This is the third in an eight-step series about lifecycle marketing. Previously, we looked at how to attract traffic to your website and the various tools you can use to generate valuable sales leads.
Now that you have the attention of your potential customers, it’s time to nurture them towards a sale.
It’s all about following up on potential leads. Since everyone is different, there are as many possible ways to follow up a lead as there are customers. There are no limits to your creativity here. That’s why it’s so important to not only generate leads, but to generate quality leads. The more you know about a potential customer, the more you can tailor your follow-up efforts to their situation.
This is the second of an 8-Step series on Lifecycle Marketing
In the first part, we looked at how you can drive traffic to your site. Now that you have their attention, it’s the perfect time to gain some valuable information on potential new customers and draw them a little closer to your circle. At first it might seem tacky to ask for information when delivering up a piece of content, but it really isn’t when you do it right.
Instead of thinking of it like demanding a price for your content, think of it as an opportunity for a potential customer to learn more about you and gain greater access to the content they liked. For example, if they liked your cake recipe, why not have them sign up for your baking company’s newsletter where they can receive several more recipes every month? Since they already have a positive attitude towards your product, you can nurture them towards a sale.
This is the first of an 8 part series on Lifestyle Marketing.
With a little patience and technical know-how, it’s fairly easy to build a website. The Internet is full of handy guides on it. If you don’t have the time to learn, the Internet is also full of people and companies eager to do the work for you. But now that you’ve gone to the trouble of building your site, is it doing what it needs to do to bring traffic in, or it is just sitting there in a sea of similar sites?
You need a reason for people to come to your site.
Marketing expert Andrew Davis believes he has a way to do just that. By creating valuable content on your site, you establish a brand and you can use that brand to sell your products. He cites Sesame Street and Disney as examples. By creating memorable stories and engaging characters such as Mickey Mouse and Elmo, both companies were able to leverage their content to sell millions of dollars in products.
You’ve worked hard to make your business successful. You know you have quality products and services and competitive prices. You know you have customers out there that want what you have to offer. The problem sometimes is finding them . The Internet is a big place, and you’re just one firefly in the night.
Lifecycle Marketing might be just what you’re looking for. It’s a simple process with a simple goal: bringing customers in, ‘wowing’them and then letting positive word of mouth some advertising for you. Any customer is good, a happy customer is even better. But the best customer is the one who's telling his friends how great you are.
In our 8 part series on Lifecycle marketing, we’ll be looking at what it takes to attract customers. We’ll examine some of the new ways businesses are attracting leads, and the steps you can take to follow up on them. Later on, we’ll talk about ways to make your site more user-friendly by adding E-commerce tools and an effective lead management strategy, enabling you to convert site visitors into sales.
Twenty percent of your customers produce 80 percent of your sales. Named the Pareto Principle after Vilfredo Pareto, this concept is a simple yet powerful idea that can save you time, money and dramatically grow your business if used properly. Pareto, an Italian economist, noticed in 1906 that 80 percent of the land was owned by 20 percent of the population.
The interesting thing about this principle, or the ’80-20 rule’, is that it occurs with astonishing frequency in other situations. Twenty percent of your time will yield 80 percent of your results. Twenty percent of your products will create 80 percent of your revenue. The list goes on and on.
From a marketing standpoint, the applications are obvious. If 20 percent of the advertising efforts produce 80 percent of the results, then your marketing needs to focus on that 20 percent. If 20 percent of your webpages generate 80 percent of your traffic, then you need to highlight those pages to make them easier to find.
When it comes to customers, how do you zero in on your best customers, and more importantly, how do you find more like them? Using the ’80-20’rule allows you to develop more targeted marketing and more effective follow-ups so you can nurture sales.
In an age of faceless internet transactions and computerized phone menus, is looking your customer in the eye before offering an old fashioned handshake a dying art? Some customers would argue it’s no longer needed, while others wish for the days when an old school touch was not only offered but expected.
Your customers come in both varieties, so how do you keep them coming back?
At a minimum you’ll need a quality product that meets their needs at an affordable price, but that is just the beginning.
Despite the demands of modern life, many old school touches are still quite effective. Your customers want to feel valued, they want to be catered to and they want doing business with you to be quick and convenient.
As with fine food, presentation is critical. It doesn’t matter how delicious the meal is if the food is haphazardly slopped onto the plate and slapped down in front of them. Presentation counts, even if your company motto is ‘down home cookin’ or ‘just like Mom used to make’. You’re not Mom, after all. You’re an entrepreneur trying to attract their business.
Getting online customers to your website is one of the most important ingredients for growing your business, and when it comes to search engines, Google has the vast majority of the market share. If customers don’t know about you or can’t find a convenient way to reach you through the Web, selling your product or service becomes that much harder.
Google+ (Google Plus) is one of the fastest growing social networking sites available in today’s market. While it pales in comparison to the vastness of Facebook, Google+ is tightly tied to the Google search engine. Google+ has ‘+1’ votes, similar to Facebook’s Likes. Those votes let Google know that what you’re sharing is being read. Google+ profiles and pages can have a significant impact on search rankings.
Google+ separates itself from other social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter by offering increased SEO or Search Engine Optimization. Posts are crawled and indexed almost immediately, resulting in a greater likelihood of your page appearing at the top of Google search results when a potential customer begins researching a product or service.
“You have to be where your customers are.”
That phrase used to mean making sure you had a store in high traffic areas such as malls, or placing your billboard strategically close to a major highway. It meant advertising during popular TV shows and in high profile magazines. In the 21st century, your website is your store, your TV advertisement, your billboard and your magazine ad all rolled into one. Being where your customers are now often means being online (but don’t discount offline strategies too). Increasingly, they’re wherever their Smartphone or tablet is.
StatCounter, a Dublin-based web analytics company, reported that in December of 2013, the amount of worldwide Internet traffic from mobile users topped 20 percent for the first time. As the capacities of mobile devices continue to expand, that number will likely increase.
As online usage habits change, many companies are lagging behind in making their sites mobile friendly, much to the annoyance of Smartphone and tablet users.