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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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5 Key Tips For Building Your Prospect List

I’m sure you’re very aware of the importance of building a large, opted in prospect list.

Once you have your prospect list, it feeds into your sales funnel and your marketing works on auto pilot.

You set up a system which drives prospects to your website, they opt in to your list, they then receive a sequence of emails from your auto responder after which they go onto your email list to receive your regular email marketing until they are ready to buy.

Simple really.

Each part of the process is really important but possibly the vital part is persuading website visitors to opt in to your list.

So the question is what can you do to increase the numbers opting in and so speed up building your list?

There are several factors which influence your opt in rate.

Offer something of real value as your lead magnet

For people to decide to give you their contact details, you have to offer something they genuinely want.

So ask yourself “what is the single greatest problem that my prospects have that I can help them with”.

Once you’ve identified that, write a free report or a white paper on the subject and offer it for free.

Position it in a compelling manner

The words you use to sell the free report and the title you give it are vital.

Which would motivate you more?

“Download your free business growth report”   or

“Discover the 7 simple secrets that could easily double your profits in the next 90 days”

Limit the amount of information you ask for

Of course we’d all like comprehensive information about the prospect and his or her business but the more information you demand, the lower your take up rate.

The very minimum you need is the email address. Personally I also request the email address, so that I can personalise the follow ups.

While it’s tempting to request the phone number as well, this will seriously reduce the number of sign ups.

The position of your sign up box

Assuming that getting contact details is either the primary or one of the primary objectives of the website, position the sign up box in the most prominent place on the page.

Top right hand corner is where the eye automatically falls so this is where you should put it.

You shouldn’t limit the sign up box to just the home page. Make sure you have it on every page of the website especially the blog page.

The wording on the button

Even the wording on the button will influence your sign up rate.

You want to use positive, affirmative words

“Yes please rush me my report”

But it’s not just the words that count. The colour will have an impact as well.

Make the button stand out from the surrounding colours. Bright green works well as does bright blue.

Implement all these points and you can be confident that you will be generating the optimum number of sign ups.

Of course if you want more information or some help doing it, give me a call.

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The Importance Of Having A Marketing System

Getting new customers and clients should be easy and I’ll show you how if you’ve got a marketing system it can be.

You’ve got a great product and lots of people would benefit from it.

All you’ve got to do is get the message out to the right people and social media in the shape of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ etc gives us access to millions of people at basically no cost.

That’s bound to bring you loads of customers isn’t it?

Unfortunately not.

But you’re getting masses of “likes”, retweets, and connections. That’s got to generate stacks of new business hasn’t it?

Unfortunately not.

It seems like virtually every day there are new ways to promote your business and they’re all clever and cutting edge. They’re bound to work.

Unfortunately not.

So what’s going wrong?

The difference between activities and systems

The problem is that they’re all “activities”.

Now to generate new business you’ve got to be active, but activities in isolation seldom result in people doing business with you.  Marketing systems do.

I’ll explain what I mean.

Let’s take Facebook “likes”. We’re always hearing that most people on the planet are on Facebook and the more “likes” you have, the more people you can communicate with.

Great but that’s where it falls apart.

Just because someone has liked your post doesn’t mean they’re going to buy something from you. People mistake “likes” and similar responses for a sign that people are going to do business with them.

Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that.

Social interaction is a good first step but it needs to be part of a larger system.

Let me show you how you can make social media fit into your marketing system.

The importance of your blog

Your blog needs to be a key element of your engagement strategy.

  1. Firstly you write a great blog post – something that will be of major interest to your social media contacts.
  2. You promote your blog post on social media in order to get the maximum amount of people to click through to read the whole thing.
  3. Your blog page will be set up to include your lead magnet (the item you offer for free) so that visitors will opt in to your list.
  4. You can now start marketing to these prospects over time and so convert them into paying customers.

Remember it’s the people on your list not your social media friends who will actually become customers.

Social media is a tool for getting people onto your list. It is not a method for getting new customers by itself.

If you want further information or help, get in touch.

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Give More, Get More

For most businesses the number 1 issue they face is how to win new customers.

Or to put it another way their number 1 issue is to convince their prospects that they are the best option to solve their problems, that they are best placed to help them.

I know that this is the case for my business and for my clients.

So how do you go about doing this?

Well the answer is really simple – …by helping them.

I’m not talking about your existing clients. Naturally you’re helpful to them, otherwise they wouldn’t be your clients.

I’m talking about your prospects.

The best way to convince them you can help them is to help them.

Obvious really.

So how do you do this?

The solution is to help them resolve some issue in their business…BEFORE…you ask them to become clients.

Now the standard response I get to this suggestion is “if I give my stuff away, people will just take my free stuff and won’t need to hire me”.

Actually, and fortunately, that’s not true. In fact the more valuable stuff you give away, the greater the likelihood that prospects will turn into clients.

The more stuff you give away, the more people will want it.

To work out what you need to give away it may make it easier if you plan it out on a piece of paper.

On the left hand side write down what the problem your prospect suffers from is and on the right write down the result if you resolve the problem.

In between you should list the steps that you can/will take to resolve the issue for the prospect and so position yourself as the obvious choice of supplier.

So for my business, my prospects want more clients.

So on the left I would write “Not enough clients” and on the right I would write “Lots of clients”

I will now insert the steps I will advise them to take.

My starting point will be that they need to get more visitors (traffic) to their website.

They need to give these people a reason to engage with them when they’re there by providing an incentive for them to leave their contact details ie a special report – this is what’s called a lead magnet

Having got the contact details they now need to nurture that relationship by regular email contact so that the prospect gets to like and trust them.

The last step will be to offer some kind of incentive or special offer so that prospects will contact me which will give me the opportunity to sell to them.

The way I make this happen is to offer a free half day’s consultancy in which I will look in detail at the prospect’s business. I will identify their niche audiences, create an avatar of their typical client, create an irresistible customer proposition for the prospect and then finally suggest appropriate channels for communication.

I do all this for free which provides an incredible deal for my prospects and positions me as a proven expert in their eyes.

So all you’ve got to do is work out how you can do the equivalent. What problem would your prospects love you to solve and how are you going to go about it?

While your competition are telling  prospects how helpful they can be if only they’ll give them some money, with my approach you’ll be showing your prospects how helpful you can be before they become clients.

It’s very hard to compete against that.

Make sense? It’s not hard to do. But like anything it’s all about implementation.

Categories: business growth