A complex and sophisticated marketing funnel does you no good unless you have the leads to fuel the marketing automation engine. The 3 tips below will help you improve your top of funnel copy so you can put that engine to work.
While marketing automation/content generation platforms vary in quality, most are adequate to the job of turning interested leads into paying customers. The middle of the sales funnel, in other words, is extremely well supported by existing software, as are the analytics that come after the sales are made.
Where many marketers fall short, however, is in generating that top-of-funnel interest in the first place.
Having invested in world-class support architecture to guide customers toward a sale, too many brand owners are caught short because they neglected the need to draw people into the funnel in the first place. As hard as you worked on building your brand identity, supply chain, and customer support infrastructure, it can be enormously frustrating to see so many potential sales blow by without noticing you because your top-of-funnel marketing efforts were ineffective.
The most successful approach to fixing this shortfall takes the form of organic lead generation — usually, this is in the form of landing pages that can easily be found in search results — and direct email. Not all approaches are equal, however, and how you write your top of funnel copy may be the most important single factor in turning strangers into devoted followers of your brand.
Three considerations, in particular, go into writing effective top-of-funnel copy.
Grab Attention With an Irresistible Subject Line
The subject line is your first introduction to potential customers. An effective one grabs the customer’s attention and encourages clicking through to read the body of the email.
Personalization is great for this; if you have a prospect’s name, it never hurts to use it in the subject field. Asking a question is also effective because it automatically encourages action to provide an answer. Numbers also have a power all their own.
A subject line like: “Steve — Have You Heard About the 3 Ways Your Business Is Losing Money?” has all these elements and draws the prospect in almost despite himself. Landing pages have something like a subject line in their titles and
Landing pages have something like a subject line in their titles and metadata. Your objective is to place highly in search results, and most search engines look for keywords in both places. When you’re composing a title, think about the questions your customers might be asking and how your site answers them.
When you’re composing a title, think about the questions your customers might be asking and how your site answers them. Metadata is usually visible to browsers on results pages, so try to make your copy something that entices casual viewers to dig deeper to learn more. Tailor your keywords to be as specific as possible, to take advantage of highly relevant search terms, and use them once in each place. Remember your metadata is limited to 155 characters, so be concise here.
Tailor your keywords to be as specific as possible, to take advantage of highly relevant search terms, and use them once in each place. Remember your metadata is limited to 155 characters, so be concise here.
Effective Top of Funnel Copy Is Key to Driving Sales
The body of text in your email or landing page is where you make your case to the customer. Copy here needs to keep the reader engaged, but it also has to be informative and draw the reader toward the call to action at the end.
For emails, where space (and attention) is limited, you have to more or less come to the point right away. Try keeping your email pitch to three or fewer paragraphs, and consider running your text through a readability checker before sending it out to make sure you’re keeping the reading level to high school or lower for ease of comprehension across a wide audience.
Landing pages give you more room to work with but remember that your visitors still need a reason to stay on the page and follow your links to sales pages and social media links.
Some of the best top of funnel copy is informative and useful to the reader and encourages return visits if only to use your material as a resource. White papers are exceptionally good for this since they provide detailed information that even experts in a field and business customers can refer to again and again.
Don’t Forget the Call to Action
All this marketing automation copywriting has a purpose, and that’s to drive sales from the top of the funnel to the point of sale. That’s where your call to action comes in. At the end of your pitch, it is imperative to give your visitor a concrete, one-step action to take in the desired direction.
Especially with top of funnel copy, this shouldn’t yet be asking for a sale. A direct sales pitch this early in the relationship will likely be taken as off-putting and could ruin an otherwise good approach.
Instead, consider using your email call to action to encourage social media follows and visits to your landing page. Remember that getting the click is what allows your marketing automation platform to cookie your recipient, giving you access to their behavioral data so you can market to them more effectively moving forward. Your marketing emails should always include a clickable link and drive recipients through it.
Your landing pages can afford to be more direct. People who have already clicked through to visit your site are likely to follow your site’s flow toward a product or payment page. Build toward this over the course of your top of funnel copy with short references to the desired action, i.e.: mention your services throughout the copy, but save the specifics for the last paragraph.
Good calls to action on a landing page should be direct, imperative and encouraging. “Click here to learn more” is good, and it can be linked to a product page with further exposition and a direct pitch that makes the sale you’ve been after from the first contact with your lead. Building a good top-of-funnel approach is the essential first step in making the most out of your marketing automation content generation architecture. Well-composed emails and attractive, informative landing pages draw leads in from all over the digital ocean and gently guide them toward your end goal — meeting a new customer.
Speaking of the Call to Action…
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