How to build a marketing database that keeps prospects engaged
It sounded like the perfect market:
- A large and growing marketplace
- A need so critical that it strikes at the very foundations of the family
- Increasing competition for scarce supply
- A marketplace actively using the Internet to solve the problem
Add to these the fact that existing solutions were failing miserably, and you’ve got a market ready for an effective online solution.
I’m describing the unemployed job seeker marketplace. Few marketplaces have the natural alignment of trends that this marketplace does. JobCannon (formerly CardboardResume) sought to create an online job search solution that actually worked, and build a business in the bargain.
First, let me disclose that JobCannon is a client of Conversion Sciences.
You might have thought that this would be an easy sell. We knew it wouldn’t be. We needed to keep skeptical, frugal job seekers engaged and informed. Here’s how we did it.
Before you read any further…
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Building the Battery with Informational Marketing
Since no tag line was going to help JobCannon rise above the noise, and since new job seekers needed advice as much as the software, we lead with an informational approach.
JobCannon commissioned an eBook to help break job seekers of their job board habit. It turns out that spending hours a day on Monster and CareerBuilder was the least effective way to find work, especially in a crowded job market.
I wrote the eBook for them. My primary qualification was my fundamental inability to hold a job. Get your copy of The Market for Me.
A book blog was setup to catch job seekers searching the Internet. I began speaking at job clubs on to help seed the marketplace promoting the book heavily.
Charging the Battery
To receive the book, prospects provided a name and email address, and asked the prospect why they wanted to read the book. About 10% of the attendees to a live presentation requested a free copy.
Of the people who visited the book request page 30% completed the form. This is a relatively high conversion rate.
The presentation model was not easy to scale, as I could only speak so many times. But the pipeline proved that we could engage and educate an audience with informational marketing.
The book/blog strategy was proven when one of my presentations was featured on applicant.com, an influential blog. It was subsequently picked up by Slideshare as a featured presentation. Over the space of three weeks, almost 30,000 people viewed the presentation. A link to the free eBook in the description drew viewers to our educational content.
This one presentation doubled the size of our email database. It charged our battery.
This is proof that high conversion rates amplify all of your online marketing efforts.
Tapping the Battery’s Energy
Informational posts generated for the blog became email newsletters that were sent to the book database.
This was an efficient battery. When we sent educational emails to the list, open rates were astronomical, between 77% and 98%. I’m usually ecstatic at 30% open rates. Click-through rates were as high as 22% and unsubscribe rates were near zero.
Because this market was bombarded by solutions to help them find work, we were dealing with a skeptical group. We found out it took as many as seven relevant contacts to generate a JobCannon trial: One reference from a friend, one presentation, one free eBook, and four informational emails.
Without our marketing battery, we would never have been able to generate the number of “touches” necessary to make prospects feel comfortable trying the software.
Like batteries marketing databases “lose charge” over time
As a rule of thumb, we assume that 25% of the contacts become invalid over the course of a year.
- Prospects become customers
- Email addresses change
- Prospects choose to stop receiving email (opt-out)
- Prospects choose alternative solutions
- Prospects just stop paying attention to your emails
Many marketers drain their battery by sending promotional content. Discounts, feature-oriented posts and irrelevant information drain the battery very quickly.
In our case, many of our prospects find work, even though they’re not using JobCannon. Hopefully, they’ll continue to network and search for new opportunities even though they have found work.
Build your own battery with informational content
You may not have an eBook available, but your business generates informational content every month. Press releases, product descriptions, old blog posts, and sales presentations all can be transformed to charge your marketing batteries.
Join us on December 10 in Austin for BYOContent: The Extreme Conversion Makeover Workshop.
We’re going to transform a blog, a white paper, some video and an email newsletter into lead-generating and sales-generating tools.
Brian Massey, The Conversion Scientist
P. S. Get more conversion tips by subscribing to The Conversion Blog.