Secrets of Effective Texting Using Infusionsoft
In today's webinar, we are going to be discussing the Secrets of Effective Texting Using Infusionsoft
In a previous webinar, we covered how to reach more inboxes with your Infusionsoft emails.
But these days, the one device that people keep on them all the time is their phone.
So, why target only email when you can target other functions of this device?
Of course, I’m talking about SMS.
Some business owners mistakenly think that texting is dead, now we have instant messaging and chat programs galore. But they couldn’t be more wrong.
Clients of mine who’ve added SMS to their marketing toolbag have achieved some pretty dramatic results.
The whole reason why I wanted to put together a series of Infusionsioft webinars and masterclasses is to share with people some of the secrets I’ve picked up as an Infusionsoft Certified Partner (ICP) for about five years (and an Infusionsoft user for 11 years).
As business owners, we sometimes become very isolated and don't keep up to speed with what's going on in our industry.
It helps to be able to bounce ideas with other people in the same boat and also ask questions to those ‘in the know’.
Ryan Chapman is certainly ‘in the know’ about SMS, as the owner of Fix Your Funnel.
He will introduce himself next and then pass on some great tips about fixing your funnel with effective marketing automation that includes SMS.
Introducing Ryan Chapman
If you're spending your marketing budget just on email to generate leads, imagine that every other lead that came in, you just threw in the garbage.
Or every other one that came in through your database, you just deleted it.
Or if you spend $100 on getting a lead, you take $50 and light it on fire.
That's essentially what happens when you're only doing email because you're reaching only about half of your audience – at best.
At worst, you may be reaching only five per cent.
Email has gotten tough, and that's why it's so important to have the topic we're talking about today: The Secrets of Effective Texting with Marketing Automation.
I've authored a few books but the things that I wrote about came from our experience actually running our own businesses.
In the first business that I started with marketing automation, I used Infusionsoft.
We took that from the $237 we invested to $1.3 million in 12 months with a team of five, and it was all built on the back of email.
Now, that was back in 2007. It was a very different game to today but I'm very familiar with email and how it can be used effectively.
The business continued to grow from there. It was this initial meteoric rise, principally due to email-based marketing automation that surprised us.
Through those experiences, I kind of got some information that ended up becoming the first book that I created, Would You Like to Go Big?. This is all about up-sells.
My second one was a little bit later on as we started Fix Your Funnel. This was How to Fix Your Funnel.
Interestingly enough, it doesn't include text messages. It's actually a philosophical approach to marketing automation, which helps you focus on the right areas.
Then, the final book is really relevant to what we're talking about today. I released The Messaging Connection a little over a year and a half ago.
This is all about how you actually connect with prospects using messaging.
The reason I'm talking to you about texting today is not just because I own a texting platform!
I have a texting platform because I started to see, even back in 2011 and 1012, that the effectiveness of email was rapidly dropping.
And so, we started looking for other mediums that we could use besides just email.
Now, we still use email today, but we don't just use email.
We started incorporating other mediums into our own business and eventually that turned into something that became Fix Your Funnel.
Changing the way people see the world
We're going to be talking about some important stuff today, but before we get into it, I think one phrase is really critical to remember.
You spend money based on how you see the world.
And the way you spend money doesn't change unless the way you see the world changes.
Essentially, the role of marketing and sales is to change the way that someone sees the world so that their behavior has a chance of changing and including your products or services in it.
So, in order for us to effect change on folks, we not only have to have a good message that can change the way they see the world but we've got to actually deliver it in a way that they can consume it.
It's not the sending of marketing that changes the way people see the world, it's the consumption of a marketing message.
So, don't take for granted that just because you're sending out 1,000, 10,000, 100,000 emails that you're making a change in the way that people see the world.
What will you learn today?
We all know everybody has smartphones. But what is amazing is that there are four billion smartphones in the world today in usage.
That number should blow us away. we throw around the “B word” like it's nothing but a billion is a lot!
If you're in a first-world country, chances are that there’s 110 or 115% penetration of smartphones (some people have two).
Even those who still use a dumb phone still have texting capabilities on it.
So, everyone in the world basically with access to a cell phone has texting capability. More people have cell phone numbers than have email addresses if you can believe that.
Not only that, most people only have one cell phone number, and so, it really becomes a unique way to identify and interact with people.
So, it's really important that you start opening the door to texting.
That said, today you’re going to learn how to text effectively to grow your business and why texting is 10 times more powerful than email when used correctly.
You’ll also learn how you can immediately increase profits with just one text message – and I'm going to show you that text message.
It happens to be the same text message that will double your sales conversions.
You're going to learn how to increase profits and you're also going to accelerate the rate at which you can convert someone from a prospect to a customer, which is a big deal.
