Would you like fries with that? Would you like to upgrade to a large meal for $1 more? no, how about a hot apple pie?
These are the lines made famous by McDonald’s staff all over the world. Not only do they apply to McDonalds, they equally apply to all that we do online. The most difficult thing in the world is getting the attention of the potential customer, once we have that attention we want to nurture that relationship, provide ever increasing value into the relationship by providing products and services that meet the on-going needs of that person.
So, where are we at? We’ve brought targeted traffic into our website by various sources. We’ve impressed those people (remembering that traffic is about people..not about numbers) enough with our business, expert and social credibility that they have decided to stay on our website and take a look around…..and we’ve designed our website in a way that we steer their behaviour towards the goals that we have set for the website.
Not every person will stay on our website for long enough to be influenced by our credibility factors.
Why do people leave? Many reasons including:
- did not find what they were looking for
- clicked here by mistake
- got interrupted
- did not find us credible
Some people leave because they are not our targeted prospect…that’s OK…we don’t want to waste their time. But some of those who leave….and statistically very few people will take action on their first visit to your website….are our targeted prospect.
So, our first step is to be collecting what are called remarketing lists. A remarketing list can be based on many criteria and in a basic way it involves an advertising seller (like Facebook or Google) placing cookies onto your visitors computer hard drives which then allow you to run paid advertising campaigns to those people.
Some examples of lists:
- all visitors to my site
- all visitors who visited a particular page
- all visitors who stayed more than 60 seconds in my site
- all visitors who purchased my product
By building these remarketing lists we have the ability to remind people of who we are and also remind them of why they visited us. These people are no longer cold visitors, they have been warmed up by already visiting our website….and we want to attract some of them back to take another look at us.
The key to marketing our website properly is to recognise that not everyone will take an action and not everyone will take the same action. We want to build in a few choices for the people who are in differing stages of their buying lifecycle.
What is a conversion in our model…it’s not what you think. A conversion is any outcome taken as a result of visitors taking some action on our website.
A conversion could therefore be any of these:
- subscribe to a newsletter
- download a white paper
- complete a contact form
- make a phone call
- complete a sale
It involves getting visitors to make one of many micro yeses that need to get made before finally saying yes to a sale. In some industries this could be a very long process of up to 12 months, in others it can all happen in the one visit.
The website is a component of a sales process. Sometimes it is being used to bring in potential customers who are very early in their buying lifecycle and sometimes it is at the other end and actually completing a sale, as in an ecommerce website.
It’s vital to understand and have documented what your end to end sales process is
and to understand where your website and other online properties fit into this picture.
There are many skills required to make a good sales process and it is often an area that people fall down on … like the salesman who does not ask for the sale.
Some of the vital skills required are:
- building high converting landing pages
- copywriting skills
- sales persuasion skills
- having products and services developed that your targeted audience want and need
- having upsells, downsells and cross sell products/services available
- email marketing skills
Lifetime Customer Value
A customer needs to be viewed as not only a one time sale… but ultimately as a lifetime customer who makes many purchases over time. You need to calculate what the lifetime value is of a customer. What is the average purchase price of a customer and how many times on average do people buy.
Why is it so important to understand customer lifetime value?
Because it allows you to understand what you can afford to spend to buy a customer. If customers only ever make a single purchase then you must be profitable on that single purchase. Whereas, a company which can garner repeat purchases creates a larger customer lifetime value and can now afford to buy customers with more money.
A great example is the inkjet printer market. The printer manufacturers practically give away the printers for free…why do they do this? Because the money is in the consumables..it’s all the purchases of ink cartridges that the money is made.
Sales Funnels & Segmentation
Potentially we need multiple sales funnels on our website. Why is this? Because all our web visitors do not necessarily want the same thing….or they may want the same thing (the product we have for sale) but they want it for different reasons.
So our lead qualification process needs to help people to self select themselves onto different paths.
Segmentation is where a lot of power comes from. Think of statistical averages..an average assumes every data point is the same, but in real life we want to treat people differently in ways that appeal to them.
A simple example is the different ways that people process information and come to decisions.
Some people will need to take a long time and go into every little detail before feeling comfortable about making a decision while others will just skim through the main points and decide. Some people want to see, feel, touch, hear, smell.
If we just treat every person the same…like a statistical average…then we are losing a large percentage of our potential audience.
Conversions are where we move our visitors into a sales cycle. They qualify themselves by taking an action we have on our website for them to take. That sales cycle needs to be looked at from the company perspective and how the online assets interact with the sales cycle can then be determined. Some sales cycles will be totally online with no offline interaction eg e-commerce websites, whereas others will take online information and pass it to an offline sales person eg lead generation website.
What is your company’s sales process? Document it and map the online assets into their appropriate place so that you have an end to end system in place.