If you’re getting the basics right when it comes to middle-of-the-funnel marketing, but you want to take the next step, this episode is for you.

Katy Widrick talks all about funnels, automations, personalized workflows, and more. We discuss the importance of triggering, tagging, and segmenting in your email marketing, and what to do AFTER you’ve got those segments.

More about Katy:
Katy Widrick transforms marketing pros into CMOs by teaching them how to recover the biggest expense in their businesses – lost sales – by using simple, effective systems to increase conversions and decrease top-of-funnel costs. Katy has worked in marketing and revenue expansion for more than 20 years, strategizing and implementing campaigns and effective funnels that help visionary leaders maximize their impact, grow their top-line revenue and scale their product and service lines to 7, 8 and 9 figures.

She also serves high-growth founders as a Fractional CMO, using a profit-first approach to marketing and sales funnels.

Read the full transcript

Katy Widrick 0:00
Is that personalization that makes all the difference. And again, you can be collecting it all the time without explicitly saying, Hey, tell me about yourself. Where do you live? What are you interested in? What are your hopes and dreams? No, I can get that because you’ve clicked on certain content or you’ve visited certain pages of the website, or you’ve watched certain videos or interacted with me in some other way. All of that gets stored and then used in these middle of the funnel and bottom of the funnel workflows and outreach.

Meg Casebolt 0:30
You’re listening to social slowdown a podcast for entrepreneurs and micro businesses looking for sustainable marketing strategies without being dependent on social media. Social media is a double edged sword. It’s a wonderful way to stay connected. But it also can feel like an addictive obligation. And it’s even more complex for businesses, your audience might be right there, but you’ve got to fight with algorithms to maybe be seen by them. So whether you want to abandon social media altogether, or you just want to take a month off, it’s possible to have a thriving business without being dependent on social media. This podcast is all about finding creative, sustainable ways to engage with your audience without needing to lipsync send to cold DMS, run ads or be available 24/7. Let’s get started. Hello, we are here at the social slowdown podcast. This is Meg Casebolt. I am here with Katie with Derek, thank you so much for being here with me, Katie.

Katy Widrick 1:25
Oh my gosh, it’s my pleasure. I’m really looking forward to this conversation me through.

Okay, so we met through a summit that we were on together. And I would love if you could sort of just explain to our listeners and also me because we’re still fairly new getting to know each other. What it is that you do and how you help your clients. Yeah.

So at the heart of it, to be honest with Meg, with you make I’m a nerd.

Yes, I love when people started that way. I

like put me in front of a spreadsheet put me in front of a complicated workflow in an email service provider, like show me some outcome. And like the messy middle, that’s where that’s where I live. So the more professional way to answer is, I’m a fractional CMO. And I’m really passionate about working with high growth founders to help them take their visionary ideas, and actually make them more profitable, make them more efficient, and obviously helping them stay out of the inner workings and in the weeds of their business and actually go and change the world with their ideas. So that’s sort of the fancy the fancy version of what I do. Now, the actual mechanics is that I spend most of my time in the middle of the funnel. I really believe that for most founders, whether they are in high growth, or they’re in startup, or they’re maybe even a junior marketing, pro learning to do this for someone else, I find that the biggest expense in a business is actually the missed sale from the lead or prospect or conversation that you’re already having. So, so much time and you know, this is spent on like, how do I get more attention on my thing? How do I get more people on my list more followers? And I think there’s obviously value to that. But I find that it can be really frustrating for somebody to spend all that time there and then wonder, Well, what happened in the middle? So my sweet spot in my zone of genius is in increasing conversions, and having more meaningful and effective conversations in the middle and bottom of any marketing funnel. Yes. And I love that because

I’m like, my business is top of funnel and as, as an SEO person, it’s very much like how do we get people to the website? How do we capture their email addresses? And then it’s like, well, Oh, Ben, what

are my favorite thing really, is to think about this as sort of track and field event. Right. So I my favorite people to hang out with our top of funnel strategists and people who are just nailing it in that conversational brand building relationship, I am always so in awe of people that do that well, and that that’s their zone of genius. But I find that the best relationship is when you know, top of funnel sort of takes the baton starts the race and then hands it off. And then goes back to doing more of those conversations at the top. It’s a very different skill set, as I know, that you are aware of and that your listeners are probably aware of too. And for a lot of us, we ended up having to do all of the things when we’re first getting started or when we’re testing something. But my favorite is to work with really, really smart passionate top of funnel gurus or experts, and then say cool, you bring me the people and then I’m going to get them to the next leg of the race and ultimately maybe even hand them off to somebody whose entire goal is to have that conversation and the closing, you know, discussion and the permission based all of those really high integrity tasks. But that’s my favorite kind of team to work inside of and also the teams that I try to build along with my clients.