We'll talk about the common element of all customers who buy; we're going to talk about how you could quadruple the number of people you talk to on the phone with a single text message (a different one to the one already mentioned).
People always ask me, “Well, how do I get people to give me their mobile number?”
So we're also going to talk about how to get prospects to give you their mobile number willingly.
And then finally, we're going to talk about the most powerful use of texting that most folks are avoiding entirely.
I was recently at a large conference with about 10,000 or so people in attendance. This was a texting conference, so big corporations, providers, vendors, carriers, were all talking about texting.
One of the stats that came out is that 95% of the businesses using texting are not set up to receive replies.
That's a little hint into what most people are avoiding – the most powerful part of texting. We're going to make sure that you understand this so you can take advantage of it.
I was just running a Mastermind earlier this week. One individual, as we were getting into the numbers of their business, said:
“For a portion of our clients, we implement texting; for another portion, we haven't. The portion that we did immediately saw a 50% bump in customer acquisition.”
Nothing else changed. They just incorporated the texting. That gives you an idea of the power of texting to grow your business. It’s not an uncommon number, either.
In fact, it's on the little bit lower side, in my experience.
We adjusted some of his messaging and expect to see a significant bump as a result of that.
What about the legalities of texting?
The legality of texting varies from country to country.
In the United States and Canada, you need to have express permission. This means that somebody needs to either text you first or they need to check a box, if you're collecting a phone number, that says, “Yes, you may text me.”
They must provide a clear authorization to text them.
I think it's a good idea to worry about this. Psychologically, we want to make sure that it’s all legal.
Getting to the heart of the matter, the only time a business gets in trouble for communicating with an individual, generally speaking, is because they're perceived as an annoying pest.
If you're a welcome guest, that means psychologically, you've opened the door for texting.
If you're just trying to barely slide over the legal definition, you're probably going to be perceived as an annoying pest.
So, what we want to do is be psychologically in the right place.
My preference is to make it really clear that we're going to be sending a text message to somebody. This can be either by:
- Asking them to text us first, or
- If we do collect a phone number through a Facebook lead ad or a web form, include a clear checkbox for “Yes, you can text me,” in real clear language with no ambiguity
And then, we need to keep all the messaging in the right place, which I'm going to teach you how to do today.
Get that right and it’s very difficult for you to be perceived as an annoying pest.
Software like Fix Your Funnel is smart enough to detect when someone doesn’t want to receive text messages.
It actually uses machine learning and natural language processing to detect their intention and it stops your ability to send text messages to them.
So, it's not like we're relying just upon the industry-approved keywords, like “Stop” or “Unsubscribe”.
Even if they say, “Hey, I really don't want your messages anymore,” machine learning is able to determine, “Oh, that's what they're trying to say” and then stop you from texting them again so you don't become an annoying pest to people.
Pretty advanced stuff is used to make sure we keep you in a safe area where you're only going to be creating goodwill in the marketplace as you communicate with people and help them move from prospect to customer.
Why email alone will let your marketing efforts down
With email, it's getting much harder to get opens, reads, and responses.
The reason for this is that more people are sending email. It is not slowing down in terms of the number of businesses that are sending it. Some late adopters are just starting to send emails – on top of the billions and trillions that are sent already.
I think the number of emails sent per day is in the trillions!
And so, it is almost impossible to get your message seen by all the people that you send it to. There's just too much competition.
I still encourage people to use email but use it with other mediums or methods of communication, which is what we're going to talk about today.
Let’s get into the detail a little more.
The three places where you should be using text messages
There are essentially three places for people that use marketing automation to use text messages.
- In campaign messages
If you have an email campaign, we're going to start lacing in some text messages there as we get permission from people.
We will start here because almost everybody trying to use marketing automation already has an email-only campaign.
- Automated conversations
The whole point of automated conversation is actually to open the door, and we'll go through a conversation. You'll see exactly why we structure it psychologically as well as functionally so that we can open the door for texting through automated messages.
- Live messaging
Campaign messages and automated conversations only have one purpose: to facilitate live messaging. That's where all the money is.
Live messaging is the most important thing that you'll do with texting, and we'll get to why that is.
But let’s start at the beginning…
It's easy to go into your campaign and start thinking about, “Where could I lace in text messages?”
We're not going to replace emails with text messages because emails and text messages are different animals with different rules and different things that are acceptable and not acceptable.
So, we don't want to replace emails but we want to enhance the ability of them by adding text messages into our current email-only campaigns.
Using both together makes sense.
There are essentially three types of text messages that are effective to use in campaigns:
Content delivery text message
Here's an example of one:
It's you and me having a conversation together, and so, because it's a one-to-one medium, I like to keep the whole thing always very conversational.
