Chapter 4: Connect, Engage, Delight: The 3 Steps to Get Started

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Here are actionable tips to implement this strategy at each stage of your customer’s journey.

Step 1: Connect

Think of this stage as dating — and all that leads up to those first few dates. You try to get someone’s attention, understand how they like to communicate, and what interests them. The Connect stage is similar.

In this stage, you have three primary goals:

  • Establish trust — the foundation for continuing the relationship.
  • Provide high-value touches that don’t require a lot from your contacts.
  • Impress — you want them to like you!
  • Gather more information.

To establish trust, make the information you provide convenient, easy-to-access, and straightforward. The easier you make initial conversations and the fewer barriers you place between your prospect and the info they need, the more they’ll associate you with ease, simplicity, and convenience.

The value you provide at this stage in the game should educate them, pique their interest, and speak to their challenges. Much of this will come in the form of videos, blog posts, white papers, eBooks, and other content.

You also can create value simply by being available, friendly, and communicative. As in dating, the way you come to understand your prospect isn’t complicated: you start a conversation. By just talking to your prospects — about what they need, what they like, what their challenges are — you’ll gain a whole lot of information that will help you move the relationship further.

Here’s how to shift to a real-time approach in the Connect stage:

Old-School Way to Connect

  • Place cold calls whenever is most convenient for the business
  • Send contacts general, mass emails, often with transactional language
  • Rely on low-response forms of connection like phone, voicemail, and email
  • Share only phone number and email address with online visitors


Real-Time Way to Connect

  • Warm up calls and supplement emails with text messaging outreach that contacts can respond to at their convenience
  • Send personalized, valuable text messages that give instead of ask
  • Conversational SMS Campaigns to increase outreach and start 1:1 conversations at scale
  • Promote that your business number is text-enabled with a “Text Us” call to action


Introductory Text Campaign Templates

  • Hey {first}, came across your website and think this eBook could really help you with prospecting leads: – Joe from TextUs
  • Hi {first}, this is Erich from TextUs. I’m reaching out because I wanted to make sure you saw this post on how to improve your web reach:
  • [Text 2, if no response to Text 1] Realize you’re busy and wanted to make sure you got my last text. I think this report could help you boost your web traffic:

Post-Email Text Templates

  • {first}, just making sure you received my email about the new State of Staffing Report. You can download it here: – Andrew
  • {first}, did you have a chance to read my email about our fall conference? You can register here: – Dave
  • {first}, just emailed about a possible meeting – does next Wed or Thurs work for you? – Abby
  • Glad you’re interested in our new benchmarking report! Give me a ring or hit reply if you have any questions. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Text to Schedule Call Templates

  • Happy Friday! Can I give you a call Monday morning with a hot job opportunity I think you’d be perfect for? – Erich
  • Hey {first}, are you available next Thursday or Friday afternoon for a quick 10-minute call about getting control of your online reviews? – Matt

Step 2: Engage

Think of this second stage as the engagement. You’ve tried each other on for size, your prospects know you have value to offer, and are getting more and more committed every day. At this stage, your goals are:

  1. Have real conversations.
  2. Build the foundation of lasting rapport.
  3. Find out if the prospect is a good fit for your product or service.
  4. Give contacts the info, tools, and trust they need to close the deal.

Throughout this phase, you’ll be communicating with your prospects a lot. You’ll find out once and for all if you’re a good fit for each other. And if you are, time to celebrate — you have a new deal on your hands.

The real-time tools for this stage focus on using the power of multi-channel communication to build a strong, positive impression of your organization for your contacts.

Here’s how to shift to a real-time approach during the Engage stage:

Old-School Way to Engage

  • Stuck in cycle of emails and voicemails to move toward close
  • Business-focused outreach ignores prospects needs
  • Risk irritating and driving away undecided contacts


Real-Time Way to Engage

  • Free to connect in real-time to move next steps forward
  • Customer-focused texting outreach replaces slow email and phone follow-up
  • Meet contacts on their own terms to build lasting relationships


Follow Up Text Templates

  • Hey {first}, it was great talking to you today! Here’s the resource I mentioned on our call: {link}
  • It was great to put a voice to a name today — forgot to mention that we’re running a discount to new customers through the end of the month if you’re interested: {link}

Value-Add Text Templates

  • Hey {first}, a lot of people I talk to are looking to automate without losing that personal touch, so I thought I’d share this case study on a partner who did just that: {link}
  • Interested in how your firm compares to the competition? Here’s our State of Staffing Report, hot off the presses! {link}

Call Scheduling Text Template

  • Good to hear from you! When would be a good time to hop on a call about a possible partnership? – Joe
  • {first}, I’d love to connect again to talk about some new features we just released – are you available this afternoon? Should be a quick call – Erich
  • Hi {first}, you mentioned Monday are good for calls — are you free this afternoon to touch base? – David

Step 3: Delight

This is the marriage stage! Once you’re in a committed relationship, you don’t start ignoring your partner. Business is no different. You’ve put a lot of time, thought, and effort into creating happy customers — and you want to keep them that way. Your goals at this stage in your customer journey are:

  1. Delight your existing customers.
  2. Encourage them to become your best referrals.

The text tools you need for this stage help you grow happy customers into your brand advocates. They keep your customer base in-the-know and show them that they’re top of mind for you and your team.

Here’s how to shift to a real-time approach in the Delight stage:

Old-School Way to Delight

  • Delighting current customers not a strong focus
  • Communication dwindles after contact becomes customer
  • Mass email about business priorities instead of customer needs


Real-Time Way to Delight

  • Build deeper, more personal relationships with texting
  • Send text messages on holidays, birthdays, and just because
  • Ask for referrals via texting your top promoters


Just-Because Text Templates

  • Happy birthday, {first}! Here’s a 15% coupon for anything in our store. Have a fun day!
  • Happy New Year, {first}! Looking forward to another exciting year working with you!

Value-Add Text Templates

  • Congratulations on your new role! 🎉I was just reading this Entrepreneur article about adapting to new positions and thought it might be helpful {link}
  • Hey {first}, just for customers who go way back with us, we’re giving you 15% off on your monthly bill for the next few months.

Referral Request Text Template

  • Checking in to see how you’re doing and also to share our referral program: If you know anyone that might benefit from TextUs, use this link and earn an extra bonus for a referral, too.
  • Just wanted to follow-up on our referral program email. Here’s the link again: We’d love to partner with someone as great as you!

So, there you have it — Now you can go from waiting for responses to communicating in real-time with your customers.

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