Absolutely. And I have people who come to me sometimes and say like, I feel like I just need more traffic. I need more awareness. I need people that like brand awareness and I’m like yeah, but when people find you do they buy from you because we can send as much traffic as we want to to a website But if the website doesn’t connect with people, if they’re not engaged with it, then like, we’re just, it’s the same as like running a Facebook ad that doesn’t convert, you’re just throwing money down the toilet.

Exactly. And I, you know, I’ve been there like, the hard part is that when you are in marketing, whatever your role is, or whatever your journey has been, you have learned those hard lessons from throwing a lot of money at an ad budget, only to find that, yes, you got a lot of impressions, or maybe you even got a lot of leads, but then it was crickets, or to have this killer offer this this amazing program or service that you really feel as making an impact. And nobody’s there to see it. So it’s really frustrating and defeating and so yeah, so I, my favorite is when all of those are clicking. And everybody who’s part of that process, including the audience, by the way, might, you know, it’s like, I feel really great when someone goes through a funnel and even recognizes, oh, I’m being sold to I’m being marketed to but like, what an incredible process. This was, I learned, I understood, I cared for you, I trusted you. And like then I invested in you those are I love those moments, as I know, we all do, because that’s also where the profit is.

That’s why we’re in business. We’re not just you know, creating these these entertainment or education systems, we’re also running businesses. So I guess my question if people are listening to this and going okay, but how does that apply to me? would be like, I have this offer? I know, it’s awesome. Where do I start with making sure that that I have the systems in place for it?

Yeah, I think that’s a really good question. And one of the things that I do when I’m first assessing, or when I’m first taking on a project is I really assess an audit before I take any action, there’s actually a saying that somebody shared when, when I was first getting started with their team, and she said, You know, when I came in, I was really clear, I didn’t want to move any cups for for 90 days. And I said, well explain what that means. And she said, I really just wanted to not jump in and not impress everyone with how much I knew or what I was bringing to the table, I wanted to see what was working, what wasn’t and take the time to understand why people had made certain choices they had. So I just want to say from the beginning, that I think it’s dangerous, whether you’re auditing your own internal systems, or you’re working with someone else, or bringing someone else in, I find it to be dangerous to immediately come in and say, well, here are all of the things that are wrong. Here are the things that are broken, and we’re going to overhaul everything, I just think it does a disservice to the people who came up with the system in the first place who may be doing a really good job communicating and selling and they’re really just trying to accelerate. So the first thing I would do and I would encourage your listeners to do is really take that time to audit. And when I say audit, I mean like get granular. actually write down all of the systems, okay? And if you’re not a tech nerd, like I am, I bless and release you from having to make this perfect. This really is like, what is going to work for me, what can I get on paper that’s understandable to me, it doesn’t have to be all the jargon. It doesn’t have to be, you know, when I say ESP, for example, I’m talking about an email service provider. And I try to really hold back from the jargon because even people who do this every day, there’s just too many acronyms, right? There’s just too much of this. So

Oh, as an SEO person, yes. I feel like they just throw out like SEO as an acronym.

So So again, when I say you know, do the audit, I really mean Okay, right now I have a website. And here’s what’s on the website. And in order for someone to understand more about me, here’s what they do, you know, just really write down all of the steps and say, Is this the most efficient system? Is there something else I could do? Is there something that’s less manual that I know could be done to make this more effective and efficient, and even if you aren’t the person to go figure out what it is or how to fix it, if you can identify, oh, I’m sending manual emails out, I feel like this could be automated, I just find that mapping it out really helps you see where some of those gaps are. And I think empowering yourself with seeing where the opportunities are. That’s, that’s the biggest thing you can hire somebody to teach yourself you can learn listen to podcasts and learn. But you know, understanding what are the things that are holding me back from having a better system of communication to my audience and selling to my audience? That’s, that’s number one. And again, get get really granular, okay. And so when they make a purchase, what happens? Okay, I send an email, do I do anything else? And if you take even 90 minutes to look at your entire process, I know that you’re going to see some of those opportunities and gaps so audit and assess it for sure. And then because we all fall into this trap, myself included, we think we have to do all the things. Pick the one thing that is holding you back from more profit, or holding you back from giving your audience a better experience. You can take I always like this analogy of eating the elephant one bite added a at a time always kind of comes up. When I’ve done the audit, I say, oh my gosh, there are 25 things that I know I could improve. I know that these things, maybe they’re even small tasks. But having that list is really overwhelming. So again, I would always prioritize what is holding me back from making more money or meet being more profitable? What is holding my audience back from having the very best experience getting to know me and getting to be in my circle? And nail those two things first, right? And if you can say, Okay, this one step, you know, instead of sending an email manually when people buy my course, or sign up for my program, can I automate, not just the email, but the two that come after that, right and thinking about how you can improve it, I just find that that taking in those small steps is really helpful. And don’t worry about the tech stack. Right? When I’m talking about platforms, I find that there’s a trap that many of us fall into, which is okay, well, if I just had X, Y, and Z, if I just had a HubSpot, if I just had an Infusionsoft, if I just had whatever a Kajabi, if I just had somebody who was a, you know, just amazing and adds all of this would be fixed. But it is much easier to take a really solid system and migrate it to another platform than it is to take a inefficient, broken, gap filled system, move it to what is usually a more expensive, complicated platform, only to find, oh, the things that were holding me back or still holding me

