SEO for 2016: The Complete Do-It-Yourself SEO Guide (2015)
Chapter 10. Website Marketing Principles
Throughout my career I have been thought of by many as being one of the best sales persons both online and in real life. There are many things that help me make sales. In this chapter, I will outline the little things that add up one by one to help you make sales. Although the focus here is on online sales, these are sales principles that you should use every day both online and in real life to help you sell.
Sales Principles You Should Adopt
These are my top 12 direct marketing principles you can use to make sure your internet marketing really works for you:
People want to know you are not going to disappear overnight so if you have been in business for any length of time, this will add credibility to you and your offers.
Use genuine statistics to give you more credibility when listing the number of customers served, money saved, profits made, true results, and so on.
I can’t overestimate the importance of getting relevant and credible reviews from your customers and clients, saying how you and your products or services have helped them.
If you can, establish yourself as an expert in your field. Not everyone can write numerous books or be on TV. However, you can write articles and have them published on your product, service, or industry. You can run workshops that are designed to demonstrate or train how to use your products or how effective your services are.
Reprints of articles about you in the press or having your articles published in the media lend weight to your credibility as the expert or authority in your market and are highly valuable to you. Show your market that you are in demand, and have status as an expert.
You can also show you’re an expert with industry certifications, awards, memberships, and accomplishments that are relevant to your market.
It is a lot cheaper to sell online with the use of online videos or ‘how to’ DVDs to sell your product. If you hire a sales person he can only be one place at a time. The internet can be the equivalent of hundreds of sales people. A website that is properly designed can make it very easy to show a demonstration of your product or services, both on and offline.
You can also create and distribute a demonstration eBook by printing it out and talking through what it contains live on screen. Camtasia is free software that lets you make a screen capture video where you can demonstrate your website talking though the sales letter or giving a demo of how easy it is to download your eBook.
NOTE: You can also print eBooks cost effectively at Lulu.com and CreateSpace.com.
If you can’t guarantee the product or service you’re selling, then find something else to sell that you can guarantee. To really make your potential customers feel safe buying from you, have an ironclad guarantee.
On your website, having your full contact detail information is a big boost to your potential customer confidence. Using just an email contact or a form shows you are hiding. Put your email, phone, and address that shows that you are in the U.S. and are credible.
NOTE: Never give a P.O. Box as your address as it immediately makes people suspicious.
The Personal Touch
Be visible in the business you’re in and make sure you have a live voice answer your phone if possible. In my SEO business, if I let voicemail pickup for one day I never get a sale. If I answer the phone, I usually always make a sale. Also, tell your customers about yourself. Make it personal to them and show them you are a real individual.
Admit Imperfections Upfront
No matter how good your product or service is, it will most likely have a disadvantage somewhere. Admit it up front and honestly comment on this fact.
Answer questions and objections in a timely manner when a potential customer asks them via email or the phone. Buyers buy more often when they can call an office throughout the week and email at any time with questions and get a human response.
People Will Buy to Save Money
People who are interested in your product or service will usually do nothing unless you ask for the sale and give them incentive. People are just bombarded by too many sales pitches and try to choose the best one.
The best pitch is to create urgency to buy now, such as informing them that the price is going up next week. But you have plenty of options here: you can offer a reduced price, a bundled special deal on your products or services, or a smaller free item for buying a larger item now.
Special Tactic for Creating Urgency
A special tactic to create urgency is to put an end date on your promotions and discounts – buy it now before the price goes up next week, next month, tomorrow. Even if your regular price is your promotional price, do a monthly campaign. When they look online they see a higher price if you don’t buy by the end of the month.
If your business looks like it is always in permanent sale mode, there’s no urgency for the customer to buy. Customers are not stupid; they see the advertising and know that this company ALWAYS has a sale on.
That is why it’s important you create a deadline for your promotion. By having a defined end date showing in bold letters, it creates urgency and a reason for your potential customer to act now or lose out on saving money.
Tell People the Value They Are Getting
The discounts and value to the customer are not always obvious. So make it clear. If you put a value next to the items you are selling, don’t assume your prospect or customer has worked it out for themselves. If the total value is $250, tell them it is $250 because if you leave them to add it up for themselves they generally won’t do it.
Research is an essential aspect of marketing. Inadequate research of your products and target market is one of the biggest pitfalls that can affect a marketing strategy. Research provides a wealth of information that is vital to your sales.
Determine what market is going to most likely benefit from the product or service you provide. This is the group of individuals you will want to target – in some areas, there may be multiple groups. While it may be possible to market to all these groups, in most situations it is better to market to a single group which contain a large percentage of similar traits. This makes it easier to consolidate a marketing plan as well as eliminate a significant amount of research, time, and effort.
The second aspect which needs to be researched for a marketing plan to be successful is your competition. It is also one of the reasons why marketing fails to produce appropriate results. Researching your competition is not just about researching the prices of a competitor. It includes noting things such as their sales techniques, finding out what marketing tools and resources they use, and how often those tools.
Many business owners and beginning internet marketers fail to note anything more than price and perhaps general layout of their competitor’s website and end their research there. They miss vital information that can save time, money, and effort when it comes to setting up their own marketing strategy. If you are not the most successfully-marketed business on the internet promoting your product or service, find out who is. Find out how they market and what makes them successful.
