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Conversion Rate Optimization

You Don’t Need a Website in 2018—Here’s Why

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You Don't Need a Website in 2018—Here's Why

Here’s the plain and simple truth: you don’t need a website to launch your business.

That might sound crazy or unconventional, but the fact of the matter is that while you think a website is what makes your brand or business “official” or “legitimate,” it’s not a priority for making sales.

No joke.

I have seen entrepreneurs waste up to 12 months just trying to create these extravagant websites along with educational materials, sale copy, social media presence, and branding. And this is all before they’ve even began to focus on actually selling.

Selling needs to be priority in order for you to actually make money, right? So why spend months of your time on a super involved website and platform if you don’t even know it’s going to sell once it’s setup?

Websites are not a prerequisite for brands or businesses.

Look, most of us are small business owners with limited budgets. Unless you have millions and millions of dollars at your disposal to launch your business, you’re not going to want to waste your resources on anything that you’re not sure is going to give you a good ROI.

So forget the belief that you need a website in order to launch your business. Forget the so-called “checklist” of things you need to do to be a legitimate business.

Instead, you need to focus on a process that effectively sells. I’m going to lay this process out for you step by step. It’s the same process I’ve used with clients time and time again to build their business and ramp up their sales.

I’ve helped clients make $250,000 in less than 2 months, I helped a fashion brand make $3 million in 24 months, and it’s all been using The Modern Marketer’s ACE Method. (If you don’t know what that is, join The Modern Marketer private FB group and start asking questions.)

So, instead of the website, here are the steps you need to take:

1. Create a Landing Page

Landing pages have one purpose: to drive action.

It’s almost like the distilled version of a website.

It’s the action page you would want any visitors on a full-blown website to eventually arrive to.

But the main difference between a landing page and a full-blown website is the simplicity of it all. Your goal with the landing page is to convey a strong message in the most beautiful and direct way that you can with no distractions.

  • no menu
  • no sidebar
  • no external links
  • no footer content/menu

That’s the thing with a website— there’s more information on it to occupy a visitor’s attention and they are less likely to take action than initially being exposed to a landing page with a simple call to action.

The reason I’m emphasizing simplicity is that I see way too many landing pages that are completely cluttered with information.

You don’t have to supplement the simplicity of a landing page.

Think about it.

Every landing page is a point of arrival.

It’s like landing from a flight in a country you’ve never been to. You wouldn’t want to be overwhelmed by new information all at once in a new place, so why do that to the people coming to your landing page?

You can give people necessary information on landing page without 1,200 words of copy, 10 pictures, and 15 links. I suggest you check out software like Unbounce which promotes the type of landing pages that do exactly what you need them to do without extra frills.

reason for driving traffic to site

Every last element on a landing page needs to encourage a specific action to be taken. This action will be for the purpose of generating leads. That’s the only reason you are driving traffic there, and the only reason people should be there.

So whatever that specific action is, make sure that your landing page is not only optimized for the desired action, but also tracked so you can re-engage people who are visiting the page.

But what exactly should this “specific action” be?

2. Create a Lead Magnet

A lead magnet can go by different names— an opt-in, a freebie, trip-wire, etc. But no matter what you call it, it’s the first touch point you have with your users before attempting to nurture them into customers.

This is the value you create that inspires people to take action from your landing page. People will have to want that value enough to give you their information. That’s how you get your leads.

So what kind of value should you be providing in exchange for people’s information?

This value should be in the form of content.

This content needs to serve two main purposes: to provide a solution to a specific problem and to demonstrate your expertise.

your value

There are many different forms of content you can provide. Here are a few examples:

  • Video email series – nurturing emails that educate recipients in installments
  • Checklist – easily consumable and actionable list
  • Ebook – a longer, more comprehensive form of content
  • Cheat Sheet – like a checklist, but with a list of guidelines or a process
  • White Paper – an authoritative and in-depth report on a specific problem that provides a specific solution
  • Long form content – a long blog post (around 2,000 words or more)
  • Tutorial – either a video or a PDF that teaches how to do one specific thing
  • Infographic – an illustrated format for information
  • Webinar – an educational video or audio format thats occurs at a specific tim

These are just a few examples, and there are so many more. You want to choose one format that will work for your business and industry and make it highly valuable.

