We are a travel startup that is into helping people go on holiday vacations and trips. We have a fairly well rounded product right now but we are struggling to generate in-bound leads. There is already some effort that has gone in that direction. We have tried to implement a few growth hacks but they have not gotten us anywhere yet. Looking to talk to someone who can offer us how to move forward from here strategically. Our startup has raised about $300 USD, we are looking to use this money towards cracking a marketing strategy for further growth of the product.
Dirt simple approach, I've used with several of my Travel Agent clients.
1) Determine your most lucrative destination (highest commissions for you).
2) Determine starting point of most people visiting your destination.
Say... Auckland New Zealand...
3) Run a Facebook Ad campaign targeting Auckland residents + pixel people clicking on your Ads, so your Ads stalk them.
Simple. Cheap. Effective.
I would recommend you do a complete marketing check up, look at your target audience and your competitors, what are they doing? What do your customers want? Where are your customers? Are you reaching the right customers? Are you delivering what they want or what you think they need? Do you have a strong branding story? Compelling content? What types of advertising have you tried? Use of images? Have you considered all of this? Please give me a call, I would love to help.
I understand that your budget is small so making sure you are targeting the right audience (mostly location based) is vital. Make sure you promote your top service/product/destination (the one that is more profitable). I would use two channels for this: PPC and Paid Facebook Ads. these are the top 2 platforms where your users are.
Based on your budget and my experience advising travel start-ups and running multi-million dollar travel budgets, I wouldn't recommend the traditional digital channels as they're flooded with travel competitors already. The caveat to that would be if you have something truly unique that can cut through in a crowded space.
Most likely it's a no for Adwords and Facebook advertising.
There are a number of low/no-cost content amplification and inbound lead gen angles I'd be happy to discuss, they'll take more of your time to get up and running, but at this early stage you need to be frugal with your investment, so that's what I'd recommend.
Happy to setup a call if this is something you wanted to discuss further.
Here is a 32-step tutorial on how to generate warm leads using a lead scrape, a couple free extensions, a CRM and a salesperson to not only generate, but properly nurture your new leads from cold to closed.
I have been asked often about my approach to LinkedIn lead generation and how it works in conjunction with digital ads and telemarketing. Here is a very quick/dirty guide that will help clarify the process, timeline and stack needed:
What you will need:
* Google Chrome Browser
* A Linkedin profile
* A verified email list
* Cold email templates
* Tool setup for [cold] email sequences
Week 1: Start Gathering Data
You can either write a scraper (Upwork, the world's largest online workplace search for “scraper”) or use a tool (recommend https://data-miner.io/). If your list requires some serious digging let me know your criteria and I'll see if the team I use can help. If you are in need of a fast and effective You can start this step 1 week before you have an SDR trained and ready.
1. Set scraping criteria - industry, title, location, company size, Linkedin profile (Y/N?), phone number (Y/N?)
2. Create a google sheet with correct headings for your CRM - search your CRM + “bulk import .csv template”
3. Load one example of a good lead to the sheet
4. Share sheet with your scraper
6. Verify these yourself if you did not order a pre-verified list - Use a tool like Verify Email Address Online
Week 2: Start Connecting
This is a very powerful step that requires LinkedHelper to automate the connection requests. You can upload your scraped list, as well as run the bot on any network search.
1. In your Google sheet with the scraped contacts, create a new tab for “Linkedin Profiles” - find/copy/paste the LI profile URLs to one column there.
2. Download this Chrome extension: Linked Helper - automate work with LinkedIn
3. Login to whatever Linkedin account you want to use to prospect this list.
4. Follow these instructions to load the LI profiles list to LinkedHelper: https://medium.com/linked-helper...
5. Select the options to invite/connect and view profile - This will give them two notifications (viewed your profile and requested connection)
Week 2: Auto-Messaging Sequence
Like cold emailing, you will be able to cold message connections gained in the previous step with a timed sequence using LinkedHub. This allows you to serve more messages and more impressions without much downside (like spam complaints).
1. Create a LinkedHub account - linkedhub | LinkedIn Lead Generation
2. Setup your connection sequence - use a simple one-line connect message like “It’d be great to have you in my network.”
3. Time your second and third messages appropriately - The second message should not be a sales message. You want your second message to go out 1 min after they approve the connection, and be a simple one sentence "thank you for connecting" message. Use the contact fields to personalize it.
