Tag Archives: Value-based text

A social media sales funnel for websites and blogs?

Sales funnel for websitesThe concept of a social media sales funnel:

The top category is the biggest one and represents the largest number of people – potential customers. You initially capture potential customers by creating awareness – they find your social media site through a search. The bottom category represents the smallest number – those who have made the purchase, your committed customers.

Now, here are the 5 steps to follow to construct your simple online sales funnel.

Landing page1. Create a landing page that has an impact! Your website’s landing page is the first impression for your potential customers. Take time to make sure that it visually looks great with headlines and subheads that provide value, (confirming this is the best place to be). A good website-design landing page gives the impression that is offering information the site visitor is looking for and not be inundated with “buy this” or “time is running out” phrases. That said, encourage visitors to sign up for some sort of list, or subscribe to the website. This gives you that all-important contact information, which becomes your first line of communication to start them down the sales funnel.

online special offer2. Develop a front-end special offer. The next step is to shift potential customers from “interest” to “consideration” which leads to buying your product or service. When developing your front-end products and associated upsell offers, try thinking – “How will this help create more desire for the next special offer I’m going to present them with?” In other words, at this step, you need to be “pre-selling” on the next step in the funnel.

add to cart marketing3. Give an upsell offer on the back-end. Offer your customers who just bought or are about to buy an opportunity to upgrade or add-on to their purchase. Once they have just about clicked the button to buy your product or service they are more likely to buy an upgrade. Why? Because they have found your product or service to be the best value – the reason they are about to click the buy button. Create an offer that will deliver even more benefit to the customer. That also means you make more profit because an upsell typically involves a higher margin item or service.

sales funnel offers4. Offer a downsize option. In the same way that you encourage customers to upgrade in the upsell step, this element of the funnel calls for you to offer a downsize option to customers you are about to lose due to price. Your product offering maybe out of their price range but they still want something similar or less quantity of what your special offer promotes. Consider this a way to engage a customer unable to buy from you due to budget constraints. Those constraints may change if they like your product and come back.

marketing sales offers5. Follow up! The last step in the sales funnel is to follow-up with the new customers you have acquired and ensure they are happy with their product or service. A great way to accomplish this is to offer a membership-based rewards program. This will allow you to remain in contact with customers, giving you the perfect means for telling them about new deals and services.

Click this link to go to my “new-age” sales approach blog.

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5 Blog Tips that Get Results.

  1. Blog best practiceThe title needs to contain the “keywords” that people use when searching for your blog topic. the closer the keyword is to the front of the title, the better the SEO results.
  2. Repeat the keywords in the text. Once the title is set, the keywords need to be used in the blog at least three times.
  3. SEO for phrases and keywordsSearch engines will show about the first 40 characters of a title, depending on spaces and punctuation. To make sure the audience knows what the blog is about, put the key info in the front 40. (The length of this blog title is 38 characters).
  4. Reader attention span: The blog needs to be more than just interesting to read, it needs to consider the interest level and the state-of-mind of the audience reading your blog. Go easy on the story telling – I recommend getting to the point very quickly because people are busy and most likely want answers – quickly!
  5. blogsHow long is the ideal blog? About 250 word is ideal – this one is 250. Extremely short and long blogs are not SEO ranked as high as blogs around this optimum length. Plus, the average length of time people spend reading a blog is around 90 seconds. A longer blog of around 350 words gives those who want detail to get their fill, shorter blogs around 150-200 words are more “newsy” and people typically will read the entire thing. So it will be best to mix the length up a bit.

3 ways to create a better blog title, the difference between a good and bad blog title, and why should you care about a blog title?

best presentationsTo pull in your audience, create a compelling title to your blog that is On Fire!

3 ways – 1. List a “number” of reasons, 2. offer comparisons or concerns, and 3.  the “why should” approach. They are effective because they make a very specific promise of what’s coming.

Here are  two blog topics by a law firm client of mine, (one on elder law, the other on estate planning), and both topics use three different approaches to create engaging titles.

List Approach: 

  1. 3 ways the elderly are now protected by law
  2. 5 reasons to review your estate planning now

Comparison or Concerns:

  1. Are the elderly better served in civil or criminal cases?
  2. The pros and cons of estate planning

“Why Should…” titles:

  1. Why should we care about elder laws?   
  2. Why should you worry about your estate’s assets?

Features, Benefits and Advantages: Finally – the differences explained.

Business writing

When writing text for a company’s products, clearly communicate the value and benefits of a product.  Figure out what the benefits and advantages really are, and don’t just creatively describe the features as given to you by the company’s engineers.  Most copywriters and marketers don’t differentiate between features, benefits and advantages because it’s like pulling teeth to figure out why a customer needs a product and why they should buy it. Yes, it takes time to think that out, but think how long it took to design and develop the product – and the marketing of the product is just as important as the product itself, so it needs proper marketing effort for the product to sell.

You should know thisThe difference between the features, benefits and advantages:

A Feature is the function of a product – specifically what it can do.

A Benefit is why a product’s feature is desired, needed or a good thing.

An Advantage is why someone should buy the product and why it is a better choice than the competition.

