Each week I speak with business owners where time and time again I see a lack of understanding of some of the basic principles. No criticism intended – I get that people are good at doing ‘their thing’ and some of the technical aspects of marketing can feel quite daunting.
However, here is the good news – it ain’t that difficult. Honestly. I’m the wrong side of 50 (depending on your point of view I guess!) and I’ve mastered it. So come on, here’s how explained in six easy steps – take a good look at your process and decide whether you’ve got all – or any! – in place.
1 Understanding how a marketing funnel works for your business
Whether yours is a classic B2C (ie. consumer market) business, or B2B (ie. business market), both need a ‘marketing funnel’ sat behind the marketing process. More people going in at the top, and fewer falling out at the bottom – more in, more out. Simples.
B2C – chances are that you need ‘volume’ you want to attract people who will buy. So numbers are important to you is you need volume purchases to make your business model work. Once you have these guys in your ‘funnel’ you can build your relationship with great communications, content and offers, encouraging repeat purchases.
B2B – invariably you don’t need the same volume in terms of purchasing (not always, but largely true). Over the short-term, rather than drawing in large numbers of ‘leads’ to sell to, you should probably focus on defining your ‘dream list’ and taking your business to them. The classic ‘sell the meeting’ strategy.
BUT – you do also need to draw in the numbers in terms of developing your influence over the longer term. People who are attracted to you due to your expertise have the potential to become customers but it’s going to be a much longer process for you to convert to cash. You need to be using your funnel to move them closer to you step-by-step and the way you engage is by sharing value-based information, building trust and relationships.
2 Your website – a critical starting point for any relationship
Too many people see their website as all-encompassing. Every product and service explained in detail. The company’s blow-by-blow history. Every team member’s life story and so forth. However, the most important page on your website is your home page – and most will never get beyond it.
Remember, the most important thing your website can do for you is to kick off a new relationship really well. Which is why you need …
- A really clear headline – the vast majority of ‘bounces’ come because it just isn’t clear what it is that you do, who for or where you do it
- Personality – in abundance, images and opinion. Why YOU make a difference. Bland just won’t cut it
- Interaction and engagement – video is brilliant at this
- Testimonials – social proof from ‘people like me’ is vital
- Your contact details – let them call you / email you really easily if they want to – most people bury this info!
- And, a ‘lead magnet’ – a super-compelling reason why your target customer will happily share their contact details with you. BINGO – they are now in your ‘funnel’. You can start to do business.
3 The lead magnet
It’s worth saying that you need more than one that’s for sure. Take a look at www.fairytales-nursery.co.uk – they have 8 ways potential can share their details on the home page alone! You wouldn’t go far wrong to ask yourself ‘what’s my version of each of these?’
However, top right of the page needs to be the BIGGY. It can be…
- A book / ebook with a great title that will mean a lot to your target customers … ‘Seven secret strategies for building an extension on a budget – that most building companies don’t want you to know!’
- A video – the great thing about video is that it is likely to be ‘consumed’ immediately, which is great news for you – make a really clear call-to-action at the end
- A free four-part course – offers great value and learning
- A voucher – if you are a restaurant, why not offer a free bottle of wine for two when they sign up? Who wouldn’t take that up? And they’ll want to redeem it within the deadline too.
- A critical industry white paper – great for specialist consultancy businesses with high-value IP.
4 Following up the lead magnet
This is where your auto-responder comes in. Deliver the content automatically and with aplomb…
- Track if it has been opened and send it again to people who haven’t engaged
- Encourage them to book their restaurant table
- Ask for their opinions of the book / report
- Share a testimonial from someone who read it and got value
- Break down the content in to series on key points – one strategy a week
To do this, you need a system that runs autoresponders to do this. Websites have this facility, but best off is having the data routed directly into your database / CRM system so it all happens slickly behind the scenes without you getting involved. A spreeadsheet or Outlook just won’t do it.
5 The tripwire
You may have come across the term ‘tripwire’. Essentially, once someone has made the decision to ‘buy’ something free from you, make it a really easy decision to move that decision one step further and get them to spend money with you.
A trip-wire product should sell at less than £20 so it’s an absolute ‘no brainer’.
- The video version of your book
- The three-part follow up training course
- The templates to help you set X up for yourself
- A bunch of free resources
- And so on
This is a ‘nice to have’ – not an essential. Get the other basics in place first.
6 Squeeze pages
These are single page websites where you have no option to navigate away from the sole purpose. You either sign up for ‘the thing’ or you don’t. The goal is to ‘squeeze’ your data.
Often used as the ‘landing page’ to a pay-per-click advert, or the objective of an email campaign and it should be highly specific to the subject. The goal is to ‘squueze’ new contacts to your funnel. Or to engage further with people already on your list.
Check out one of my squeeze pages – www.growth-voucher.co.uk to see what I mean. And you get the added benefit of finding out how the Government are trying to give you £2000 to help you grow your business. Can’t be bad.
Let me know if you have any questions – if I can clarify things for you, I’m more than happy to share what I have learned doing all this stuff for my business. Happy lead hunting!