At the end of that content, you can promote your product or service.

This is where you begin to sell.

Now that you’ve gotten people’s attention, provided them value, and proved your expertise, they are much more willing to buy what you’re selling.

Expert Tip: Don’t sell multiple products or services. Focus on selling one thing well.

However, most will not buy right away. Nor should they have to. That’s why you’ve collected their email address with your lead magnet. Now you can have multiple touch points with them directly in their inbox.

3. Automated Email Marketing

After you’ve provided your lead with some stellar content, you want to stay in contact with them because they are still a lead. They’ve made it this far through your funnel, right? You have to keep engaging them if you want to sell.

This is the decision stage of the ACE method.

So you need to have an email automation in place as soon as you get your lead’s information. These emails will guide your leads through to the bottom of the sales funnel.

When you have a lead and their information, you should use a triggered email message to engage with your audience that respond to their behavior.  

According to Epsilon, triggered emails get 119% higher click-through rates than “business as usual messages.”

send leads 3-5 emails

You definitely don’t want to pound your leads with email messages. All it should take is three to five emails with only two or three of those emails including a call-to-action.  

It’s best practice to segment your email lists to provide the most personalized emails possible. This is what will drive engagement, and ultimately, get you the most sales.

4. Advertise Your Funnel

If you’re going to spend advertising dollars on anything, it needs to be on this sales funnel.

You want to get people onto your landing page so you can guide them through the rest of the process. Getting ads out in front of targeted audiences will not only get you qualified leads, but will also be far more effective than just hoping the right leads end up on the landing page of your website.

Facebook ads are the way to go.

These ads are so highly targeted and inexpensive that it’s almost stupid not to use them. The more targeted these ads are, the more qualified the leads you will get.

You can also advertise through a PR campaign or cross-promotion. Consider the influencers of your industry. They can also get your landing page out in front of the right people.

advertise your funnel

No matter avenue you take, make sure you seek qualified leads to get to your landing page.

If you run traffic to this funnel for 30 to 90 business days, I promise you will make 10 times the amount of money as if you’re trying to get your ducks in a row for months and months.

Conclusion

There’s no need to burn through all your time and money to creating websites, taking the perfect pictures, waiting on things to be in place, or writing amazing content. While those are all important things, you need to be first and foremost prioritize your basic business competencies.  The best marketers in the world are salesman. If you’re going to launch something new, you need to streamline the process to prioritize making sales.

So don’t spend so much time trying to perfect your funnel, your brand, and your presentation. Just get a landing page and some valuable content up, get some data, get some traffic, and test it out. Then at least you have a legit business that’s killing it in sales, and then you can worry about spending money on your website, culture, team building, and more advertising.

Get your marketing priorities straight.

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Conversion Rate Optimization

How to Create Budget-Friendly Conversions

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How to Create Budget-Friendly Conversions

We at The Modern Marketer talk a lot about how to generate traffic and get your business noticed. The truth is, none of this information will be valuable to you unless it actually gets you conversions.

Conversions are the real money maker.

Everyone knows that it takes some money to make some money, but who has the funds to really take their business to the mainstream?

Nobody out here is trying to break the bank. And what’s the point if you can’t lean into the hustle and really make your brand work for you?

There are ways to get your brand noticed, talked about, and sought after without shelling out loads of money.

The following tactics are easy on your wallet and will get your small business growing.

Put Value Over Everything

This is our motto at The Modern Marketer.

This may seem like more of a philosophy than an actionable business tactic but to me “value over everything” means realizing that there is always a deeper purpose to your daily behaviors within your work.

