Recently I heard sad news about a small business that has been an industry giant for decades.
I’ll refrain from using their name as it is one you would undoubtedly recognize. Their products are fantastic and have helped hundreds of thousands of people.
The company has done a great job building their subscription list. They send out emails and hold free webinars with formidable guests. They engage in social media and have hundreds of thousands of followers. Their posts are shared, liked, and commented on. They have even been successful generating viral activity.
And selling is, if not their top strength, close to it.
The thing is…unfortunately, this company is struggling and I’m afraid might not survive.
Why? It’s the same problem many small businesses suffer from…
Not only did they eliminate almost all of their direct mail activities and move the majority of their marketing online, they failed to use direct response concepts in ALL of their online marketing.
You see they didn’t quite understand that while it’s cool to have a big list and necessary to engage with people online…it’s really important that every aspect of online marketing is about hardnosed direct response marketing.
When you engage with a prospect, there must be a purpose behind it. Every time you…
- send an email
- write a blog post
- direct someone to a page on your web site
- make a post on social media…
…you should be thinking about how you can generate more clicks to your sales pages.
This does NOT mean you should be “selling” or promoting in every online activity. Let me say that again in a different way, because it’s really important. It’s not always about making a sale, but rather about “selling the click.”
For example, let’s say you have an event coming up that costs $500 to attend. You can’t sell someone on a $500 event in a 140 character tweet; however you could send them to a sales letter.
Even better though, you could send people to an opt-in box to get a free video, a free booklet, or attend a free teleseminar that relates to a topic you’ll be talking about at your event. Not only will you get more people to click through to something that is free, but now you’ve captured their email address and can market to them about your event (and your products and services and future event.) This means that instead of getting one chance to get them to click through to your sales page, you have multiple chances.
When you start focusing on how to use direct response in everything you do online, you’ll increase clicks. And when you increase clicks, you’ll convert more clicks into sales. Just imagine increasing your conversion rate from 5% to 10%. If you did that consistently you would double your revenues.
Here are three ways you can use direct response to increase your clicks…
1) Use Active Verbs. Many businesses will create a link and write something like, “This week’s specials” or “Calendar of Events”. Instead trying putting an action verb at the beginning…”Find out what this week’s specials are here” and “Explore our calendar of events.”
2) Add urgency. Give them a reason to respond right now. While you don’t want every email or social media post to be promotional, using urgency when you are doing a promotion is really effective. You can accomplish this in many ways including using a limited-time offer, scarcity, or a fast action bonus.
3) Make offers. One of Dan Kennedy’s Direct Response Rules is to always make offers. Look at ways you can incorporate offers into more of your online activities. Offer the first ten people that post a comment on your blog post a copy of the template you mention in your post. Or offer a free webinar on the topic you discussed in your email in your P.S.
If you don’t have a plan that includes how you will insert links that click through to a sales page, your time is wasted. Even worse, you could be the next small business that “bites the dust” because you didn’t put enough focus on how to get people to take a specific action.
Study direct response and start looking for more ways you can implement direct response marketing into your e-newsletters, emails, blog posts and social media. When you do, you’ll see an increase in clicks, which will lead to more sales.
How do you regularly use direct response in your online activities? Share your ideas in the comments below.
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