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Why Your Marketing Funnel Should Be Like A Production Line

Have you ever thought about the similarity between a marketing funnel and a production line?

Marketing funnel

Your marketing funnel should operate like a production line

I’ll show you what I mean.

Virtually everything today is produced on a production line.

Cars are the classic example.

As the car progresses along the line, robots put the thing together.

First there’s the chassis, then the engine, the doors, the wheels, the wiring etc etc.

The car starts off as a few unrecognisable components and as it moves down the conveyor belt it gradually takes shape until it drops off the end as the shiny finished article.

Your marketing funnel should work the same way.

The processes should be planned and refined so that your prospects enter the production line (marketing funnel) in a raw and uncommitted state and are moved through the process and slowly start to look more like a customer until they come out the end the finished article, ready to do business with you.

So what should the stages within your marketing funnel look like?

Stage 1 Prospects arrive as complete strangers and you have an initial engagement with them.

Stage 2 Your auto responder series starts providing them with information, advice and benefits and they start to form a positive opinion of you.

Stage 3 You continue to give them relevant and valuable information and advice and they start to like the way you interact with them and to trust your expertise.

Step 4 You make your pitch to them –  to make a sale, arrange a meeting etc.

Step 5 They interact with your sales team and drop off the production line as beautifully formed, ready to drive customers.

So that’s the way your marketing funnel works and as I said it’s just like a production line. There are a set number of steps for prospects to go through and success depends on you having a seamless and well oiled process in place.

The prospect must be moved along the conveyor belt with each process kicking in automatically.

If you haven’t got one, your marketing will be a bit like British Leyland in the 1970s – unplanned, old fashioned and likely to disappoint you.

So what’s the solution?

Two options spring to mind.

  1. You can hope that BMW offer to buy you for several billion quid.

Or

  1. You can get in touch with me on mikejennings@marketingsurrey.co.uk or 01483 200387 and I can help you set up your production line.

 

 

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Why You Should Have A Marketing Funnel

Do you have a marketing funnel in your business?

I suppose my next question should be do you know what I mean when I talk about a marketing funnel?

The reason I’m talking about this now is because last  Monday was the 29th February – leap day.

It only comes round every four years and for some reason is the day women are meant to propose to men.

Proposals aside  leap day and even leap year is a time when you can turn convention on its head and do things differently.

Now if you’re like most small business owners, you would very much like to grow your business and the sad fact is that if you keep on doing everything the same as you have been, your results will stay the same.

If you’re going to grow your business you’re going to have to do things differently.

And I would suggest that your marketing is the best place to start.

So what marketing are you doing currently?

If you’re like the majority of business owners I meet, you’ve got a website, you do some networking, you’ve got a Facebook page and you tweet a bit, you may even take out the odd local ad or even send out an occasional email.

Does that sound like you?

And how’s it working?

For most people that list of activity brings in disappointingly little and business growth still comes down to word of mouth – referrals from happy customers.

So if it’s not working as you’d like, why not take a fresh look and do things a bit differently.

So my suggestion is that instead of your time consuming and ad hoc approach why not put a marketing funnel in place that will work 24/7 for you, building customer relationships and delivering a predictable and reliable flow of leads.

So what does the kind of marketing funnel that I’m talking about look like?

Firstly it starts with your website.

But it’s got to be a website that converts visitors to enquirers and also generates their contact details.

How do you persuade people to give you their contact details – by offering them a lead magnet – a free report, a video – something of value that they want.

My lead magnet is my book “ The 10 Essential Business Growth Strategies” have a look www.marketingsurrey.co.uk

Once you have their contact details, an auto responder sequence kicks in.

Whether that’s 5, 7 or even more emails, you now start building a bit of a relationship with the prospect.

In the last email in the sequence you will ask for the order in some form. That might be a low level purchase (what is likely to be more successful at this early stage in the relationship a £29.99 product or a £500 product) or maybe an offer of a free consultation or whatever your first stage in the sale process might be.

If the prospect doesn’t bite on that, then they drop into your email marketing system and you regularly send them useful and valuable emails and continue to build the relationship that way.