I’ve been challenged again lately with the idea that building a brand isn’t about recognition or awareness. Building a brand is about value and value only. It's harder and harder to hold on to that principle as you gain more awareness and recognition for your work. – But, it's worth striving for always. – This pondering began when I read through the book, “Youtility” by Jay Baer. – Back in 1921, The Washburn Crosby Company used to get thousands of letters asking for baking advice and recipes. At first, they were going to ignore them, but one of their executives directed part of their staff to answer every last letter—and because they wanted to be more personal and consistent, they all needed to sign off as someone. – They came up with the name “Betty Crocker.” Crocker deriving from a retired director William Crocker, and Betty because it sounded like a friendly name. – The rest is history. – Betty Crocker, now owned by General Mills, is one of the biggest brands in the baking industry. All because they wanted to provide extra value to their audiences. – They leveraged the power of value, resulting in a micro brand (now a household brand.) You see? Value and value only. – Maybe your business isn't scaling the way you want it to because you are trying to sell a product or service that doesn't have value at it's core. If that's you, don't worry. It can easily be changed around for the better.

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At the end of the day, if you think of your brand as just a vehicle for profit, then you’re going to fail.

For real though. Your brand needs to mean something beyond the sales.

Because if you can’t provide something beyond your product or services, your brand voice is just another adding to the already noisy market.

The Modern Marketer was built as a completely social driven publication.

We decided no products, no email list, no advertisers for the whole first year.

The only thing we provided was value, in the form of content.

Now, if you haven’t heard of this before, it’s okay, because this is a completely out of the box way of engineering a business.

But the results were truly remarkable.

We not only have a 30k following that truly cares about the brand on Instagram, but a Modern Marketer family that has become brand advocates.

That’s really something special, and it could not have been achieved without a dedication to providing something beyond our products and services.

Speaking of community, I am announcing yesterday's winner of #modernmarketerclub in the next post. If you don't know what that is, you've been missing out. – Turn on post notifications, comment a relevant comment within 2 minutes of a post going out and add #modernmarketer club. Each day I am chosing 1 person to get a free year of the PAID version of The Modern Marketer Club. – In the club, we do beginner, intermediate and advanced masterclasses LIVE every week. We have monthly courses, sessions, documents, templates etc. – I can not stress enough how important community is. It has changed the game for myself, our clients, and members of our community. – I've always said that, "the one thing competition can never trump you on is mindshare, if you have it." And what I mean is that IF you've created an enviroment where people rally around your brand, you win. – Because ZERO amount of marketing dollars, advertising dollars or social media posts can trump that. No competitor can come in and erase the value of a community. – So thank you. Thank you for being here and being a part of this community. I look forward to what we do in 2017.

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Creating a community is key to optimizing conversions.

Value is the driving force behind a good community.

So make valuable content for the sake of building a community that loves you and wants to see your business grow. Conversions will be much easier after you’ve proven your value.

Building Trusting Relationships

If you have an ecommerce shop, call 5 customers a day for the next week and just watch what happens after just one week. – If you are a technology company, get your team together and call the last 50-100 people that downloaded your app and thank them and tell them about new things you are coming out with. – If you are a manufacturer, invite your customers/distributors to a “roundtable” or “mastermind” where you show the process of what is happening and get their input first hand of how to make the product/process/experience better. – If you are a service based business, pick one customer per quarter and give them a free FULL service. For example, if you sell home decor, pick one customer per month and re-do their entire living room with 10 of your products. Yea, it’s an investment, but document it and watch what happens. – You could be creating relationships, collecting reviews, getting new product/service ideas, refining your business, getting referrals, and so much more. – If you just had a conversation. – Stop telling Hubspot, Marketo, Infusionsoft, Salesforce or whatever CRM that you use how to interact and automate your relationships. There is a time and place for everything, and sometimes you have to initiate the nurturing without software.

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“You need to be tactical and intentional with your relationships.”

Let me ask you something.

If you were out one day and some random dude came up to you on the street and asked “Hey, you wanna buy a brand new Apple Watch 2 for just $25?” …would you buy it?

I mean, it’s a dope product (I love mine), and that’s an insanely good deal. But you probably wouldn’t buy it, would you?

Nah. And, why not?

Because you don’t trust that guy.

Nobody likes being swindled and many of us have raised feelings of suspicion around salespeople we don’t trust. Some people even get feelings of anxiety when dealing with salespeople they perceive as shady.