Never use corporate speak, never stiff in the collar. Always keep it personal but respectable.
“Bill, here's a link to a video on how top Infusionsoft users are using are using Slack.”
Then include a link to the video.
“I'd love to hear your thoughts.”
Pay attention to that last sentence because it's an important part of the formula for effective texting.
A content delivery text message like this one can be included in a campaign to send a link to a video, a PDF, or some other resource.
That's a really effective way to deliver because we know that the text message is going to be seen.
And so, if we're on-point and generated the lead in the right way, sending this content is going to have a positive impact.
That's how we start to create a major bump in the effectiveness of their existing campaigns simply by incorporating texting.
The very fact that your message is seen (much more than email) is the key point. Making it personal makes it even more effective.
Conversation-starter question message
The beautiful thing about campaigns is that you always have context. You always know what got them into that campaign.
What did they say “yes” to? What form did they fill out? What keyword did they text to you?
Whatever the situation is, you always know the context, so you can usually ask a question that's related to what they're actually interested in.
You’ve just got to think about what they would be interested in and how to engage them in a conversation.
“I sent you a video on how to use Slack with Infusionsoft yesterday. What did you think?”
This example would be sent after the content delivery text.
Do you see the common element between “I'd love to hear your thoughts” and “What did you think?”
We're trying to start a conversation and that's the secret to effective messaging.
A question like, “Why did you request the book today?” or “Why did you fill out the form?”, “Why did you request the book today?”, or, “Why did you ask for the video on how to use Slack with Infusionsoft?”
These are all following the Why Did You formula, and that's fine.
It’s a good starting place but if you can think of a question that's even more engaging, that would really resonate with the person that you're prospecting and would help them want to have a conversation with you, that's where you're really going to shine.
If in doubt use the Why Did You formula. It's easy and you can form that question around any context that they are in.
Here's another example…
“Great. I'll email you the link to the book. By the way, why did you request the book today?”
This is actually at the end of a conversation, an automated conversation but I think it's just as important.
It contains a special formula that I want to introduce you to. It is the most important text message for new prospects and will condense sales cycles and speed up the path for people to actually spend money and become a customer.
If you're not aware of the significance of shortening the sales cycle, it can mean a huge difference: with the same capital, you can generate much more in terms of sales, so that you require less money in order to grow a business quickly.
When we grew or business from practically zero to $1.3 million, we were able to do that because we had the capital to invest in continued marketing and sales to push it quickly upwards.
If we had not been able to condense the sales cycle, or didn't have enough capital to reinvest in marketing and promotion, we could never have grown the company the way we did.
So, this is a really important question because it helps people to express where they are in the sales process. Then, by extension, it helps you move them towards making a buying decision.
“By the way” or “BTW” is a great phrase to use any time you're going to ask a conversation-starter question because it softens the question.
I love using “BTW” because it just makes it easy for me to ask the straight question of, “Why did you request the book today?”
Any kind of question that helps you engage a prospect in a conversation is a good question in this context.
I can safely say that the most powerful text message you can send to new prospects is the conversation-starter question.
Reference to an email that was sent
If you look at any recent text conversations, unless you were in an argument or a really intense debate, your text messages were probably no more than a few lines. That's just the nature of texting.
With this next message, it refers to an email sent. In an email, it’s possible to do a lot more: pictures, a lot more text, etc. It’s expected.
What I usually say is something like this:
“Bill, this is Ryan from Fix Your Funnel. Because you asked about texting, I just sent you an important email. Let me know what you think.”
Again, we have the reference to the email, and we also have the, “Let me know what you think.”
That's not exactly a question, so it's a little less powerful than “What did you think?” But it is still an invitation for engagement.
So, with the right person, we're going to be able to start a conversation.
Of course, not everybody you send a conversation-starter to or request feedback from will engage.
But I guarantee you that if you start asking these questions in text messages, trying to start conversations, you're going to see a dramatic increase in your sales.
At least, you're going to have an increase in your sales conversations. If you have a good sales system, that should translate to real-world sales.
So, as we look at campaign messages, first simply go and look at your existing campaigns, if you already have them.
If you're working with someone like Damian. you're even luckier because he already knows a lot of this stuff and so he can help you to quickly identify where the right place is to incorporate a text message.
Now, we don't want to include a text message with every email because that becomes annoying.
Use the test, “Would I enjoy this if I'm on the consuming side?”
And the reality is: if you're interested in the topic, then you're going to enjoy it.
In The Messaging Connection, there's something called attention currency.
We carry this with everybody around us. Not just people that we market and sell to but even friends, relatives, and neighbors.
