The client was a business coaching & consultancy firm in the mergers & acquisition space that helped small business owners prepare their businesses for sale when they wanted to either retire or pursue other interests.
They primarily focused on the home service niche (plumbing, roofing, carpet cleaning, pest control businesses, etc.) but could work with companies in other industries as well.
Before we started working with them most of their leads came from a referral network that included accountants, lawyers, past clients, and financial planners. However, over the last few years, the deal flow had slow down considerably.
In the past, they tried to generate leads using ads in trade magazines and seminars with limited success.
The client wanted a predictable way to generate a flow of quality leads without having to rely mostly on referrals.
The biggest challenge we faced with this project was how to target someone who was “thinking of selling their business.” Facebook has a lot of targeting options, but those targeting options usually don’t capture future intent.
To solve the targeting problem we used a two-step approach. First, we created a piece of content that spoke to the fears and concerns a small business owner has when thinking about possibly selling their business.
This type of content would be only of interest to a person open to considering the idea of selling their business, which was our ideal prospect.
To improve the quality of the audience, we made sure the Facebook pixel only fired after a 30-second delay, this meant that only people who had spent at least 30 seconds on the content became part of that custom audience. This way we could filter out people who landed on the page and bounced off without even reading.
Some prospects read the content and then clicked through to the landing page, which was our most ideal scenario.
For targeting, we used demographic and interest targeting to send traffic to that pre-sell landing page (with links that clicked through to a webinar opt-in page).
The funnel looked like this:
The initial opt-in page only asked for an email address and then redirected to a recorded webinar/training.
The presentation was 40 minutes long, but it built a lot of credibility for the client, showing past case studies, video testimonials and walking the prospect through the things that need to be in place for their business to be attractive to a prospective buyer.
Then a call to action to schedule a phone call was next. We added a survey to gather enough business details so that the client’s team could better prepare for the calls and then used Schedule Once to schedule the calls and sync with their team calendar.
All along the funnel, we used success metrics so that we could quickly spot bottlenecks that need fixing to improve performance.
For example, the minimum opt-in rate for the webinar landing page needs to be at a minimum of 20%, and anything less meant we had a problem further up the funnel, this allowed us to troubleshoot and optimize for the best performance over time quickly.
The remarketing campaigns were designed to push the prospect from one step to the next.
Fortunately, the client had a lot of case studies and testimonials including video testimonials, so most ad creatives centred around this customer-generated content.
If, for example, the owner of a plumbing business was hesitant about taking the next step, a video from someone who was in a situation went a long way in averting the prospect’s fears and concerns.
User-generated content almost always out performances advertiser-generated content. It’s human nature to want to trust the opinions of your peers instead of a faceless corporation.
Just as with remarketing campaigns, the objective of the email campaigns was to push the prospect to the next step gently.
We used Active Campaign, and each stage of the funnel was tagged and email automations built with triggers to check if the prospect had taken the desired action.
This way if someone got “stuck” at one point, they received both a Facebook retargeting ad and an email follow up sequence.
We decided to include a Google Display campaign so that we could increase the lead volume.
The original audience universe was small to begin with and we wanted to get everyone who was at least interested, to schedule a phone call.
Usually, these types of deals can take months to close, and the client wanted to be able to nurture those leads during that time.
The Google Display Campaign focused only on the audience that landed on the content but didn’t opt-in. After that point, we let the email marketing, and Facebook remarketing do the heavy lifting.
The campaign resulted in a cost per scheduled phone meeting of just under $60 which was below the client’s initial estimated target, and since a single client engagement represented a five-figure or a six-figure retainer, the client felt that cost to generate a highly qualified meeting was acceptable. We also had a 90% show up rate to the strategy calls.
Most importantly, the client had a predictable way to generate leads on demand to fill their pipeline at will.
We eventually segmented the funnel into industry niches so that we could personalize the experience for each business niche. The client can now choose which industry they want to generate leads for by turning on the ads for a specific niche focus funnel.
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