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Most digital marketing budget is focussed on getting new business: like getting high in search rankings and appearing in ads on the right sites (& never buy an email list!). All of these result in directing people to your web-site, preferably dedicated landing pages based on the source and reason for the traffic. So basically converting strangers through their own activities.
This takes me to a couple of questions which I believe all marketers should ask them selves:
- At what point do they convert from a stranger and what to?
- If they click through, take one look at the site and go back to their search results, would categorising them as a prospect be a bit of a stretch?
- If they purchase something, of course they are then a customer, but for how long for?
- Then how would you rely on them to come back? search again, hope that they bookmark you and never Google again?
- If you do the numbers, no matter how hard you try with testing and optimisation, much less than half of them will actually generate you revenue on that first visit, what about the rest?
The answer to all of this is Email Marketing.
Get the Sign-up
Of course make it as easy as possible for people to convert and spend straight away from your SEO and PPC efforts but make sure those who aren’t quite ready to commit can see relevance and easily sign-up for your emails.
You will then have a list of people who are interested in your brand and what you have to offer, but aren’t quite ready to commit and more importantly: you have the chance to win them over.
Your web analytics and landing page software will be able to tell you where they came from so already you know how they got to you and you may even know what they were after.
You can then target your prospects with content to support the reason why they came to you in the first place, build a greater rapport, earn the trust and when they are ready to spend they will spend it with you. Each new email can easily have one or more calls to action to help them ‘gently’ convert and you can again create custom landing pages to ensure the conversion experience is as smooth and convenient as possible.
Then once they are a customer, you target them differently. Instead of your plan to convert them from a prospect to a customer, you need to keep them a customer and make them a fan. Fans will rarely go elsewhere and they are far more likely to recommend you to others and help convert more strangers to prospects and customers. May of these people are also likely to interact with you on social networks too, so target them separately and make sure your content is easily shareable.