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How to Fix the Biggest Mistakes Digital Marketers Make: Part II

Digital Marketing

Last week we covered lead magnets and webinars, and briefly touched on follow-ups. Find part one here. This week we conclude with more details about follow-up emails and retargeting, how to avoid mistakes during fulfillment, how long your nurturing campaign should last, why list segmentation is worth its weight in gold, and finally why list hygiene creates better conversion rates and saves money. Let’s pick up where we left off.

After the webinar, you need a follow-up process. A good way of doing this is by sending out a series of emails. Some will go to the people who attended the webinar, and others will go to those who declined the invitation. More emails will be sent to people who purchased products, and those who did not.

  • Send an offer to everyone who attended. It needs to include some sort of urgency or legitimate scarcity, such as an expiring bonus offer.

  • Send an email to those who purchased, thanking them and encouraging them to share the experience with others.

  • Send an email to those who did not attend the webinar and aren’t engaged. In short, you need to recruit them to another webinar, or use a different tactic.

  • Create an entire campaign for those who attended the webinar and didn’t buy after hearing the offer.

It’s important to continue weaving your story into these emails – just like the earlier emails you sent before the webinar. This keeps your messaging on brand and points to you as the logical solution for their pain points and passions.


So they signed up for your lead magnet, opened your emails, attended your webinar and still didn’t buy. It’s usually not because the issue went away. They’re probably still looking for a solution. Here’s a list of the next steps you should take.

As soon as the offer expires, send out an email that says something like this: “Hey, I noticed you’ve decided not to buy. I’m only trying to get better, and would love to know why you didn’t.” Provide a list of options for them to choose from. Their feedback will help you refine your messaging.

After three to five days have elapsed, send three to five more emails to each person. These emails should be sent over a period of about one week. They should be more educational and subtle. Don’t be aggressive. Don’t use pressure. These emails are aimed at people who need a little more time and information before making a decision.

You might consider showing them case studies, talking about the transformative opportunity and telling them stories about how the product or service has helped other people. As always, align the conversation around your solution. Package your best material and answers to every objection someone might have to purchasing your product or service.

Only send out this series of emails once. Never put them through the follow-up process again. If they don’t buy, you need to let them go.

The last email you should send contains a subject line like this: “Please Unsubscribe.” The body copy basically says, “We understand, you probably have a lot going on, and we don’t want to be just another email you have to deal with. We’d love you to stick around, but hey, if you’re not going to open it, we’d rather you just click here and we’ll unsubscribe you from our system.”


For those people who haven’t opted out of your list, you need to create a long-term nurture campaign. This can last between three and six weeks, and should teach people more about the most popular benefits of your product or service. It keeps you well placed in the minds of the people on your list without fatiguing them.

Email Marketing

Use two emails per week combined with retargeting campaigns to move people further down the sales funnel. The reason they originally downloaded the lead magnet is because there was an issue they’d like resolved. It’s likely that this issue still exists, so it’s important to continue nurturing these leads while they remain warm.

Any campaign outside this six-week period is going to show diminishing value. However, let’s focus on what to do when you close one of these leads.


Fulfillment is more than delivering the product or service.

After someone purchases, it’s useful to send a confirmation email thanking them and asking if they have any initial questions. Don’t just take their money and forget about them. If you provide a great customer experience, they’ll be more likely to share their story with others. Don’t be shy about sending follow-up emails explaining how others are benefitting from the product or service.

Finally, send a follow-up email a couple weeks after the purchase to make sure they’re happy and don’t have any questions. Always ask for feedback. The customer wants to know you’re still engaged with them. There’s a fine line between pestering and showing that you care about them and their experiences. Monitor any feedback closely. This is your time to shine.



List segmentation and surveys help surface important information about your customers or potential customers. This helps you create better emails, webinars, and products or services.

Audience Segmentation

Send out an email that says something like this: “Hey, We’re trying to create world-class content for you. Click the links below that best describe you.” List relevant issues for your audience that correspond to benefits of your product or service. Inside your CRM system, tag how people on your list responded. Now you can send a message to each individual, addressing what they said was an issue for them.

This process gives the people on your list exactly what they're looking for. For example, let’s say many respondents wanted help with time management. Coincidently, it’s one of the things your product or service is great at doing. Now that all the responses have been tagged and attributed to individuals in your CRM system, you can create a message explaining why your product or service provides superior time management tools. And these emails only go to the people who have identified time management as an issue.

By continually surveying and segmenting your list, you’ll be able to improve the content that matters most to your potential customers, increasing your conversion rates. Next we’ll explore how to improve your conversion rates by removing leads that are likely never convert.


It’s important to cleanse your list at least every quarter.

Do you really need 500,000 people on your list, if only 2,000 ever open your emails? If a lot of people on your list aren’t engaging, not only are you paying for them to be on your list, but your open rates and conversion rates aren’t going to be very good. Sources confirm that at least 22.5% of your email list degrades every year. One of the quickest and simplest ways consultants increase conversion rates is to clear out the deadwood.


It’s necessary to run reports on how many people haven’t engaged in the last three months or so. Once these are removed, you’ll get a better idea as to the effectiveness of your “open email” rates. It’s a good idea to also check the numbers for opened, clicked and engaged. Different tools refer to these in different ways. And never just delete them; they’re a good source of data.

For those leads who aren’t engaging, you can create a campaign by sending them an email like this: “Hey, we noticed you haven’t engaged in a while. We want to make sure you still see value in our conversations. If you want to stay on our list, please click here.” If you don’t hear from them, send one final email saying that if you don’t click “Yes, I want to stay on the list” in the next 48 hours you’ll be automatically removed.

After 48 hours remove them, because apps have subscriber limits and many don’t sync well. You don’t want to keep paying for leads who are not engaged with your content. Download their details into an Excel spreadsheet until you’re ready to retarget them with a Facebook ad campaign. This will be your last attempt to get them back in your marketing funnel. Since your last approach didn’t work with this audience, you’ll need to mix up your message, image or offer to get their attention.

Contrary to popular opinion, ad blockers are a good thing for marketers. People who use ad blockers don’t want to be your customer, and therefore having them opt out is good for your conversion numbers. Unsubscribing leads is a good thing too. If you’ve invested a lot of time and money into generating a large list, eliminating subscribers can be frustrating. But a vanity list filled with unengaged subscribers is nothing but an ego rush and doesn’t make good business sense. In business, there is nothing better than conversions.

Business Planning


To recap, the process for digital marketing is a lot more complicated than simply buying space on the web. Building an opt-in audience through lead magnets or content marketing is only the first step. Education, follow-up and nurturing are vital components of any complex buying decision. Your conversion odds are greatly improved by list segmentation and list cleansing, as they enable you to better focus on strong leads – those who are most likely to make a purchase.

In my opinion, if you’re having trouble converting online sales, you should consider developing a fully integrated online marketing approach. At the very least, it will give you the best possible opportunity for success.

Mike Johnston is a production executive and advertising creative in Seattle. He is available for freelance consulting, writing and directing. Contact Mike


Want to know more about digital marketing? Read, "How Digital Marketing Changed Advertising Forever."

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