Encouaging prospects to reveal their interest in your business is one of the hardest-to-master techniques for online new business development copywriting. You know you have website visitors, the analytics show the passage of traffic but it’s all anonymous.
You need to get better at contact forms:
Here are the symptoms
lots of people visit your website (probably)
few get in touch to find out more
fewer move up the funnel towards purchase
pipeline does not get many new enquiries from the website
How to Copywrite contact forms
Be economic with words
Only ask for information you NEED
Seek originality in your wording
We found a great example from Markitors – they offer a neat free tips service. Using the one free tip offer encourages action by the reader and recruits an email address to an autoresponder series.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2013-04-16 10:00:002013-04-16 18:30:11Contact Forms: New business development copywriting
We got an enquiry from a reader who asked this question “I’m utilizing LinkedIn for meeting clients but currently everyone seems to be a third degree. what are some ice breakers I can use to introduce myself.”
As you know, it’s very difficult to get peoples’ attention as they are busy professionals.
Here are some suggestions for you.
Become the ‘go to’ person for interesting articles online about the topics relevant to your clients’ interests. Share these using Linked In Groups. Don’t use these groups to promote jobs you are recruiting for.
When they connect with you, you can see their email address; add them to your email list of folks who receive your shared articles, get their permission to mail them, and set up a newsletter outside of LinkedIn (we recommend FeedBlitz.com) to send out these messages, preferably linked to a blog of your own.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2013-03-19 09:26:522013-03-18 09:45:46All my LinkedIn contacts are 3rd degree - how can I connect?
We’ve all been there – sent a message and you’re not sure if they have read it, ignored it or whether it’s not arrived. How do you politely write a follow up message that provokes action?
One of my cardinal rules in new business development is to remember this one thing
The prospect does not owe you their business – but they do owe you an answer.
So with that in mind, let’s set the scene.
You have invested time and effort in sending a crafted message or proposal over to a prospect – how do you follow up so that you don’t annoy them, what timeframes are appropriate, how can you ensure you are remembered – but not as a nagging irritant?
Why do prospects not answer?
There are many reasons but the main ones are
your offer is not of interest, and not compelling enough to warrant a reply
they are too busy doing other things
The first tends to relate to SEO companies sending spammy offers by email; the second is the one we need to laser in on – because it does not mean your offer is not of interest, it’s just not as pressing as other things at this time.
The aim of your follow up email is to filter out which one applies to you.
Writing Follow-up emails to prospects
Rule number 1 – keep it short.
Whatever you say, enable the reader to glance at two or three sentences and get your full message.
This is not an opportunity to add to your earlier email content so don’t be tempted to re-iterate your pitch.
Rule number 2 – communicate the bare minimum
Remember we are trying to find out whether they are interested or not.
If they are interested – it could just be the timing is wrong… so your ultimate answer is ‘possibly’, in this case.
The message needs to say who you are; why you are chasing and a reminder of the services.
I always start with a summary of the situation in the email subject line. So even if they don’t open it, they can see the context.
So, now to the body – here are three possible sentences for you to copy
Thank you very much for your time meeting yesterday. The actions agreed were…..
We discussed your objective of ………….The topics worthy of more investigation are………..
As agreed we sent you a proposal and could you confirm that you’ve received it?
Rule number 3 – write with grace and if you can, humour
Nagging may work with your spouse or children, but I think it’s bad behaviour in business. You want to set the tone for your future relationship here and so getting off on the right foot is key.
Use phrases like “My recollection was….” or “I think we agreed that you would do….” So that you are reminding them without sounding hectoring.
Rule number 4 – give the recipient an easy get-out
Even if they don’t give you business today, you don’t want the prospect to write off your company as inappropriate for future projects. And so thinking about how you can enable them to quit with grace is a good tactic.
Try this one where we were passed from the CEO to the Marketing Director
I waited on X and then emailed him directly. Is it possible he doesn’t know what we discussed and that you, suggested we meet?
Don’t want to push if this is inappropriate, so could you give me some advice?