Collect information on the types of deals, offers, discounts and promotions that your competition uses and offer something different to help your business stand out. Many people simply do what their competition does. In doing so, they often lower their marketability and their marketing plan can ultimately fail in this area. You might pick up more market share by doing what the completion doesn’t.
Having enough research to create your marketing plan is only the first step in solving the problems that often cause marketing plans to fail. The next step is to take the time to pick out the right tools. Having the right tools for the job is essential to ensuring you get the most out of your marketing strategies.
Marketing tools have diversified over the years. Tools are not limited strictly to email and promotional options. Video, social networking, SMS texting, Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, PPC, and many more are available to you. You just have to pick the tools that are going to be easy for you to learn, use, and require minimal maintenance with maximum potential results.
Don’t Just Dream It, Do It!
One of the biggest reasons I am so successful is that if I get an idea, I do it. Nothing stands in my way. Hence you are reading this book because I came up with an idea for it while taking a shower. Don’t picture that, by the way. In John Pinette’s words, “You’ll have nightmares!”
One of the biggest reasons why marketing strategies and businesses end up failing is lack of action and giving up. Marketing is an active part of your business, it is not a “set it in motion and let it run on its own” component of a website.
In order to ensure that a marketing strategy succeeds you must be actively engaged in working that plan and revisit it and make the strategy better based on experience. This means that email marketing messages should be updated and redesigned regularly.
SMS, Facebook, and Twitter messages should be rewritten after every send. These messages should be short, contain only the minimum necessary information, and focus on one item at a time. It is important to remember that this type of marketing is relatively new and involves sending messages to Wiki’s, blogs, members, and mobile devices that often indicate repeat messages.
Videos should be produced, edited, and updated to as high a level as possible. Computers and technology can turn just about any computer into a production studio with the right software. Keep videos interesting, engaging, and relevant. The videos should be related to the company, the products, or the services offered.
It is important to set up a marketing schedule and find out how much time, generally through trial and error, that you need each day, week or month to handle all your marketing tasks and keep everything up to date.
The reasons why a marketing plan might fail are numerous. I hate to outline some of them here, but you need to know so you can take steps avoid them. Some of these reasons include the following: failing to do the proper research into the market, not doing proper SEO, not having the right tools available, not researching cheaper delivery methods, having too many tools or not using the tools you have effectively, and not having inventory on hand that you are selling.
Taking the time to make sure that you have the information you need as well as putting in the effort to ensure your success can go a long way to eliminating these reasons.
When you develop a marketing message, you have to hit many levels of desire. Good marketing happens when you give logical reasons for your prospect’s emotional-buying decisions
Some good marketing messages include:
· Save time
· Save money
· Make money
· Try for free
· Avoid effort
· Increase happiness
· Find success
· Be pain-free
· Get better health
· Have fun
· Enjoy your life
· Gain praise
· Feel safe and secure
· Feel liked or loved
· Be popular
Your task is to find a message which matches to your product or service and start promoting your marketing message in your marketing strategy.
See What Your Potential Clients Desire and Play on That
You should develop the ability to see what others want, need, and desire through your own research. You will be successful if you are always satisfying your customer’s needs. Sometimes you have to look for the gap and create a new product or service or develop an improvement of an existing product or service.
You should always focus on service and deliver what you promise on time. My general rule is to always under promise and over deliver. Tell a customer that he/she will not have it until Friday even though it arrives on Wednesday. If something is delayed, the customer is not upset and when you deliver it early you look like the hero.
The internet allows you to start small and grow to any size business that you want to. Following the advice and principles I have laid out in this chapter will help your customer numbers grow and your profits grow with them.
Dealing with Adversity
My last words of advice are always maintain honesty and integrity in your dealings and stay true to your values even when dealing with stressful situations. Every business owner is going to have to deal with anxiety, frustration and problems, so cope with them by developing tenacity and perseverance.
If sales don’t happen the first time you talk to a potential client, look at these statistics from the National Sales Executive Association:
· 2% of sales are made on the 1st contact;
· 3% of sales are made on the 2nd contact;
· 5% of sales are made on the 3rd contact;
· 10% of sales are made on the 4th contact (and)
· 80% of sales are made on the 5th – 12th contact.
For most businesses, if you don’t offer an opt-in contact, like a regular email newsletter or blog postings, you’re missing out on most of your potential sales.
When setting up an opt-in internet marketing campaign, you should offer incentives to subscribe. To entice people to opt-in, you can offer:
· Special pricing for email list members
· A first look at new products
· Ability for customer to select subjects and emails they receive
· Promise not to share email or other personal info with other companies
Using opt-in contact allows you to significantly increase conversions by introducing yourself over time to your potential customers, in a soft-sell manner. Website optimization is important; the goal is increased internet traffic, sales and sales leads. But whether you’ve hired an online SEO consultant or you’re doing the process yourself, affordable search engine optimization by itself does not accomplish those last points which increase sales and sales leads. It just drives the potential customers to your website. You still have to close the deal.