Neil: If you’re running events, be that an online event, a live event, maybe it’s some sort of promotional campaign to your store or place of business, something that has a time deadline, then you’re gonna wanna listen today, because today I have Erin Williams, from Erin Automates, on the podcast. She’s a fellow Ontraport certified consultant, and she’s going to talk to us today about the three types of e-mails you need for live events.
Well event marketing is a little different than evergreen marketing, so Erin, what’s your approach to e-mail when you do some sort of launch or an event? How is that different than our everyday e-mail?
Erin: Yeah, great question, Neil. So I actually have a sequence that I like to call the triple threat marketing sequence.
Neil: Ooh wait. Say that again. Triple threat?
Erin: Triple threat marketing sequence.
Neil: That sounds so cool. So tell us.
Erin: Sounds fun, right?
Neil: Yeah, it sounds fun. So what is a triple threat marketing sequence?
Erin: So basically it breaks down into three different sequences, which for some people out there, this might be known as a campaign, so we’re going to split it into a promotional sequence, a thank you sequence, and then a nurture sequence, and these are all setup to trigger at different points during the marketing of an event, or I can also do it, and I do do it for some of my clients, for a live program, or like a live workshop that they’re doing that’s more online as opposed to in person.
Neil: Okay, so maybe we should back up a second, and say before we get too deep into the triple threat, which again, way cool. Before we get too deep into that, let’s back up and to say what types of things would we use this for. So we said a launch or an event. What things have you used this for in the past?
Erin: Yeah, so my clients are usually life coaches or health coaches, so they’re doing a lot of online programs, so like a 40 day program, a four month program, something where they’re calling in weekly to get a lesson or the lesson’s delivered online, and then they have a like a Q & A session, or a coaching session with my client, who would be the life coach or the health coach. So this sequence can also apply to that because, in terms of it being, and I’m doing in quotations, like live the program has live components. They’re logging in and talking to someone on a certain day to do the Q and A, which is similar to an event.
Neil: So this would be a program that has the same start and end time for everybody. What we’re going to talk about today, you wouldn’t set this up the same way if let’s say somebody bought a six week program, but it was on your own timeframe and you did I as you wanted to. This is when the whole group is going through together. All the customers are buying on the same day or week, and then it has a certain start date, and they all go through together.
Erin: Exactly. Great clarification and way to kind of like separate it. Exactly.
Neil: Yeah. Now, I was thinking, you know we have a lot of listeners here that are also brick and mortar types, or service businesses, so I’m thinking that this, I think what you’re going to explain to us would also apply to people who are doing some sort of timed promotional campaign, where they have an offer of you know in the month of February, I’m going to have this special. I think we could use this same setup for those type of people as well.
Erin: Yeah. That would be an amazing application also. We can kind of talk about this in the opposite for a brick and mortar. If it’s an ongoing, you know, even just an ongoing promotion or a product that they’re selling all the time, we can apply that in the evergreen programs section, so basically the triple threat I have outlined, typically –
Neil: Yeah, so let’s get into that. Triple threat, I assume that’s the three. So we had promo, thank you, and nurture. How do those three work together?
Erin: Perfect. The promo is going to be, obviously, all the promotional e-mails. Let’s say, I’ll use a use case of an event, I’ll sprinkle in some ideas about a live program, or for the brick and mortar people out there, a promotion, but I’ll use my like my main … use case as an event. Let’s say I had an event next month, let’s just do a month from now, April 22nd, so my promotional sequence is going to be all the e-mails that I want to send to my list promoting that event for them to buy a ticket. This is going to be everybody in my list. I’m going to add them into this campaign, or sequence, and for me, as a marketing automation consultant, pre-scheduling is like my go to. I love to be able to pre-schedule this out, block some time, write all the promotional sequences in one fell swoop, and then just schedule all that stuff into this promo sequence, which is number one part of the triple threat.
Neil: Okay, so the promo e-mails, these are gonna out over the next four weeks in the scenario you laid out, and how many different e-mails do you think might go out in the next four weeks promoting that event?
