Tax resolution marketing lessons from the 2020 Trump & Biden presidential campaigns

Online Lead Follow Up

When you generate a new lead on your website, what do they receive, and how quickly do they receive it?

As you may recall from last week, I made equal, token donations ($5) to both of the main presidential election campaigns, in order to study their marketing processes.

As I eagerly awaited that first email from both campaigns, the day started to grow long. After several hours, I checked my spam folder, but alas, nothing was there.

More hours passed. I was hoping to include some commentary in last Friday’s email about marketing messaging in those initial follow ups from the campaigns, but eventually I had to hit “send” and go on with my day.

Even well into the evening, I kept checking my throwaway email account, expecting something. But, nay. Nada. Zilch. Nanimonai.

Neither campaign could possibly know that I was just doing it for marketing research. Could they? Was my name on some database that they check against to determine whom to email? For all they know, I could be a future million-dollar donor.

The emails finally did come. One campaign sent it at 6am Saturday morning, the other at 8am.

Wow. A full 24 hour delay. Fascinating.

Perhaps there is some secret psychology that I don’t know about. It certainly is possible. But in my 20+ years of marketing online, there have always been a tiny number of fundamental principles, one of which is: Follow up immediately with every lead.

The entire point of the information superhighway is to make information more readily accessible. Speed of information delivery is what the Internet does best — that’s why it was built. People searching the web want immediate access to whatever it is they’re looking for. Technology has exacerbated the human desire for instant gratification. I want my dopamine, and I want it now!

This was a huge engagement failure on the part of both presidential campaigns, and I hope that you’re not making the same mistake on your website.

I have a tax resolution boot camp to teach this morning, so I need to make this short. So I’ll leave you with three rules for your online lead generation:

1). Thou shalt have lead capture on your website.
2). Thou shalt offer a “widget” to entice lead signup.
3). Thou shalt deliver said  “widget” and a marketing offer in an immediate automated reply email.

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Blunt truth: If you don’t have some sort of lead capture mechanism on your website, then your website sucks and you need to either fix it or get a new website. If you don’t have a lead magnet, then you’re unlikely to capture leads. And if you don’t deliver information immediately, you’re doing it wrong, and risk your leads going elsewhere to get the services they are trying to buy.

Later this week, I’ll share with you the number one difference I noted between the “sales” processes of each campaign. Hint: It at least partially explains why one campaign has out-fundraised the other by almost 2:1. It’s a process YOU should be using as well (heck, even I should be using it more).