First impressions are powerful…
I still remember the first time I met my husband. It was his smile and piercing blue eyes that caught my attention.
Was it love at first site? No, but I was certainly intrigued.
Falling in love took time. Over the upcoming months I learned more about his values, his personality, his interests, his curious mind and...that sexy body (ok, call me shallow).
My point is, that I needed to know more about him before I was willing to commit to marrying him.
Think back to when you visited a website for the first time. Were you immediately ready to make a purchase? It’s likely that you were not.
Fact: 99% of first time website visitors who come to your site are not ready to purchase what you have. Not yet.
Wouldn’t it be nice if all it took was for someone to visit your website and, “ta-da”- they’re a customer! They’re 100% convinced that your product or service is the answer, and they promptly click that call-to-action, call or email you.
Reality check. It does not work that way.
It took time before my husband and I decided to get married; a lot of time. This had more to do with his fear of commitment, but that is another story.
Email reconnects you with leads you might otherwise lose
Although it was not love at first sight, there was definitely chemistry. Sparks were flying as Bruce and I stood chatting outside of Starbucks on that beautiful sunny day.
We must have talked for half an hour. When I turned to leave Bruce was worried he might never see me again. So he asked for my tel number and offered me his “lead magnet”. My tel number in exchange for dinner.
How does this relate to your website?
We have established that most people coming to your website are not ready to buy and are going to leave without contacting you. Maybe never to return again.
There are several solutions, but one of the most popular is to add an email opt-in to your website so that you can capture the email address of a percentage of all that traffic.
Anyone who gives you their email address is ALSO giving you permission to contact them in the future about your products and/or services.
One email address = one lead.
By giving you their email address, a prospect who is not yet ready to buy is saying: “Hey, I am interested in what you have to offer, but I am not yet ready to buy. Tell me more about what you have to offer and how you can help me. Maybe then I'll be ready to pull the trigger and buy.”
Craft a compelling offer
In order to get a prospective client’s email address you generally have to offer them something for it. This offer is called an ‘ethical bribe’ or ‘lead magnet.’ It is something amazing that you give away for free, in exchange for an email address.
Some popular lead magnet examples are…
- An eBook
- A cheatsheet of tips or resources
- A free webinar
- A free trial or sample
- A free quote or consultation
- A coupon
For example, you have a business selling custom cabinets and design services. What if you had an offer on your home page for a “Free Kitchen Remodeling Checklist”? Trade that checklist for a name and email of someone that is interested in a kitchen remodel.
Any person downloading this remodeling checklist is already interested in your website’s services or products. They are a much better prospect than some random visitor that might have accidentally clicked on the site.
Lead magnets are the vehicle that moves a visitor from their first contact to the first level of commitment. It is a micro-yes, as opposed to a full-blown “let’s do it.” This small commitment is a lot less intimidating to them, especially if you offer high dollar products or services.
After they say “yes” to the lead magnet, then you can continue nurturing them with emails. Think of it as leading them along the path to their final destination.
Convert leads into sales
Over time my husband-to-be nurtured the relationship with a series of dates where I got to "know, like and trust” him before we moved in together, and he (finally) asked me to marry him. At that point I had all the information I needed to make my decision and say "yes".
Similarly, collecting email addresses is only the first step in the process used to convert leads into sales. After you have a viable prospect, then you need to keep subscribers engaged and interacting on an ongoing basis.
In the case of your prospects, an email series can nurture the relationship in the following ways:
- Introducing them to your business
- Educating them about your product(s) and/or service(s)
- Answering one or some of their frequently asked questions
- Giving them a list of actionable tips
By the time they are ready to buy, chances are he or she will purchase from you instead of from your competitors.
Or not, which is also fine because it means that you were not a good fit.
Question: Are you using email marketing yet? If not, why not?