So, to avoid being perceived as that untrustworthy salesperson, you have to form trusting relationships with consumers. Not every consumer, but enough to demonstrate that you are a business with an open and trusting personality.

This means engagement.

I engage a lot with the comments on The Modern Marketer Instagram and have frequent conversations with our followers.

People see these exchanges on social and get a feel for who we are. It helps them to comfortably put their guard down and see us as people they can trust.

Building these relationships publicly proves for a much more comfortable customer experience, and really goes that extra step in convincing prospects to trust that what you’re selling them is of true quality.

Ask Your Loyal Customers for Referrals

When you’ve established trusting relationships with loyal customers, you create possible brand advocates. I say “possible” because of this statistic:

When @swolenormous and I first started talking about life and business, I was asking him about his brand. One of the things that caught my attention when we were talking was when he said the following. – He said, "even on a small level, the second I heard someone say that a friend referred them because of my content I knew this sh*t was working." It made me chuckle because when you think outside of the box to provide value, you'd be surprised where referrals come from now-a-days. – Let alone what those referrals could turn into. – We live in an age where we recommend someone's social channel before their website. So, pay close attention to the value you provide on your social channels and what TYPE of value belongs on each one of those channels. – When you can reach the place in business where your focus is creating brand advocates, referrals become first hand derivatives of your efforts. – The punchline of this post is to provide value first and then yes, ASK for the referral. If you know you bring fire in your emails, your Snapchat, your Periscope, your Instagram or what have you, ask for referrals. Ask people to share with their networks. – Because when you do that, this cool thing happens called "qualification." When someone goes to share something like a fitness entrepreneur for example, who are they going to share that with? Their grandma? Probably not—they are going to share with someone(s) in their network who they know would love the content. – We, as business people and marketers, are constantly trying to reach qualified traffic and leads. Well folks, they are right in front of your face. Go get them.

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“83% of your customers are willing to refer but on average only 29% actually do.”

The key in tapping into those referrals is providing value first, and THEN asking for referrals.

We live in a time where we recommend someone’s social channel before their website.

So pay close attention to the value you provide on your social channels and what TYPE belongs on those channels.

We, as businesspeople and marketers, are constantly trying to reach qualified traffic and leads.

Well, when people refer your content, they do the qualification for you.

So referrals have a lot of power.

To optimize your referrals, you can run a creative referral campaign. Sending a company letter, making a creative video, or just making a series of calls to your best customers can seal the deal on new business you didn’t know was right in front of your face.

Connect with Influencers

This is really interesting to me because my first business partner and I used to do influencer marketing back in 2009-2010 before we knew to call it influencer marketing and before it was popular. – We used to invite some of the best up and coming musicians in the world to our studio to record masterclasses and then use their name to promote that media. – It had a two fold effect. It gave the up and coming musicians professional recordings of themselves to pursue colleges, promotions, endorsements, etc., and it gave us access to their cult like followings. – That resulted in 1,000,000 views on Youtube in 8 months and over 25k people in our community and online paid members in 14 different countries.

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“Between 2013 and 2016, interest in influencer marketing jumped 90x”

Regardless of what industry you’re in, there are some big dogs who pretty much run the show.

Back in 2009 and 2010, my first business partner and I used to do influencer marketing (and we didn’t even know what it was called back then). We’d invite some of the best up and coming musicians to our studio to record masterclasses and then use their name to promote that media.

This had a twofold effect.

It gave up and coming musicians professional recordings of themselves to pursue endorsements, promotions, etc., and it gave us access to their cult-like followings.

That resulted in 1,000,000 views on YouTube in 8 months, over 25k people in our community, and online paid members in 14 different countries.

So whether you’re in manufacturing, marketing, or music, there’s someone in your industry whose voice is already being heard pretty well.

Connect with these major players and find ways that you can work together to create buzz for your business.

Let Them Have a Taste

Consumers nowadays have more choices than they know what to do with, so they don’t have to settle for less.

Instead, they’re looking to be wooed. 

Nobody is trying to spend their hard earned cash on something they aren’t sure about. So why not lessen that feeling of risk?

Let ‘em try it before they buy it!

One of the most effective ways to get those conversions is by giving something away for free.