If they find value from having interactions with you, then the attention currency that you carry with them goes up.
That means they pay more attention to what you say if they find it interesting or valuable.
But if they find it boring, not interesting or not related to what they're experiencing or going through, your attention account or attention currency with that individual goes down.
Maybe you've noticed this unfortunate situation, where someone doesn't really want to talk to you for very long and they find ways to get out of the conversation.
The reason is that they don't find value from having the interaction with you.
Well, this happens in business, as well.
People think, “Well, I'm going to send 30 text messages,” or, “I can send 30 emails.”
However, we’ve got to check that, with every communication attempt, if the person were actually to see the message, would it add value to them?
Asking somebody about themselves and their situation inherently adds value, so it's a good thing to do, but if I do it too many times without a response, now I've become annoying.
So, just be aware of that as you're thinking about where you want to place the text message in your campaign?
“Where should I put it?” “How many should I put in?”
You may be able to push it a little further than you feel comfortable with. But if you like to send a million things, think about backing off a little.
Either way, we're trying to find that comfortable area where we can stay as the welcome guest throughout the process so that our effectiveness in delivering our message is maintained.
Campaign message summary
To sum up:
- I think the best way to start is to provide content. Somewhere, somehow, we need to give some content. Being in text message form means it'll be seen and read.
- After I've delivered some sort of content, it's really important to ask a conversation-starting question related to the content I sent them (like “Why did you…?”)
- If they haven't consumed the content, it may encourage them to go back and look at it, especially if my question is really good.
- Or they might provide you with an answer to your question, starting a conversation.
- Either way, you win as you can lead them from there to a buying decision.
With emails that are sent out. probably about 90-95 per cent never ask for the recipient to reply.
It is often “speaking-at” rather than “conversing with”.
We'll get into why that's a bad thing but think about it as you look through your campaigns.
How many emails are you actually asking for feedback or response? It’s probably easier to do that by lacing in text messages.
Even if we convert our emails to conversation-starters, it will only get to those people that actually read the email; if we do that with text, we know we're going to get 10 times more, so we always want to do that.
Automated SMS conversations
This is where it's really at.
This is an actual conversation we've been using for several years at Fix Your Funnel. We use it as our demo conversation.
In this case, I have someone text the keyword Demo to (760) 621-8199 or our UK number.
But this is our initial conversation that you'll see if you come to our website (FixYourFunnel.com).
As soon as they text DEMO, a couple of things happen:
- We receive a mobile phone number
- We take that phone number and check if its record already exists in our Infusionsoft account
If it doesn’t already exist, we create a new record with the phone number; if it does, we use that contact record and we apply a tag to the contact record.
At this point, we've got quite a few things that we wouldn't have if we'd just collected the email address:
- I have the ability to text
- I have the ability to call
- I have the ability to re-market on Facebook
On Facebook or Instagram, if you want to re-market with a phone number, you're going to get an 80-90% match, especially if it's a mobile phone number, I should say.
If you do that with an email, you get about a 40% match, so remarketing with a cell phone number is more than twice as effective than with an email address.
I can call, I can text, I can re-market, and I have a reason because that DEMO keyword is associated with an offer.
And so I know the reason that they texted in the first place because they're not going to text DEMO accidentally. It’s going to be on purpose.
I know all that from a single text message and that makes it really powerful for me to do everything else I'm going to do.
The automated conversation is really designed to collect a couple of pieces of key contact information.
I like to use it to gather the name and the email address.
Now, you know I've said, “Oh, email's terrible in terms of response,” and all that.
I still collect it because I still think it's an important medium to use. I just don't use it alone.
At this point, I've got way more options than I would have if I hadn't have asked for these things.
So, there's something called marketing rule number 19. This says that before you decide how to lead-capture, you’ve got to know how you're going to sell.
A lot of people don't think about this. They just think about capturing leads, asking for name and email, or just email. The problem is, if you just have a name and email, without a cell phone number, the only ways that you can sell are through email.
And we already know that email's a tough game to win.
And so, if I only have email to play with, I've severely limited my options and my ability to effectively help people to make a buying decision.
That's why the phone number is so important. It opens up new options for me to sell with. Now I can call and I can text.
I can gather all this information through an automated conversation.
I'm sure everybody's seen bots and has gotten really excited about them.
My personal opinion on them is that I only want a bot to do the basic fundamental things I need to gather contact information so that I can continue to communicate with this individual, and then I want to move to “live” as quickly as possible because nobody really loves talking to bots.
Now, if you think it's fun because you created one, that's great, but nobody loves talking to bots.
So, I like to limit my bot interaction to as little as possible to get me to the point where I can have some sort of engagement in a more meaningful way.
