Welcome to Adam Price's Nett Knowledge Blog... Where you'll learn from over 20 years of real world marketing, internet marketing, inbound sales, direct selling, cold calling and business development expertise, mixed with over 30 years of dedicated personal development. All the resources, methodologies and strategies mentioned within this blog and the tools in the resources section, have been implemented by Adam and his team into 1000's of companies worldwide and they are PROVEN to work. There's no textbook theory here, just guaranteed tools, strategies and perspectives that will give you success if you implement them into your life, business and relationships, take them, use them, PROFIT from them!
The cold calling scripts you're using are destroying your sales efforts!
Are you a pray and cold call scripts junkie?
What I mean by this is, you're a human being trying to connect with other human beings to see if there's a fit or not for your products or services.
When you use sample cold calling scripts to try and increase your sales, you are actually going into "artificial mode" and therefore leaving yourself open to being shut out before you even get a chance to explain what you have and how it may help them.
Even if you have something REALLY great that you know will help your target client, if you follow scripts you'll dull your chances of success.
Why do you think this happens?
If your answer was along the lines of "because prospective clients are likening you to unwelcome disturbances in their day" then this would be correct.
A lot of sample cold calling scripts (and I would venture to say ALL sample cold call scripts) aren't suitable for you to approach your prospects with.
You first need to know you're own style of sales marketing and then "CREATE" it yourself with some research, study and creativity, so that your approach is highly different to your competitors, so much so that they feel connected to you over time and a percentage of them convert to clients through purchasing your products, and or services over time... But first they MUST buy you and your knowledge.
What type of cold calling scripts will work for you?
I bring this up after saying above that none of these scripts will work for you to clarify that you do need some outline of what you'll say, but it's nothing like you might imagine.
All you need to be saying to prospects when you cold calls is, to ask their help, reassure them there is nothing for sale and to just connect with them and see if they're OPEN to different options... That's it!
You don't need a script for this, because you just need to talk about the problem you solve and not about your product or service. You might say, I'm just giving you a call to see if you're open to different angles around <PROBLEM" you solve, and then shut up and let them tell you.
And it's perfectly ok if they're not, there's NOTHING you can do to turn around someone who's not.
The hint here is, if you get them saying "tell me more" or "What do you mean?" then you're on the right track, because you're then transitioning to conversation mode.
The minute you're conversation stops or they shut you down, you've somehow triggered their BS alarm or "Salesperson" trigger and it's game over.
So stop using sample cold calling scripts you find online and begin being your AUTHENTIC, TRUSTWORTHY self and watch your sales funnel SOAR!
What I always recommend for best results with this is, to use an offline to online process as follows:
1. Make your call, connect with them, don't sell unless they want to buy, but rather find their problem, dig deeper on that problem to uncover their pain.
2. Offer something to them for free to get their name and email address only (don't worry about anything more at this point, the least amount of information you ask for the better at this point, you just want to get them on your list so you can stay in touch. Be sure you add their details to your list "manually" and don't just take their word that they'll do this, as they very RARELY do, so make this process SUPER SIMPLE for them and do it yourself).
3. You need to have some kind of autoresponder email program setup, with a minimum of 7 automatic emails in a series ready to go out to them, giving them valuable information. This information you offer will describe their problem and aid them in solving it (with or without your service, ABSOLUTELY NO SELLING in these emails, this is of critical importance to your success with this type of campaign).
4. The general rule here is you send out about 7 to 10 emails of pure value (in which time you also offer a free report, that is HIGHLY valuable to them on it's own). Then around the end of the series, send an email that offers them to taste or trial of what it is you offer. Only you know what you can offer them if you're the owner of a business, so think carefully and offer something of MASSIVE value. If you work for a company you need to consult with the owner as to what they wish to offer and if they don't want to offer anything, then you need to workout a way to make this work with more information from yourself).
5. When the prospects say "YES" to your next level offer, then you need to take them off your first cold call prospecting email list that you initially put them on, and add them to a slightly warmer list and escalate the interactivity with them. The focus all along is to build TRUST ongoingly, if you sell at any point you'll LOSE trust. The goal is to allow them to come to you and ask questions and develop a taste of what you do for them, by actually solving a problem for them... Then allowing them to buy and build on the relationship from there..
You can do all this informational trust building with the simple email autoresponder that you see in step 3 above. However once you get to a higher and deeper level of marketing to them, you need to escalate your information process to a more robust online marketing platform and there are two I have used personally.
To begin with I would recommend 1shoppingcart as this is a perfect system for a relatively low monthly price tag and it will do most of what you need for orders, email marketing and downloadable information products you can sell and give away.
When you get to a very high level, or if you have the $$$'s NOW to invest in doing your ongoing marketing the best you can do, after your cold calling activities with follow-up, then you need to consider a more advanced, comprehensive professional online marketing platform like infusionsoft which will be all you ever need to do this right ongoingly. If you're a salesrep, this platform has it's own CRM which 1shoppingcart doesn't, it also has a great coaching program when you signup to get you on the success track for your unique situation.
