Your business cannot grow unless you accomplish two things, keep the clients you already have and acquire new ones. Sales and marketing are so important that Amazon lists over 86,000 books that claim to know the best way to convert leads into sales. Within the digital world, you often find the terms ‘Sales, ’ and ‘Marketing’ used interchangeably but in reality, they form two separate stages of a process.
Marketing Results in Leads
The first step to growing your business is to gather the names of prospective clients. Finding leads is the primary purpose of any website, especially those designed for a service industry.
Website marketing focuses on getting people to find your site where they commit in a way that establishes a tenuous relationship. Normally, the goal here is to collect a name and an email address. Once you have those, then you can ‘go to them’ with emails instead of coaxing them to you.
The Process of Getting Leads
One of the easiest ways to get a prospective client’s email address is to offer them something for it. This offer is called an ‘ethical bribe’ or ‘lead magnet.’
In this case, the visitor can receive a collection of free recipes. This website collects their email address so that they can send them the offer. Not only does this allow them to obtain contact information, but it also validates the lead.
Any person downloading this recipe collection is already interested in this website’s products. They are a much better prospect than some random visitor that might have accidentally clicked on the site.
Convert Leads into Sales
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 pursue it. A very effective way to reach your leads and begin the conversion process is with email newsletters.
Despite spam filters, email remains the number one communication tool for businesses. In a survey conducted by a major US Email Service Provider, emails ranked NUMBER ONE on a list of marketing activities small businesses found most effective.
Email is both inexpensive and efficient. Services such as Mail Chimp allow you to separate your leads and tailor your message for any segment of your clientele. It’s there that you begin the second state of the Sales Process, known as the ‘conversion.’
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How to Use Email Newsletters to Convert Leads into Sales
Once you’ve built your database of leads, then you need to work on converting those leads into sales. Closing the deal only happens with persistent and consistent efforts. One way to do that is to keep them informed. Here are some obvious things you might wish to communicate:
- New Products
- Industry News
- Special Offers
Another way to reach them is a bit more subtle. Educate your prospects. For instance, if you sell lawnmowers, communicate how mowing patterns affect lawn growth. Explain how sharp blades prevent damage to the grass, and THEN throw in a blurb about the sharpness of YOUR mower blades.
Educate with Blog Posts
You can educate your leads through weekly or monthly blog posts. Find topics relevant to your service or product and write about them. Make sure the information is factual, in-depth, and of value. You are not ‘selling’ your product in a blog, instead, you tout its value in a roundabout and not so obvious way.
Blog posts do a lot of things. They inform, establish credibility, and provide a vehicle for special offers. As an extra added bonus, blog content helps you rank on Google.
As one Content Specialist put it:
A blog is not a daily diary where you spend a few moments sharing your thoughts and ideas with your audience. That is why you have social media. No, a blog is where you publish in-depth content that informs your readers about your industry. – Kim Schmutzler, KDGS Works
The trick to using your blog to convert leads into sales is using the proper marketing process.
- Write a new Blog Post every week that is educational and includes valuable content.
- Link to it in an email newsletter using a good program like MailChimp or another autoresponder.
- Include a strong hook or Call to Action in both the Blog Post and the newsletter.
Use your Call to Action to either offer a compelling offer or to invite them to take the next step in the Sales Process.
Writing the Call to Action
The Call to Action needs careful consideration. First, you want to identify the stages in your buyer’s journey. How many ‘yesses’ do you need before you can close the sale. When your prospect gave you their email address that was the first ‘yes.’ If they took the time to open your email, that was a second ‘yes.’ Did they read the blog? If so, that was a third ‘yes.’
Every time they say ‘yes,’ resistance crumbles. Trust builds, and you get closer to the sale. To convert leads into sales, you need that last hook, an offer too good to resist.
- Identify a clear benefit.
- Offer a clear command or directive.
- Give the reader proof of how others have benefited.
For instance, we offer a Free Mockup of your website. This offer allows you to see what your site will look like before you make any commitment. Our customers see this as a benefit. We advertise our offer in all of our blog posts, on our website, and in our newsletter. We want our potential clients to know about this service. It’s one of the things that sets us apart from other web design agencies.
The Free Mockup Offer is a clear benefit offered by Thomas Digital Design. Each time we mention it, we ask you to call us for more information. That is a clear directive to our prospects for them to get more detail. Finally, we show on our site the before and after pictures of our work. People do benefit from having us design their websites. You can see them for yourself in our Gallery.
Converting leads into sales is not a sneaky business. It’s education. You need to tell your client what you offer and why it is the best option. Using lead magnets to gather emails and then send newsletters as one one of the best ways to inform potential clients about your business.