Need to Improve Sales? Improve Your Offers

July 9, 2013

One Hundred Percent Free Not getting enough leads?  Is it time to rethink your offers?  Do you even have an offer to capture leads?

Attracting visitor to your store, web site or whatever other platform you use to capture leads is only half the challenge.  The other half is making sure you have the right offer in place so your visitors decide to accept your offer and opt-in to your list.  Once they opt-in and you have their contact information, you can trigger an automated marketing campaign to build trust and educate the prospective client about how your product or service will benefit them.

Why is that important?

Let’s be real, most potential customers are not ready to make a purchasing decision when they visit your site initially.  Approximately 98% of them will bounce off your site, never to return again.  Your goal when you have a potential client interaction, i.e., a visit to your web site, to your store or a call call (aside from making the sale) is to capture as much information as a visitor is willing to give you.

Since most visitors are not going to readily give up their contact information unless they realize a benefit, you have to provide them with a compelling reason to do so.  Creating great offers that makes them willingly give up their contact information in exchange for your offer allows you to conduct a follow-up marketing campaign.   If your offer or offers are not compelling enough to for the visitor to leave at minimum their first name and email address, chances are you will never hear from them again.

Match the Right Offer to Your Buyer

For your product or services, you may have multiple Buyer Personas.  If you do not know what a buyer persona is, check out our previous post about buyer personas.  For an offer to resonate with a potential buyer it has to appeal to their interest and match the information they are seeking. For example if you run a healthy nutrition web site or food shopping service, and want to appeal to a working mothers you can offer a free recipe book featuring recipes that can be prepared in under 30 minutes.  If you are a golf site or store, you can offer a DVD teaching a golfer how to take 5 strokes off his or her golf game.  Offering a visitor to keep them up to date with your latest news is not going to appeal to them.  Why would I fill out a “Contact Me” form knowing that at best, I will get spammed and at worst, have a pushy sales person call me and try and sell me your product or services that I am not ready to buy?

Try Multiple Offers to Find the Right One

Often times the first offer you create will convert at a lower than expected rate.  Don’t be afraid to come up with different offers using different mediums.  For some, a simple checklist of a top 10  list may convert well while other businesses may need a  more substantial offer.  For example, marketing a high dollar value product or service may require a free video, educational CD, or even something more substantial.   Think about bundle multiple offers into a kit to enhance the value of the offer.

Make sure you are measuring the conversion rates for all your offers. Do split testing with different offer headlines, different types of offers, different mediums and refine your offers to the ones that convert at the highest rate.  If you do not measure you will  never be able to know what offers are converting well or how to improve and increase your conversion rates.

Are Your Offers Placed in the Right Location

Another mistake many companies make, is placing an offer in the wrong location.  If you are appealing to a male sports enthusiast between the ages of 30 and 50 and decide to use one of the fastest growing social media outlets – Pinterest, chances are your offer will not convert well.  Approximately 80% of the users of Pinterest are woman.   On the other hand if your offer is aimed at the wife or girlfriend of a sports enthusiast, than Pinterest may be the right place for you to place your offer or advertise.

An Image is Worth a Thousand Words

Offers should be visually appealing. While text and the message itself can be compelling, many customers will be drawn to a great image.  Not only should a graphic image be incorporated into your offer, but it can be the offer itself.   Do you have information/data that you want to share in an a more compelling format.  Why not create an Infographic that customers can download.  Infographics are a great way to describe or share a story in a visually eye catching graphic format.

You create an offer with two goals in mind: 1. to capture the lead information so you can conduct a follow-up campaign and 2. to educate the prospective client on your product or services.   The benefits and what the potential visitor will realize by receiving the offer needs to be emphasized and highlighted at every step of the process.  This includes have a great description of the offer, a visually appealing landing page, an easy to complete lead capture form, a thank you message after the prospect submits the form, and finally delivering the offer the prospective client expected.  All of these should flow, be visually appealing and re-emphasize the benefits your are delivering to the recipient.

Creating Too Many Hurdles Leads to a High Abandonment Rate

Friday, I was in the process of registering for a webinar and the sponsor wanted me to fill out what I perceived to be too much information.  I immediately abandoned the form and decided that viewing the webinar was not worth giving out all the information the sponsor required.

Do you have a contact form that requires a contact to enter 15 different fields to receive a simple checklist? Require a credit card for a free offer?  If I have to enter more than my name and email address for a checklist or E Book chances are I will bounce out and not bother completing the form.  The exception is if I place a high enough value on the offer or it makes sense to give out my home address and phone number to receive the offer.  Typically a request for a DVD,  CD or something that would have to be mailed, will allow you to collect much more detailed information about the contact.

When making the offer think about the minimum amount of information you need to get that prospect into your database for the first time.  Once in your database you can setup an automated marketing campaign designed to move them along your buying process and crate increasingly valuable offers.  As you gain their trust, they will be be more willing to give up additional contact information. Too often businesses try to go for the immediate sale or capture way too much information.  That only drives the prospective client away and lead to a much higher abandonment rate resulting in a lower conversion rate for your offer.

Conclusion

To increase sales requires a systematic approach to your sales process.  The sales process starts with the initial contact with your prospective client. If you fail to capture the contact information, you miss future opportunities to market to that prospect.  This drives up your new client acquisition costs.    However, by capturing contact information for prospective clients you can setup an automated marketing and lead nurturing campaign.  A well formulated automated marketing campaign will assure you increased future sales.

Michael Beauchemin

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Certified Inbound Marketing Consultant committed to helping businesses grow sales through measurable, accountable marketing metrics.
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