This is a large, broad overview of several different components of a high performance digital marketing funnel. I’ve broken this funnel down into different components and speak more specifically about each in the following posts – I encourage you to check them out.

I want to walk you through a big, broad lead generation and relationship-building process and help you understand how to connect multiple pieces of a marketing stack – a suite of different applications and digital tools – to create a high performance digital marketing funnel.

Driving the course with Drip automation + Calendly + Gravity Forms

To build the Marketing That Makes Money email course on my website, I started with Drip. Drip is my favorite marketing automation platform for many reasons, but as I say in the video, it’s simple in the right ways and allows complexity in the right ways. The more time I spend in Drip the more impressed I am, and I’ve been using it for a couple years now on many different client projects. I wanted to really dig in to do something special on my website.

This course is interactive and personalized – it asks the learner to complete a useful worksheet after each lesson, and as I capture how they respond I use Drip to continually refine and personalize the experience. This means that a marketing pro who’s concerned about strategy will have a different experience than an executive trying to get better performance out of her marketing team. The more the learner engages, the more the course “learns” and the more customized the experience can become. I say in the marketing materials for this course that I’m not trying to build a list, I’m trying to build a relationship – and that’s true. With this in mind I also automate some emails that will go to subscribers months down the road to remind them of some of the commitments and efforts they said they wanted to focus on.

Putting this together requires a combination of sophisticated workflows that all talk to and respond to each other. Much of this process is informed by Brennan Dunn’s excellent approach. The result is a course that is self-paced – learners can finish it in around half an hour or in a week.

At the end of the course I invite them to schedule a conversation with me, and I use Calendly for this. Drip listens for activity from Calendly, and if it hears what it’s looking for I send a follow-up email to continue the relationship with some get-started questions.

The interactivity, starting with the website homepage subscription form, is driven by Gravity Forms. Gravity integrates well with Drip through a special plugin, so I can populate Gravity Forms fields with Drip data and send new or updated data back to Drip from Gravity Forms. This is how the worksheets are all managed.

Here’s what you’ll need to roll your own:

Go in-depth on this part of the funnel with this post.

Personalization with RightMessage

With the data that’s collected in Drip I can feed an app called RightMessage to change the content of my website on the fly. That marketing pro who’s concerned about strategy and the executive with issues for her team will see different things on my website, including custom recommendations on my sales page. This is pretty amazing stuff and demonstrates the potential of how automation and personalization can create a high-impact, high performance sales page.

I give RightMessage different conditions, telling it what to look for from its connection to Drip. When it sees the right combination of tags, custom fields, or other attributes that I think are important (like a referring url, for instance), it can then customize just about anything on a web page on-the-fly. I can change text, show/hide elements, or tweak HTML or CSS. With a combination of Drip’s data, RightMessage’s customization possibilities and a strategic mindset towards how I can most help my visitors, customers and prospects, just about anything seems possible.

I talk much more about RightMessage and this specific part of the marketing funnel in this post – click here and give it a read.

  • RightMessage (by invitation only as I write this, but keep an eye on their site)

Engagement with Typeform + Zapier + Leadboxes

I love Typeform for many reasons, and use their tools often. I was struggling to find the right solution to inviting engagement into this course when people weren’t on the homepage – such as a timed pop-up (hey, you saw one on this page already.) I tried several things, all to frustration, before landing on Typeform.

There’s not much to it – a simple form in Typeform is connected to Drip using Zapier. This lets me create or update subscribers using whatever they input into the Typeform. The Typeform is hosted on their platform, so I can embed it anywhere and make changes to a single form to have it show up as it should across the different ways I might use it online, including as a stand-alone link or embedded in a Leadbox or Leadpage.

Leadboxes are features within the Leadpages suite. They’re great for starting engagement, but a limitation is that the native forms you can create inside of Leadboxes or Leadpages don’t allow selector items – the drop-down functionality I require for a new subscriber to tell me their professional role, which is essential to my starting the personalization of the course. Yet, Leadboxes allows a lot of easy functionality that I was looking for and I have a lot of confidence in the product and the company that runs it – Leadpages (out of Minneapolis, my old haunting grounds).

To get the best of all worlds I stripped out everything from Leadboxes and used the HTML widget to embed the Typeform. Now the Typeform runs the engagement while the Leadbox showcases it. It means I’m not doing any integrations through Leadboxes and obviously I won’t be able to get any measurement from Leadboxes (since no conversions are happening from a form inside a Leadbox), but I can get analytics from Typeform on how things are performing. It’s not a perfect solution, but it works for now.

You’ll need:

  • Typeform (FREE with some limitations, but you can connect to Zapier so woohoo!)
  • Zapier (Free tiers that I believe connect Typeform to Drip (sweet!) with paid tiers for more features)
  • Leadboxes (free trial, then $25/month as a starter version)

Customizing a kick-ass landing page from Leadpages

A landing page is a dedicated, singular-purpose page on your website that serves the purpose of doing only a single thing. Usually it’s for a lead magnet – a way for people to trade you an email address for something of value like a download, resource, webinar or whatever. In my case, of course, it’s to enroll in my email course. The hallmark of a landing page is it generally strips away a lot of the rest of a website. No navigation, for instance, so there’s no distraction from what you hope for a person to do. No extra calls-to-action like read-a-post or learn-more-here – just straight information about the critical function the landing page serves.

I wanted to use Leadpages because it allows some flexibility that would have been more complicated if I were building an additional page off of my site. It’s also the same company that runs Drip and Leadboxes, so there are some obvious integrations there that, while I’m not really taking advantage of just now, I certainly hope to in the future. Beyond that, I enjoy the Leadpages community, the team I’ve interacted with there, and the culture of the product and company.

I wanted my Leadpage to reflect and represent my brand well. I put a lot of my self into my website – big and little details that matter to me and how I show up to start and build relationships. It wasn’t enough for me to choose a template (fantastic and useful though they are) and just drag and drop my way to something functional.

I started by crafting a well-put-together landing page with great content, multiple, easy calls-to-action, and useful, transformational demonstration of what my course is about and why I think it can help people. Then I grabbed assets from my website so the conversion-scent would be strong – familiarity between my digital properties. I also shot a captivating video to welcome and encourage.

Then I opened the CSS panel and got to work. Using Chrome’s inspector (and in once case relying on RightMessage to find an element I just wasn’t able to isolate with the inspector) I could snag the class name of different elements on the landing page. Naming the sections of the layout can help with this. Once I had the element, it was simple CSS. I applied some color changing animation and some other animations to different elements on the page to really bring it to life. It takes what I think was a strong landing page and makes it special. Delightful, in fact.

  • Leadpages (free trial, then $25/month as a starter version)

Go in-depth on this part of the funnel with this post.

I’m pretty pleased with the final result and am looking forward to seeing how it performs, what I discover along the way, and how I’ll innovate and respond to things I learn. I will of course make regular updates about it here and on YouTube.

If you’re interested in the course I talk about in the video, I invite you to sign up and experience it for yourself.

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Chris Bintliff

Chris Bintliff helps organizations create marketing that makes money. His Not Really Rocket Science platform helps drive a modern marketing engine that attracts customers, builds relationships and delivers sales opportunities. When he’s not writing, building, designing, delivering, speaking, teaching or strategizing (is that a word?) he enjoys talking about himself in the third person. Learn more about what he does and how he does it.
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