Over my many years doing Marketing for businesses, both as an employee and as an agency, I’ve run countless different email campaigns. Some did amazing, and others fell on their face. But that’s exactly the point!
When it comes to Marketing, the best way to optimize every aspect to ensure maximum results (leads, sales, etc) are achieved at a minimal cost is to test different things out, measure the results and act accordingly.
Many industries and target audiences react differently to marketing compared to others, so what works for one industry or even business may not work for others.
However I’ve had the pleasure of marketing so many industries and niches — from real estate, finance, sales, health & fitness and even escape rooms.
And over that time I’ve noticed trends — certain marketing activities that consistently perform well, regardless of the audience. They’re rare, because as I say different people react differently to others.
But one that stands out above the rest is a certain email campaign I call Free Free Sell (or FFS — that always gets a laugh).
Let’s dive in and look into what exactly Free Free Sell involves, and how you can start using a campaign just like it…
Free Free Sell
Before I go over what the actual emails contain and how they work, a few pointers.
This is an email campaign for businesses least warm leads and prospects. The people who may have seen and engaged with your content a bit, and given their email — but are still a light year away from buying.
DO NOT run warm prospects and people on the verge of buying through it.
Secondly, one Free Free Sell email should go every other day. So if you’re starting Monday, the second goes Wednesday, third Friday and so on.
As the name suggests and as I’ll cover, the campaign emails go in batches of three emails — two for Free, one for Sell. But this is a campaign, so there will be more than just 3 emails. Therefore it’s important not to loop the same 3 emails.
Ideally, you’ll have a batch of at least 5 lots of 3 emails — each different from the others in terms of both the frees and ideally the sells.
Lastly, as I’ll cover in greater detail — the sell email will be a call to action of some kind, even to a small purchase. The key there is small. Remember, this is a campaign for your least engaged and warm contacts. You can’t expect to sell them your high value products at this stage.
The goal and purpose of Free Free Sell is to warm your coldest leads and prospects up. I often get strange looks from clients when I refer to this campaign as an oven. You’re putting your coldest people into an oven, where you’ll warm them up enough to a point when they love the business and want to spend big with it.
That said, you’re not going to realistically be able to run 1,000 contacts through Free Free Sell, and transform them into 1,000 high paying customers with a few emails.
Only a small percentage will end up becoming big customers or clients — but that’s fine. Remember, these are a list of your coldest contacts. Free Free Sell allows you to maximize your return from them, despite them being very far away from buying from you.
Now let’s dive into the actual emails…
Looking at the first two emails of each batch of three — the Frees. As the name suggests, there’s something free involved — or rather, you’re giving your contacts something free.
Another trend I’ve noticed across all industries I’ve worked in and for is that marketing that gives value, and gives before asking for a dollar always do well.
And value and the Frees are all based around education — giving free information, helpful tips that your contacts need the most. These can form different mediums, such as videos or blogs.
As for the Free emails, the frees should both be different — but on the same topic.
For example: your business specialises in helping people get fit and healthy.
One of the common barriers to people is healthy eating.
Free 1 could be a short video talking about the importance of a balanced diet.
Free 2 could then be a blog on the essential nutrients we need to intake every single day.
Both of these frees will help with the barrier of healthy eating — ultimately aiding them in getting overall fit and healthy — which is what your business specialises in.
As I said earlier, you want at least 5 groups of 3 emails. To start with, think about what barriers stand in the way of your target audience achieving what they want (and what you can help them achieve).
Other barriers might be — not exercising enough, binge eating, work-life balance and so on.
Then think of suitable Frees that can be provided to overcome each barrier.
Now onto the Sell…
It’s important to note that Sell emails doesn’t mean somebody has to buy from your business — the goal of the Sell email is to get people to take action.
Actions such as signing up for a webinar, attending a free event, downloading a guide — these are all actions that don’t cost a dollar, and yet they’re important to your overall goal of creating customers. Taking these actions means they’re warming up to you, and gives you the opportunity to warm them up further down the line.
But actual sells work too — usually small value, perhaps a book for $4.99, or 30 days of an online course for $37. Those who buy these can then be immediately up sold to higher products later down the line.
So following the same example we used for Frees — we need a suitable Sell around healthy eating.
Sells that don’t require actual money could be a download of a 14-day diet plan, or registering for a 60 min webinar on healthy eating.
Or sells that you can charge for could be a 30–day intense online course on healthy eating, or access to a forum to share tips and updates with other members.
See how this all links in?
For the life of me, I’ve never been able to think of an analogy more fitting to this email campaign than the oven. Through a combination of free valuable information, and a small sell relevant to the barriers people are facing — any business can literally warm up their coldest contacts over time and turn many into paying customers.
And the key there is overtime — some people may take action sooner, whilst others may need to be in the oven for weeks, maybe even months.
And as I say, I’ve seen this work in so many industries and I’ve seen it working in many others too.
If you’d like some advice on how to get a campaign like this running for your business, give me a message!