Once you’ve built your marketing funnel, it will run on auto pilot, delivering the leads that you need to achieve the growth you’re looking for.

Now of course you can set your marketing funnel up yourself or with the help of your web developer, but if you’re serious about doing things differently in this mad and crazy leap year, it might make sense to have a word with me.

Setting up this sort of funnel is what I do and I can help you through each separate stage so why not get in touch

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How To Create A Marketing Funnel

Generating new leads is crucial to virtually every business.

The easiest way to do it is to create a marketing funnel.

Unless you’re getting a steady supply of new customers coming into your business, you’re likely to struggle.

But we all know, getting new customers is hard work and very time consuming.

But modern technology allows us to set up processes so that new prospects are attracted to your business and converted into customers without you having to do a thing.

You can be asleep, on the beach or working hard servicing your existing customers while your marketing funnel is delivering new customers on auto pilot.

So have you got an effective marketing funnel?

If you don’t know what a marketing funnel is, let me explain the type of funnel I set up for my clients.

In essence it’s a very simple 5 stage process.

Stage 1 – Your website

It starts with the website

The website is the heart of your marketing funnel in fact it’s the heart of all your marketing efforts these days.

Now the key issue is conversion. Your website has got to convert visitors to take the action that you want them to.

To do this it must contain the right messages and use the space correctly.

Remember you have 8 seconds to grab a visitor’s attention, 99% leave without taking any action and over 50% will never scroll down from the first screen.

So you must ensure that initial landing page is very focused.

Stage 2 – Drive traffic to your website

The best site in the world will be useless without traffic.

So you’ve now got to get people to your website.

There are a number of ways but the quickest and most reliable is pay per click advertising. So the next stage is to set up a Google Adwords and maybe also a Facebook campaign. This will start driving highly targeted traffic, who have identified themselves as being interested in what you sell, you your site.

Stage 3 – Get their contact details

Working on the basis that it’s a very big ask to expect someone to decide to buy from you on their first visit to your website, your objective is to build a relationship with your prospects.

To do this you’re going to need to be able to communicate with them regularly.

You will therefore need their email address.

So the second stage of the process  is to set up a “lead magnet”  – a free report, white paper, video or something similar which visitors will sign up for in exchange for their email address.

Stage 4 – Start communicating with them automatically

Now you can communicate with your prospects, you should set up an auto responder series. I would advise somewhere between 5 and 10 emails.

The purpose of the series is to start building this relationship so you should be introducing yourself and then demonstrating the value you can bring and how you can solve the problems that they may have.

In the last email in the series you should make them some kind of offer.

Now this could be a great deal on some low cost product you sell or if you provide a service like me, you can offer a free consultation or something similar.

It’s at this stage that you want to cement the relationship you’ve built during the email sequence into something concrete, whether that be an order, a meeting or a phone call.

Stage 5 – Email them regularly

Now of course not everyone is going to convert from your auto responder series and there are any number of reasons for that.

But as you’ve got their email address, they can now go into your email marketing system and you can market to them on an ongoing basis.

You don’t know what’s going on in their lives. The point of this is that it allows them to do business with you when they’re ready. This may be a month later or it may be 2 years later.

The great thing about a marketing funnel is once you’ve set it up, it runs all by itself.

So the crucial area of lead generation is taken care of with no direct involvement from yourself, allowing you to focus on other things.

Do you have an effective marketing funnel in place?

If you want to see a marketing funnel in action, sign up for my free ebook on this website and you’ll see how it works.

If you decide that you need help to set up  your marketing funnel give me a shout.

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The Greatest Crime In Small Business Marketing

What’s the greatest crime committed by your business?

Personally I believe the number of leads that marketing generates which are never converted into customers is criminal.

How The Crime Occurs

In most businesses, marketing are tasked with generating leads. These leads are then typically passed over to sales who then go to work trying to turn them into customers.

A certain percentage of these will quite quickly become customers – let’s say 5%

Another percentage will even more quickly disqualify themselves and drop out of your sales process. This could well be 50% of all the leads.

