Last week, I talked about three things you should expect from your marketing. They are:
- Generate leads; bring a steady stream of prospects to your business.
- Move these people closer to buying from you by moving them through your marketing funnel.
- Nurture relationships with your prospects until they are ready to buy from you. Once they do buy, you need to continue nurturing the relationship for ongoing sales.
This week, I will elaborate on the first item, generate leads. This involves finding your potential customers.
The traditional way this happens is that you offer at a low price or for free an item or information that your target market finds attractive. When people respond, you then collect their contact information. This is an effective way to grow a list of people who may be interested in buying from you.
This strategy works for both online and off-line businesses. Online businesses tend to offer information in exchange for a customer’s e-mail address.
Some other items that marketers use to attract their ideal customers include the following:
- Written special reports or white papers
- Videos with helpful information
- Webinars about prospects’ topics of interest
- Audio files of interviews or presentations
- Free trials
This is a short list of some of the items marketers use as lead magnets (items offered in return for a customer’s contact information).
Off-line businesses can use this same strategy, and although most don’t, this information works in the off-line world as well as in the online world.
Off-line businesses can also offer an item at an attractive (hot) price to get potential customers into their stores, which then allows businesses to collect the customers’ contact information.
The success of this strategy depends on collecting contact information from your prospects. Online marketers know this and watch closely the number of people who visit their pages as well as how many people leave their contact information.
Off-line marketers have a harder time collecting their guests’ contact information. When off-line marketers offer an item to get people into their stores, they often have no plan to collect the customers’ information that they will need to reconnect with them. This leaves businesses with only the option of running another ad and hoping that people will return to the store.
A far more effective strategy is to encourage customers to give you their contact information so you can let them know about new specials and offers available only to those who are part of your program. All you need to do is ask people for their contact information in the store.
If you want to improve your results, develop a script your staff can use to request your customers’ information, and give them something to offer your customers in return for leaving it. This may be a special discount, the promise of something via e-mail, or any of a number of other things.
One last note: Not everyone will be ready to give you contact information when you ask. Don’t take it personally; you just haven’t created enough value in your offer for those customers. Keep offering great service and information, and you will develop your relationships enough that they will seek you out to submit their contact information.
With this information, you can now connect with your prospects and start the next step in your marketing funnel.
Go Social Experts helps online and off-line businesses develop systems to collect contact information from people who may be interested in buying from you. Connect with Brian via email at [email protected] for more information.