Here’s a simple example of using the above definitions:

kayakFeature: This kayak is made out of hardened fiberglass
Benefit: So it won’t ever leak or break
Advantage: Meaning you can take on more extreme rapids than ever before

So many times I see the features of a product called a benefit, and or features mixed in with benefits and written under the heading of benefits. Clearly communicate the differences between a Feature, Benefit and an Advantage – and let the follow-up info for responses to inquiries be used to fill in additional information on the features. Give customers a reason the product is needed and is better value than the competition’s product.

Email marketing campaign tips: 4-6

It’s easy to follow just some of these guidelines – send an email out to customers and then check it off the to-do list. That said, all of these suggestions contribute to success. If the subject line isn’t compelling or communicates value, the customer may never read it. If the basic structure isn’t followed as mentioned in the previous email, then again it will decrease the potential for a successful Strategy for email campaignsprogram. Emails are like an offense in football, the quarterback, receivers and offensive line all need to do their part well for the play to work, if one guy is not on the same page, most likely the play fails. It’s the same with an email marketing campaign – all of the details matter. Tips 4-6 below focus on frequency, content and compelling subject lines.

Subject line for emails is critical4. Write knock-out subject lines. Do I have your attention? We could have the best content and message in the world but it may not get read because of the subject line. Writing a subject line is a marketing art – I actually attended a seminar just focused on writing email subject lines, that’s how important they are. The subject should grab the reader’s attention quickly and explain exactly why the message is valuable. Most important, keep it short – around 6 to 8 words because readers on mobile phones only see 25 to 30 characters in the subject lines and laptops around 60 characters.

Let customers know your email frequency5. Frequency. The readers will want to know how often we’ll email them. Whether you plan to email once a week or twice a month, its important to be up front with the frequency information so they know what to expect, (and stick to those expectations). Many times people sign up for informative emails and get deluged with daily emails, so these days people are skeptical, and telling them the frequency they can expect would be very customer-friendly and appreciated.

Email content needs to value in a campaign6. Great content, not just marketing messages. Your customers are going to unsubscribe to your emails if it’s just marketing and advertising messages. The content needs to offer value – new technology, products that help their lives or business, product installation tricks and tips, as well as customer testimonials – all are  value-based messages. Then over time we find out what interest customers the most through the email response analytics (click-through rates, user surveys, etc.). Questions asked in forums, social media or asked directly to your sales staff are also ways to find what content would be of value to the customer. ==> Be careful of sending frequent advertising specials and coupons in email blasts because it could dilute the perceived real value of your products. The content still needs to focus on the value the product is to the customer.

Tips for email marketing

Again, leaving out one of the above tips and not thinking it’s important will result in a sputtering offense, and miss the opportunity for a real score.

10 best tips for email marketing (1 of 3)

Email marketing tips 1-3 of 10 best 1. The first email. First and most important is that the very first email that goes out establishes and communicates the purpose of the email. If it doesn’t communicate value, some recipients might consider it intrusive, unsubscribe or worse – label it as spam. Attention to detail is important. (If you want to develop a consumer email base, provide a sign-up form on your website and  social media sites with an incentive such as a discount coupon for signing-up to build your list. Email tips for business Email-opt-out2. Provide an Opt-out option and a Forward button. It’s frustrating for customers to get emails they don’t want and can’t easily unsubscribe to, plus it’s legally required to do so at the bottom of each marketing email. Bonus – provide a “forward” button so that the recipient can forward the email to another person in the company that might be an appropriate person to also get the email, as well as providing a link for them to also subscribe to the emails. Make sure your business emails are mobile friendly3. Make sure the email is mobile-friendly. Many people these days read their emails on phone and tablets to check in while they are at lunch, after work or waiting somewhere – and are doing so to kill time. It’s an opportunity if the email can easily be read on a mobile device – if it’s interesting to them they will know to read the email on their computer when they get back to the office. If the text is to small they will skip to the next email, if the pictures are not optimized (taking to long to load), they will skip to their next email and may automatically delete it when they get back to the office. Mobile-friendly email many times get read twice – and it doesn’t cost any extra to make it mobile-friendly. Also important, if there is a call-to-action, make sure you link it to text and not a photo that may not have downloaded correctly. If you need help with your email marketing program, click here to drop me an email.

What is Your “About” Really About?

Marketing bestOne of the most important pages on a website  is a company’s “About” page, yet most companies spend the least amount of time putting good content on it. They plop their official PR paragraphs from their press release, throw in a photo of the building and the boss, and – whoo-la, done! That said, if you look at the analytics of your site or your client’s sites, you will discover that the “About” page many times is the most viewed or searched page in the website.

When consumers go to websites they want to buy not just a product, but connect with the company and it’s brand. They want to know who is on the other side of the screen when visiting a site. Marketing and networking - the face behind the blogIt’s not just about price, but also about the company. Some of the most popular products and companies also have the highest priced products and services. People are willing to pay extra for great value – Apple Computers, Lexus and Louis Vuitton come to mind. Too often the company’s info in their “About” section is sterile and shows little personality or brand. Businesses of all sizes need to spend time and resources putting up pictures that reflect their team and culture, and writing the “why” behind the company and its products –  so customers perceive their products are the best value.