haven’t changed at all. Exactly. I

can’t believe this magic pill didn’t solve all my problems.

I like to think of it as like, starting from the moment that somebody buys from you. What is that experience? And then to backtrack it you know, and like what like you said, do I send an email manually? Or is it automated? Is there another email that needs to come next? Like, what is that experience when somebody buys from me? And then take a step before it and be like, right before they buy from me? What are they looking at? Is there a sales page that they’re looking at? If so, can they buy directly from the sales page? Or do they have to like get on a waitlist and get an email that has a link to the thing? Like if they’re ready to buy from me? What does that feel like? And then a step before that, which is like, when they discover me, but before they have seen the thing that they can buy? What is that experience? Like? And maybe it’s on your website? And maybe it’s an email and like, what, what is the? I like to call it the path to purchase?

Oh, I love that. Okay, I’m gonna borrow that, that please.

I think I stole it from my friend Kyle aroma, actually. So credit where credit’s due, all the all the brilliant Ravenclaw nerds are talking to actually kind of as a cylinder and but you know, when you’re thinking about this path to purchase, so many of us start with, like, I’m on social media, and people found out about me, and then I’ll DM them, and they’ll buy from me and everything will be happy. But there is this middle phase between somebody discovers me and somebody becomes my customer that we forget about.

Yes, yes. And there’s so there’s something. And you can tell I’m not a top of funnel branding expert, because I’m going to call it the expressed interest funnel. The worst name, I’m just if

that is so an email marketing person.

20 years of working in this business, I have understood, I have really learned to embrace the things that I’m grayed out, which is a lot of systems and automations and complex workflows. What I’m not great at is coming up with brand names, logo design, so I hand it off to really smart people.

I think in my world that would be called like the marketing qualified lead.

Yes, we love the app. But outside of the terrible name that I have given it, the express interest sequence, or funnel is I think the one of the most powerful and it’s when I do move the cups. This is one of the first things I do because to your point about, you know, what are people doing, saying, people in our audiences and let’s just take an email list as one example, you can apply this to any other funnel, whether it’s conversations in on social media, maybe it’s you know, looking at your path through SEO, what landing page are you driving people to because of your optimization, and then what happens to to your point, but people are telling you every single day what they’re interested in, right? And so a good example is, if you think about an abandoned cart workflow, these are pretty common in most modern tech stacks, right? So if you using your example, you have a landing page, maybe someone can purchase right from there, they put it in their cart, they start to type in their information, and then they either think, oh, this, this isn’t the right time, or they get distracted because their kid is screaming or some of the you know, the kitchens on fire, which is a very meeting because I can’t cook for whatever reason they’ve started to put it into their cart and start to checkout and then they left and we all get those abandoned cart follow up emails, whether it’s you know, Amazon or Nordstrom or whatever it is. But what I find is that there’s actually a usually a whole higher number of people who have taken action by clicking on the sales page or the landing page or the offer page, but not actually started the checkout process. And unless you say, Oh, those people were so intrigued by my email that they went over and visited the site. But they weren’t intrigued enough to put it in their cart, there’s, there’s a real opportunity there. And so this expressed interest sort of pseudo abandoned cart sequence is one of the first things I do and that is simply to tag people who click the sales page or look at the data after the fact if you don’t do this perfectly again, we’re you can always go back and look at data, even if you didn’t perfectly trigger it, or tag it or set it up in the system. And look at the number of people who clicked the sales page from the email but didn’t hit the abandoned cart, when I reach out to them. Whether it’s through an email, a personalized video, a text message, if you have that data in your system, the conversions that my clients, and I see, I would say 20% is the lowest number of increased conversions. And these are people that probably would not have signed up. Otherwise, they often just need that final nudge, they need to know, hey, someone’s actually keeping an eye on what I’m doing. someone’s paying attention. Exactly, exactly. I

matter. My behavior matters.

