commonly this could be a Facebook page, a Facebook group, or a LinkedIn group. You then use the group to deliver some value, before placing an offer in front of them.
In my world I use a basic ad to get people to like my Facebook page. Each week I use a portion of my ad spend to promote one of my regular Facebook Live videos (these are posted on my Facebook page, but it’s best to pick a good one and boost it). I don’t regularly sell on these videos, but they lay the groundwork for an offer to come later on.
Each month I then run one or two limited-time promotions, offering a lead magnet or email course with some additional opt-in incentive. These promotions are time-sensitive – whatever I’m offering is only available within the promotion window. I’ll normally run each promotion for 7 days.
I do this so that:
- There’s a real time-sensitive deadline on the lead magnet. This also encourages people to share the offer.
- I only focus on one promotion at a time. I’m not running around trying to promote seven things at any given time.
- I only make these offers to people who have already liked my page (and therefore likely to have seen some of my videos)
Of course, quite often people who are already on your list will respond to these offers. Which isn’t a bad thing – it’s actually very good! If an existing subscriber opts in again, that reinforces their commitment to reading your emails. If they opted in using an old email address first time round, chances are they’ll use their primary email address this time. If you also gather people’s mobile phone number on your opt-in form, you can use the phone number to de-dupe the contact records so you only maintain the contact’s latest email address.
The important thing in doing this is to make sure you primarily use your social media presence to deliver value. I use mine to publish 3-5 videos per week, where there is nothing for sale. By the time somebody sees an offer from you, they should already have you pegged as an expert.
Because you are an expert, right? That’s why you’re reading this book: to communicate your expertise in a way that sells. Sometimes to increase your sales you have to slow down, and deliver more value up front.
Getting people to like or follow your social media presence is only one potential option. You can also build remarketing lists of people who:
- Have clicked on one of your ads
- Have watched one of your videos
- Have interacted with one of your posts
The options vary by platform and frequently change, so that list isn’t comprehensive. Personally I like to keep things simple, so my social media goals are to:
1. Grow the number of people who like my Facebook page
2. Deliver regular value to those people
3. Place regular expiring offers in front of them
This approach forces you to think about the audience first; and the audience is always your highest priority. Each step is dependent on the one above it. I can only run effective expiring offers to people who have already received some value from me. I can only deliver value to people who have already joined my world. To entice people into my world, I have to think about the core problems they are struggling with.