Anyone who has been persistent in sales while making a concerted effort not to annoy their prospect probably doesn’t have much trouble making the leap to an online dating metaphor. However, the more you examine why marketing funnels are like the online dating scene, the more realistic the statement becomes.
At the top of your marketing funnels is a giant cluster of “eligible bachelors or bachelorettes,” most of whom will never make it to “first base.” They’re either not compatible, not serious about engaging with your company or not ready to commit to your product. Meanwhile, the bottom of your marketing funnels is like serious relationships lasting a few months to a year, or those dedicated customers that become brand advocates and are “married” to your product or service.
The stats on marketing funnel conversions vs. online dating relationships are eerily similar as well. According to a SimpleTexting study, 7.2 percent of relationships on the popular dating app Tinder last between six months to a year, while a MarketingSherpa study revealed that nearly 6.3 percent of leads across all major industries are converted to customers. That data suggests we need to court our leads with marketing strategies that mirror successful dating habits.
Included below are four marketing tips for successfully “wooing” your leads:
1. Introduction – finding the right match
In online dating, there is a lot that goes into building an online profile. The goal is connecting with people with which you are compatible. You want to be honest about your character traits and interests to ensure the automated system that matches you has the correct information for a higher chance of success.
In a nutshell, this is branding. There is a lot that goes into positioning your company to attract specific target markets. Building an extensive network of leads means crafting honest and compelling messages and pushing that messaging out through the correct channels where your target market will see it. Don’t skimp on this step, or the marketing funnel will start and end at the very top. You will become flooded with individuals that are not the right fit for your product or service and are inconvertible.
2. Communication – not too much, not too little
This is where managing content is incredibly important. Marketing funnels requires precise timing of ads served, or e-blasts sent, which keeps your content top of mind for leads. Your content strategy and the accessibility of content needs to be well-organized and well defined by your marketing and sales team.
You don’t want to be a clingy company that bombards a lead with marketing content, but you also don’t want to “ghost” your leads and never follow-up. The goal should be to deliver a steady stream of content that lets them know that you are interested in their business but respect their time and other obligations. And as they get more engaged with your brand, you can serve them more in-depth content, more frequently.
This is similar to the dating cycle in that you chat online or via text in a limited fashion, and eventually, go on dates and learn more about your partner as your comfort level, interest and communication increases.
3. Closing – are we official now?
You’ve built a network of qualified leads, and you have supplied them with a steady stream of engaging content. Now it is time for conversion. Some might relate this to marriage, but we are not there yet. Converting a lead means you are official, they like what they see, and they want to be your “boyfriend or girlfriend.”
How do you cross the barrier between dating and official? You begin supplying the lead with a strong call-to-action, set an in-person meeting to discuss a service contract, or you provide them with a discount offer to purchase your product. This will hopefully lead to your first sale with this nurtured lead. You’re now official.
4. Loyalty – you’ve found yourself a winner
Your lead has purchased the introductory level of your product or service and are testing the quality. Your marketing efforts are finalized, and it’s now up to the user experience and service to nurture this relationship, right? Wrong. Now is the time for marketing to start engaging on a more personal level. Communicating with customers directly via social media, sending surveys, offering loyalty discounts and/or membership perks, as well as getting them excited about innovations to products or services in the pipeline.
The goal of these relationship-building techniques is to create brand advocates. These loyal individuals will help do your job for you by telling their friends and family and sharing your content on social media. This is the final step in a perfect relationship ─ the marriage. Just like dating, it is incredibly difficult to get to this point, but with the right blend of content strategies, product quality, and engagement, you will find a few diamonds in the rough. Of course, this metaphor only works for marketing since you probably shouldn’t strive to marry multiple people.