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The marketing world is moving in a direction where they need for increased touchpoint and connection building with our audience is more important than ever to convert them into sales.

Especially if ad costs are more expensive (ahem, 47% more expensive than last year, to be exact) you have to make up for that on the backend in order to increase your sales conversion.

One of the best ways to do that is by increasing your 1-1 conversations with your audience.

So in this episode of the Not For Lazy Marketers Podcast, I’m diving into two critical strategies for increasing the number of 1-1 conversations you have with your audience that will push them over the edge to convert into sales.

That includes an exclusive look into how we’re incorporating this into our own strategy at Hirsh Marketing.

These are small and strategic tweaks you can make to your current strategy that will increase the quality of the touchpoint your audience has with your brand, which will then in turn increase your sales.

Did I mention there’s ALSO a way to create HOT audiences for your Facebook ads by incorporating one of these strategies?

Tune in now to find out how!

After listening, DM me on Instagram (>@emilyhirsh) and let me know if you plan to implement any of these strategies in your own marketing!

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READ THE EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Hello everybody. Welcome back to the podcast. I hope you guys are having a great week. I am excited to dive into this episode as always, but I think that a lot of you are going to get something out of this because I’m always trying to come to you with strategies that are fresh, my team’s talking about them, and then I can bring them here to the podcast. They’re super relevant to right now and what’s working, and also the direction of where marketing is going and what you need to pay attention to. One thing that’s obviously top of mind is where do we need to pivot our marketing because of iOS? Where do we need to focus more? Where do we need to do less? What’s working? What’s not? What’s going to be important in the future? 

So this one, I think, is going to be really important and I’m going to have some tactical strategies for you around it, and that is increasing one-to-one conversations, whether that’s with you personally, depending on how big your company is, or with your team as a whole. This is one thing that we’ve started playing with and also encouraging some of our clients to do for a couple of reasons, so we’re going to talk through that. 

First of all, I think the direction that we’re going with marketing, because you’re going to lose some tracking and attribution from audiences, you’re also going to probably have to increase the amount of touch points and connection with your audience in order to get them to a place where they are converting and they are turning into a sale. Your audience is just going to, in some cases, be a longer sales cycle and a little bit more work. Especially if ad cost is more expensive, you might have lower volume of leads coming in, which means that you have to make it up on the backend and actually try to have a higher sales conversion. One way you can do that is increasing your connection, your one-to-one conversations. 

There’s two main strategies I’m going to touch on, and that is DM’s and your social media, and texting. So these are both things that we have started incorporating more and, like I said, encouraging clients. Now let’s start with the DMs. First thing I want to say about this is one of the most positive things with DMs is that they’re actually still put into an audience. So anybody who DMs your Instagram or your Facebook, you can then put in an audience and target them on Facebook. You probably noticed when clubhouse came out, these really big influencers like Grant Cardone, and I don’t even know these guys that I don’t really care for, but whatever, they still are smart marketers, and you can still watch what they’re doing. They spent hours on Clubhouse and their call to action was DM me on Instagram. 

The reason is, in my theory of it, because then they could put all those people in a Facebook audience. The other positive about this Facebook audience is it can’t be impacted by iOS. So people who opt out of Facebook tracking are going to be opted out of being tracked by the pixel. They still can be tracked while inside the Facebook app. So that means if they DM your page, if they like or comment on a post, if they watch a video that’s directly on your page. Then Instagram has a lot of engagement options, if they’ve saved a post, there’s lots of different ones that you can find. 

All of those won’t be impacted by people opting out of tracking from iOS, which means if we can build those audience bigger then we can send them to specific ads, like your webinar, or your product, or your SLO funnel. You can have this audience that’s really solid versus in the past, you might have an audience of people who go to a landing page or pixel. I still think you can do those type of ads, I’m just saying this is an audience that’s 100% not impacted by iOS, which is really powerful. So think about ways that you could increase your DM conversations. I’m going to give you a few of those. 