So there you have it, a complete reason WHY cold calling scripts are killing your chances, how to get around them and what to do to gain LONG TERM TRUST from you clients to gain eventual buying customers for life... This works, I've proven it and worked with so many different industries who have used this process successfully I know that you just need to follow this path to begin your journey towards sales success.
Please feel free to post your questions and comments below and I'll reply to them ASAP.
Traditionally cold calling has been used as a sales prospecting tool to get a fast spike in sales, and its true fast sales can and have been made through good cold call technique.
However, making unannounced cold calls with an instant sale in mind is becoming much more increasingly useless, as recipients become more resistant to them, so now a different approach must be made to be effective.
A great explanation for what a useful cold call is can be found at www.NaturalColdCalling.net where you can find out What cold calling is and why it's so useful in much more depth.
Below is the video I posted at Natural Cold Calling earlier this week...
What Is a Useful Cold Call Approach?
The best way to make a cold call to anyone, whether in person or over the phone, is to work out the problem you might be able to help them with and then find out if there's a fit or not.
This sounds so damn obvious and simple, but there is much, MUCH more to it than just calling them up and asking.
First of all, you need to connect with the right person to start with and we all know that receptionists and specific gatekeepers won't let you through without a specific reason that doesn't sound "SPAMMY"!
Yes, I call the traditional way of calling SPAM, just like an unannounced email trying to sell junk get rich quick systems to unsuspecting people, and the short story is, it's simply not wanted.
How to Make a Skillful Problem Focused Cold Call
The best cold call I ever received was from a pest controller, he had never received any cold call training when he called me, and therefore "didn't" sound like a typical cold caller, for example he didn't say "Hi, my name is and I'm from and we do" in the first 10 seconds like a usual "pain in the ass" caller (that's my term for cold callers who do it the traditional way).
What he said was "Hi, my names Peter, and you might be able to point me in the right direction"...
At this point, I said "well I'll certainly try Peter", and then he went on to ask me questions about the office and problems he could help solve for me. But the one thing he didn't do to keep me on the line was, become hyped up like the standard traditional cold callers, trained to be happy and energized when calling, as this is simply not how humans act when meeting someone new to begin with, so in essence it's just a BIG ACT, and it's this act which causes people cold calling, and the receivers of such calls to loath this activity in selling.
So I can hear you wondering did Peter get the sale from me?
No he didn't, but the BIG thing you should be taking away from this is, he didn't LOSE me off the line by hanging up on him either, I was open and attentive and had a friendly short conversation with him which ended gracefully for him. He also was able to have my boss enter his email prospecting list and later buy his services for one of his rental properties.
So what's the point of cold calling, if you're not making sales?
The point of a cold call and the reason you SHOULD be doing them is to gain a potential lead, not to go after the sale hook line and sinker.
I had one of these types of calls only yesterday and the caller could hardly shut up long enough for me to say "I'm not interested" and even after I said that, he said, "Would you like to know more about our special offers?"... It's no wonder people hang-up in the face of all cold callers, because this one guy just gives all the others a BAD name.
Over the next few posts in here that I do on cold calling and the intricacies of how to do it without pressure and for maximum results long-term (that's right, not for one-shot sales and burned leads) I'll expand upon each of the stages of a cold call, how to open one without arousing suspicion and then how to NEVER create any objections at all in a cold call and finally how to attract sales without selling.
Please stay tuned and ask any questions about your cold calling and selling processes below and I'll respond and help you out :-)
Gym Owners & Fitness Trainers... Are You STUPID?... Don't You Want More Newcastle Fitness Clients?
WARNING: If you're easily offended or hate to hear the truth, then STOP reading now...
Here's my rant for the week, and because this is a "RANT" it's not my normal style of writing, it's direct, blunt and could be seen as outright offensive to some, so BE WARNED...
Unfortunately it's about large, corporate style, Newcastle gyms and fitness training facility websites in and around the Newcastle and Hunter Valley Area... HECK... It's even a gripe about the many personal trainers in Newcastle who are just plain HURTING their business through "Old Fashioned" online marketing.
So what has caused me to have this urge to blow up about the fitness industry (when in fact, the majority of websites out there, not just fitness clubs in Newcastle or other local Newcastle businesses, have it ALL SO WRONG)!
Well recently, I had an inquiry to potentially work with a very well known, well established, Newcastle Gym facility. I'm sure that gym is doing extremely well in "Offline" sales, due to the amount of industry fitness sales people who are out there at the moment, all of whom are starting life as personal trainers in Newcastle and other areas (and this in and of itself, really curls the hairs in my nose also, because "WHAT ON EARTH do fitness trainers know about selling?)..
Yes, you see all these rookie personal trainers walking the shopping centers and pavements of Newcastle, trying to gather interest from folks walking past... Hence my opening question ... "ARE YOU STUPID?" sending these poor, non-trained, green sales people out into the wilderness with wolves... And what's even more quizmical is you expect them to sell their own subscriptions, get and close their own leads also?... Why not hire specialists in this area to market to the right people and attract them inbound, rather than going out after them, which we both know leaves a BAD taste in everyone's mouth.