I would encourage you to do the same.
Now, this automated conversation could go to 10 or 20 steps but that would be, in my mind, a stupid thing to do.
I usually go three steps, as you see here.
In three steps, I also open up their minds to the idea that they can text with me, especially if I do something special at the end, which I will show you.
I apply tags throughout the process. Now, this tag that I applied after I received the email is good because it allows me to start the automation.
So, maybe my offer, instead of being a demo, was an ebook,
So, they send “Text ebook to me,” and boom; once I get their email address, I apply this tag and I use this tag now to trigger sending them the ebook via email.
I can tell them by text: “Go look in your inbox and you'll find the email with tee book there.”
Now, why would I want to do that instead of just giving it to them in the text?
Well, I might do that, but sending them to the email opens up that medium too, and helps them do to something that signals to the email service provider that there's engagement going on.
So, when they click on the link in that email, that signals to the email service provider that emails from me are something they should make sure that the recipient sees because they actually engaged with it.
That's why we do some of these things: to increase our effectiveness of each of our mediums.
When we're creating an automated conversation, there's a psychological side to it, as well as the purely “mechanical” side.
One of the things I always do with an automated keyword-driven conversation is to start with an SMS as a first response.
Did you know that there are two types of text messages that you have in the world?
There's SMS, which is Simple Messaging Service (text only) and it goes through its own separate “highway”. It is fast and will reach a person within seconds.
The other one is MMS or Mixed Media Message Service.
Unfortunately, we can only access the MMS in the United States and Canada at this time (not in the UK and Australia). It is a message that has some sort of media attached to it.
My two favorite media types for an MMS are:
- The V-card, which is the contact card that you have on your smartphone and
- A picture or photo
Images and V-cards are both very effective mechanisms for accomplishing two different tasks.
The MMS goes down a different highway to the SMS. It goes through the data highway, so it actually uses the data network or internet instead of the pure text network that the text-only message will use.
Because of that, it can be delayed. It can take anywhere from 10 seconds to 60 seconds to deliver a text message that has media attached to it. You want to be aware of that.
In my very first message, therefore, I always use text-only, because when someone texts the keyword to your phone number, what they're looking for is some sort of feedback mechanism that tells them they did the right thing.
This is really important to understand from a psychological standpoint.
I send a text-only text message as the first step because I want them to get it very quickly and reinforce that they did the right thing.
I know that I'm going to send an MMS for my second message, so I need to set expectations in the first text message.
You'll see in the first text message, there are a few things happening:
- I thank them for starting the automated demo. It's really important to reinforce positive behavior, and so, whenever somebody does something that I would like them to do in marketing, I always thank them.
- I ask them to reply with their first name or full name. Our assistant takes care of it either way. But we get them to give the name back and then I give them a promise, “I'll show you something powerful.” That promise is important and it’s important that you keep all your promises. If you don't, then people will get a little bothered.
- I also set expectations; that's what's underlined in red. “It might take a few seconds” because I know I'm going to send an MMS.
The next thing that you’ll to notice is that I have attached the V-card or the contact card.
The contact card is really important to send if you have access to it because it can include all of your phone numbers, all email addresses, all websites, and a photo as well as your name, company, and that kind of stuff.
If they add that to their phone, whenever you call, text, or email, now your logo or your face shows up and it's recognized. I
t's a signal to the phone that this person is a welcome contact or guest.
That's a really important thing now as smartphones get more and more intelligent. They're using machine learning to recognize relationships of information on the phone that indicate that the person wants the behavior that's about to occur.
So, iOS 13 released a feature that allows you to block all incoming calls except for those that you actually want.
The way that the phone determines that you actually want the call is if they're in your contact book, or if they have been associated with you or you've interacted with the phone number in some way.
And so, there are these different signals that the phone is looking for in order for it to say, “Yes, this phone call is welcome.”
If it's not welcome, it goes straight to voicemail, and you never see it.
You need to be aware of this as a business owner because, if you're trying to make phone calls and people have iOS 13 and they have this feature turned on, it's going to be a real downer on your ability to get a hold of people. So, you want to be able to open the door.
It's pretty tough to get someone to install your contact card but if I can get them to do it, it’s a huge plus.
As soon as somebody responds with contact information, I can immediately merge that into the next message and use that to personalize the experience.
And so I say:
“Thanks, Ryan. I've attached my contact card.”
And in this case, because I'm demonstrating what I'm using, I can tell them very explicitly, “It's a powerful way, install it on your phone. Please reply with your email.”
So, again, I'm following the same kind of technique: I'm giving them some sort of confirmation that they did the right thing, I'm asking explicitly for the next piece of information I'd like from them, and then I'm giving them some sort of promise:
“What I'll send you next should really blow your mind.”
