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Q & A – Generating Merchant Leads with Online Marketing
Merchant Sales Podcast · Bringing Marketing Into The Payments Industry The question this week is from a director of client services for a processing company. He also partners with marketing companies to create very personalized, niche specific […]
The question this week is from a director of client services for a processing company. He also partners with marketing companies to create very personalized, niche specific cold email campaigns to generate appointments. He asks, “What kind of messaging or angle could be used in a cold email message to encourage a 10-15 minute conversation with business owners in the payment processing industry?”
JAMES: One of my favorite topics for conversation is compliance.
- You can ask questions such as how merchants are handling chip cards.
- Cite quotes from reputable publications addressing the concern of consumers about spreading germs. This leads to conversations about contactless payments.
- Go after fear and risk.
One big challenge of our industry right now is integrated payments. Large merchants find many barriers and unnecessary friction while trying to integrate payment processing into everything they do. They just want to get paid, but they can’t because the payment processing is not successfully integrated. Go very specific on the software integration side.
I recently invited gateway provider, Accept Blue, to my podcast. They just integrated with Salesforce. In that scenario, you could go after merchants highly likely to use Salesforce. You could probably buy an email list for that.
In a cold email, mention native Salesforce Payment Processing Integration. Speak to some of the barriers there.
- Many businesses understand there’s friction in payments which needs to be eliminated.
- Or they realize the risk from fraud, not being PCI Compliant, data breaches, and contactless payments.
To be on the positive side, be very targeted and niche specific. If you are on the negative side, it’s easier to go broad.
However, in order to show value, I recommend you go more specific.
AGENT: In this industry, I believe value is key. That’s why I’m asking about angles. Merchants need to know they’re getting something out of the call besides a sales pitch.
JAMES: So, the question is how to actually offer some value.
- Go positive.
- Don’t emphasize the payment processing; that’s just a way to start the relationship.
- Offer them three things.
Use this type of approach: “Hey, Bill. We notice three key issues that your type of company is having with integrating payment processing into their technology. Here’s the bullet points….we would love to provide you with…. ”
You might test from a marketing perspective the addition of an extra step – a free download. This would give you some contact information.
Use wording like, “The three challenges that manufacturers are facing when it comes to accepting business cards (or whatever).”
Write and design that in a click funnel type campaign. The free download would then go to the appointment scheduling page.
Thus, the email would focus on clicking the download rather than selling the call. Whether they schedule an appointment or not, getting lead data this way would probably be easier.
Then follow up with, “Hey, I see you downloaded the eBook with the three key issues. I’m wondering which of those spoke to you?” That is a good in-road conversation.
A few years ago, people were very suspicious of statements such as, “I saw you just opened my email” or “I saw you visited my website.” However, tracking actions is generally expected now. You could integrate this right into your phone burner or whatever you’re using. If someone clicks the email, you already know who it is.
I believe in providing free value to people. Providing copy for free, no-obligation content is much easier. This strategy gives clear next-action steps to prospects and gives you leverage coming into the call.
If prospects simply schedule an appointment, there could be some awkwardness as you try to pinpoint their interest and needs. However, when prospects download an eBook, you know their interest and have a great conversation starter.
ONE FINAL TIP:
In the midst of your marketing automation, don’t lose sight of the long-term play of generating valuable content over an extended period of time.
- If 10% of those you contacted click, and
- If you sell 10% of those who clicked,
- That means you didn’t sell 100 people who showed some interest.
When prospects download the eBook, offer the box to check for subscribing to your email list. Provide free monthly newsletters and tips. Keep it vertical specific, at least in a broad perspective like “retail” or “manufacturing”, etc.
By creating a brand around your monthly content, you get brand recognition and provide interesting information people enjoy.
You can hardly find content to generate more profit than a podcast. My merchant services podcast has its own logo, format, color scheme, and specific location on my website. Invite the prospects you want to sell to your podcast!
This is true capitalism…give it away free for a reason.
Email a monthly newsletter which includes free tips and testimonials of happy clients. These testimonials are customers just like your prospects who’ve conquered a problem. Conclude with a call to action.
Although you DO want to go for the quick turn in marketing, also remember there’s a very long tail. Someone who recently purchased my 6-week training told me he had been reading and listening to my content for four years!
Merchants will eventually have a problem which reminds them of the persistent person who’s been sending emails for years.