519 854-2098 hello@northiq.com

Leads are the currency that all marketing campaigns can be measured on. A campaign that delivers qualified leads who become customers is worth its weight in whatever precious metal you covet. The NorthIQ 3i Formula is all about delivering leads.

In our previous post we wrote about SEO, and how most SEO companies try to sell you the wrong thing. We believe that You Don’t Need an SEO Company, traffic to your website will not change your business by itself, and SEO just delivers you traffic. SEO experts not only don’t do the right things, they don’t even know the right questions to ask!

“All right Mr. Smarty Pants”, we hear you saying, “These Hand Crafted Platypus homes aren’t gonna sell themselves! If you’re saying I don’t need to rank #1 for Artisanal Platyplode Abodes and my other keywords, then just exactly what is it that you think you and your fancy pants marketing agency can do for me?”

Great question, but I don’t go by “Mr. Smarty Pants” anymore. I’ll tell you exactly what you need if you don’t need an SEO company…you need customers. Yeah, more customers means more sales, more sales means more money in your pocket, and more money in your pocket is way more valuable to you long term than being “Number one on Google for Artisanal Platyplode Abodes”!

To get customers you need to turn traffic into leads. Leads become prospects, and prospects can turn into customers. Customers, are worth money. Traffic costs you money. Customers make you money.

After years of working on lead nurturing programs, and building many different versions, iterating on them, and refining them, we have finally crafted a formula that fully expresses what we do.

Before we get to the formula, let’s talk about what makes for good content, and how good content should take a person along a very specific path. Good content needs to be valuable, it needs to be timely, and it needs to answer questions.

There is something in marketing called “The Buyer’s Journey”, it goes a little something like this.

Awareness > Consideration > Decision.

  • Awareness, the buyer realizes they have a problem.
  • Consideration, the buyer knows enough about their problem to consider solutions to the problem.
  • Decision, the buyer chooses a solution.

Hubspot has a great post on the buyer’s journey, but the buyer’s journey is a complicated one. Often a buyer makes a decision without really fully understanding the problem. For small things like say choosing between Microsoft Office and Google’s G-Suite, this might be as much preference as it is feature sets, but for large decisions you really need as much information as possible.

The NorthIQ 3 I’s

We designed this system after carefully examining how leads progress along the buyer’s journey, and how we can help them in the entire process.

By combining a simple three level nurturing system with gated content and continuous nurturing, we can reliably lead your prospects along a buyer’s journey. All paths contain a call to action for the prospect to reach out for a phone call at any time in the process.

You know what the best part about all of this is? It’s entirely platform agnostic! We have done this with Hubspot, we’ve built it with Marketo, we have done a version of this with Pardot, and we’ve even crafted together a version of it with Mailchimp and some fancy automation through some connection services! In short, we can make this magic no matter what platform you are on.

Level 1: Introduce

Introduce the concepts that make up your core product or service, and provide easily consumable, valuable short form downloadable content. The idea of this content is to get people into your database as quickly as possible by giving them a piece of content that answers key questions about your business while also providing value to the potential lead. This involves a low friction form, which requires minimal data to receive this content.

The introduce nurture level will include 4-5 steps which are emailed automatically, all with Introductory messages. Typically 2-3 of these messages will be about how to find specific information on the website, while 2-3 of them will be introductory messages that lead into landing pages which will deliver downloadable informational content, requiring the lead to provide slightly more information during this process.

Level 2: Inform

Inform your prospects about specific products or services you offer, showcasing the benefits of your solution and how your unique value proposition is integral to the product or service.

The “inform” nurture level includes 4-5 steps which are emailed automatically on a schedule based on when the lead signed up. Of these, 2-3 of those steps will be informational messages that lead to larger informational downloads requiring no further form fills by the lead, while 2-3 of them will be informational messages that lead to interactive content, which has a larger form requirement.

Level 3: Interact

Interact with your leads, to collaboratively create content which provides excellent value. This may include a calculator or a planning tool which they can use to generate different scenarios. These scenarios will result in a customized download.

The “interact” nurture level includes 5 steps which are emailed automatically based on when their sign up over a period of time. All five of these steps will build upon the outcomes of the interactive tool and will be relevant to the tool. The final step in the 5 steps process is to invite the prospect to a call.

So what is the actual formula?

i3 = c x l/t

NorthIQ’s i3 program is valuable, timely Content delivered to Leads over Time.

The art in this is figuring out what content is the best content to use, monitoring the program, and refining it over time to deliver the best results. Some of our highest value pieces in our funnels have 25% completion rates. That’s not an open rate, or a click through rate, that is people giving us valuable information.

The reason is that over time they see the incredible value that our content is providing them, they see that this stuff is all high quality, and that it’s designed to help them make a decision. By the time that we hit them with the final interactive piece, they are ready to buy.

By introducing your product or service, informing your prospects about what you do, and interacting with them to deliver ridiculous value, we have seen leads quickly go through a sales lifecycle and reach out to get more information and ultimately a quote.


Brian Garside has been building websites for two decades and has worked on some of the largest websites in Canadian media. He focuses on creating good user experiences and building websites that make their owners money. Brian is certified in blogging and content marketing from Shaw Academy.