There’s no risk for the consumer, and they get to experience the confidence you have in your brand by trying it firsthand.

Take Spotify for example.

Spotify offers a 30-day free trial of their Premium service. They have 100 million users, 40 million of which are paid subscribers as of September 2016. That’s up from 30 million paid subscribers in March 2016. (Statista, 2016). 

For businesses with physical products, a few samples are enough to give a taste.

For those businesses selling services, a free trial period is great for letting the consumer not only try your service, but learn why they can’t live without it when the trial ends.

Create Some Exclusivity

It’s in our nature as humans to want to be part of something exclusive.

Everybody wants to feel special, and nothing gets your leads excited like being a part of something special.

So make something special out of everything you do and produce.

Here are some methods for creating that “something special”:

  • Limit spots at your webinar
  • Put clients on a waitlist, instead of jamming your week with meetings (good for your wellbeing too)
  • Send exclusive offers to email subscribers, give them sneak peeks at your new items before they become available to everyone else

If you position your product or services as a prize for only the privileged few, more people are going to want it.

And you’ll generate a buzz around that exclusivity.

Conclusion

Look, every market is saturated these days. It can be a struggle to stand out for just about everybody, especially on a budget.

But with a little bit of creativity, time, and effort, you can position yourself effectively at a low cost.

By taking these tips to practice in your marketing strategy, you will set your brand apart from the rest without spending money you don’t have.

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Conversion Rate Optimization

3 Ways To Increase Revenue: Make The Most Of The Customers You Have

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Make The Most Of The Customers You Have

We all want to generate new leads, it’s true, but that should never be the sole purpose of a marketer’s existence within a company—there’s so much more to it than that! There is a great deal of focus in marketing on analyzing the data, organizing A/B testing, and all sorts of other tactics designed to bring in new leads and successfully convert them. While gaining new customers is fantastic, the path to strong revenue growth lies in retaining the customers you already have. We call this customer lifetime value or CLV.

Let’s chat a bit about how to maximize your CLV to increase revenue for your brand.

1. Act Like A Human

Seems so simple, doesn’t it? Well, for most marketers, it’s not. Ditching the old sales techniques in favor of automated processes has made us lose sight of what’s truly important in sales: the customer. You can generate a ton of leads and still fail to increase your sales.

Why? Because leads don’t equal conversions, and conversions don’t occur without connections.

Believe it or not, your potential customers want to feel connected to your brand, so if you are still hyper focused on all of the tech and none of the people, your business will surely be missing out.

If you prefer to maximize the sales potential for each customer you secure, you must sell them on your vision and purpose, because when you started your business, your first goal was to help them, and when they continue to feel like their needs are ahead of your need to sell to them, you won’t have any trouble selling to them at all.

2. Refocus The Marketing Efforts

What you’ve got isn’t for everybody and pretending it is won’t endear you to customers. (It’s more likely to stretch you too thin than anything else!)

You know that you have value to provide, but that doesn’t mean that every customer who falls into your lap is the perfect fit. Each opportunity must be evaluated individually because CLV is highly dependent on the relevancy of the value you can provide. If what you have to offer isn’t truly relevant, they won’t be back. It’s that simple.

If you don’t have a particular niche, get one. When you know who you are and what you offer, your clients will too. This increases CLV exponentially.

3. Upsell Like It’s Your Job, Because It Is

If you have found the right customer, there is no end to what you can provide for them. If service #1 is a match, then services #2 and #3 should be exactly what they need—and you should let them know it.

If they can’t trust you to lead them in the right direction then your business relationship is doomed from the get go. Concentrate on politely, in an un-obnoxious way, offering more value to your customer through products and services you know will benefit them and simultaneously up their CLV for you.

People Are At The Core Of Business

We like to make business more complicated than it has to be. Not to say that marketing is a walk in the park, but if you aren’t focusing your efforts on your customers, you will lose. It’s not too hard to comprehend.

You should absolutely concentrate on lead generation, but if those leads don’t stick around, your job is going to get more and more difficult as time goes on. Spend some time, energy, and resources to make the most out of the relationships you already have and increase your customer lifetime value.

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