Number one, one thing that we’re doing is we’re looking at our funnels and we’re trying to create backlinks to Instagram. So when somebody joins our list and they sign up for our PDQ to subscribe to the PDQ, we’re going to have incorporated in the email sequence and the followup triggers for them to go and send us a message on Instagram. In some cases, I want to actually motivate them to do that and send me a keyword and then I’ll send them something, a gift, right? So you can have inside of your funnel, let’s say someone opts into something in the email series, you can have a call to action to go send you a message on Instagram. You can also, of course, encourage DMs if you have stories. You can encourage people to respond because it’s a different audience in Facebook that you can say people who DM’d me, versus people who just watched my stories. Obviously someone sending you a message is a more engaged audience, so you can have calls to action throughout your stories, or throughout your posts where you are having people actually send you a message. 

So this has twofold positive components to it because, number one, you’re creating an audience that you can re-target, which is great. It’s not impacted by iOS. We should try to build that audience so then we can re-target them to the top of your funnel. But number two, increasing DM conversations is also going to help you build relationships and hopefully close sales. Any time you’re able to start a conversation that can become personalized to that person, you will close more sales. You will do better in your business. You will leave a bigger impact on them. 

Now this is obviously not scalable to a $10 million business that you are DM-ing a bunch of people, but it is in the sense that you could get a team supporting you with that. I think it’s an amazing strategy because the more of those one-on-one conversations you have, then you can actually support them and send them a resource, or a podcast to listen to, or just deepen that relationship, or send them to your application or your product if it’s relevant. Obviously not being sleazy, but actually genuinely trying to have a conversation. 

This is one part about marketing that I’m excited about right now is I think we’re going to be heading back into an era where connection and creativity over your connection with your audience and actually prioritizing that is going to become more important than these mass strategies that are kind of the old bro marketing type of strategies that people were doing where it wasn’t personalized at all to that person’s experience, to your audience’s experience. I think you could get away with that in the past, because ad costs were lower. You didn’t have iOS, you didn’t have these things impacting marketing, but now you can’t get away with that. You have to create a great experience for your audience and some personalization and some actual connection building. I just did a podcast about how connection and content is the future of marketing and that you need to be prioritizing that. So more one-to-one conversations are going to lead to more sales, better engagement with your audience, and bonus is an audience that you can target on Facebook and retarget to wherever you want that’s not impacted by iOS updates. 

The second way to increase your one-to-one conversations that we’re loving right now is text messages. Pretty soon we have the iOS 15 update coming out, which is going to impact your email open rate stats and potentially the people who get your emails, but mostly email open rate stats, because people are going to be able to opt out of that. So you should be turning to and starting to explore text messaging. There are platforms out there that actually let you text back and forth with somebody so you can ask a question and then they can reply. Then you can jump into the software and you can actually have a conversation with them. Which again, is super powerful to have those one-to-one conversations.

I know everybody’s going to ask me, “what platform are you using?” We have tried Community. Do not recommend it. I absolutely hated it. All these influencers are promoting it, but it’s a terrible experience for the lead. They have to jump through way too many hoops to be able to add to your contact. I think my theory is that Community is gathering data that they want to then sell, beause they’re asking for the lead’s birthday, and gender, and all these things that I don’t need for someone to be able to text message with me. So I hated Community. We moved away from that and we just signed up for Simple Texting. 

So far, we really like it. There are still flaws. For example, one of the things that none of these texting platforms do is they won’t send an automated sequence so I can say when someone opts in for this, then send them a text tomorrow, and in five days, and then a week from now. That I don’t like, but it is a great platform where I can send out text messages, there’s not a huge barrier to be able to text people, which is like the biggest thing. If they’re signing up for something, I want them to be able to give me their name, their email, and their phone number one time and that’s the only hoop that they have to jump through, and then they can text back and forth, which is huge.

We’re still playing with it and we’re still testing it. If you’re on my list, you probably know that we’ve been playing with different things to get there, but you guys get to benefit from that information. Our priority is going to be increasing that text messages have higher open rates, higher engagement rates. Then if I can have those one-to-one conversations with people, and of course my team can jump in and direct them to wherever is helpful, even if it’s not to our application or to buy from us, having that touch point, that personalized touch point with somebody is going to be so much more impactful than any wide marketing strategy. 

But the key with these is that both increasing DMS and increasing the use of text messaging is getting weaved into our existing strategy It’s not like I’m like, “oh, I’m never going to ask for name and email again.” I’m going all in on texting, but I’m still asking for name and email. I will never stop doing that because your email list is your asset, but I also am asking for a phone number and I’m also creating more opportunity to text people, to ask them questions in a text message that they can then respond to so then we can have a conversation. 