Erin: Yeah, so for four weeks I would say anything between 8 and 12 e-mails. It’s going to differ depending on your list and how frequent you communicate with them. For me, I kind of lay towards the less e-mails to my list. If I sent them 12 e-mails in the next month, they would be alarmed.
Neil: They might freak out, yeah. They’re not used to that.
Erin: Yeah. They’re not used to that, which could obviously lead to unsubscribes, so just keep in mind your audience, how often you’re communicating with people. If something for you, you know maybe for me three e-mails over the next four weeks would be more aligned with what my audience is used to getting, so just keep that in mind. Keep your audience in mind, keep your list in mind, and just your behavior of the business owner as to how much you’re promoting and marketing to people, and then kind of take a pick.
Neil: Okay, so these e-mails, these promotional e-mails, the purpose of these, the call to action, is to go buy access to whatever it is we’re selling. Is that correct?
Erin: So buy access or in my mind if I think of a live event, I think of like a ticket, right, like I’m getting a ticket to this marketing event, or I’m getting a ticket to this yoga workshop, whatever it might be.
Neil: Okay, so if I buy the ticket, what happens?
Erin: Yeah. Great question. That’s where number two comes in of the triple threat, which is gonna be the thanks sequence or campaign. I just want to note the promotional sequence, number one that we just went over, that’s going to based on date, so now I’m an Ontraport consultant, obviously Neil you are too. We got certified together.
Neil: Yeah class of ’14.
Erin: The date sequence, so some of this terminology is gonna be Ontraport specific, but I’m just going to try to keep it general so everyone kind of understands. A date sequence, or like a date campaign, would be a campaign or sequence based on specific dates, so I’m actually going to go in and schedule e-mails out on a specific date and time.
Erin: Now the opposition to that-
Neil: Yeah, and the beauty of … we can give the plug for Ontraport, the beauty of Ontraport is they have a date sequence where people would be in there together.
Neil: Going out on specific dates, which kind of probably sounds to people like, “Yeah, duh. All e-mail services do that,” but trust me. It’s different in there. Yeah, you could do the same set up in MailChimp, Constant Contact. You could just set up broadcasts to go out on certain dates in the future, if you wanted to set it up in one of those systems.
Erin: Right, so the difference with Ontraport is like I would take my whole list and add them to this promotional date sequence. Then the beauty of that, which happens in number two … one of my biggest pet peeves, and I’m sure a lot of people experience this, is when I sign up for someone’s list and then I get this promotional sequence, sort of promotional e-mails and then I buy. Let’s say I’m the client here. I got three e-mails about this workshop on April 22nd, but then I bought a ticket, and I’m still getting e-mails to buy the ticket to the event. That really ticks me off, like because then I feel like they didn’t take the time to know, “Hey, I already gave you my money. Can you leave me alone?”
Neil: Yeah. Well, and I could see there could also be confusion. “Hey, I thought I bought a ticket for this. Did I not really buy it? Am I not really in? Why am I still getting e-mails to buy when I already bought?”
Neil: Yeah, I could see that confusion, as well as just the, like you said, the annoyance “I get enough e-mail already, I don’t need you to keep reminding me about something I already did.”
Erin: Right. So that’s the beauty of this triple threat. It’s designed to work based on client action and client behavior. So we’re moving with the client as they take action during this promotional time. So the thanks sequence will … and again this is a little Ontraport specific, but also highlights the beauty of that TRM, we would remove people from number one, from the promotional sequence. So once they purchase, the first thing that’s gonna happen is they’re going to get added to this thank you sequence, or thank you campaign like you might call it, and they’re going to get removed from number one. So that would eliminate them getting any more promotional e-mails.
Neil: Right. So if I bought, two weeks out and there were still five more e-mails to come, I wouldn’t get those e-mails?
Neil: I’m out of the promotional. Yup. And I assume I’m gonna get some sort of follow up, we call them that thank you sequence, so I’m assuming I’m gonna get some sort of thank you e-mail then.