I certainly know about selling, and yes, this form of cold calling and highly interuptive style of selling works (if you play large LARGE numbers), you might get lucky and get some phone numbers and slight interest because the poor soul who's been stopped either feels sorry for you and nod "yes, yes, yes" to all your questions... BINGO you hit the jackpot a "HOT Lead" (or... They just need to go to the toilet urgently and want to "GET RID OF YOU")... The latter being the case in so many instances.
The poor old fitness trainer, fronting as a sales dude thinks "WOW this is easy, I just walk around like a headless duck all day, saying hello and being nice to people and giving out pamphlets so I build my gyms brand awareness and get known)...
NO, NO, NO... If You Want More Personal Training or Gym Memberships in Newcastle Then DON'T "Cold Call" People On The Streets!... And Don't Even Try and Call Them Back On The Phone a Few Days Later... It's Gym Marketing Inefficiency At It's BEST!
So, I can hear you saying "OK SMARTASS, how should we do it differently??? And Who The F*$K are you to say this to us, the BIG, High and MIGHTY Newcastle Gyms?"...
Well, I have only been studying what actually works in sales and marketing for the past 20+ years, and creating online sales / marketing funnels for high end clients all over the world for the past 12+ years... But don't worry, I'm not trying to sell you anything, well anything other than to "WAKE UP" and get better at attraction marketing and utilizing the internet more efficiently in conjunction with your offline marketing mix.
But this isn't about me, it's about YOU and why you're HURTING your ever growing, competitive niche of health and fitness training in Newcastle... Yes, this is extremely personal, I'm a Novocastrian who works out in your gyms day in and day out, the gyms are great, the staff a LOVELY and the trainers are AWESOME... But your marketing SUX big time!
And here's why...
I have setup one teeny, tiny, wee little personal trainer in Newcastle's website in the last few years for a friend of mine to set him up, and it looks nothing like any of yours, I know his without even looking your sites (because his site isn't an over-glorified, good looking, EXPENSIVE, well laid out BROCHURE site)... There I said it "Brochure Site" which is a website that tries to tell EVERYONE "How darn good they are, their business or service is and seemingly doesn't give a crap about whats-in-it-for-the-client" you know, the one who's money is going to be parted with and hopefully put in your gym services pockets... And this is what 97% of gym and fitness websites look like.
This little website I've created for my friend in personal training in Newcastle, has had incredible growth from his little home studio, much more than many of the large, and new corporate fitness chains opening up all over Newcastle (and even well established ones, that were here from day one). The amazing thing is, that he's received all of his clients, who have paid "Top Price" and stuck with him from day one, from referrals.
WHY has my trainer friend gone so well without ever having to call a single client or create a single marketing piece?
All I created for him was fitness video marketing, submitted articles and created some savvy and professional looking PDF ebook products and newsletter and given them away for free... AFTER they give their email address, with the more information they give and qualify themselves with, the more is given to them.
Here's The Kicker Why Corporate Gym & Fitness Training Websites In Newcastle SUCK...
Almost all of them don't tell, show or paint a picture to members about the experience they're going to get, and most of all they aren't "INFORMING" others of what makes them so deeply unique, they all just seem to "Compete On Price" or "Convenience" and that isn't necessarily best thing for members (but often it's most profitable). It's a "let's get new members in a LARGE numbers mentality wihtout any real connection to the members" and this is why members are so fickle when it comes to leaving one gym for another "CHEAPER" one.
Hardly even one of them could I find with a "Newsletter Subscription" with anything enticing a new prospect to even want to give their email address, let alone phone number, full name, address and all about their health and fitness condition, absolutely "NO ENGAGEMENT" in the prospects world at all.
And if you think that clients and prospective clients are going to subscribe to stupid newsletter message like "Subscribe to Our Newsletter And Stay In Touch" (when they've already got more spam than ever before) think again!
Then there's the totally UN-Original offer of a free 1 hour fitness assessment. This isn't going to cut it either, consumers are smarter than ever, they KNOW WITHOUT A DOUBT that if they go to your gym, fitness session or open day they're going to try and be hassled into signing something... If you want to seriously offer a free training program, offer a full 3 months FREE with the proviso they miss one class, the free sessions are over and they'll be posted on a winners and LOSERS board, and see how many tyre kickers you get then (Get tough on them and they'll line your pockets with gold)!
WHY SCREAM THE SAME MESSAGE THAT EVERY OTHER GYM IS SCREAMING?... PRICE, PRICE... LOWER PRICE, 24 HOURS, CONVENIENCE and on and on it goes, louder and louder as more competition comes into the marketplace.
But why should this be the case? If gyms would put some of their mighty dollars into a wee bit of smart online to offline marketing and vice versa, create a savvy sales / marketing funnel and a LOT of information around solving the issues that their prospective clients have, then the memberships would sell themselves.
Lets go back to the 3 month "Get Yourself ULTRA-FIT Free Trial" of your gym challenge!... I can hear you saying "GREAT idea, if we give 3 months away then we're not going to make any income for 3 months"!!!!... But I URGE you to PLEASE "Think Outside Your Competitions Limited and BORING Thinking"...
