The Problem with Having A Website…

by | Mar 14, 2012 | Archives

The Problem with Having a Website….by David Cross

Having the ability to earn income wherever you are is increasingly important in this fast changing world.

Over the last month our webmaster, David Cross, has been providing ideas on how to use the internet to earn globally.

See the previous articles:

 #1: So You Want to be #1 at Google?

#2: So You Want to be #1 at Google II?

 #3: So You Want to be #1 at Google III?

“We’ll pass each other on the road in about 5 minutes!”

My wife was heading to work and I was heading back home after dropping our daughters off at school.  She called me, excited to wave as we passed each other.

Feeling characteristically clever I decided I’d open the sunroof and wave through it as we passed. However it slipped my mind that it had snowed last night and as I opened the sunroof I was showered with a couple of cubic feet of cold, wet, slushy snow and freezing cold water.

You don’t always get what you expect! (though my wife got much more laughter than if I’d only waved!)

In our last 3 articles we shared how to get that fabled #1 position on Google:

  1. How to develop your niche
  2. What to do when the traffic arrives at your website
  3. How to get to a top spot on Google

Today I will share how to keep your visitors engaged because – contrary to popular belief – your website isn’t enough to keep people engaged.  On its own, a website is definitely not enough to convert interest into sales.

Businesses generally employ either pull marketing or push marketing as part of their marketing and promotional strategies. In pull marketing you wait for your prospects or customers to come to you when they’re ready or searching for what you’re offering. In push marketing you actively and proactively target your customers or prospects.

A website is an example of pull marketing. People choose when to visit it and may arrive by searching for terms related to the content you publish at Google, as we discussed last week. This is akin to a fledgling bird in the nest with its mouth open waiting for momma bird to arrive with food.

The problem with employing only this strategy is that many products do not have a natural demand.  An investing newsletter is an example of this.

Push marketing on the other hand proactively and actively markets to an audience. Push marketing doesn’t wait for them to passively search. That investment newsletter, credit card, vacation rental, fishing getaway, Groupon for a local Thai restaurant or the gardening catalog with included coupons are all examples of push marketing.

You probably wouldn’t have bought that investment newsletter if the email hadn’t arrived in your inbox. You may never have decided to eat at that Thai restaurant if the offer hadn’t enticed you.   Although you love trout fishing, it was that letter you received describing the pristine natural beauty of the streams in Montana that motivated you to take action.  It’s Push, Not Shove!

Push marketing has gained a bad rap since the advent of the Internet and people falsely assumed it meant that pushing your message to someone was no longer relevant, effective or desirable and that pull marketing is all that is necessary. It isn’t.

But push marketing doesn’t mean shove marketing. You are more nudging your customer or prospect to take action rather than overtly shoving them or coercing them to take action.

The trick is to build your list of interested prospects and customers and then target that list with a specific message relevant to that group of people. In my opinion, any “marketing” that isn’t targeted isn’t marketing, it’s buckshot promoting and it doesn’t work. Any results gained this way are miniscule and ignore the greater mass of people that it irks.   I manage Gary and Merri Scott’s Ecuador Living website and help them stay in touch with the most frequently viewed phrases at that site.  So we know what interests Ecuador Living readers the most.  Gary then makes sure that the articles, contacts and information that he sends readers are focused around those interest.  For example, one of the  most frequently viewed phrases is “Retirement in Ecuador” .  Therefore, many of  the site’s messages are about ideas that relate directly to retirement.

In our article on gaining a top spot in Google I mentioned the idea of converting that traffic of interested prospects by offering a free report, free guide or “white paper” depending on what is relevant for your business and attractive to your prospect. A free report to a group of attorneys may put them off and a white paper to a group of keen amateur chefs will seem dull and boring.

People like to receive information on topics they are interested in. If you are able to stay in contact with people about those topics and provide useful, timely and relevant information and find a way to capitalize on that interest then both you and your prospect are able to benefit from it.

An Ongoing Conversation

We shared some ideas on developing your niche, driving traffic and converting that traffic. But conversion happens many times during the life of a reader. You’ve only started that process by offering a free report. If I had ended my relationship with my wife after our first date my life would have turned out very differently!

When someone arrives at your website, requests your free report, guide or white paper they’ve indicated their interest on that topic. If you now follow-up with relevant information to their initial interest (offering a free emailed newsletter subscription as part of the free report request is one way to do this) and provide more, useful, timely and relevant information, tips, ideas, stories and actionable advice and information.

And if you make sure to tie-in next steps in the conversion process, so much the better. Examples of this in the first month of a person’s subscription are:

  1. Introductory products or services in the $20-$50 range
  2. Bundled offers (buy this widget for $40 in the next 7 days and receive this additional doohickey worth $20 free.)
  3. Additional free report, video or exclusive information

A word of caution:  Many businesses can’t wait to convert a prospect’s interest into business and fall over themselves by offering free shipping, money-off coupons and discounts galore the moment someone signs-up. Don’t. You may be discounting a new segment of customers before you know whether they needed any financial encouragement to make a purchase.

I’ve seen this happen so many times where I sign-up for more information on a product (everything from farm gear to fishing gear to kitchen and chef equipment) and immediately I receive coupons and money-off offers. Fact is I already had enough interest in the products to make a purchase without a discount. These businesses which offer discounts willy-nilly fail to realize that they are discounting where it wasn’t required. There are many ways to convert interest into a sale without immediately resorting to discounting.

One excellent way to continue a discussion with a customer or prospect is by starting an email newsletter. Gary publishes his everyday but you don’t have to do it that regularly. Once a month is OK (though may be too infrequent).  Generally speaking, you should write when you have something useful, timely and relevant to say. Don’t write for the sake of it….but don’t hesitate to send something of interest to your readers!

All the main email newsletter companies use an autoresponder.  We use Mailchimpand think they’re great.  Aweber, Get Response, iContact, etc. are other choices worth considering.  All of these offer the ability to email a free report or set up a series of automated emails (“autoresponders”).  This enables you to email your new prospects on a schedule of your choice…. every day, every few days, every week.  This is the way to cement your initial contact with someone. I’ll discuss more next week about how to use autoresponders as part of your online marketing efforts.

And don’t just include data in your newsletter. Remember that data is free on the Internet and almost worthless. Give opinion and insight. Share tips and advice that can save your prospect money, make them money or improve their life by their doing something or taking action. Show how to use the data to benefit from them. Make sure to provide a way for your prospect to take action and fulfill the ideas you’ve discussed…ideally a link where they can purchase your course, seminar or product that fulfills the ideas you’ve shared.

Winning your client’s business takes time and trust AND requires an ongoing discussion.

Next week I’ll show you how to harness the power of autoresponders to facilitate that ongoing conversation and help you put some of your marketing on autopilot.