The header image for a how to build marketing campaigns illustration
Peter Wisniewski

By: Peter Wisniewski
October 2018

I love building marketing campaigns to sell products and services, to raise money for community organizations, and to educate large groups of people. Done correctly, campaigns are brand builders that can focus entire teams around central thoughts and goals.

On the other hand, I do not like complicated sales funnels that rely too heavily on email marketing. To me, most sales funnels are annoying and I tend to unsubscribe from them pretty quickly. Our team has found over the years that campaigns are easier to educate sales teams and customers simultaneously. Let’s dig-in…

What is a Marketing Campaign?

Pete’s definition: A Marketing Campaign is a series of strategic communications to a customer from a sales and marketing team about a product, idea, or service over a specific period of time.

 Important Points:

  • Has a central offer
  • Has a landing page
  • Involves educational opportunities
  • Involves illustration and art direction
  • Involves an email series and/or blog content
  • Involves a series of weekly tasks
  • Involves strategic communication between sales and marketing teams
  • Involves segmented email and mailing lists 

“I feel that campaigns can help harness your team’s energy into a predictable force to tell the future.”

Why Become Campaign Minded?

It is my theory that campaigns can unite sales and marketing teams, focus creative energy, test assumptions about customer interests, motivate employees, create a stronger brand image, and increase sales.

I believe that properly planned campaigns allow you to tell a story about your brand in bit sized chunks. I believe that the smartest companies already think in terms of campaigns. I have seen how campaigns can transform businesses into selling machines.

How to Structure Your Campaign

I recommend using a timeline approach to planning your next campaign. I am assuming that you have completed a buyer persona, SEO word search, brand guidelines, and competitor analysis before you start writing content for your campaign.

Timing is everything! Give yourself enough time to create most your content before launch. As a rule of thumb, it can take twice as long to create your campaign as it typically runs. So, if you have a campaign that lasts two weeks, give a month to prep. If it will run for a month, give it two months to prep.

Make sure you have a finite start and end time to your offer. Timelines allow you to introduce scarcity. Scarcity forces customers to make choices.

Let’s now breakdown the different parts of a campaign:

1) Your Landing Page

Your landing page can be a mini-site, webpage, or blog post. This depends on how much content you are sharing. You will want to start the webpage with your limited time offering. Offers vary from industry to industry but it should tempt your target audience into a purchase or opportunity (education or experience). Depending on your brand, you must have a creative spin to catch them off guard.

“People love to be directed towards a purchase, so have fun with it.”

Landing pages get used a lot during a campaign. It is a place that your content lives. Both sales people and in-office staff will be pointing your customers here for more information. It needs to clearly illustrate your offer and allow a next step. Social media assets, blog content, printed pieces, and autoresponding emails will point to this landing page… so, make it tight!

Landing pages can also collect data about your customer. I like adding forms directly into these pages. Any time a customer leaves the page, you have a chance to lose them.

Ideas for landing page data collection:

  • quizzes
  • assessments
  • event registration
  • instant quotes
  • surveys

As you become more sophisticated, you can also run A/B tests on your landing page. I find that this becomes essential to hone the offer. I like to change headlines based on the initial email tests and then run regular tests based on team feedback to hone the offer. Videos, testimonials, and educational content will give your landing page will increase your conversion rates.

2) Your Limited-Time Offer

Introduction emails and social media posts can be used to announce your offer. They should be short and punchy with enough content to test different aspects to see where to focus your attention. They should eliminate all ideas that are not central to the campaign.

Offer ideas:

  • Discounts
  • Free Education
  • Free Point of Sale Promotional Materials
  • Free Delivery
  • Points and Rewards

3) Your Educational Event

I like to have an educational event towards the second half of your campaign so that you have enough time to get signups (for scheduled events) to take advantage of your offer. Events are not limited to physical seminars or workshops. They extend to virtual “events” like webinars or a series of blog posts.

Event Ideas:

  • Hands-on Workshop
  • In-Office Presentation
  • Seminar
  • Webinar
  • Facebook Live
  • Videos
  • Blog
  • Teleconference
  • eBook
  • Book
  • Podcast

I think that education is crucial to long-lasting sales. This is also the most expensive aspect of running campaigns, so I spend a lot of time upfront understanding how educational content can be reused and shared.

I find that the easier you make content to share, the better you can unite your tribe. If you put too high of roadblocks to your content, then your customers get distracted and simply forget about your content. Make it easy to sign-up and focus on email confirmation pages to test additional ideas.

4) The Time-Sensitive Close

I call the time between the education and follow-up, “the close”. Both staff and customers should now have a clear idea of what your offer is and how to redeem it.

It is time to send reminders about the end of your campaign. Use an email, social media, and/or postcards with the offer and expiration date.

I like to think that closing an individual is no more than presenting your offer with time remaining. If the offer is solid, the person should understand the value proposition and want to take advantage of the limited time offer.

5) Your Follow-up

If you want to continue to get reoccurring sales, make sure that you are following-up before your next campaign. If you do this poorly, you will see high churn. A new customer is far more expensive and difficult to acquire then a repeat customer. This is where you can focus on referral generation through your favorite customers.

Expressing gratitude and assistance after the sale will build trust and understanding about their business. This is where I like to send a series of emails about continued education.

Follow-up Ideas:

  • If you are selling wholesale, makes sure they have all the tools and education necessary to help your customer sell what they purchased from you before you approach them with another offer.
  • If they attended an event, understand what they thought of the ideas and see if they are interested in applying the ideas in their business.
  • If they purchased a service package, make sure that you automate continued and individualized follow-up to gather data about how your customer feels to garner reviews and testimonials.

Final Thoughts

If you have stuck with me this far, you may want to improve how you run your current campaigns or want to become campaign-minded. I recommend that you go narrow before going wide in your campaigns. Keep to a single product or service before multiple products and large service offerings. Build into large offerings by focusing campaign segments on single feature sets or products.

Once you build your campaign, launch it right. Your next step? Read our article on how to launch your campaign. Good luck,  contact us if you get stuck and need some professional assistance.