See that last line? Asking for advice is a great way for you to put the boot onto the other foot – get them to advise you on how to pitch their colleague. I love this and use it quite a lot. They know their firm and the characters better than you do.
Rule number 5 plan one, last, follow up after this one
The final, final thing to do is to then write a last message telling them that you won’t bother them again if they don’t reply but you would like them to confirm that they aren’t interested at this time.
This then allows them to write back saying ‘no’. And for you to thank them and say that you’ll stay in touch. This way the conversation ends and closes off the dialogue and you’ve got an answer rather than just a nothing void.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2013-02-12 10:00:002013-02-14 06:55:38New business development copywriting - writing a chasing email
Here’s a great guide to how to find the best digital agency for your business brand needs.
Getting an organisation who matches your needs and is able to deliver to your brief takes time and careful analysis. Get yourself all the information you need in order to find the best agency and then you have to brief them well.
Writing an awesome creative brief is a challenge and one we can help you out with – even if we’re not doing the work for you. Getting the language and the articulation of your requirements correct will shortcut the selection process of finding the best digital marketing team for your needs.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2013-01-23 10:00:002014-05-28 16:12:22Hire the right digital marketing agency - a guide
You have read everything on our Resources page haven’t you?
Readers, you are in biz dev, you want leads for your business and you need to get contact details of key personnel in target organisations: Have you read the B2B Lead Generation slidedeck? It’s linked right there on the Resources page – top of the list.
Today we add in more goodness to that research process.
How to find contact details for someone outside your network
This is a fabulous process from Andy Foote’s blog.
LinkedIn makes money by limiting search. One of the most annoying restrictions is being unable to see Last Names on LinkedIn searches. Fortunately Google to the rescue. Here are step by step instructions on getting full name Profiles.
(1) Start the search in People. My example: “hr manager accenture”
(2) “Mary F” is the prospect but I need her Last Name. – Linked in will only show a limited profile because she’s outside my network. But it does say that she is an Outsourcing Manager at Accenture
(3) Copy “Outsourcing HR Manager at Accenture Toronto Canada Area” into Google and click on the search icon.
(4) Bingo! Click on the Google Search result and you find the full name Profile (of Mary Frank).
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2012-12-11 09:42:442012-12-10 17:46:05How to find contact details on Linked In outside your network
Rob Lane my colleague recently wrote a first draft of a new proposal for a client brand and I was delighted that he chose to insert a new section header,
Imagine an agency telling a prospective client – not one we’re working with already – that they had to actively participate in delivering to make the marketing programme effective?
I love it.
Now I’m recommending we put this into all new client proposals. It’s authentic and transparent and gives the brand clear boundaries and guidelines that will help us give them exactly what they hired us to do.
What do you do in order to improve your client briefing and agreements?
Paul Roetzer is a striking, energetic man. We met after I’d read his first book, the Marketing Agency Blueprint which explains how he has founded a PR agency in a 21st century mould.
You worked in a traditional agency – how did they view biz dev?
They didn’t really have it – they were reliant on the traditional networks of the founders. The growth was dependent on that and referrals. Some limited efforts to do DM pieces and promotions.
Is that normal?
Yes I think in a lot of cases – agencies are built that way. We did research in 2010 into PR agencies only a small % were blogging. They were trying to provide social media services but weren’t doing it wll for themselves.
Agencies tend to come last and that’s why they haven’t done good biz dev work. Take care of your own needs after everything else. I find that messaging and websites are often outdated and they rely on reputation and networks and RFPs for new business.
In the book you liken your business plan to a football field – Why?
I tend to see everything in a sports metaphor. Whether we are bringing in entry level talent (the draft) versus free agency. When I was trying to figure out how to explain to clients how the [online] market was evolving and how these strategies were integrated and they rely on each other, I tried a Venn diagram and in my mind I started thinking about watching
Drive Charts – showing progression down the field 10-20 yard line. This was an analogy – we have to do each of the phases systematically to eventually get to the end zone or the goal. I also wanted to represent different things at once – audiences (stadium) the brand (a place). See Paul’s diagram here.
Inbound Marketing Gameplan
How do you manage the agency website internally?