That’s exactly right. And just going back to like, what do I want my audience to feel when they’re having these conversations, even if they know they’re ultimately being sold to, or there’s a, there’s a reason that you’re marketing to them, I find that they’re just really thankful. And they say, oh, like, Thank you for noticing, I did check it out. I actually would love to sign up, but I have a payment, you know, obstacle or I’m not sure that this has worked for someone like me. And in having those conversations, which sometimes are a little bit more one to one and don’t scale as well, you can actually meet the person where their pain point is and say, I understand completely, absolutely, here’s a case study, I can send you of someone who is exactly like you that really thrived in this program, or, you know, I don’t normally offer this payment plan. But because I know that you have a real financial, you know, issue. So again, I think that when we’re talking about like what takes a good launch to a great launch, or what takes a good program to a great program, it is in those micro conversions and 20%, higher conversion, just do the math, whether you have $100, or a $10,000 offer an increase of 20% is real money. And also because I know your listeners are all really impact focus, it also means that you’re able to have that more positive impact on your community. So that’s just one example of what I think is actually a pretty simple opportunity that often gets missed, because it’s not one of the ones that’s just like an out of the box template.

Yes, I love that I used to do that really well. And I’ve sort of gotten out of the habit of doing it when we’re launching something because it is really time consuming and can be very energetically draining as the person doing that sort of outreach. But the response rate that I’ve had to that when I will, you know, send a sales email and say, you know, the carts closing in a week and the sales email will say, here’s a link to the sales page reply if you have any questions. And then I’ll notice who is actually clicking on the page, but hasn’t purchased yet. And just like shoot them an email, sometimes there’ll be a video sometimes I’ll even say like, Hey, I took a look at your website, I think you’d be a great fit for this program. Because of 123. What do you think, and then the thing that I think you just tapped on, but I want to kind of drill down into is they say, Well, I thought maybe it was a good fit for me. But those objections can then turn into an email, they can go on to the FAQ of the sales page, they can become a blog post to explain to people why, you know, a life coach needs these shoes, or whatever it is, you can write, you can take those sort of, I would say, almost bottom of funnel or like middle of funnel objections and pull them up the funnel, put them into the nurture sequence, create the top of funnel content, so that by the time the next time you start talking about this service, those people will be ready. But that personalized outreach is just as important to right like it doesn’t all have to be automated backup the funnel.

And again, going back to eating the elephant, you know if you’re doing this manually even to just test this concept, okay, I need to ask people what their objections are in order to find out what the patterns are. And then after maybe one or two or three launches of doing that now, I can put it more on that on the FAQs like you said, and I will say so the other thing about the middle of the funnel that I think there’s an opportunity to do is that when you are nurturing your audience even outside of a launch, the more that you can tag them or collect information based on what they do not inside of a sales window is so helpful because for example, let’s use the life coach example if I’m you know sending regular emails me maybe outside of a launch, or I’m in an evergreen funnel, and I’m kind of nurturing people, when maybe I have a blog post about a busy mom of five, who was really struggling with mental health, whatever it is, right, right. And if that person clicks on that link, well, I at least have some insights that they’re either interested in, you know, being a working parent or being a parent or mental health or like this objection. So I there is not an email that I send that doesn’t usually have like five or six triggers in it for activity or interest tagging. And so when we go to send emails out, we have a couple of options. Number one, we can say, an email, Hey, if you are, you know, a busy mom who wants to see how this program can work for A, B, and C, go over here, I have a case study, if you are, you know, whatever the scenarios are, whatever your your audience is kind of broken up into, you can create that personalized content. By the way, this goes back really beautifully to your point of SEO and working with your top of funnel friends. Because you can say, hey, what I really need is a page that gives a case study for this particular type of person, that’s going to track them through your work. And also, I’m going to then be able to provide it to them as even richer content and explanation for why we’re a good fit. But if I go into a launch, I love when I can see, okay, I’ve got 1000 people on this list. And I know that roughly a third of them have some interest in this topic, a third of them have some interest. And when I say complicated workflows over time, right? Again, this is not like do this tomorrow. But my launch workflows become very complex looking if you were just to take a step back, but they feel highly personalized to the person in the funnel, because they’re no longer getting information that’s not relevant. If again, like if I know, and let’s just take this to one step further, if I close a launch, I often will do one final email for the people who did not invest or did not commit. And I’ll just say, just want to make sure that I’m always providing the best programs, which of the following best sons of why you didn’t join us during this round? Number one, it’s a price objection, obviously, play around with the terminology. Number two, I’m interested in the future, but it’s just not the right time. Number three, I wasn’t convinced that this would work for someone like me, you can literally give them those links. They click it, you take them to a thank you page, thank you so much really helpful, right? Or here’s a resource that I want to offer you as a thank you for taking the time to click this link. Not a survey, not some long, just like which one of these best sums up your experience. I have all that information for next time or even in sort of an evergreen or like a you know, sneaky launch. If I want to open a program up and not do a full public offer, then I’ll say, hey, when we last chatted, I know that the timing wasn’t right. But I’m actually opening up a really private round of this program for you know, the first 10 people, if this is the right time, click here. That is that personalization that makes all the difference. And again, you can be collecting it all the time without explicitly saying, Hey, tell me about yourself. Where do you live? What are you interested in? What are your hopes and dreams? No, I can get that because you’ve clicked on certain content or you’ve visited certain pages of the website or you’ve watched certain videos or interacted with me in some other way. All of that gets stored. And then used in these middle of the funnel and bottom of the funnel workflows and outreach.