4. The third message can be your “ask” - make it a great offer, or something unique for your LinkedIn connections otherwise it won’t get much of a response.
5. Add the URLs you used in your scrape to as the target for this sequence - Make sure to add the exact search terms which will include everyone on your list of contacts. Use title and industry search terms, and multiple URLs if you have to. Contacts not in your email list may get these messages, but this is ok, so long as the search criteria is for potential customers.
6. Start sequence
Week 3: CRM Retargeting
The main purpose of CRM retargeting is to serve brand impressions and educate your list on what exactly it is you do. The last thing you want to do is cold email or cold call prospects who have zero idea who you are and what your company does.
1. Load your lists to each platform for ad retargeting - Depending on your list size, you have Adwords (1000 minimum) Facebook (relative, but no min), Adroll (500 minimum), Linkedin (3000 minimum).
2. Facebook - Use FB to serve video ads explaining your product/service to the audience to educate using a medium they’ll engage with.
3. Adroll - Adroll you will use to serve impressions of your brand. You do not even care about the clicks.
4. Linkedin - You want to serve valuable content that shows thought leadership on Linkedin - ebooks, white papers, and webinars - collaborations with other brands is preferred.
5. Adwords - Load your videos to YouTube and serve “TrueView” ads to your retargeted list.
Week 4: Cold Emailing
Now that they have [hopefully] been served one or two impressions of your brand, it’s time to send them a cold email sequence. It’s very important you do not do this too early. You want it to be as warm as possible, which is why we serve LinkedIn profile impressions and ads to these people first. It’s also important you use a correctly timed sequence with if/then rules so that you make sure not to bother those uninterested, and you keep inboxing.
1. Load contacts to your CRM - If you used the formated bulk sheet provided by your CRM, you should be able to simply upload the contacts. If your CRM allows for tagging, tag every 200 contacts with a unique letter (A, B, C….). This allows you to easily decide who to send what/when by segmenting them by tag in your CRM.
2. Run a spam and record test - Before you send a single cold email, make sure you have the correct any record issues - verify DKIM/SPF settings with your host. Make sure email clients can verify you are permitted to send from that address by following the corrections this site gives you: Newsletters spam test by mail-tester.com
3. Use a drip sequence - Make sure unopened emails get the same email two days later with an alternative headline. And those who do open, but do not click get another option later. And if you are using a CRM, make sure sales is notified while someone is browsing the site so they can contact/close them right then. I recommend CRM Software - Customer Relationship Management - Agile CRM
4. Limit sending to 200/day - The last thing you want to do is show up on any blacklists. Too many complaints in a day will get you listed. This is why we want to throttle sends. Make adjustments to messages that are getting no clicks/replies and complaints before sending the next batch.
Week 5: Cold Calling
The process is created to make these calls much 'warmer', but you will want to make sure your SDR's or AE's understand the brand impressions each contact has been served prior to these calls - i.e. "We are connected on Linkedin..." or "I sent the details to your ___@___ email...".
1. If your CRM is giving you notifications when contacts are browsing, make sure to call those prospects immediately - CRM's like CRM Software - Customer Relationship Management - Agile CRM will allow you to install their tracking pixel on your site and setup desktop notifications for if/when contacts are on your site. Make sure your team has these on and are calling during the browse.
2. Next, call those who have opened, but not clicked - Then call those who have not opened.
3. Finally, call your Linkedin connections.
4. For these cold campaigns, one your SDR or AE's tasks should be getting them to open/reply to the email. This keeps your IP health up so you can continue cold emailing.
Week 5: Triggering Follow Up Sequences
Follow Up sequences should be ready for each type of call - no answer, not interested/ready... So you can keep these contacts in your funnel and at least offer them relative content they may be interested in. Have a few sequences ready to be deployed when the call is done.
1. As soon as the call is done, trigger the appropriate sequence.
2. At the end of every sequence should be a transfer into some sort of evergreen content drip - This last step ensures no contacts are ever left floating as they continue to get your content regardless if they are in an approaching/nurturing sequence, or not interested in the product, but have not opted out of emails.
From here you can get into content marketing and true lead nurturing techniques using whatever you have of value to display thought leadership and trust - case studies, white papers, collaborative content with known brands...
Reach out to me here if you need help.