Improve Lead to Purchase Conversion with Email Marketing (w/ Francois du Toit & Ahead)
Learn how Francois du Toit helped a telehealth startup double their lead to customer conversion rates by refocusing from acquiring leads to educating them.
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Francois du Toit is a full-stack growth marketer with over a decade of experience leading teams at VC-backed startups to building startups of his own.
In 2021, he was Director of Marketing at a startup called Ahead.
The Growth Challenge 🗺️
Ahead was a D2C mental health startup that helped patients treat conditions like anxiety, ADHD, and OCD online rather than an a doctor’s office.
Since the pandemic began, they’d been seeing a steadily rising CAC primarily due to their struggle to convert leads into paying customers. People were interested in the service, but they got cold feet before taking out their wallets.
Francois has a hunch that patients were falling out of the funnel because they hadn’t done enough to build trust with leads by the time they were deciding not to buy.
Finding Product-Channel Fit 🔀
The team knew needed to combat the uncertainty leads had expressed about dealing with health conditions remotely. They decided that the solution was to run a test to find out if educational lifecycle marketing content could help educate leads and convert more of them into paying customers than before.
First, they created content aimed at educating prospective customers on the clinical validity of working with mental health practitioners remotely rather than in person.
Then, they built email & SMS flows to distribute this content in a thoughtful way after leads were acquired, but before they were ready to buy.
Scaling Their Success
After validating their hypothesis, they continued identifying funnel drop off points and building new or improved email & sms workflows to improve conversion through-put. They also invested heavily into content production & marketing ops to support this continued optimization.
Channel Test Results 🏆
They increased lead conversion rates by a delta of 20-30% on initial sign up
On a cohort basis, they were able to convert 40-50% more leads into paying customers over the course of multi-month lifecycle flows
After 6-8 months of building out lifecycle flows and optimizing user journeys, Ahead was able to maintain a profitable CAC while simultaneously scaling their growth channels on top of them
Increased demand helped them transition to focusing more on building supply side utilization by acquiring more doctors to help increased patient load
Key Growth Learnings 🎁
Confused users don’t convert. New offerings that demand changes in customer behaviour will always need to be educated on why your solution is better and why they should trust you
Use user feedback to identify education gaps. Keep in constant touch with users and customer service teams to learn about issues blocking user’s progress, as well as what they love. It’ll help unlock fixes to friction points in your funnel
Investing in original content pays off. It’s hard to measure initially, but pays dividends as you scale
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