You need to use "Scarcity" and "Time Limits" with this example, get them to your gym, get their foot in the door, no other gym is offering 3 months FREE as they can't see how to convert them until the 3 months is up. BUT, if you're anchoring clients to your trainers in this program, giving them a COMPELLING REASON why they should subscribe well before the 3 months is up, (i.e. subscribe within the first month, get X discount and a lifetime personal training session each month FREE, subscribe within 2 months and get something else, but less valuable an offer than if within 1 month, and you can always have the offer at signup, PAY NOW and get even more than you would if you do this 3 month fitness course)... Every which way however the gyms, the trainers and the clients WIN!
So give them what's in it for THEM, not how darn good you, your gym, your staff and training is (YES, certainly tell them, but not straight up, offer your MWR, your "Most Wanted Response" and nothing else) this is what should stick out like dogs balls on your homepage, your other pages, your offline and online newsletters and anything else, if you get something that really STICKS it will truly help you.
Below is an example of what NOT to do...
I'm sitting at the moment looking at a website and it's talking about it's culture and vibe and worth checking out... Holy SHIT guys, WHO GIVES A FLYING APRON, what your stupid vibe is, or the qualifications of your staff, they only see the big fat slob of who they are, or the girl who needs to be in shape for her wedding, or the young guy who's unnatractive to the opposite sex...
To top it off this one site (and when I say one site, I'm talking about the majority of all corporate fitness sites in Newcastle and the world for that matter) then goes on to tell you what set's them apart with sales point, sales point, sales point...
So for heaven's sakes, give them what THEY'RE after deep down inside themselves, that is SO POWERFUL!
WHERE ARE YOUR BENEFITS????
- Open 24 hours is NOT a benefit it's a statement
- Staff showing you how to use gym equipment isn't a benefit (it's their job for crying out loud)
- Here to offer bootcamps, group training, weekly challenges and group events (what the F*%k is that about) where is the benefit (What you OFFER is SALES, the results you get are BENEFITS)
Where's the benefits and information to show each new set of eye-balls on this site to show them "HOW" to get what they want, their PAIN POINTS?
Where on earth is your key marketing funnel lead generator and WHY on earth should they part with their details before they part with their cash?... I want you to think for a minute, what if there was a gym out there offering 6 months FREE trial, and making money from it left and right... do you think it would cut through the bullshit marketing of "ME TOO" that every other gym is offering and... Would YOU be threatened by it?... I can tell you this, there is at least one I can think of offering 12 months FREE here in Newcastle, NSW and it's KILLING IT!... You should feel threatened, but only if you stay where you are now and don't heed this warning!
This also goes for you local trainers who talk to people locally offline?... Offer something right there and then for free, to get them "Chasing You, Your Gym, Your Trainers, Your Programs" rather than you chasing them.
I'm just blown away by the amount of old-school style websites still out there today in Newcastle around fitness training, websites and sales / marketing funnels that could be "INFINITELY" better if they just changed these few little things.
1. Make before and after videos of real clients (WITH THEIR PHONE NUMBERS so they can be called and spoken to, let THEM do the selling for you)
2. Make your email subscription box "VISIBLE" and something more enticing than "Subscribe to Our Newsletter" (FREE membership for 12 months and a personal course of training for a whole year health tracking program worth $10,000's)
3. Start with "What We Can Do For You?" not who we are, why we're so great and prices of memberships
There's so much more to this, but you need to have every element on your website and offline marketing and run it past this statement "WHO CARES" if you offer a "First Visit FREE" then ask the question "WHO CARES?" a lot of the time (if you don't have a great back end sales and marketing funnel in place) the answer will be "Only the trye kicking freebie seekers!"
You Get The Idea, Health and Fitness Trainers & Newcastle Gyms Locally Don't Suck, But Their Websites Do, Practice What You Preach, Make Some Changes and Start Getting Some Serious Sales Results.
Those of you who do this, will kick the asses of the other naive, or plain lazy "Old School" marketers who just plain seem to not care about hurting their own businesses and the lives of their staff from poor sales and marketing practices.
Finally, if you want training and the cutting edge resources to see you as the leader in fitness online and locally, then take a look at the fitness marketing resources here, they are ultimate, cutting edge material, this IS for your own good, as there are students in Newcastle NOW who are following these guys resources and KILLING IT!
Here's some examples of fitness trainers, gyms and really smart business people online who are CRUSHING it with their businesses, notice how enticing and inviting their content is, compared to the straight laced, boring corporate sites many large gym chains are using and while ever the larger gyms are using those el crappo sites, the handful of trainers, gyms and boot camp operators who do their marketing "RIGHT" will simply blitz them (and good luck to them for doing it correctly)!
Take what you can from the above sites, namely the video at the top of the page (PROMINENCE of results is a MASSIVE conversion strategy), the before and after photo's at the top of the page, the subscription forms in the top right (the Top Right of a website is the No.1 position for best conversion, this is "Tried & Tested" don't re-invent the wheel), Phone number at the top of the page, call to actions at top of the page "Get Started Now" or "Get Started Here"...
If you implement these and their SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) strategies they have behind them (hint: they optimising for local searches so they get found, and using more than one landing homepage so they get more exposure ;-)... you will begin to see results.
