200 corporate leads in 7 months for the MHRI

From community services to corporate.

Dynamic husband and wife team Emi & Pedro are the founders and directors of the Mental Health Recovery Institute (mhri.com.au). MHRI started out providing specialist mental health training to the community sector, with their primary revenue stream being public Mental Health First Aid workshops for community organisations.

Emi & Pedro saw an opportunity in the corporate sector to equip leaders and HR managers with the skills to identify mental illness in the workplace and to help them manage mentally ill employees without attracting harassment claims or making individuals’ situations worse.

The marketing challenge was two-fold: firstly how to attract the attention of a new customer segment (corporate leaders & HR professionals); and secondly how to raise awareness of the problem and solutions available from MHRI in a market largely ignorant of mental health.

The lead generation strategy involved producing a whitepaper that argued for leaders & HR managers to address poor mental health at work, for the purpose of attracting and engaging prospective clients, before inviting them to attend a workplace- specific mental health first aid course.

1. Silent Expectations Discussion Paper

‘Silent Expectations’ is a 12 page discussion paper designed to educate prospective clients during the solution seeking stage of the buying process.

The audience is leaders and HR managers confronted with mentally ill employees and who aren’t sure what to do or where to turn for help.

The paper is structured to persuade readers by:

  1. Connecting symptoms they’ve observed to a larger problem
  2. Demonstrating the cost and impact of the problem
  3. Educating them on the potential causes and mechanics of the problem – to set the criteria for an ideal solution
  4. Highlighting risks of doing nothing and benefits of taking action
  5. Outlining what ‘progressive people’ are doing – to highlight the action MHRI recommends they take
  6. Some profile information about MHRI

The discussion paper isn’t as dense as some whitepapers – the decision was to focus on persuasive but easily digestible information, such as graphs, statistics and quotes, and to make it visually appealing, similar to an infographic.

Clients have told us the discussion paper was instrumental in getting other decision-makers onside, allowing them to attend the training and start to recommend MHRI to other prospects inside their organisation.

2. Landing page with email capture

A custom webpage was designed to offer the discussion paper for download, in return for providing their contact details. Contact details are captured by marketing automation software to be used at an appropriate time to continue the conversation with the prospect.

3. Thank you & 5 minute survey request

After submitting their contact details, the reader is redirected to a custom ‘thank you’ page where they can download the discussion paper.

A personal message and picture of Pedro as CEO is presented at the top of the page, thanking them for taking an interest in mental health at work. This is the first step in building an online relationship with the prospective client.

Having built up some goodwill with the reader at this point (having offered a quality information resource for free) it’s appropriate to ask the reader if they’ll take 5 minutes to help MHRI understand their practical challenges ‘at the coal face’.

The survey is valuable for a number of reasons:

  • Qualifies prospects in terms of fit, readiness to buy and provides information to commence an authentic sales conversation
  • Makes prospective clients feel valued as MHRI show an
    interest in their challenges and opinions
  • Provides valuable data for future marketing outreach
4. Automated email sequence

The marketing automation software delivers a sequence of emails to the new prospect over a series of days. The emails help the prospect gain an indication of whether mental health is an issue in their team and what steps to take next.

5. Conversion offer

Nearing the end of the email sequence, we invite the prospect to learn more about the entry level product: a 1 day public workshop on Mental Health Essentials. The course is inexpensive and equips the leader / HR manager to identify mental illness and handle mental health emergencies.

6. Nurture sequence

For the majority of prospects who are interested, but not ready to purchase just yet, we give the option of receiving a free online magazine, Workplace Resilience. Subscribers are emailed a new edition monthly, consisting of a blend of our own blog posts and posts by contributors. The emails include an offer to attend upcoming courses, thus staying front of mind, while adding value.

So how did it perform?

Over a 7 month period, MHRI was able to attract 200 qualified corporate prospects for a few dollars per lead in advertising costs. It still runs smoothly and their marketing database just exceeded 5,000 contacts. All measures of engagement (eg new subscriber, open, click, unsubscribe rates, etc) are significantly higher than with a regular monthly newsletter.

The system we built for Emi & Pedro is what we like to call a ‘lead engine’ (other terms you might hear are ‘funnel’ or ‘click funnel’). They’re designed to complement your business development efforts by systemising and automating the early stages of your sales process.

When you’re too busy to pound the pavement, or you want to extend your reach, a well-designed lead engine will generate a consistent flow of qualified, engaged prospects for you meet for coffee or chat on the phone.

– Chris McKenzie