What’s your favorite romantic comedy? Is it something classic like Sleepless in Seattle or a Kate Hudson hit like How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days? No matter which one you return to time after time, it likely includes a few genre tropes that endear you to the story. It begins with a meet-cute (a charming first encounter between two characters), flavored by a wise and hilarious best friend, and wraps up with the pair riding off into the sunset to live happily ever after.
These tropes are charming because they’re recognizable. They reflect how we want the world to be. How many of us have dreamed of turning around and locking eyes with someone whose love could turn our ordinary lives into something magical? The truth is that few people experience love at first sight. Instead, we must encounter a person multiple times, creating a connection over weeks and months before we come to trust them enough to build something lasting.
The same is true for your audience. Rarely—if ever—will a potential member come across your organization and sign up immediately. Instead, they’ll require repeated touches and regular reminders that you have their best interest at heart. Instead of love at first sight, the marketing funnel is more like a friends-to-lovers plot.
As the friend and potential love interest of a gallant hero or heroine, you must always be by their side. This is the awareness stage of the funnel. Content marketing is key to being an ever-present entity in their lives. Your blogs should answer their questions regarding the industry or community you represent. Free webinars must provide networking and professional development opportunities. As the best friend, your organization should be where the lead goes for advice.
However, you can’t wait for them to come to you. Good friendships involve both sides putting in equal effort, so be sure to meet them where they are. Know what social media they use. Understand if they would prefer a text or a phone call. Discover their platform of choice and send a quick note to say, “Let us know how we can help you.” They may be looking in other places for their one true love, but you’re the one who always has their back.
This is where movie-goers feel the first flicker of hope that friendship will evolve into romance. The heroine has been let down one too many times, and her best friend is there to pick up the pieces as always. But this time, something in her expression changes, and she begins to realize the love of her life has been right next to her the whole time.
This is the consideration stage of the funnel. By repeatedly demonstrating that you offer what your potential member needs, they see you as reliable and a thought leader in the field. You’ve begun to earn their trust. This stage is critical because if you betray this newfound trust, gaining it back won’t be easy. Be consistent, transparent, and genuine. You’re considering a long-term relationship that should benefit both parties. Have an honest conversation with them about their needs and whether or not you can meet them.
Now you’ve made it official, and you’re taking your relationship to the next level. You may think that because the characters had their big kiss and the screen faded to black that your role as a marketer is over. Think again! The previous two steps were the easy part. You’re in a committed relationship, and now the work really begins.
In Acts 1 and 2, you made promises that you now must follow through on, not just meeting the bare minimum but providing an exciting and unexpected experience for your members. Customer service is a vital component of this. Make them feel like they’re the only member in the world. Offer indispensable opportunities and exclusive offers. Otherwise, you won’t be able to keep the romance alive. Provide constant reminders of why they fell in love with you in the first place. That’s the key to happily ever after.
Do you need help moving your romance along? Connect with THuS to discover the secret to romancing your true love.