That's a promise. Now I've got to fulfil that promise.
So, here I use a nifty image: an image that can merge dynamic content into it.
In this case, I'm able to merge in the first name of the individual into the text that overlays on top of the image.
This helps me capture their attention again because there is going to be a little delay between the time that they send their email address and when they get this image, around 10 to 60 seconds.
After a delay, I want to pull them back in. The image can do that for me. So, that's where we're at with the next text.
Now, there are a couple of things I want to show or point out to you, as well, in that the second message in the gray box has what I call a “word wall”.
Now, I've since fixed this, so it's not like this is my conversation anymore, but a word wall is any time you get more than three or three and a half lines of text without a break.
There's nothing in particular wrong with a “word wall” except that it makes it more difficult for people to comprehend what you're writing.
So, it's easier for the mind to read in three to four lines than in longer walls of text.
The Secrets of Effective Texting Using Infusionsoft
And so, that is a bad example. If you go down to the last text message, you'll see that I have broken it up into three-line segments.
Now, that’s probably not going to please your English teacher but it’s great for making it easier for someone to read and comprehend what you've written, which is the real goal.
Remember, people buy or spend their money based on how they view the world.
Right here, I'm actually doing some changing of the way they see the world with these messages. It's really important, therefore, that I make it as easy as possible for them to comprehend.
In this one, I'm saying, “You might wonder how we got your name into that picture. Just one of the things that Fix Your Funnel makes possible.”
So, I do a little bit of education and then I tell them the next thing I want them to do.
This is an interesting thing because, in direct response marketing, they always say that we should never give people two things to do because they'll do neither of them.
I generally follow that rule but I decided to break it here and the stats actually told a different story.
In this situation, I asked them to do two things.
- “Take the survey by tapping on the link,” because you can't click on your phone, right? You tap on it. So, they tap on that and go through a survey. That's using the Fix Your Funnel mobile surveys, by the way.
- Then I ask them the most important question: “By the way, why did you text Demo to our number today?”
When I do that, we have people that will go take the survey and then they'll engage in a live conversation with us.
So, it's a conversation-starter question; it should be at the end of every single automated conversation that you ever create. The last text message should always include the conversation-starting question.
Now, you don't have to include the survey. That's optional. In some places, it makes sense, some places it doesn't.
The importance of the final text message
But in every single automated conversation, the final text message must have a conversation-starting question. That's non-negotiable. It must be there.
If you're not doing that currently, starting that will make you more effective at texting. It’s the most important part of this whole thing.
We’ve got their name, contact information, automation kicking off in the background to make all this magic work.
But if we don't ask the final conversation-starting question, we drop the ball. This is the sales cycle accelerator. This is what will increase your sales. Make sure you always do that.
A checklist for what to include would look something like this:
- Did I pick an easy-to-spell keyword?
- Did I use a text message in the first response? Just a simple SMS?
- Did I ask for the information that I actually wanted? (email address, name, name and email address?
- Did I thank them in each message for what they did?
- Did I teach something and then ask for something?
- Did I tell them what would happen if they gave it to me?
- Did I create some sort of curiosity to take the next step?
Even if you do all of the above but cannot check off the following, the whole campaign will be less effective:
- Did I ask an open-ended question in the last text message?
If you do this in the context of whatever the offer is that gets the person to text the keyword, then you're going to do phenomenally well.
I’d recommend following this checklist fairly closely but even being able to tick off a few of the points above will produce great results as long as you include the last one.
Opening the door to conversations
Texting is about the conversation at the end of the day.
Annoying marketers speak at contacts. They speak at people. They send offers to email addresses with no interest in what people think, just in them taking the desired action.
This is annoying. It’s why email read and response rates are so abysmal: everybody's speaking at the contact, not with them. If you want to make more money, have more conversations.
Most profit is a single question away. Most businesses that haven't opened the door for people to engage in conversation are making no-question sales.
This is where all questions were answered in the marketing collateral. They just buy and don't have any questions before doing so.
But, for every person that buys with no questions, there's another person who buys once they get one question answered.
See, most people who don't buy do nothing. They do nothing because there's one question or one concern that keeps them from taking action.
And so, if you open the door to conversations, what happens is you inherently open the door to more sales and, by extension, more profit.
This is why I see so many people double their business almost immediately when they start opening the door to questions.
If you start asking questions and, for any reason, don’t see more profit, let me or Damian know about it.
We will help you figure out why you're not seeing an increase in sales (and profits) because you absolutely should be!
Here’s a good example of why you need to start conversations…
Introducing Frank Kern: a real-world example of questions boosting sales…
There's this guy named Frank Kern and he’s a very good salesman. In fact, he's almost scary good.
