With that in mind, does it really make sense to treat visitors on their first interaction with your business as those on their seventh or eighth? Attempting to get a sale out of someone at the beginning of the buying journey is a waste of time and energy. In most cases, it will probably drive them away altogether.
So it makes more sense to treat each visitor based on the next stage of their individual buying journey. Catering for your customer as they pass through each stage of the buying cycle will ensure you create engagement and build the trust of your potential customer; all this eventually leads to increased conversions.
The awareness stage is the beginning of the buying journey; this is where a potential customer first comes in contact with your brand.
At this stage, it is likely that the visitor doesn’t have much knowledge of your product or service and are oblivious as to how it can help them. Your job is to capture their interest and attention, convincing them to come back.
At the awareness stage, a conversion is rarely an actual sale; instead, it is a repeat visit, perhaps an email subscription or completed contact form. Once you have an email address or contact details you can always direct the customer back to your site later on.
In order to capture email addresses or customer details, you need to provide that customer with engaging and educational content that encourages action. The content you produce should explain to your audience the need for your product or service, outlining the real benefits that they will actually benefit from. At this point, the visitor couldn’t care less about what features you offer or what it will cost; they’re probably not even considering paying for your product yet.
So instead of trying to convert first-time visitors into customers, start trying to convert them into subscribers. Getting potential customers to subscribe or provide you with their details give you a platform on which to go after them at a later stage in the buying cycle – even better, they are hot leads who are much more likely to convert into customers.
So now that you have their email address or contact details, it’s time to pound them with some sales pitches, right? Wrong! If you start sending content that is salesy, they will unsubscribe in a heartbeat.
Visitors who have just subscribed are still not ready to commit to a purchase. They are, however, intrigued and curious about your product. They understand that your product may be of use to them but aren’t yet fully sold on it and are still looking to find more information.
This is where your visitors need a little nurturing. Provide them with more content, content that is going to educate them on the problems they may currently be facing and how to fix them, along with a subtle mention that your product or service is able to help in this process.
In order to do this well, break the stage down into a series of conversions. At each conversion point, you should be looking to gather a little more information about your consumer.
Providing regular updates through EDM’s and blog posts, you are giving further information to your consumer but also positioning yourself as a knowledgeable source of information and an authority in your field.
The next step is to send out more in-depth content such as E-books packed with information on a particular topic or bringing to light an issue your consumer may need resolving. This content should aim to provide the solution to the consumer’s problem and at the same time position you as the best one to offer it.
For customers to download the book, they will be required to visit a landing page which again has them confirm the information they gave when they signed up, such as name and email address but also asks for a little further information including their phone number.
You are still not asking them to buy, you are however building trust (enough for them to provide a phone number) and going through a number of conversion points by getting them to download the book. You have now laid the foundation for a sale conversion.
This is it! You have moved your lead through to the last stage of the buying cycle. They understand your product or service; they understand the need for it and have done their research. It’s time to make your sale.
So you have done all the hard work, provided your potential customer with enough value that they should just go ahead and make the purchase. In a perfect world that would be the case, but don’t just leave that sale up to chance. Purchasing your product or service requires the customer to part ways with money, and no matter who you are, nobody likes doing that. Some will convert but others will hesitate. There is always going to be objections or further questions.
During the decision-making stage, a more personalized approach might be needed. Remember, you have all the tools to do this – name, email, phone number. Every customer has different objections, so these need to be addressed individually.
It’s not enough to just show your consumer how your product works or what it can do for them. You need to be proactive and reach out to them on a more personal level, people love feeling like you genuinely care about them and will reward you with their business. Here are a few things you can do to drastically increase your conversion rate at this stage;
Ask your consumer to get in contact with you about any questions or doubts they may have. This could be as simple as a follow-up email thanking them for downloading the book and asking if they would like any further information. Most consumers will have last minute doubts or questions and without a little prompting or invitation, they may leave without voicing them. Through reaching out, you are showing that you care and reaffirming how your product can solve their problems.
Offer to give them a call. Some people can’t just read about your product and make the decision, they like to know that real people are behind your brand and it gives you a chance to further sell them on your product.
Invite them to join you for an information evening or sign up for a webinar. This way you can get your prospects in front of you and walk them through the product or service you provide. This personal interaction gives the consumer peace of mind and increases the chance they will convert for years to come. A personal relationship will foster brand loyalty and increase referrals tenfold. For some extra sales punch, offer them a limited-time discount or special they can’t resist.
Remember, at this stage, it is ok to pitch the sale. You have done the hard yards to successfully get them to this stage, now’s your time to optimize this for the sale.
When optimizing each piece of marketing you produce, from your website right through to blog posts and EDM’s, it’s important you understand what stage of the buying process your customer is in. If there is a difference between what they expect and what you have optimized for, your sales message will fall flat. Your conversion rates will remain low and you will be left wondering why.
It is important that you focus on moving your consumer through the cycle and measure the success of each effort based on the conversion from one stage to the next. Educating your consumer and providing value will always go a long way to gaining their trust and ultimately their sale.
Want to learn more about how to convert visitors into sales with assistance from strategical marketing? Get in contact with a member of our team today to discuss the possibility of getting ten times more impact from each piece of marketing you produce.