My message to corporate gym boards and managers, you have NO MORE excuses now to be "Corporate Looking" with your websites, get with the program, these little one man gyms are "KICKING YOUR ASSES" and if you just put some effort and specialised knowledge into your online sales / marketing funnels you WILL "Blitz It" online... Your call!
There are only 24 hours in a day, and if you enjoy spending some of that time sleeping, it could get discouraging and nerve-racking for small company owners to find the time to have every little job that needs doing completed.
However numerous small company owners out there are succeeding with email marketing. They're able to do it all by striving (naturally), but likewise by using the devices they have in smart ways.
Take Stan and John. Two entrepreneurs who merged their blog with their email advertising and marketing to expand their viewers and keep clients interested.
Blog Site Broadcasts: The Time-Saving Device You'll Thoroughly Enjoy Using
Using a blog RSS to Newsletter broadcast will take material from your blog and automatically produce that content in an email e-newsletter.
How it does this is by examining your blog site's RSS feed. The blog broadcast tool will select a new post and create an email message for it each time you write a brand-new post. You can establish your message to send out at a certain time or after a particular number of blog posts.
You can easily select a professionally designed template for your article to also. The RSS variables will instantly take your article, and you can also establish your very own text in the layout that will remain there till you modify it.
Stan's Story: Creating a Following
Stan Horst owns Log Cabin Creekwood in Virginia. He provides posts on his website about regional tourist attractions to promote people to reserve among his cabins.
When asked what his email marketing targets were, Stan said: "To create a listing of devoted readers to whom we can easily keep linked to, so that when they think about a holiday, they think about us." Because many people enjoy the excellent outdoor weather in warmer months, Stan additionally wishes to boost company sales during the slower off-season times of the year.
So, Stan started to work on setting up a blog site and broadcast program.
Now, what he added to his website to make it so successful...
... which is sent to people subscribing to his email newsletter:
And the results are turning out terrific. "It has enabled me to have routine (and automatic) follow-ups with customers and guests, without the effort needed to compose a newsletter from the ground up," states Stan. "The most effective part is it is a one-time configuration.".
John's Tale: Growing Revenues
John Brand owns Buckaroo Leather, a leather upholstery tack shop. He has big ideas and sales strategies to enhance his revenues and internet existence in 2013 ... and the blog program is the tool to help him reach his goals.
The Buckaroo Natural leather blog site lets visitors see what's brand-new and exactly what's on special. The blog site is a superb place to share this information; blog sites are typically the gateways to more in-depth information based sites.
This is how the Buckaroo Leather site appears online:
And below is what newsletter subscribers receive:
Why does John enjoy this feature so much? "It enables us to correspond with a sizable number of people with extremely little input in a constant and speedy manner, sending updates, specials and our interesting e-newsletter.".
He also loved how simple this professional tool was to make use of. "We like the capability to quickly decide on a design template and then just fill in the blanks, with no creativity called for. Just discover a highly-creative and professionally made layout you like and you are done," says John. "On top of this I also like the capacity to publish new blog posts directly and automatically to my various social networks media outlets.".
Wrapping-Up: Exactly How Can Blog Broadcasts Help You?
Based on Stan and John's positive experiences above, this is what we've discovered concerning blog broadcasting advantages for company owners:.
1. It's an effortless tool to make use of.
2. It keeps customers and prospects engaged.
3. It conserves your valuable time.
4. It helps grow your following.
5. Use of professional templates make it drop-dead simple and look fantastic.
We hope you've gotten something out of this post and that you go ahead now and get started with automating your blog posts to newsletters for better productivity and increased sales.
Feel free also to post your comments on what's processes are working for you currently, and also any questions you might have on this process of business development and we'll address them in up coming blog posts.
Part 2 of Starting Your Effective Business Email Marketing Strategy This Year...
In Part 1 of creating your effective business email marketing program, we discussed how to get started, how to conquer the "I Don't Have Time" parody and also how to persuade more people to sign-up to your email marketing campaign and hence get more business and prospects.
In this post we're going to look deeper at growth rates of your email marketing system. Once you get your email marketing form on your homepage (somewhere that really stands out and people can SEE it... Like at the top of your homepage, is the obvious and SUGGESTED place for best results), you need to get results by TESTING it.
But lets say you have done all this and still, your results are flat lining with subscribers and your results looks like this...
Now, while your thinking that this doesn't look good, the positive is, that a flat email subscription rate, is way better than a declining one where people are unsubscribing faster that you can get them in.
However, every new business wants to see growth and here's some ideas that you can double check to ensure that you have the best chances of email marketing growth in 2013.
Effective Business Email Strategy 1 - Check Your Subscription Forms
The very first thing you need to check ASAP (in January before the year gets away from you) is your process for online subscribers. You can gain access to this via many good business email marketing programs and they look similar to this...
So you need to really place your attention to the amount of first time (unique views) who are coming to your website for the first time and then seeing your form, going WOW... "I NEED this offer" and giving you their details, it's great when you can see this number growing as your form is working somewhat well. In the image above this number is the S/UD column.
While the total displays is the amount of people who have seen your form for the first time and also kept re-visiting your website (which by the way is a great thing and why you need an informative blog).