However there is still maybe 45% of the leads who haven’t said “yes” but they also haven’t said “no”.

Typically the sales person will contact them or try to contact them 3 or 4 times. After being given non committal responses – “let me think about it” or “I’ll get back to you” the sales person starts to feel that they are being fobbed off and decides to” stop flogging a dead horse” and moves onto the next set of easier converts.

Hold on a moment.

That’s 45% of your leads who are being given up on or to put it another way nine times the number of leads you converted

Buyers Can Take Up To 10 Individual “Touches”

The fact is that many prospects may take up to 10 separate communications or “touches” and sometimes even more, before they are ready to buy.

It may be that the time just wasn’t right initially or that or they were evaluating a different proposal or they simply had other priorities

They want to decide in their own time.

Your Job Is To Maintain The Contact

The last thing your prospect wants is to receive continuous sales calls.

Your job is to maintain the contact, continue to provide valuable information and be ready to respond when your prospect is ready to buy.

What you need is a Prospect Conversion System.

You need to set up a communication system which keeps you in the prospects’ consciousness.

While email is the simplest and cheapest way to do this if you intersperse your emails with letters, postcards or phone calls you will add interest and value to the process.

How Often Should You Communicate With These Prospects?

Many people worry about hassling their prospects – concerned that they will become irritated if they contact them too often. The correct regularity will depend on the quality of what you’re sending them. The fact is that if you are sending valueless rubbish once a year is too often but if you’re sending valuable and engaging material then you can send it almost as often as you like. Weekly certainly wouldn’t be too often

How Long Should You Continue To Communicate?

The classic answer to this is that you should continue to communicate until they either buy from you or they die. Your recipients are perfectly capable of unsubscribing from your list if they no longer want to receive stuff from you.  I’ve known customers who have taken 15 months from the initial contact before they have finally become ready to buy.

So remember a large percentage of prospects will take a long time to decide to buy so just make sure that you’re still in the frame when they finally are ready.

If this blog article strikes a chord with you, leave me a comment and share your experience.

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The World’s Most Powerful Business Generating Tool

So what is the world’s most powerful business generating tool?

The answer is pay per click advertising.

The real beauty of pay per click(PPC) is that it can dramatically improve your business’s performance in a remarkably short period of time.

What Is PPC?

PPC is simply a way to put an advertisement  for your website at, or near the top of the search engine listings.
Whatever your business – whether you’re a landscape gardener or a party caterer you can be at the top of the search engine results for anyone searching for your services within an hour!
But the great thing is you only pay when somebody clicks on your ad. Hence the name ‘pay per click.’
How much you pay for each click depends on how much competition there is for the search terms  that you want to use and how high up on the search engine you want to be. Either way, you choose how much you pay – and you can also specify a maximum daily budget.

The fact is that PPC is the most effective direct marketing tool in the world.

Why?

Because there is simply no easier and faster way to reach qualified potential customers.  They search you out and you only pay when they click on your ad and visit your web site. Can you imagine if you only paid a newspaper when someone actually read your ad?

Google Adwords

Google dominates the world of PPC.
Setting up an account is really simple. There is no minimum spend and best of all, your campaign can be up and running within minutes. In one hour from now, you could be sending a steady stream of qualified visitors to your website.

How Does It Work?

1.    You write your ad. It needs a catchy headline and a few words of compelling copy to get people to click on your ad.

2.    You select the keywords that you are going to bid on. These should be the words people will use to search for your services.

3.    Next, you need to decide how much you are willing to pay for each click. The more you  pay, the higher your ad will be placed.

A word of warning at this stage. You can spend loads of money and get little result. This could be down to selecting the wrong keywords or your web site not persuading visitors to buy. It is very important therefore that you monitor your results very closely and take rapid action if you’re not getting the results you want.

So now you’re up and running, here are a couple of tips to make sure Google works profitably for you.

Your Position On The Page

Adwords ads appear across the top of the page and down the right hand side. The closer you are to the top, the more clicks you will get..