One of the senior consultants is also the agency’s marketing manager and is also the blog editor. In most cases her role is to keep the editorial calendar up to date and the team of the writers – we try to do 1-2 per week. We also have a premium content strategy – the book started as a 2010 e book; we did “The marketers guide to web design”. We also have plans to do premium content which isn’t paid for but is just high quality. Gated content = lead form to access.
How does she report and on what?
Same as clients – traffic, organic, lead generation, blog subscriber base, social media and how engaged – followers and likes we have. We do a monthly scorecard – pull the data out of GA and Hubspot and create a spreadsheet thta shows core numbers, assess it and 3 takeaweays – highlights, learning snad what we’ll do next month.
Tomorrow, read Part 2 of the interview with Paul.
In the meantime, why not buy the book [affiliate link] it’s in hardback or Kindle editions.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2012-03-06 09:08:432012-03-07 06:20:31Shout! The Marketing Agency Blueprint: Paul Roetzer interview
Getting fabulous creative work from your marketing agency depends on the brand team giving the best possible brief to set up the work. Writing down what you want from your campaign and collaborating with the agency to agree the full terms of reference for the work you are commissioning is of the utmost importance.
You may be finding a new marketing agency to work with or briefing in new campaigns for your existing agency.
Both require communication of the utmost clarity.
And so whether you are a brand who uses agencies; a brand who has an internal marketing department or an agency wanting to use best practice with your brand clients, here are two slide decks and a blog post which will help you to write the best possible creative brief.
Thanks to Dare who created this slide deck as a training event for their internal staff.
Putting pen to paper and getting the desired outcomes by describing accurately what you want to happen from the campaign is where this second slide deck is useful.It starts with a template form which requires answers to these statements and questions
Brand Proposition – what is it?
What do we want to achieve?
What is the one key insight?
What do we want people to do?
How should we tell them?
Why would they?
In the deck the authors show good, mediocre and poor ways
Why is Business to business marketing different from business to consumer? Well the main reason is that although a business is staffed by people (who may be consumers) the language and method of selling by one business to another is not the same.
And so we have found you a B2B example of how to write a brief. Make sure you read the comments below the post as they are also informative.
A “Golden Question” is one in which the answer tells you more than the question itself would imply.
Useful for research, discovery and us biz dev types who need to quickly assess new prospects and whether they will buy from us.
I learnt about it from Don Peppers who integrated it into his CRM method (Identify:Differentiate:Interact and learn: Customise). His classic was to find out whether a customer had a high propensity to buy premium brand pet food. The question was “Do you buy your pet a christmas present?”. Neat, isn’t it? Those who do, are more likely to lavish spend on their animals than those who don’t. Simple.
And so how have I used it with my clients? They are mainly working in B2B areas and so the question set needs revising depending on your particular positioning and needs.
#1 Digital Agency selling high end technology back-end services
Julian wanted to be able to find out whether a prospect wanted a simple web site or one with higher functionality. Working with him, I developed two questions to help him quickly filter people:
Question 1: What was the date of your first website?
Question 2: How many times since then have you re-launched or substantially revised it?
Why does this work? With the first quesiton, he can tell if your company is an early adopter or late arrival for the new web technologies. And with the second, he can assess your likely sophistication as a web user for marketing. Each time you re-launch a website the functionality is improved. Relaunching every 2 years means you are more likley to be interested in moving to leading edge features.
So, how does your company stack up against his questions?
#2 Agency working with start-up web businesses
These lads want to be able to find out how far down the road you are to getting your website functional. THey also need to find out the degree of technological sophistication of the person they are talking to. Pitching yourself too “techy” and you’ll quickly lose the interest of a punter but being too simplistic has the same effect. Similarly their services vary depending on the stage of the business and how close to launch the start-up business is.
Question 1: Have you got your requirements document written?
Question 2: Are you happy with your user numbers?
The first establishes business stage and sophistication and the second devines the success of the marketing support put into an already functioning site.
Now what golden questions are right for your business? Can you use them to shorten your prospecting time frame and more quickly find prospects who have the potential to become customers?