On average, from thousands of tests which I've observed, most conversion rates are low, usually around the 1% to 3% mark. 3% to 5% is good and if you're above 10% then you're going great guns and have a PROVEN process, if not, stick with me here and I'll walk you how to IMPROVE your subscription conversion rates.
Improving Your Email Marketing Subscription Rates
You need to (without a doubt) be split testing your subscription forms. When you run split tests (which are available in Aweber, which I use and believe to be the optimum solution for this) you will find out many important things.
Some of the things you can split test in forms are:
1. The heading or offer you are giving
2. The color of the forms and text color (Dark Red always seems to do well with tests)
3. The position of your form, is it visible at the top of your page (and at the bottom of every blog post)
4. How many fields are you offering (often just asking for an email gets higher opt-in, than a name and email for example, the trade off is the less qualified the prospects are, so test a form with only an email, and one with name, email and phone etc).
Testing all the possible pain points will give you a great start to having your form achieve the highest possible potential.
Here is a free downloadable guide to split testing for business email marketing, which helps simplify this process for you.
What do you do if your conversion rates are high, but the amount of new subscribers are low?...
So by now you know your subscription form is doing it's job... If only people could find it, they would subscribe!
To correct this you can try the following...
1. One of the best things you can do to get the form in front of existing and new visitors eyes is, add a "POP UP" version of the form (even if you hate pop ups, use this method as it works see the test results here). You can modify the settings of how often the form will display per person, for example, every time they visit or every x number of days.
2. You can also test where you place your form. For example, if it's been at the bottom of your pages, move it towards the top and above the fold if possible (this is recommended for best results). If you have had your form on a separate "Newsletter" page or on your "Contact Us" page, then try also moving it / copying it to your homepage and the bottom of each of your blog posts if you want more subscribers.
3. Add your form to as many pages as you can in as visible of an area as possible. Also, try and design your form as visible as possible, Aweber, has excellent design tools and templates to make this VERY easy (easier than any other form builder I believe, and I've used the majority of them).
The ONE THING you need to take away from this and really take in, is split testing in not a one-time thing, you need to continually tweak, test and measure your results. Then make regular monthly, weekly or daily times to look and analyze your stats and makes changes accordingly, you'll never stop learning with this process.
A word of warning however... With your split testing, only change one thing at a time unless you have a very complex split testing software, because you need to know if something works and causes a surge of signups or stops them all together and it can quite literally be like that. Change one word or one colour on a form and things stop, change it back and they work, who knows why and quite frankly who cares as long as you can improve on it and get those results back if the whole thing stops.
Your sign up process and form is a major role of your website and businesses growth, but it's not the only thing...
2. Optimize All Growth Opportunities
You cannot leave your local and off-line efforts out in the cold either. The online environment is often referred to as "perfect for testing offline offers", because you can very quickly split-test offers, forms and products online much faster than locally.
Then as soon as you have a great online offer, begin to look at your local and off-line efforts and really capitalize on them.
You could create local sign-up sheets like this:
Or you could create a voucher offer after they sign-up like this one:
You could even checkout the social apps available and use your iPad to bring in new leads:
So, you can use the above ideas for a local shop or permanent residence, as well as if you're a traveling representative for your own business, or a business which you work for. The offline idea of collecting subscribers is extremely powerful, and is how I collected well over 1,000 leads in my local area of Newcastle, NSW, Australia.
My strategy was to go to local business networking events, and have an offer for people on my business cards, an offer that allowed them to have a complimentary consult with me for 20 minutes worth $50. In that consult, they would need to give me their details and we would swap cards and information so I could get back to them. I would always "OVER-DELIVER" on my first consult with the information I gave and this did two things...
1. It blew the competitors clean out of the water, as I was giving away information that was costing thousands of dollars in consulting fee's which competitors weren't game not to charge for.
2. More IMPORTANTLY however, was the amount of information allowed me to really BOND with my prospects and "STAND OUT" as someone who CARED (and I sincerely did), and most importantly leaving them "WANTING MORE".
So when I asked them, would you like me to give you more information on this topic and stay in touch with "X" via email, they would indeed reply with a resounding "YES".
I would then say to them, before I can send you your future tips, lets subscribe now, I have a system that only lets me send my most important information to you "AFTER" you subscribe and confirm you have allowed it, then I would whip out my iPad and say the magic words... "Lets Do This Now" so you can receive these emails from me (as it's incredibly important to you to only add people who request you add them to your follow up list).
You need to pay close attention to the social media, "prospect signup" areas, as they are incredibly powerful to gaining a massive audience and following, if you do it right. For example you can:
1. By placing a form on Facebook (and most email service providers will allow you to add a form on your Facebook page tabs. Another very useful way is to use an app like GroSocial, so you can easily setup your customized tabs, and one in particular focuses on turning "Likes" from your Facebook page, into subscribers (see a live example of this, by clicking "Like" on my facebook page: www.Facebook.com/AdamPriceCountryMusic to see how I've used Aweber to do this).
2. Use Pinterest to display and create "gated" content. Some very savvy Pinterest users have created a lead funnel, where they have pinned content (articles, videos, craft, photos, videos etc) taking their new followers to a page to subscribe which requires them to sign-up to get that content. Now this is VERY clever, but always remember that you need to give instant access to what you promised, or you will risk losing your new followers forever.