Erin: Yes. Exactly. So that’s gonna be, after they get removed from the promotional sequence then it’s gonna be this really excited, lovely e-mail saying “Thank you so much for purchasing your ticket” or “Thank you so much for signing up for this live program.” If it’s a brick and mortar who’s promoting something and say they’re signing up for a coupon or something, “Thank you so much for signing up for your coupon. Can’t wait to see you in the store in the next three weeks. Don’t forget the promotion ends on May 1st or April 30th.” Kind of thing.
Neil: Right, okay. So is there more to the thank you than that, or are they getting just the one, or do you follow up with others or how do you use that?
Erin: So for a live event or program I leave just one, just the simple “Thank you for your purchase” and feel free to add whatever you want in there. For me, if it was an event I would definitely add all the basic information that they’re gonna need, like location, time, what to bring, what to wear, what to expect kind of thing. But then we’re actually not gonna do any more in that sequence, cause that’s when we’re gonna shift over to part three of the triple threat.
Neil: Okay. So we’re moving to nurture.
Erin: We’re moving to nurture. And then just to differentiate here, the thank you sequence is not going to be date specific. It’s going to be a drip, a lot of people hear it as a drip campaign, or-
Neil: Auto responder.
Erin: Auto responder. It’s just based on an action-
Neil: Because they’re gonna get that instantly. I buy the ticket-
Neil: And in my inbox within 15 minutes I’ve got an e-mail.
Erin: Exactly. So we don’t want it to be date specific cause obviously people are purchasing this at all different times over the next month or two.
Erin: So that in Ontraport it’s called a step sequence. So it’s based on time, and elapsed time. For this sequence we’re just doing a basic auto responder, “Thanks for purchasing” and then we’re gonna add them to this nurture sequence part three.
Neil: Okay. Got it.
Erin: Cool. So the nurture sequence … for the event, this nurture sequence, the purpose of it is to keep people excited. So let’s say we’re talking about this even a month from now, if I purchase today, everyone’s heard of buyer’s remorse, I like to call it the post purchase panic, people start to freak out-
Neil: Oh, wait. Say that again. Post purchase panic, the triple p.
Erin: The triple p, with the triple threat.
Neil: Yeah, I like that. The post purchase … yeah. Okay.
Erin: Yeah. So people, this depends obviously on price point, the higher price point you go the more chance you have of people having buyer’s remorse.
Neil: Yeah the old “Oh my God, what did I do? Why did I buy this thing? My wife is going to kill me.”
Erin: Right. Is going to kill me, exactly. So for some of these bigger marketing events, the tickets aren’t cheap, so if someone’s in that boat, for me, as I mentioned I work with a lot of life coaches and health coaches. Their programs can range from anywhere to $500 to like $5,000, so you can imagine if someone’s buying a $5,000 life coaching program, and they have a month to sit with that idea and not get-
Erin: Nurtured, not get talked to, not get talked off the ledge a little bit.
Neil: Yeah, if I’m sitting there for a month and I bought something … I mean we’re in the instant gratification world right? I buy it, I want it now. I’ve got Amazon Prime so it gets here tomorrow, I don’t wanna wait a month for this thing to start. So yeah, I could totally see you’re gonna lose people, you’re gonna have refunds, people saying “Oh I don’t think I want this, can I get my money back?”
Erin: Exactly. And if you have a refund period, that’s a huge concern that you should be thinking about, so I love that you mentioned that. So the nurture sequence, part three, is really designed to reduce the buyer’s remorse, to reduce the post purchase panic. And we’re gonna do that by simply just touching base with people. So for an event, let’s say this was a pricey ticket for this marketing event that I’m going to next month, we’re gonna get people pumped. So we wanna keep them on the high, we wanna keep them really excited about what they just invested in. So we’re gonna talk about, here’s all the fun stuff, maybe if there’s after hours events or cocktails or networking opportunities, we’re gonna mention that. We’re gonna talk about what to bring. If they’re traveling, what to pack, how to prepare, bring business cards if it’s a marketing event. And then obviously just keep reiterating the time and location, and then anything else fun. You can’t go wrong with including testimonials from people who had been to the event previously, that always helps. You wanna see other people who went there and changed their life. So that’s what the nurture sequence is gonna be designed to do.
