What is a contingency plan?
It’s a plan designed to take possible events and/or circumstances into account, for example, a contingency plan for dealing with oil spills.
In other words, if X happens, then we need to do Y.
This is common in the military. Before a military unit does anything, the unit’s officers prepare contingency plans for every possible scenario: if the enemy attacks the base, if the enemy attacks the ship, if a plane flies near the base, and so on.
In the marketing world, the objective is to turn traffic into leads, leads into buyers, and buyers into repeat buyers.
While most businesses focus on persuading people to say “Yes” to what they have to offer, there lies an even bigger opportunity in creating contingency plans for those who say “No.”
Here’s an interesting statistic.
If you were to set up an advertising campaign on Google AdWords and drive traffic to a sales page, only about 2 percent to 5 percent would actually buy.
A recent test result from WordStream revealed that the average conversion rate for cold traffic is 2.35 percent.
Anything above 5 percent is considered awesome; you’re crushing it.
Even though 95 percent to 98 percent of visitors don’t buy, that is considered normal in the realm of online advertising.
So, what do you do?
You want to start thinking strategically and create contingency plans for those who say “No.”
First, the majority of your focus and marketing efforts should be on getting your visitors’ contact information before trying to sell them stuff.
Because we know most people are going to say “No” the first time we ask them to buy something. But if we have their contact information, we can keep in touch and continue to make offers.
And, best of all, this can all be done automatically through marketing automation.
Where do you begin?
Begin by creating a lead magnet, something of value you can give your prospects in exchange for their contact information.
It can be a report, checklist, cheat sheet, video, series of videos, webinar, minicourse, or something similar.
It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it’s genuinely helpful. After all, as my teacher and mentor Frank Kern, creator of behavioral dynamic response marketing, would say, “The income you generate is in direct proportion to the amount of goodwill you provide to the marketplace.”
(Note: Be sure to read my article about lead segmentation if you want to discover how to segment people based on their interest and behaviors.)
Once people opt in and give you their contact information, they enter your marketing automation system.
That’s when you start deploying contingency plans.
Let’s say, for example, that some people register for a webinar. We know from past statistics that not everyone will show up, so there’s a chance that those leads might not attend the webinar at all.
So what do you do?
For starters, you could send them two relevant videos with amazing content before the webinar so that you start building trust and likeability.
You could also send them four friendly reminder e-mails before the webinar so they actually show up, like this:
And that’s just a start!
Whenever you hold a webinar, you end up with four distinct groups of people:
- Those who registered but didn’t attend.
- Those who attended but left early.
- Those who attended, saw the pitch, but didn’t buy.
- Those who attended and bought.
You wouldn’t want to treat each group the same way because each has a completely different mindset.
Those who attended and saw the pitch but didn’t buy probably have some sort of concern or objection.
So wouldn’t it make sense to send them two videos that teach them how to overcome their concerns or objections?
And if they still don’t buy, you could send them a few e-mails reminding them about the offer’s deadline, like this:
And what about those who left early or didn’t attend?
Well, because they never saw the pitch in the first place, you could either invite them to another webinar or assign them to a different marketing campaign altogether.
By the way, you could technically set up your automation software to send them a replay of the webinar, but I would recommend against it as that tends to train your leads to not attend your live webinars.
So far it’s pretty cool, right?
This concept can be used throughout your marketing campaigns. Think of all the people who might not take the action you want them to take, and then create a contingency plan.
For example, if someone requests a lead magnet but doesn’t download it, which is common, it doesn’t make sense to start pitching your product or service right away because you haven’t delivered any goodwill yet.
Instead, you could send them a few e-mail reminders and then add them to a marketing campaign once they consume the lead magnet.
Another example is if someone visits your checkout page but doesn’t buy. You could send them an e-mail reminding them about your offer. Or you could ask them if they have had any technical difficulties during the checkout process.
And if they buy your product but don’t buy the upsell you offer, here’s how it would look:
If you want to maximize your results using business automation, you should focus on creating contingency plans for the people who didn’t take the action you wanted them to take.
Those are the people who…
- Didn’t download your lead magnet.
- Didn’t watch your video.
- Didn’t attend your webinar.
- Didn’t visit your sales page.
- Didn’t complete the checkout process.
- Didn’t buy your product.
Basically, you want to follow up differently based on the actions your leads take within your business.
Now, think about your sales process and brainstorm three ways you can follow-up with your leads who don’t immediately say “yes” to your offer.