3. Mention your subscribe pages by commenting about them on Twitter. But there is a technique about doing this, only talk about the VALUE they'll be receiving, don't just blatantly ask straight out or you may not see many subscribers at all. You really need to sell "FREE" these day by giving them important reasons to STOP what they're doing now and subscribe.
If you push out your email marketing campaign to all your social followers on regular intervals throughout the year, you will begin to see a trend of more subscribers.If you wish to know more ways to collect subscriber info, then you can tap into many apps specifically for this, for shopping carts, CRMs, social media campaigns etc. which will work with most email marketing services. If you're looking to use Aweber (highly recommended) then see what variables you have here to choose from.
What's Next In Part 3?
We'll be improving your messages so that people will actually read them, click on the links and what you can do to really improve the process and increase conversions.
And if you like this post, please share it socially by clicking the "Share" button below and also get in touch with me on my "Contact Us" page and leave me questions, feedback and your greatest internet marketing challenge via the form there and I'll answer it in up coming posts.
Effective Business Email Marketing in 2013 - How To Do It RIGHT!
This is the year of business email marketing resolutions. Like any new years resolution, we need to include and weigh up all of our goals for life, love and business. And what should be part of our business goals is "BETTER business email marketing results".
Many of our readers and clients that I deal with struggle with getting their business email marketing. They start of really enthusiastically and slowly over time retire back to the good old ways of "non-effectiveness" because it's not as simple as they'd like it to be, or it takes too much time.
No matter where you start with growing your email marketing lists and the goals you initially wanted to achieve, whether gaining a high click through rate, have a very good open rate from your prospects and clients, or just staying in touch with existing subscribers more often. This year is a new year and we'll show you the SIMPLE STEPS to get started and stay started so you see results with your business email marketing.
We have a 3-part series that we've created here and this is the first of them, we're going to cover how to ensure that you stay on top of your email marketing goals first and stay in touch with your prospects and existing clients as often as you'd like, without the hassle.
Are You Just Getting Started With Your Business Email Marketing Plan?
Think of this scenario: You have your new and improved website for 2013 all done and ready to launch. On it you have a wonderful subscription form on the homepage, highly visible at the top of the page and are very excited to see new people coming to your site. And you're even more happy about the amount of people subscribing to the highly targeted information you're giving them through this free opt-in form (so are they). You make the plan to email these subscribers regularly to keep them coming back and staying engaged with you. However as days turn into weeks and you "STILL-HAVEN'T-EMAILED" any of them yet, you find that they lose interest and you LOSE BUSINESS!
What is the answer to this?
The solution is what's known as an autoresponder, or a follow up business email marketing system.
And the most effective way to use these inexpensive email marketing platforms is to set them up with regular automated emails, which you can sit down once and create them all and then let the program work it's magic, tracking and testing every email you send out and giving you vital feedback on the results so you can tweak and improve the process (and hence get more results which equals more profit).
You'll start by creating a handful of say 7 to 21 emails (7 at the least) which you pre-write and load into the email marketing templates that your autoresponder system offers you, many of these systems offer very nice templates with Aweber being at the absolute top of the tree. Start by sending out an instant welcome message instantly, when a new subscriber enters their details into your form, then you could set the second message to go out on day 2, the third message a couple of days later and so on... Spreading out the intervals between emails to weekly or bi-weekly over time (and you can make as many of these messages as you wish).
Tests have proven that the more of these messages you have the better and if you haven't read our last blog post on "Having The Perfect Email Marketing Plan" go and do this now for more information there.
Below are some business email marketing examples of real companies that have great success with using a perfect email marketing plan:
How Does Effective Email Business Marketing Help Business Blogs?
If you're a regular business blogger and write posts for your blog on a regular basis, then you know how difficult it can be to finish writing your new business blog article and then have to write a summary of that article to send out to your subscribers.
This is where using Aweber's "email your blog posts automatically" feature is incredibly powerful. Most of the top business email marketing platforms out there allow you to set the amount of blog posts you write, before sending them out in a succinct, newsletter style email automatically to your subscribers. For example, in Aweber, if you choose to send out an email when you write 5 blog posts, then on your fifth blog post, and email with go out to your chosen list with the last 5 blog posts in it, and this is a GREAT time saver.
You could use this feature for multiple lists and segregate readers who are prospects and haven't bought anything on one blog, and then after they buy, have blogs that have special "Client Information" on them and set both to send out automatically. Yes, Aweber also has an excellent prospect list to client list which can be fully automated, I haven't seen this level of automation on other email marketing platforms in it's class, except higher priced ones like 1Shoppingcart which is exceptionally good, and it's not just an email marketing platform it has a truck load of great e-commerce options in it's plans also.
And if you ever get stuck for content, a GREAT way to bring your business and blog the authority it needs is to have guest authors write for your blog and even interviewing them and posting the audio / video if they're local. There is a correct way to do the invites for these guest authors and other bloggers to write and link to your site, so see this post by Derek Halpern at Social Triggers on "How to Persuade People to Help Or Link To You" and be sure to subscribe to his blog, he has an exceptional understanding of online influence when blogging.