Many people think that the only way to appear high on the page is to pay more per click. But this is only half the story.
The other 50% is determined by the number of people who click on your ad. This is known as your click through rate or CTR. Ads that get clicked on more often get a better position. And of course, that means they get clicked on even more often, and you end up in a virtuous circle.

What Determines The Number Of Clicks Your Ad Receives?

The answer’s simple. Apart from your position on the page, it’s the quality of your ad. In other words, people who write better ads get more people clicking on those ads and end up paying a lot less.

Test Your Ads Against Each Other

Our second tip is that Google lets you run two different ads at the same time for any of your keywords. This lets you test two different ads at the same time. You’ll find that one will almost certainly outperform the other.
Once it becomes clear which of your two ads is performing best, delete the underperforming one. Then write a new ad to try to outperform the better ad. Keep doing this and over time your click through rates will go up and up. You will soar above your competition, safe in the knowledge that not only are you getting more clicks, but you are paying less than them for each click to your website.

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Business Growth through Leads and Sales

Sales Process image courtesy of Steve Woods, RGBStock.comBusiness Growth can come from more sales and more sales can come from understanding where leads and sales come from and then improving the process.

Lead Generation and Sales Process Analysis

  1. Know your lead generation process – (or make sure you have one!). Everyone in business has a lead generation process, even if it’s just attending an event or advertising locally then sitting back and waiting. Some processes work better than others!Understand your sales generation process by answering questions such as:
    • Where do leads come from?
    • How many of them become sales?
    • How long does it take from lead to sale?
    • How many leads are being generated per month?
    • How many leads are needed to achieve business targets?

     

  2. Dig into the information you have and ask more questions to understand the whole sales process.
    • Why do customers buy from us?
    • How did our customers find us?
    • How can we increase conversion rates?
    • Why do we lose customers?

    This will allow us to uncover the sales process we actually use – or maybe that will be the sales processes we actually use. Understanding what we do and what works will allow a new, efficient, sales process to be defined that can be repeated. A repeatable process can then be used to increase efficiency in lead generation and sales.

A Repeatable Sales Process

From the work done in step one, look at the full sales process and work out how it can repeated faster and faster – that will generate more leads and so more sales. More sales is business growth.

If you need help with lead generation or lead conversion, then contact Mike at Business Development Advisors.

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Small Improvements to SME Business Marketing Can Equal Business Growth

Small Improvements to SME Business, courtesy of lusi, RGBStock.comSmall improvements in business marketing is how to grow our businesses

We’d all like to grow our businesses, wouldn’t we?

Most of us would love the idea of growing our businesses by 25% or  50% or 75% or even 100% over the course of the next year, wouldn’t we?

But of course, even if we could handle that sort of growth without the whole thing collapsing around our ears, we all know that that sort of growth is impossible. Business development experts might promise you that sort of growth, but you and I know it’s never going to happen.

Because let’s face it, we’re talking small business marketing and if we manage to grow our lead generation activity or the number of referrals we generate by 10% we think we’re doing pretty well.

Focus On All The Key Drivers

So if we agree that 10% growth in all the key areas is possible, you’d be surprised by the compound effect that will have.

Let’s play around with an example and see what happens:

Number of leads – 100

Conversion rate – 20% = 20 sales

Number of transactions – 3 = 60 sales

Transaction value – £50 = £3000

Margin – 50% = £1500

Buying lifetime – 4 years = £6000

Now if we increase each driver by 10%, let’s see what happens:

Number of leads – 110

Conversion rate – 22% = 24.2 sales

Number of transactions – 3.3 = 79.8 sales

Transaction value – £55 = £4389

Margin – 55% = £2414

Buying lifetime – 4.4 years = £10621

This equates to a massive and as we thought just a few minutes ago, impossible, 77% increase in profit. This has been achieved by increasing all the key drivers by 10%. Just think what would happen if we really pushed the boat out and managed to grow each one by 15% or even more.

So what does this tell us. It tells us that by focusing on all the key drivers within our business and achieving quite realistic growth in each one, we really can grow our total business by phenomenal amounts.

For help to identify small improvements call Mike Jennings on 01483 200387