Now I’m gonna ask you this as somebody who loves a good trigger, but is not always that great at coming up with what the next step is. So you know, when I think about the three options that you just gave, okay, this this was too expensive. The time didn’t work, or I wasn’t convinced when it comes to like the timing didn’t work. My brains like Okay, put them on a waitlist, make sure they know the next time it opens give them more of a lead time. But for the other two there is that weird, like, you feel that that imposter complex like well, they don’t like me. And so trying to figure out, like, what, what is the next, the next opportunity to connect with that person? Aside from the you know, thanks for letting me know, I really appreciate it. How How do you know what the right message is for kids? Because that’s the thing I can trigger in tag all day long. But, but yeah, I can segment the hell out of a list. But then the process of then coming up with Okay, I have the segmentation. So like for my list, I’m like, I have segmentations for people who prefer done for you services over courses. I have people who are podcasters versus YouTubers, I have people who you know, like I service providers versus product, you know, I have all of the tags, but then the process of going okay, what’s the right message for the service providers versus the product people or like how do I want to reach out specifically to the podcasters like, I have all these awesome ideas, but the time to implement the funnel for all as a follow up sequence Phase A. And like it, sometimes I think that I over tag and under follow up.

Yeah. So let me address that point. And then I’ll get really granular. I think that if you if you or any of your listeners are ever like, yeah, this sounds great, but oh my gosh, what you’re saying is I have to actually do 10 times as much work, right? Like, I get that. And I would say that if your program, most programs actually don’t need that level of convincing, right, if your offer is solid, if the value is there, if you got great case studies or examples of how this has actually positively impacted other people, the truth is, I don’t need to see how this work for a mom, just because I am a mom, I don’t need to see that this also worked for a mom, I just need to know that this works. Here’s what I get, here’s the value out of it. So I want to just really reflect on and kind of honor your point that there is absolutely a point where too much personalization, too much automation does not have the return on investment. And I also think and obviously I am I tend to bias toward overdoing it also doesn’t do our audience a service, because, again, I’m using my own persona. I’m a mom, I’m a business owner, I’m a podcaster. I’m a service provider, but like I’m also other things right and I’m smart enough and savvy enough to understand that a program doesn’t have to, like hit every bullet point for me to feel like it’s going to work for me. So I you’re absolutely right that if you’re going to if you get to the point where either your gut is telling you or your bandwidth is telling you or your team is telling you, your audience is telling you like Hey enough, I just like just give me the details, then I think lean back on that. But what I will say is that if people are telling you, hey, this is the thing that’s holding me back, and let’s use let’s use time, as an example, Hey, I really wanted to commit to this, but I just don’t think I have the time to do it. Then what I think you do is you figure out what is and this is gonna get very nerdy here for a second. So pull me back then if I get too much.

