Your (online) business can not grow unless you do two things. Keep the customers you already have and get new customers. Sales and marketing are so important that Amazon already has more than 86,000 books claiming that they have the best way to convert leads to sales. In the digital world you often see the terms sales and marketing alternate, but in reality they are two different parts of a process.
Marketing results in leads
The first step of growing your online business is to collect the names of your prospective customers. Finding leads is the primary task of every website, especially when they are in the service industry.
Website marketing concentrates on getting visitors on the website and getting a connection for a long-term relationship. Normally, the goal is to collect the name and e-mail address. When you have these you can go to them with e-mails, instead of having to ‘lure them to you.’
The easiest way to get an e-mail address from a potential customer is to give something in return. This is also called a lead magnet (lead magnet). This is an example of such a lead magnet:
In this case, the visitor can receive a collection of free recipes. This website collects e-mail addresses so that they can send their offer. This not only gives them the opportunity to get the contact information, but it also validates the lead.
Every person who downloads this recipe is interested in the products of this website. They are much better ‘prospects’ (potential customers) than random visitors who may have accidentally clicked on the website.
Turn leads into sales
Collecting e-mail addresses is only the first step in converting leads into sales. After you have found a profitable prospect, you have to go after this. An effective way to reach your leads is with newsletters via e-mail.
Despite spam filters, e-mail remains the number 1 communication tool for companies. A survey by a large e-mail service provider from the US shows that e-mail is number 1 on the list of marketing activities that small businesses find most effective.
E-mail is both cheap and efficient. Services such as Aweber and Mail Chimp let you put your leads into segments and you can write e-mails to everyone, without seeing them sending you to more than one person. This is where you start with the sales process, also known as the conversion.
How you use e-mail newsletters to convert leads to sales
When you have a database of leads, you can work on converting these leads to sales. Closing a deal is only done with sustained and consistent efforts. One way to do this is to keep them informed. Here are some obvious things that you want to communicate:
- New products
- News from the sector
- Special offers
Another way to achieve them is somewhat more subtle. Lead your prospects. For example, if you sell lawnmowers, communicate how the mowing of patterns influences the growth of the grass. Explain how sharp blades prevent damage to the grass. Then you throw in a text about the sharpness of your lawnmower knives.
Education with blog posts
You can learn your leads on a weekly or monthly basis with blog posts. Find relevant topics for your service or product and write about them. Make sure that the information is fact, go deep into the material and offer value. You are not selling your product in a blog, but you show the value in a general (not so obvious way).
Blog posts do a lot of things. They inform, establish credibility and offer special offers. As an added bonus, it helps to rank in Google when you blog.
The trick for using your blog for converting leads to sales is using the right marketing processes.
- Write a new blog post every week that is educational and has valuable content.
- Link to it in your newsletters, with a good program such as Aweber or another program.
- Add a strong ‘ hook ‘ or call to action in both the blog post and the newsletter.
Use your call to action for a great offer or to give them an invitation in the next step of your sales process.
Write the Call to Action
Writing a call to action requires a number of important considerations. First, you want to identify the steps of your customer’s journey. How many yes’s you need to hear before you can do the sale. When your prospect gave his / her email address to you, it was the first yes. If they took the time to open your e-mail, it was a second yes. Did they read the blog? If so, then that is a third yes.
Every time your prospect says yes, the resistance will diminish. Trust builds up and you get closer to sales. To convert leads into sales you need the last ‘ hook ‘: an offer they can not refuse.
- Identify an obvious advantage
- Give an obvious command or direction
- Give the reader proof of how others have benefited
Converting leads to sales is not a sneaky business. It is learning. You have to tell your customers what you offer and why that is the best option. By using lead magnets you can collect e-mail addresses and then send newsletters to them. This is one of the best ways to let potential customers know everything about your business.