Neil: Yeah, it sounds like you’re almost selling it again. I sold it once and now I’m selling it again.
Erin: Exactly, yeah.
Neil: Yeah. But I could see that that would reduce the triple p, the post purchase panic … I really have to slow down when I say that one, that’s a-
Erin: Yeah. That is a tongue twister, that one.
Neil: Yeah, that is, that one’s tough. So what else, anything else in this nurture, in this lead up to the event sequence?
Erin: Yeah, and let me just touch upon … like if it’s a program, or for someone who’s in a brick and mortar. So if it’s a program, I have a lot of clients who maybe have some orientation material, or get started now material, this would be a perfect place to kind of direct people to that, some videos to watch, maybe handouts or brainstorming stuff that they need to do to get ready for the program. Also a great place to start seeing social media, so start talking about the hashtags, start talking about following you. That’s a good one for events too. You want people to get excited and you want some buzz to be happening before the event starts happening. And then if you have a Facebook group or a forum, so this could go for event or a program … almost all of my coaching clients, who are life coaches or health coaches, have some type of Facebook group. So get people in there, build the community. Also those people are gonna help each other stay excited and kinda talk through their fears or their worries before the program.
And then, if you’re a brick and mortar, let’s just say we did this whole thing to give them a coupon. Over the next month send them some information about what they could use the coupon on. Pictures of products in the store. Hours you’re open, you know, like whatever you need to do to keep you in their minds-
Erin: And keep them remembering “Hey, you got this coupon, don’t forget to come in and use it.”
Neil: Yeah, exactly, the whole point of a coupon is to have somebody come use the thing. It doesn’t do any good if it’s sitting at home in their drawer.
Neil: You need them to come in and spend some money. So yeah, I could see that nurture then, just reinforcing … I love that, pictures of things that they could buy with it, or things that they have at the store that they could come get. That’s a great idea.
Erin: Yeah. And time is always a reason right, so obviously if someone only has a limited amount of time that will get their butt in the store. So just keep reminding them. And again this is a date, so this nurture sequence we’re going back to date specific. So you can set up, say the promotion’s over on the 22nd, that week before you’re gonna be, in big letters, like telling them “Hey, coupon expires in two days.” “One day.” “Five days.” Whatever. Just keep reminding them they can’t use it forever.
Neil: Right. And that’s where a typical auto responder would not work, because if we’re counting down to a specific date … they’re not gonna necessarily match up, if they came in on an auto responder. So that’s where that date sequence you talk about, that’s why this nurture is date specific, because it’s counting down to a specific date, the event. Or the end of the events, or whatever it is that we’re promoting there. Yeah.
I see in that nurture sequence a lot, like you said, the Facebook group is a big one. Everybody’s got a Facebook group, so getting people into the Facebook group. And then I like the handouts and the homework, the pre-homework kinda thing to an event, gets people … it’s something that they can have tangible, right?
Neil: So that limits that buyer’s remorse, because they got something in their hand that they can do, even though the event is weeks away still.
Erin: Yeah, totally. And then whatever they get out of, they felt like “Okay, I’ve received some value already.” So that, exactly what you’re saying, reduces the buyer’s remorse because the value is starting to present itself. So like “Oh geez, I just spent $5,000.” but then maybe I get four emails with five different handouts that are five minute exercises. It’s showing the value already, so it really helps keep people calm, and also excited. It’s like a combination of, we want them to be … to chill out and not freak, but we also want them to be excited about what’s coming up, what they’re about to start.
Neil: Yeah, and it really doesn’t make sense, right? I think a lot of people skip this step, because they say “Oh thank God I sold one. I sold one, let’s go on and sell another one.” And they forget about the people who buy, and that they need to be kept warm still. To be kept engaged still. I think that’s kind of the forgotten, of these three pieces, I think people … obviously they know promotional, everybody thinks about promoting. And they probably have thank you. But I think a lot of people forget that nurture part, keeping them warm up to the actual event.