Now with texting, you obviously have to be sensitive to the frequency. It is not email. So don’t treat it, just like email. We’re finding that balance. Obviously some people think we’re doing it way too much. Others are fine with it. It’s going to vary, but you need to find that balance that isn’t email, because you can’t just take it and treat it just like email. Obviously too you have way less characters in texting, so your messages need to be powerful, but really short and concise, and if you can, encouraging people to respond. 

Finding a platform where you can encourage the start of conversations is critical. Especially if you have a high ticket offer where you want to send somebody to a call or to an application, and they just need those extra touch points. That is absolutely critical for that success, so finding that platform is great. For a while, we just used Ontraport to send texts, but nobody could respond, so it wasn’t great. We improved that. 

So overall, what my challenge and suggestion to you guys is to look at your existing marketing strategy and just ask yourself, “how could I add in some small tweaks to increase the number of one-on-one conversations that I’m having with people?” If you don’t have a team and this feels like it’s not scalable at all, what I encourage you to do is just try some things and figure out what works. Then you can build process around it and eventually support around it for the things that do work. But you don’t have to go build the support today to even start trying it. 

If your Instagram DMs start to get out of control because your strategy is working, then you can go find the support, same with text messaging. Just start it. Try and start encouraging those conversations and just remember, create this strategy so it’s your own. Think about your audience, the interaction they want to have with your brand, the type of conversations they might want to have, and put yourself in their shoes. Then figure out what strategies you could incorporate into what you already have. Like I said, this doesn’t mean completely changing or reworking your strategy. These are potential small tweaks, like adding something into a followup email sequence, or adding the option to ask for a phone number in addition to an email address, and then incorporating some sort of weekly strategy where you send out a couple of text messages. 

It’s small tweaks, but if you can increase those one-on-one conversations, you will increase the quality of a touch point that somebody has with your brand, which of course will increase, hopefully, your sales and also be an audience that you can use. Same with text messaging. If you have a list of phone numbers, that is an audience that you can upload to Facebook or tie with your CSV file of your context, and they might be able to pair more audiences. People’s phone numbers are generally connected to their Facebook account, so that’s also an asset that is not impacted by iOS updates that you can then go target to your webinars, to your SLO funnel or wherever it is.

You have to start thinking creatively. That is kind of the theme with marketing is it’s not black and white anymore. You have to start thinking creatively. How do I get around the iOS updates? How do I still create an incredible experience for my audience, even with the iOS updates? How do I still profit with Facebook ads even though Facebook ad costs might be up? It’s all possible, but it’s not black and white. We have to be creative. We have to look at what’s working and then we have to create a strategy for our audience and our business. 

Alright you guys. This was a little bit short and sweet today, but I hope you enjoyed it. Send me a DM on Instagram if you guys are going to go implement any of this, because I want to hear. Maybe you guys will even come up with a cool thing that I didn’t think of in terms of DMs. We have a lot of clients doing this. Oh, I want to add one thing on Instagram. There’s this cool feature if somebody watches your story, you can send them a message and then it shows up like “viewed your story” and then the message, so they know you’re replying because they viewed your story. 

So if you are asking like a call to action, I just did this the other day. We were asking for people to sign up for interviews with our team audience and avatar interviews. The people that I saw who viewed my story about the interviews that I knew was a great candidate for the interviews, I sent them a message and was like, “would totally love if you booked an interview if you’re up for it.” And five more people booked the interviews that were really ideal because I sent those messages. So if you have a story that is a call to action, like “come to my webinar” or “fill out an application if you need support,” and you’re seeing… Let’s say you see somebody in your stories who watches it all the time, or you’ve interacted with them at one point and you know they need help. Or, I mean, I guess you could just send it to everybody. You can send a message to people who watch your story and that extra touch point might push them over the edge to take the call to action that you are stating in the story. 

Don’t do this too much. This is probably like a twice a month thing, or every once in a while thing when it feels authentic. But it’s a great strategy because I know people watched my story and they were probably like, “oh, I could book an interview,” but then me messaging them pushed them over the edge and they went and booked the interview. So that again can work for any call to action. You don’t want to overdo it and be annoying, but it’s a great feature on Instagram and those people who DM you back, they will end up being in that audience of people who are messaging you on Instagram. All right everybody, hope you enjoyed today’s episode and I’ll talk to you guys in the DMs. See you next time.

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