Whenever you advertise your business you need to ensure that you’re going to get back the money you spent (and hopefully a bit more) in sales.
In this article we’re going to discuss a simple 3 step system that will improve your chances of making those sales, and paying for your listing.
But quickly before we get to that’s let’s just consider what makes advertising so useful.
Well, adverts give you a shortcut to a pre-built audience.
And with the right audience you have a whole heap of people who could be turned into leads (potential customers) and buyers for your products and service.
Without an audience you could be spending hours of your time promoting to just a few people.
Ideally the way to get the right audience is to build it yourself; crafting the perfect audience for your specific products or service.
But without a lot of work and a healthy budget, building an audience online takes time, usually a very long time. Time that most businesses are using to design or source new products, visit trade shows, or take care of existing customers.
With these day-to-day demands it’s easy to see why even the idea of “building an audience” often gets pushed to the bottom of the ‘to do’ list.
Which brings us nicely back to advertising.
Magazines, newspapers and blogs spend years building an audience, and their work building that fan base allows you to skip years of effort and reach specific groups with an advert.
So advertising provides a great opportunity, but it does have a downside. Advertising costs money, money that you need to get back with leads and orders.
It’s worth pointing out at this point that one advert isn’t usually enough; Google something like ‘how many adverts do people see before they take action?’ and you’ll find a variety of answers, all showing that people need to see an advert multiple times before they buy.
Ok, so depending on the cost of your advert and how many adverts you take out, this could mean you need to generate dozens of orders to pay off your advertising bill.
For many small companies, this prices them out of the advertising market.
Quick side note, this is why (when I was building Spotlight) I wanted to make tapping into the Card & Gift Network audience affordable, even for those just starting out.
But even this small amount needs to be recouped. So after a long explanation that’s why we’re going to now review a 3 step system that will improve your odds of getting those orders and paying off your listing fee.
The first element you need to get right is your business listing. It needs to draw people in and get them keen to know more.
In the Resources section, you’ll find a number of articles to help you get your listing looking its best, getting views and getting sales.
I recommend however that first you take a look at the Bronze, Silver and Gold listing examples. These give you a simple visual way to see how you can get your listing looking its best.
After you’ve got people interested in your business with your brilliant listing, the next step is to turn them from a visitor to a lead.
This means capturing their information; name, email, address – whatever you need to start the business ball rolling.
Ways to Capture A Lead
Whatever method you choose you will always have greater success if you make it clear and direct.
If you want people to take a specific action tell them! And make sure it’s the easiest action they can take.
Let’s pretend we want their email address so we can send them special offers.
Our business description needs to tell people that the action they should take is to sign up to a mailing list.
We can then reinforce that action buy setting our listing’s website link to point to a landing page where the only option is to sign up to the mailing list.
In this scenario we’ve been clear by telling them what to do, and direct by sending them straight to the place they take that action.
After you’ve captured the lead the third and final step of the system is the follow-up process.
You need to turn those contact details into a customer, and this requires a follow-up process.
If you collect email addresses this will be a sequence of emails that sell your offer and your business. And if you chose to collect a postal address this will be a sequence of direct mails.
Whether online or offline your follow up process needs to reach out repeatedly.
Last year CBS News reported that people can see up to 5,000 marketing messages per day. That’s a lot, and it’s very easy for your messages to get lost in that chaos.
A repeatable follow-up process lets you promote and share information regularly. It allows you to try out different things, find the perfect way to help your prospective customers and most importantly stay top of their minds.
Rounding up, the 3-step system boosts the potential of your listing to bring you new customers.
It’s simple but it does 3 important things: