In cyberspace nobody can hear you scream that your competition is fierce. It is. In fact, I’m surprised someone hasn’t come up with a site called www.wejustwantyourmoney.com.
Unfortunately, you can’t be that glib. One secret to getting sales (which isn’t a secret at all) is always to deliver good, valuable content to visitors so like bread crumbs to pigeons they keep coming back to your site. And one way to do it is to …
1. Offer a free e-course. Your free e-course will let you come off as an expert in your prospect’s mind. But just don’t deliver it in an e-zine as most marketers do. No, my friend, send your prospect an e-mail instructing them to go back to your site and give the free lesson right there. Once there, they’ll browse your site … and you “gots them” where “you wants” them, right? And that’s to sell or upsell them your products or services.
2. Steady as she goes, matey — with graphics, that is. You’re busy … I’m busy … your prospect is busy. First impressions are lasting. Make a point of having your graphics load correctly on your site. Broken graphics equals unprofessional. Don’t ever, ever give your prospect the opportunity to click away if you can help it. Keep after your Webmaster to make it load correctly.
3. Want scrolls? Go to CNN. Regardless of what your graphic designer says, avoid having scrolling marquees on your Web site. They distract the reader from your ad copy and make your Web page load slower. Remember, everyone is busy.
4. Don’t bore your reader. Copy is king! Make your Web site writing exciting to read. Keep your prospect glued to the screen. Hypnotic, persuasive copy that hits Mr. Prospect’s hot buttons is the rule of the day. Use emotional words, descriptive adjectives, highlight keywords with color, etc. Look at sites that impress you … and see whether you can mirror what they do right!
5. Offline, online, marketing all the time. I once got a bright green postcard from an online marketer telling me about an upcoming seminar. It got my attention in a hurry. “Hmm,” I thought, “He’s done his homework and separated himself from the pack!” Double impact! Get ALL the contact information you can from your visitor online so you can send your customer a DM piece (something I guarantee your competition ISN’T doing) about your “wares” and what’s in it for him! (new products, services, etc.)
6. Guest books. Use guest books to improve site productivity. Prospects like everyone to know they exist. Yes, it’s bound to happen: Your visitors will leave good and bad comments. When you get the bad ones, review the comments and use them to improve your site. Listen to your market so you can get them what they want.
7. Tune up your search engine placement. He who snoozes, loses when it comes to search engines. Like flossing, regularly check and resubmit your Web site’s search engine rankings. They can drop — and will — very quickly because of all the competition out there.
8. It’s all in how you say it. This advice has been around for ages. Why? Because it works. Have a high price for a product or service? Soften the sticker shock. One way to make it sound less intimidating is to divide your price over a period of time (three easy monthly payments of $34.95) or show the per-day price. For example: “Only 33 cents per day!” or “Less than the cost of an overpriced latte at Starbucks.” Let’s say the price of your widget is $97. “For the cost of a dinner for two and two movie tickets, you can be on the road to financial independence.”
9. Stealth marketing. It’s your site, and you should do as much promotion as you want 24/7. Again, your customer only cares about himself. A good way to promote your products or services within the content of your site is to write free articles about a certain subject. But don’t be shy about what you can offer your prospect. Mention the product or service you’re selling and try to tie it into the information you’re presenting. If you can’t, mention your product or service at the end of the article. One technique that works well with stealth marketing offline is an advertorial. Try it online. Agora Publishing has made this an art form.
10. Give them a reason to keep coming back. Stale and steady loses the race in cyberspace. You want your visitor to know you’re on top of your game. Update the content on your site regularly. Continually add new content and update the old information. Have a “What’s Happening Next” page and tell the reader what’s happening with your product or service in the future. Tease and tantalize them.
We all enjoy surprises, and that’s why I want to give you (drum roll, please) an 11th bonus tip.
11. E-zines, please. Yes, they’ve been around awhile. I don’t care what product or service you have, you should have an e-zine that continually keeps in touch with customers. I told a chiropractor friend of mine, “Collect every e-mail address you can and send your patients a health tip e-zine. Always give your customers pertinent information that doesn’t do heavy selling but gives them new knowledge so they respond the way the late Johnny Carson used to respond to Ed McMahon: “I did not know that.” How many times should you contact your customer with your e-zine? Test. Once a week … twice a week … once a month. If folks opt out, then you know that you’re being too intrusive. Scale back.
Try these tips. Have any ideas of your own? Then please contact me. If I use them, I’ll include them with your byline in my next e-zine.