He was running a webinar that was designed to fill his membership program.
So, in the webinar, he would sell something and then he would ultimately sell them into his membership program.
This webinar generated a million dollars a year.
He had been doing this webinar for a couple of years and we talked to him about changing this up through one of our partners.
He started sending one text message, not to everybody that registered for the webinar, but only those that attended the webinar and were present at the time he made his call to action.
So, only people that registered, showed up and stayed until the point where he made his offer, were sent a text message a few hours after the webinar.
If they didn't buy in this one text message, all it basically did was start a conversation.
As a result of asking that one question to what we call should-have-boughts (people that act like buyers in every way except for spending their money, they doubled their sales.
Just by asking one question, they doubled their sales.
I thought Frank would have been thrilled to death but it turns out, he was livid.
I wondered “Well, why is he so mad? He should be excited. He's making double the money within eight months.”
I didn't follow up after that because I thought, “Double the money is pretty good.”
The reason why he was so upset?
Because, for years, he had been doing webinars without asking should-have-boughts.
He had been calling up the people that should have bought but didn't (and it's very tough to get hold of them).
Even with a salesperson calling, they weren't making a difference in terms of increasing sales.
But when he sent a single text message after the webinar, asking one question that started a conversation, he doubled his sales.
He was so ticked off because of all the money he'd left on the table by not implementing that sooner.
The call to action
The call to action uses a keyword and a phone number.
This particular keyword and phone number allow you to get a free copy of my latest book, The Messaging Connection, in digital and audio format.
So, if you text Learn to (949) 835-5300, then I'm going to ask you for your name and email address.
Then I'm going to give you a link to the PDF version and audio version of my book that you can listen to.
If you were teaching a group of people with slides, you'd keep the call to action banner across the top of your slides because, as you do, some people will start to resonate with your presentation and will want to take you up on your offer. So, they'll text in Learn, or whatever your keyword is, to your phone number.
It's a great way to open the door and capture leads.
Again, if you go through that conversation, you'll eventually see a question that will ask you, “By the way, why did you request this book today?”
That’s the real conversation-starter. It gives you a chance if you're interested in talking about it, to respond and start a conversation and see where it goes.
You can also use this strategy on social media posts or on your website with a blog post: pick a keyword/phone number combination that's appropriate as a call to action.
The beauty is that I don't have to know how to code or do HTML, and I don't have to use a form.
All I have to do is set up the keyword conversation, which takes about five minutes, and then make sure that the tag that I create in Infusionsoft gets tied up to my marketing automation so that it'll deliver whatever it is that I promise in my texting conversation.
If I'm doing a social media live broadcast or a prepared video, I'll often do a keyword and phone number so that the people that are really interested will be able to text in and get the information that I promise.
Once a prospect goes through two or three steps, it opens up in their mind to the concept that they can engage by text message with you.
Then, because we have the open-ended question at the end, they also know they can engage with a live person, not just a machine with an automated conversation.
Because of that, it’s more likely that we're going to be able to connect with them, have a conversation, and help move them closer to making a buying decision.
If you’re doing a presentation, including the call to action at least 15 minutes before the end.
I like to do it in the first third normally because it allows people time to make the decision to text the keyword and phone number.
If you do it on the very last slide, you're not going to get nearly the response that you would if you did it earlier in the presentation.
You can include a keyword and a phone number even if you're selling at the end of the presentation. In fact, it makes it even better because you know that you're capturing leads, so even if you bomb in your sales at the end of the presentation, you still get a shot to follow up with them by phone, by email, by remarketing. So, you're not going to worry as much and you'll do much better on your close.
Pre-call text messages
If you call people, there's a way to quadruple the number of people who answer.
Use the pre-call text message because the number one reason that people don't answer your call is that they don't recognize the number.
Again, more conversations, more sales, more profit. So, if you increase the number of people who actually answer the phone when you call, you'll increase your sales.
So, here's the text message.
Every part of this text message has a specific reason for its inclusion.
The two essential elements that you're going to see here are:
- Identifying who you are, and
- Why you are calling.
If you don't do both of these, then this text message does not work.
If you do it, you give people a chance to respond in a way that will quadruple your answer rate.
This text helps with unlocking. For those of you with contacts that use iOS 13, and have already turned on the Block Unknown Callers, this text message actually unlocks the first part of that formula to get people to have the phone actually ring for them.
The period in “This is Ryan.” is critical for Siri to be able to associate my phone number with my name on their phone.
Then I say, “I'm with Fix Your Funnel.” That way, there's more context for them to understand.
