15 Jun Catching customers that slip through the net

mastheadFirst published in Builders’ Merchant News Blog,  08 June 2016.

Trigger emails and remarketing have two things in common: they work by cajoling your potential customer into action and they’re an extremely cost effective addition to your b2b marketing toolkit.

Trigger emails can make the most out of an email marketing campaign and are sent out in response to your mailing list subscribers’ actions. Their aim is give those who go part of the way through a process but fail to complete it a gentle push in the right direction. For example, someone might open your email, but then get distracted by another email promising even more free beer than you are. A slightly more eager beaver may click on a link, visit your website, but then the football starts and they don’t get as far as requesting a sample.

A trigger email follows up on what they did and what they didn’t do in a friendly and personalised way. It works best when it uses a persuasive technique and language, which may encourage the recipient in a slightly different way to the original that didn’t achieve its intended goal. Say, for example, the first email might have highlighted the quality of your product. The trigger could offer further enticement with a one-off special offer.

Put another way, the trigger emails in effect know who’s done what with the earlier emails they’ve received: who’s opened but not clicked, whose clicked but not purchased etc. The whole process is automated which means any leads that come out of the end of a campaign will be more qualified enabling the sales team to put their effort where it’s likely to be most effective.

My other favourite ‘second bite’ technique is Google network remarketing. This great value form of online marketing lets you show ads to people who have previously visited your website. When a potential customer leaves your site without buying anything, remarketing helps you re-engage them by showing relevant ads as they browse other websites or search on Google. The ads literally follow them around wherever they go.

And the great thing is, they’re already a qualified warm lead because they’ve already shown an interest in what you’re selling.

(A word of warning though. Over-frequent remarketing impressions can tip into the realms of the irritating and even turn people against your brand, so use it sparingly. That’s why Google allows you to adjust frequency and timescales in your remarketing campaign settings).

Many people are still not aware of this stealth form of marketing, so another benefit is that for very little money, you can create the effect that you are running an enormous ad campaign. Dynamic remarketing takes things to another level by including the products that people viewed on your website within the ads.

Payment for this kind of advertising is per click, so if someone clicks on one of your remarketing ads and visits your site, you pay pennies. If they don’t, they’ve still been exposed to your message, but you pay nothing.

These techniques are not new, but they are currently somewhat underused in construction industry marketing. When you consider that they’re highly targeted and cheap as chips, I don’t expect they’ll stay strangers for long.