Well, the problem is that I will like lean into the nerd. But I have to remember that our listeners are not you and I, you and me

in again, understanding that my favorite spot is middle of the funnel. This is where I think it really helps to work. Even if it’s not someone on your team, even if you’re a solopreneur you’re like yeah, but I am all the pieces are and the CEO and the CFO, I would encourage you to find a friend or a collaborator or a colleague who can kind of give you that outside perspective. But this is where I do find that having even short kind of bios and paragraphs for each of your avatars, not 20 of them, but like the three buckets of common objections. So time price, and I’m not sure this is a good fit. Okay, well, what what do these people really need to make to be tipped over? Right. And I will say this is a saying that a former boss of mine used to share and it took me a while to sort of get over my like personal offense to it. I think she was absolutely right. But I will tell you, when I first heard it, it hit me in a way that felt uncomfortable. So if you’re, if you hear this, or your listeners hear it and you’re uncomfortable, I’m like I get it, maybe sit with it and just let it soak in. But the truth is, people will find things to either be expensive or valuable. And you have to lean into the value, right? There are absolutely I’m gonna say this in all caps underline bold, there are absolutely times when a program really is outside of the financial comfort zone for somebody. And in that case, I don’t want them investing, you don’t want them investing, I don’t want someone not paying their mortgage, because they invested in program like that is a hard stop for me. Having said that, most people that say prices is the objective, actually are saying to you, I don’t fully understand the value I don’t fully understand how investing in this is going to get me to where I want to go or it’s going to make me feel better my business work better my XY and Z do better. So to that point, when I think back to like an ICP, you know, your your client profile, your avatar profile or the bio, of the person you want to speak to what do they need really leaning into, okay, so when they say prices, their objective, what do they mean? I’m gonna rule out the people that really can’t afford it, because I don’t want them buying my program. But when they say it’s a price objective, okay, well, what have I done? To actually make that easier? Is there a payment plan? Is there some other opportunity to make it easier? Is there a financing option? Like what what mechanism have I given them? But beyond that, what am I not expressing? Or how can I better express the value? Is it a case study? Okay, when this person invested $5,000.06 months later, they had gotten $50,000 back in their business and here’s a specific example. I think like really just creating that the content that speaks to what they’re actually telling you or what they actually mean is really helpful. So I going back to your point, like how do I do all the things? I would keep it really simple. Now when I do nurture emails, it’s really common for people to send one email to the whole list. I because of what I do with the data tagging over time, I do give myself and my clients a little bit more homework, which is maybe instead of one email, we’re actually sending three emails where 80% of the content is the same. And the one paragraph in the middle is an offer just for them, or as a case study just for them. Now, super nerd alert, I’m only gonna say this, just to say it, this is a strategy really well, and to release your listeners from feeling like you have to do this. This is where having somebody on your team or leaning into things like conditional logic can be really helpful. All of that means and going back to your tagging is that if I send an email, and 80% of it is the same for everybody. But there’s this one section that I really want to say, you know, and hey, my programs coming out soon, I just released X, Y, and Z case study. The conditional or the dynamic logic can basically say if they’re tagged as time is the issue, give them this, if they’re tagged as money as the issue, give them this. And so they only see that one piece of content, right,

so So to explain that in sort of a different way, for folks listening, if I were going to send a list to my email that was like, Hey, I just had this amazing conversation with Katie, if you’re interested in email marketing, or making more sales from your list, here’s how you can check it out. And that might be the first paragraph with a link to listen to this podcast. And then underneath it, there might be a section that I can adjust based on what people have already told me in my email marketing. So I have a tag for designers and a tag for podcasters. And I might have one that says to designers, like, as a designer, this is something that you can think about when you’re building your clients websites, and you can use it for your own business. And then that would only go into people with that tag, but the rest of the email would be the same. And if I was talking to the podcasters, the people who have tagged themselves and identified themselves in my system as being podcasters, you could say, as a podcast, or you want to be able to collect people’s information, but also be able to share this information, you know, like, you can sort of adjust part of that email to make them feel seen to make them feel like you’re talking specifically to their needs, without needing to drill down into like, as somebody who lives in Topeka, right. As somebody who has three dogs instead of four, you don’t have to get to that level. But it can just make it feel like you’re speaking specifically to that person. Even if you have a list of 10,000 people and 1000 of them get this customization, those 1000 people feel like you’re that, that you know them.