Then I say, “I'm going to call you in a few minutes to see if you'd like help incorporating text messaging into your marketing.”
This part is really critical because if you tell people exactly why you're calling, it gives them an opportunity to make a decision if they want to talk to you.
Now, if you do this and nobody wants to talk to you, then you have a different problem. It's not a communication problem, it's a messaging problem, and we'll need to work on that.
But if you tell people who you are and why you're calling, one of these things will happen:
- People will text back to reschedule. People don't answer either because they don't recognize the number or they're busy(in a meeting, in the restroom, in a conversation with somebody else. The most common response we saw when we started doing this was “Hey, I'm busy right now. Can you call me at three?” That's exactly what we want because we want to have more conversations. We'd prefer to have a conversation that's most convenient for the person we're going to call so they can be present and able to receive the message that we're trying to deliver.
- People answer because they knew who it was and why we're calling. When our call came in on the same number that we texted from, they knew it was OK to answer.
- People would just not answer, which probably already happens to you. If you're calling people, you already know that most of the time, you're getting voicemail. Well, that's fine. Some people will not communicate but they just won't answer. Maybe they didn't see the text message, are busy, or genuinely not interested.
- People text you back and say, “Hey, I'm really not interested,” which again is fantastic because the labor and time involved in calling prospects is expensive. If we don't have to call somebody that's just really not interested, it saves us money and time and makes us more effective.
We were able to quadruple our phone call answer rate simply by introducing ourselves by text and saying who we were on the same number we were going to call from.
Live texting: Texting’s secret weapon
Remember, I was at that conference and 95% of businesses that were using texting had no way to receive responses?
They were essentially ignoring the most important part of texting, which is real engagement with a real human.
Some people when they hear this think “Oh, I don't want more engagement. I'm already overwhelmed. I've got too much going on. I don't want more engagement.”
But a big part of marketing and sales is conversations. The common element of all customers who buy is that they engage in conversation.
So you need a way to engage.
Now, two important things you have to have if you're going to do live texting:
- You must have push notifications to your smartphone or watch, so you can know when somebody's texting you.
- You need to have a web app so that when you're sitting at the desktop, you can respond to text messages there too
We see business owners trying to avoid live texting. That's the worst thing you can do as that's where all of the money, opportunity, and growth is.
You want to have conversations with people who are in the right place and moving in the right direction. That's what live texting allows.
The whole point of automated conversations is to open the door for live texting.
Conversation-starters in our campaigns? The whole point is live texting.
I see people doing everything right except not wanting to respond or engage with others live. They're missing the boat.
Can text messages be saved into the contact field in Infusionsoft?
Yes, they can. You can save text messages into the contact record if you want.
All text messages are saved into notes in the contact record, so we try and keep it very transparent for you to be able to see things.
We also maintain a copy of the text messages in our database so that, as you receive live text messages, you have the full context of the automated campaign messages.
What about WhatsApp?
WhatsApp is big in Europe and South America. Unfortunately, it’s still a walled garden.
They have started to allow some business texting but you can't do the things that you would need to do with it as it currently stands.
They only allow for what is called notification messages currently. So, it's not quite there yet.
But we're hoping that they'll open it up because we would love to incorporate that into what we're able to do with texting currently.
What software are you using to send the text messaging from Infusionsoft?
Fix Your Funnel.
To find out more, text Demo to (760) 621-8199, or go to fixyourfunnel.com.
More in-depth training is available for free on our website. Go to login.fixyourfunnel.com/learn.
On that page, there's a webinar called The Webinar Profit Maximizer and there are two text messages you should send before any webinar to people who register.
The first one is the registration confirmation.
A lot of people think that once someone is registered, they're fully committed to attending the webinar, and unfortunately, that's not the case.
You need to set the hook (reinforce the reasons why someone would want to attend). A text message is the best way to do that because it's actually going to be seen.
So, you need to collect the cell phone number at registration for the webinar and then set the hook with a confirmation.
What's the big thing they're going to get out of attending your webinar? We may include a link to a page where there are more details too.
You may think, “Well, there's already a Thank You page.” People don't think about the Thank You pages the same way that they do as when they get that confirmation message.
Secondly, you want to send a text message reminder which, generally speaking, can be sent anywhere between an hour and two hours before.
The big deal is trying to get registered people to simply remember that it's happening. Unfortunately, email just isn't going to be seen like text messages.
Text messages have a little bit more power to get people there.
We offer a negative $19 trial.
What that means is it's a dollar trial, and we give you $20 in texting credits so you can start texting and playing around with things before it's on your dime.
If you utilize the training, you should make enough money to make whatever the cost of Fix Your Funnel is a no-brainer before you even have to pay anything for it above the first dollar you spend.