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A Marketer’s Guide to Getting a "Date" on Valentine’s Day

462053231The perpetually single, newly single, and marketers all have a lot in common - we’re really just looking for the right match.

Both lead and romantic love can be hard to come by. Gleanster Research estimates that only around 25% of leads are legitimate, and should advance to the sales process.

Mature marketing processes, including content for every stage of the buyer’s journey, can allow you to more simply identify and nurture the right leads.

While marketers are usually trying to capture leads and close deals at a much higher volume than your average singleton, you’ll discover that many dating best practices have heaps of truth for marketers.

In honor of every single person’s least favorite holiday, join us as we explore just how much in common the buyer’s journey has with dating:

1) Finding Some Dating "Prospects"

If you’ve found yourself single and looking for love, you spread your net far and wide – but not too far. You may decide to start a hobby blog to find other singles that you have stuff in common with, or add the perfect keywords to your Twitter, Facebook or online dating profile.

This allows you to catch the eyes’ of potential great matches, by increasing your chances of getting noticed by someone you’ll have loads in common with. Think of your marketing TOFU, top of the funnel content, in the same way. It exists to make your company so irresistible to the right potential customers that they’ll just have to learn a little more. Not every person you capture at the top-of-the-funnel through your blog, eBooks will be “the one,” but they’re officially on your radar.

Most singletons have a type, and most marketers should have one, too. Your buyer persona profiles ideal should detail just what makes a person the right match in the first place. By segmenting your content to the stuff you have in common; your branded solutions and their needs, you’ll be able to find the right prospects. If you’re not looking for leads or love in the right places, it can lead to a lot of heartbreak.

Blasting out your TOFU content to anyone who’s willing to listen can make both marketers and singletons look pretty desperate, and make the process of narrowing-down potential matches much more tedious.

Curious about how to hack your company’s unique buyers’ journey? For a refresher or intro, we recommend The Steps You Need to Define the Stages of Your Sales-Marketing Funnel.

2) Nurturing Prospective Dates

Winning a lead through your website is like getting someone’s number. They’re ready to take the relationship to the next level by giving you their contact information, but not quite ready for a purchase. You probably wouldn’t ask someone out before you texted back and forth a few times, which is why you’ve got to have MOFU (middle of the funnel) content for the consideration stage of the process. Amazing content for the consideration stage will allow you to further determine compatibility before taking the next step.

It’s up to you to make your leads feel comfortable, intrigued, and ready to move onto a more serious commitment. This is best accomplished with intermediate materials like checklists, whitepapers, and case studies. You’ve got to successfully educate until people are ready to take the first step. It’s natural that some of your leads will drop off in this stage, and that’s okay. Even with the best MOFU content in the entire world, you’ll discover that you’re less compatible with some prospects than you previously thought.

Don’t forget that communication frequency matters... a lot. Nothing will turn a prospective date or customer off faster than emailing them every 30 minutes. Draw from your customer data to define your company’s unique buyers’ journey if you haven’t already. This will allow you to determine how often you need to contact your prospects, and for how long, before you ask for the deal.

3) The Big Question

So, do you want to grab some dinner after work on Friday?

Many a fantastic relationship has started with this question, provided it was popped at just the right time. You’ve probably gotten to know your potential date well enough that you know you’ve got something in common, and may be able to tailor your offer to fit their interests. Maybe they hate pizza, so you offer sushi. Either way, you should be pretty confident they know you well enough to say yes before you ask.

BOFU (bottom of the funnel) content serves the same purpose. By providing enticing information, like competitive analysis sheets or perhaps a free demo of your product, you’re able to finally move the relationship into the stage where you can ask for a sale. Much like dating, you’ve got to get the context of your offer right, sent at the right time, and ensure it’s tailored to what your prospect needs to know.

4) Ruining It All by "Creeping Too Hard"

Many a fantastic prospective customer or romantic relationship’s been ruined by creepiness. Really, how would you feel if you got either of the following personalized emails from a company?

Sales: “Hey (your name), I noticed you opened my email but didn’t respond right away. Were you waiting for a better option to come along?”

or

Sales: “I notice you’ve visited our pricing page three times so far this week! Let me know if you have any final questions I can answer.”

It wouldn’t feel very good, would it? Your reaction would probably be a mix of disgust and fear. People buy from organizations that have good lead nurturing practices; they don’t buy from stalkers. Even if you’ve scoped out your date’s Mom on LinkedIn and know exactly what she does for a living, you don’t need to share it over dinner. Nothing puts a damper on a prospective romantic or customer relationship faster than a big dose of creepiness.

Everlasting Love

Hold this truth close to your heart, marketers and sales teams: just because you have the tools to personalize your marketing communications to infinity and beyond, it doesn’t mean you should. You’ve got to sync your communications and outreach with your buyer’s journey in order to make the most of your budding relationship. Otherwise, you’ll be spending your Valentine’s Day single and looking for customers.

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