Exactly, exactly. And the final point on this is, you know, I really loved the way and how thoughtful your your question was to me about, okay, like, I can tell you and I can trigger all day, but then what I don’t, you know, don’t think that you have to have the entire funnel the entire follow up, built and beautiful and set up before you launch it. I am constantly building the flight the plane as I fly it, yes. And it’s like, it’s funny, because when if you were to look at my funnels, I basically bolt things on over time, right. So if I, for example, if I were creating a launch sequence right now, for a new program, or maybe something my client hasn’t offered in a while, you know, maybe I would come up with the five emails, and then I would think about, okay, if they do this, move them over to this type of follow up. And I do that, by the way, with more kind of engaged leads as well. So if they have clicked on, let’s say, three emails, they kind of go into a branch of like, clearly they’re engaged, they’re interested, I’m going to do something more, maybe they get offered a free discovery call where the whole list doesn’t, because they don’t really want, you know, people that aren’t bought in or maybe I give them some fast action bonus, hey, because I see that you’ve been checking out the program, I want to tell you like, not everyone’s getting this but so I do a little bit of sort of that complex branching off as I go. But if you were to look at the next launch, those emails would all be ready to go. And then I’m spending my time on kind of one more advanced filter, and then the next launch and the next launch. So if you just you know, if you or your listeners hear this, and you think okay, yeah, but that’s, that seems like 40 hours a week is not okay. One funnel, then figure out the one email that you can send. And again, I think that maybe the biggest takeaway, too, is not even what you do. It’s what can I listen in on? What can I collect so that in the future, I have the data that I can build around, right? So if you like, if I have all the triggers and tags and you say then what? Honor the pause, right, like if like getting the triggers and the tags and I love that you said you can do it and you’ve already done it. But a lot of listeners I imagine don’t already do that. They just send an email and they do a lot of things right right. Like this is not like oh, you’re this is it for people that are getting the basics right and are really ready to take the next step. But again, like if you just sort of say like I don’t know what I’m going to do with the data yet, but I know I need To collect it, that’s such a critical step. Once you have it, then you can say, not I know who in my group is a podcaster. I think I want to do a quick workshop or a live workshop on X, Y, and Z for podcasters. Yeah, maybe I’ll send it to the whole list. But I’ve got this segment of people who have already told me that they’re podcasters, or they’re interested in it. So I might just even reach out directly to them. I’m hosting a really private event. It’s about X y&z You’re a great fit, because you already have a show. And we’re going to be you know what I mean? So if you like, you don’t have to have all of the pieces fully mapped out to be able to take advantage of this type of strategy.

Yes, I love that advice. Because I think sometimes this strategy can feel so overwhelming. And like, well, I need to have the 12 emails with all their tags set up and the conditional logic of all of them before I can eat, like, I have to have them all written and mapped before I can send anything and then you just go into complete paralysis. And I love your action of like, write the first email. Yeah, just right. So you help people respond. And then sometimes just like give people the chance to be like, what do you what do you think, tell me what’s on your mind. And then write the next email based on what people say the first email, you know.

And it’s funny, because, you know, I mentioned at the beginning, my main job and the service that I provide for founders is as a fractional CMO, typically what happens is they bring me in, because they have started to do some of these things, and they’ve gotten enough traction, they’ve gotten enough revenue generated enough of an audience that they now know, I need somebody whose entire focus is just funnel building. That’s when I come in. And so if somebody’s listening now, and they’re not quite at that point, again, understand that even the most successful profitable founders that I work with started where your listeners might be, which is like, what can I do that isn’t maybe the full, perfect, beautiful funnel, because I have limited bandwidth, or I have, I’m doing all of the other things or my knowledge is limited. Take advantage of leaning into what you can do, because once you have started to figure out, oh, this type of thing works, or this one little bite of the elephant really made a difference in my last one. It’s such a gross

metaphor, I’m sorry. The elephant tastes like very, like, you know, like hard to chew, because like, their skin is so

big. And my my youngest daughter who’s seven is like obsessed with elephants. And every time she hears me say this, I can just see her crying. So yes, basically, what I need is your audience to help me rebrand expressed interest and come up with a better analogy for eating the elephant. But you know, again, if you were to just say, Hey, I’ve just got that one email, and I see that there’s your one email, and let’s let’s be a little bit crass. With money for just a moment, if you’re one email, or you’re one step in the funnel increases your conversions by 20%. Let’s just say you’re a $500 program, right? So like, I don’t know, make the number of you sell five more of those programs, because you did this outreach. Now you have more capital to invest in somebody who can come in and say, I see what you started. Now, let me be your funnel person, right? Like, this is not your end game, if you’re listening to this is not that you now all of a sudden, have to get out of visionary role or get out of founder role, or whatever it is you’re doing and become a funnel expert. No, you need to get to the point where you feel confident, and you’ve started to think about this strategically, so that you’re later empowered to bring somebody in, or consult with somebody or hire them to set this funnel up once, do all the tech leg work so that you can stay in that visionary role. And, and that’s really what I hope your listeners get out of it is not like now I have to go learn how to do all these complex systems. It’s how can I think about the conversations and the journey that I want people to have? What are the pieces that I can do on my own? And what are the things that I know over time, I want to be ready to level up and invest in someone else who can help.