Erin: Yeah, for sure. I mean, it’s definitely the forgotten piece of the triple threat, and I see across the board with all my clients too. And it’s the same when people say, it’s obviously easier to continue to sell and continue to keep customers as customers, as opposed to going out to find new clients or new customers. So this is kind of applying that inside of a promotional or post purchase situation, where you do wanna treat every situation like that. If they feel like you’re paying really good attention to them, like I just spent a lot of money with you, thank you so much, and I have gone the extra mile to make sure they’re feeling comfortable. That goes a long way.
Neil: Right. And it also increases your attendance in the program, or the live events, or coming into the store, whatever it is. And increases the number of people that actually is … because, it’s amazing to me how many times people will buy a ticket to some online events and then not show up.
Neil: And as the person who’s selling it, it cane be kind of … there’s a couple problems with that. First of all it’s just kinda deflating, cause you sold 300 and only a 100 people showed up. It’s just deflating when you get in there and you start presenting or doing whatever you do and the room is empty. You just feel … it’s a bad mojo, right?
Neil: And then the other thing is that you want them there to consume it, so that they’re going to ascend with you even further. They’re gonna think you’re awesome, they had a great time, they learned a lot, or whatever it was. And they’re gonna continue to buy then, and if you don’t get that chance to get in front of them and do what you do, the odds of them buying from you again go down.
Erin: Yeah. And I mean, it totally applies to utilizing a coupon too, right?
Erin: If someone is in the store with the coupon, they are obviously way more likely to come back, or to buy, or to buy more things than maybe you originally anticipated, because they’re in the store, the store is filled with I’m sure amazing, wonderful things that everybody wants, and then they’re gonna buy more.
And the event is a great thing, most people pitch some type of program, or product, or evergreen product. If they’re not in the seat they’re not gonna understand the value, or even what you’re selling. And same for an event, right? It’s so true. It’s super, super important and exactly what you’re saying, a lot of business owners just kind of think, promote it, thank them, then we just go the event, or we start. But this is a huge place to kind of look, maybe if you’re not getting the attendance at events that you want, or you’re getting a lot of refunds for a live program, or you’re doing this really generous coupon and no one’s using it. I mean the nurture part of the triple threat is a great place to explore and see if you’re doing it at all, or if you could do it a little bit better.
Neil: Yeah. That’s where we need to go. So have we covered everything on the triple threat? Anything else that I should have asked you we didn’t talk about?
Erin: I just wanted to mention how to … maybe this is where we’re going, but how to kind of transform this into … for it to apply for an evergreen product or program. But before I do that there are just two other things inside the triple threat, which are kind of an addition. So for the nurture part, and this would apply to an online live program, I just like to mention because obviously nurturing people before the program starts is huge, but then another thing I see clients asking about a lot is once a program started, now what? Right? There’s all this information that they kind of need to get out to the their clients, so that would just be setting up another date sequence to feed information about … [a call-in information 00:25:24] if they have a Q and A every week, you would set that up in there. Or if you wanted to send out information about what each lesson is per week. So I just kinda wanted to mention that-
Neil: Right. You’re talking about if it’s not a one day event, if it’s not happening right now today, if it’s ongoing program-
Neil: We need to keep the communication flowing once it starts. We can’t just … that would be like not nurturing. Beforehand it’s same issue, we need to keep them interested as we go along.
Erin: Yeah absolutely.
Neil: And keep the information coming. Okay.
Erin: Yeah, so they’re not getting confused. This is also trying to reduce customer service questions. And then for an event, I always like to send … and you can actually put this into number three, the nurture sequence cause it’s just maybe one or two extra e-mails, but after the event’s over, so couple days, even the next day, and then maybe a week later, I would schedule some “Thanks so much for attending” and excitement about, “I’m still on a high from that awesome event, xoxo” whatever you wanna send.
Neil: I’m probably not doing xo, but you can.
