For the last 8 years I’ve been using a technique inside my businesses to get noticed and win new business from both completely cold approaches as well as with referrals. In the last week my success rate has been amazing and I thought it was worth sharing.
Personalized URL marketing works when selling B2B services, software, high value physical goods, consulting services – pretty much anything in fact.
I start from the premise of:
- Most marketers and people who compete in the areas I work in are lazy and so with a bit of thought, you can easily stand out from the crowd
- Email marketing in the B2B world is all but dead. When people get excited about a 3% open rate, you’ve got to worry
- The word “boilerplate” should be removed from the Oxford English Dictionary. Serious business people can spot cut and paste a mile off
- No one has time any more.
Mix that lot together and you can cross off cold calling, spammy email marketing and direct mail as sensible techniques to win business in today’s day and age.
This technique works like this.
- Research your target – find out something you can create a rapport with
- Write a very short conversational email
- Generate a personal URL such as http://845tv.com/vip/richard-fox/ and include that link in the email (that’s a real live landing page example)
- Sit back and wait for them to click
Let’s look at this in more detail.
1) Research your target.
Stand out from the crowd by knowing something about the person you’re about to approach. If you were at a party and you saw someone across a room you wanted to talk to – you’d possibly have done your research first. If not, you’d open the conversation by finding something out about them wouldn’t you? You wouldn’t just jump in shouting, “Buy this!”.
2) Write a short conversational email
I’ve found over the years people respond well to these. A few lines. Make the URL you’re about to add stand out – put space around it. Make sure you link the research to the email… “I noticed your presentation at XYZ seminar last week and really enjoyed it…” That’s a good starting point – you’ve hooked them in. Get the subject line right too – “Introduction” is a good one – it has a double meaning and tends to get opened because of that.
3) Generate a personalized URL
This is the real secret to snaring a target. Personalized URL marketing relies on the fact that people are naturally curious / vain / intrigued. www.acmewidgetcompany.com is boring. It’s for anyone. www.acmewidgetcompanyshowcase.com/richard-fox is for me… they’ve done something specifically for me. They’ve taken the time to prepare something? They’ve bothered to find out something about me? I’ll click the link. We use a custom system to generate this link, landing page and reporting.
4) Sit back and wait
Our targets then click the links we prepare – it’s not some scammy redirect for tracking purposes – they see a unique landing page, with the same look and feel as the main product / service. There’s a greeting to them “Hi Richard” (in big font to capture attention), a short, personalized piece of text (can you see there’s theme there?) and then a video. A short video – either one we’ve prepared earlier OR a unique voiced-over screencam (a video proposal in fact – and more on that in another post).
- I work with Ed Dale, the founder of The Challenge. We produce Internet marketing courses together. Our relationship started with me using this process with him. I got noticed. Ed loved the link and the video and called me 24 hours after I sent it.
- Yesterday, I sent a personalized URL landing page to a target in San Fransisco. I lucked out here – it’s a world record for me. He clicked the link and emailed me back (using the word ‘Awesome”) inside 6 minutes. He is now a prospect.
- Earlier this week I sent another personal link to a company about a subscription service we run. They’d clicked the link AND signed up to the service within… drum roll… 3 minutes.
Not everyone clicks. And I take that personally! I keep refining the process and when an email style or subject line works, I keep using it.
However the click through rate for me personally over the last 3 years is over 70%. My job going forwards is to use the system more.
As ever with Newton’s 3rd law – if you take action, you get a reaction. People who have become clients (or have been targeted) loved the concept so much, we delivered their own branded system which we now call Targets to Prospects and we now sell it as a service. We have a reseller scheme too so that video companies and consultants can bundle it with their services. Click the links if you’d like to find out more.
A final point – you need a sales process. It needs to be consistent. Personalized URL marketing works for my businesses. What works for yours?