Right and I think a big part of coming back to that audit that you were talking about at the beginning of where to start. It’s being aware of where people get stuck. Yeah, you know, if you have a ton of people finding you and nobody signs up for your email list, but if they sign up they buy then that little obstacle is how do I get people from my website onto my email list if you have a bunch of people joining your email list but not buying your products then it might be time to go take a look at some of this email marketing stuff. If you have really everything in place but nobody’s finding you then you may want to look into some sort of lead acquisition or you know, it could be search it could be social it could be recently you know referrals or collaborations or whatever. That’s when we need to think about brand awareness but like where in this this process I don’t even want to use funnel you know and right in this in this like discovery mode. Where are people getting stuck? Where are they stopping and the the idea of a funnel being that there’s gonna be a lot of people who find you but not buy from you? Yes, but there are going to be little sticking points along the way and part of your job as you’re thinking About this is like, just where people getting stuck. Exactly. And

if you think about it, because again, I have fallen into this trap where if things are if your launch and I know we keep coming back to launch, you can apply this to any type of initiative. But if my launch doesn’t go well or my clients launch doesn’t go, well, it’s really easy to say everything was terrible, everything in the whole thing was a failure. And it doesn’t mean that you don’t get to have those emotions. You know, we’re emotional people who are passionate about what we do. Even when I’m working with a client. I feel like I live and die with these launches, right? Like it’s very, very personal to me. But if I can say, Oh, actually, to your point, we actually had a killer offer. When someone was on the list, we had an insane amount of conversions. We did super well, we just didn’t actually have enough leads. Yeah, cool. That is the thing I have to tackle or we had an amazing lead cycle, we tripled the number of people who are getting to know us, but our conversions just weren’t there. Okay, what is it? Do we need more nurturing? Do we need more time to nurture was the offer actually not right? Where the leads not qualified, and sort of saying like, actually, the whole thing isn’t broken. But there’s this one piece. And if I can fix that, then the whole thing is, is incredible. It’s just a very different empowerment feeling when you’re like, oh, not everything is broken. I have this one bad tire on a really good car. Instead of like, the whole car is a jalopy and it’s it’s busted down and I’ve got to go get a scooter or something.

So Katie, if people want to, like, not hire you specifically, because I know that your your viewer, weightless, but if people wanted to learn this from you, what would that look like?

Yeah, I and obviously, I hope that you and your listeners can tell I’m really passionate about talking about this. And I do think that, you know, we tend to be a little bit more careful about our conversations about how and what’s working and what isn’t. And I found that in my corporate experience, you know, it’s like, where do you learn these things, you Google, you go to YouTube, where you hope that a friend is going to teach you. And so I talk about this quite a bit. And it’s usually totally separate from any, you know, specific CTA or ask, I just really love this. So the best place to find me is actually, if you’re going to be on social media, which I know more and more of our audience is not but Media, I’m most active on Instagram, and I’m at Kay Woodrick. You can also go to Katie woodrick.com. And find all of the resources that I have, including a podcast that I host where I do a lot of deep dives into these strategies.

And definitely go get on Katie’s email list and and watch, right?

Yeah, it’s funny. I know, we talked about funnels and complex things here. But what I do a lot of and in fact, what I did in in Eden Summit, which is where you and I connected in the first place is I do a lot of look over my shoulder workshops. They’re totally free, I just really have fun. It’s almost like building in public. And so if I’m working on a funnel, I might as well just pop my camera up and show you what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. And I think for your audience, in particular, if you understand what we’re talking about, you need to see it visually or you need to see it and you can come find that on my website. And again, those are free to watch.

Well, thank you so much for sharing that with us today, Katie and for being a nerd with me and diving deep into middle of funnel which is like the Forgotten stepchild of marketing.

It’s my pleasure. And anytime someone gets excited about any stage of the funnel with me, I get excited. So yeah, just a big shout out to anybody who is doing this and has high integrity and is really just trying to make a positive impact but still be a profitable business owner or you know, a member of a team that is working on on profit. I believe that that can all exist. And I really do think that these stages of the funnel can can be the biggest difference.

Absolutely. Well, thank you so much. And I’ll talk to you soon, Katie. Thanks. Thank you

so great to connect.

Meg Casebolt 43:57
Thank you so much for listening to the social slowdown podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe or come on over to social slowdown.com and sign up for our email list. You never miss an episode. We’d also love if you could write a review to help other small business owners find the show you can head over to social slowdown.com/review Or grab that link in our show notes for easy access. We’ll be back soon with more tips to help you market your business without being beholden to social media. Talk to you then

Please forgive any typos or errors, as this transcript was automatically generated by otter.ai

middle-of-funnel marketing katy widrick