Erin: Very true. Whatever applies to your business.
Neil: Yep, okay. Did we cover the last few things you wanted to get, we’re running out of time so I wanted to make sure we got everything in here.
Erin: Oh, we’re running out of time?
Neil: Yeah, it goes fast.
Erin: Okay, cool.
Neil: It goes fast.
Erin: It does go fast.
Neil: You were all worried, and time is flying by.
Erin: Yeah, so then I guess Neil, let me just touch on how to transform this into … if you’re trying to use this for a product, so something that’s not live, something that’s not an event-
Neil: That’s an evergreen, ongoing product or program?
Erin: Yeah, that you’re constantly selling. So basically, the triple threat kind of turns into a duo threat. So we’re gonna … not eliminate the nurture part, we’re not eliminating number three, but we’re gonna combine that into the thank you sequence, because we don’t need date specific. So we can just continue the thank you sequence, and we kind of talked about this before, instead of just having one e-mail, we’re just going to add several more e-mails and drip it out on the lapsed time. Whatever that is for you, two days after, follow up with them once a week, for as long as you want. But since you don’t need the date specific sequence for number three you can just combine those two together.
Neil: Right. So our nurture, our number three, moves from a date sequence to an auto responder, and everybody is at your own pace then.
Neil: So it’s totally based on when they bought it as to when they receive those nurture e-mails.
Erin: Yeah, exactly.
Neil: So we’re still gonna have nurture e-mails, we’re just gonna have them on an auto responder instead of a dated based.
Erin: Exactly, yeah. So keep it a little general, right? Because you don’t know if it’s an e-book, or a video series. And obviously there’s ways to know, but for us we’re trying to keep it a little simple. Just keep the e-mails, the follow up nurture e-mails, for that simple “Hope you’re enjoying it. If you have any questions let me know.” Maybe link them to some other supplemental information that will help them get more out of the product, or the evergreen program that they bought.
Neil: Got it, all right. Well Erin, thanks so much for coming on the show today, and sharing with us the triple threat. I’m probably steeling a few things from you to use, just so you know. Just be forewarned.
Erin: We’re classmates so I think it’s okay, right?
Neil: Yeah, that makes it all right. Thanks Erin.
Erin: Thank you.
Neil: Well Erin and I babbled a bit too much today, so I am not going to spend a lot of time recapping what she said, but let’s just break down the three basic things of the triple threat set up she talked about.
The first being promotional e-mails. So that’s getting them to sign up for your event, to purchase a product, or whatever it is that we’re leading up to. We need those promotional e-mails to get people excited, to move them towards some call to action.
And once they take that call to action, the second part of her plan is the thank you e-mail, or series of e-mails, that thanks them for their purchase and tells them what to do next.
And then that third piece, being the piece that’s often neglected, is that nurture piece, where we wanna tell them that “Hey, you made a great decision” for signing up for this, for purchasing this, for downloading this, whatever it is, so they do not lose interest up until the date that that event happens or that promotion kicks off, or whatever it is we’re leading up to that day.
So that’s the three pieces, promotion, thank you, nurture. All right, if you liked what Erin had to say today, and you would like to learn more about Erin, you can find her at ErinAutomates.com, and right now she has for you guys a free video and guide about getting higher conversions with better client interaction, and you can find that at http://ErinAutomates.com/clientinteraction. Again, that’s Erin Williams at Erin Automates.
Now if you were listening to today’s show and you thought, “Hey that sounds really cool, but my e-mail platform will not do those cool things Erin talked about” because they don’t all do it, head on over to http://beyondtheoptin.com/quiz, where you can take a short quiz about what you’re doing in your business, what your needs are, and I will recommend for you the perfect e-mail platform, and I’m sure the one I’m gonna recommend is going to do these cool things that Erin talked about today. Unless you’re looking for the most basic of systems, but most of the time I’m gonna recommend something that’s going to do one of these things that Erin’s talked about today. So head on over to http://beyondtheoptin.com/quiz.
All right, until next week, I’m Neil Kristianson.