What If You Can't Find The Time To Do Business Email Marketing Ongoingly?
This is WHY we implement the email marketing platforms such as Aweber, iContact, 1shoppingcart etc...
You need to have some discipline to make a chunk of time, whether it be 3 hours, a day, or a week to do nothing but creating your autoresponder list for the "ENTIRE YEAR" and if you do this early in the new year (January is great) then you're set to go and not have to worry about those darn email messages ever again.
Really, it won't take you all that long if you just start, and track your time with a tool if you need to see how productive you are, use a tool like Rescue Time or use Google Calendar, these will help you stop wasting time as readily and really get into the swing of effective business email marketing in 2013.
In Part-2 of Effective Business Email Marketing we're going to talk about growing your list and stopping signups from becoming stagnant so you get more signups and more business more often.
The Perfect Email Marketing Plan For Coaches & Consultants
The amount of consultants and coaches in all areas of business through to life, sports and fitness coaching who haven't implemented a simple, yet effective email marketing plan really surprises me.
Why does it surprise me?
The sheer competitiveness of business in general, no matter what area, industry or niche market you choose to go in to, needs to have an edge.
And that edge is creating a list of prospects, a list of purchasers and then resupplying new information to them on a regular basis so they refer to others and buy more often.
Let me ask you this... How many of you are sitting there now wanting to get MORE new clients?
What if I was to tell you that your new clients are in your existing clients?
Would that shock you?... Probably not, but still, how many of you are actively interacting and tracking how your existing clients purchase, re-purchase and refer to you?
So How Does An Email Marketing Plan Fit Into This Equation and WHY Is Having One So Darn Important?
Well, with the few tips below, you're going to see how you can set yourself up, stay in touch with and track the overall progress of all your clients and prospects from a simple to implement and use email marketing plan. Now this plan is only one part to a hopefully larger internet marketing plan that you're looking at systemizing, but this in my opinion is the MOST important one to have as businesses are built on your relationship indirectly and directly with your lists.
If you don't have a list, then you're just relying on plain old fashioned luck, and maybe that works wonders for you, but "What If" you now GOT SERIOUS about your business and begun to really look at this "List Building" thing everyone is talking about?
The 3 Simple Steps to An Effective Email Marketing Plan
1. The very first thing you need to do is invest a small amount of money each month into a reliable email marketing tool... I have used, recommended, installed and helped hundreds of businesses implemnet the use of an email marketing platform called Aweber. It's simple, affordable and plain and simple it's effective and once you're setup (about 30 minutes) you write your email series and allow it to do the work.
2. Now you need to setup the basic details of your new tool... Just login and follow the steps it takes you through, you really cannot go wrong if you just follow the steps as their presented, remember that you ONLY need to do this once and once it's setup you're all clear, so make sure you do this right.
Here's a little tip, ensure that you have set it up right by first sending an email test to yourself when before you send any emails to live clients.
3. Workout WHAT you want to say to your prospects and also to your clients and keep them on separate lists... You have two missions, the first being what you're going to say in a series of 21 emails to your clients.
TWENTY ONE emails!!!... I hear you declare?...
Yes, it's a fair bit of work, but science and testing has proven the the standard 5 to 7 emails to follow up is "Just-Not-Enough" and you need at least (LEAST... 21 email messages), to begin testing your conversion rates. At some point in this process of your new email marketing plan, you will see a general email which converts existing clients into repeat buyers (for your existing clients list, and new prospects into first time buyers, for your prospects list).
So all up you HAVE TO DO SOME WORK, if you don' t have time, hire someone within your company to do it, or get a good writer who KNOWS what they're doing when it comes to writing great email follow-ups that convert into a favorable action... i.e. a referral, a phone call, a new sale or a repeat sale.
This should become your mantra from now on, if my internet and email marketing plan aren't getting me a referral, a phone call, a new sale or a repeat sale then I'm NOT doing it right.
And it all begins with being SPECIFIC to what it is you do, so specific that you often have to dig deep into the top problems (quite often more that the common 7 issues) that your exact target client has, because quite often their plagued with many problems in the area you specialize in as a consultant or coach and you need to address each one separately.
This takes time, but I GUARANTEE you, if you do this right, use the tools in your Aweber email marketing platform, so you can see how many receive your emails, how many open them, and how many (MOST IMPORTANTLY) click on your links to do an action, you will over time improve your conversion rates.
One client of mine took 3 years to get a conversion rate from 0.4% to 6.3% with their email marketing, but this was a significant increase in sales each month, in the end do you think they cared about all the hard work and late nights they spent working this thing out?
NO WAY... All they focused on was the end result, which was an increase in profits of at least 5 times what they were initially making, they were over the moon and are now tracking EVERYTHING, both online and off.
ACTION STEP: Get your email marketing platform now, set it up and make a start on entering your 21 emails for your prospective clients, and also your existing clients (start with your existing clients list). Once you've done this, put the form on a page with the title of your email series and actually call your clients up and talk to them about this new series of emails you've setup to help them. Make sure on this phone call you tell them the webpage with this form on it, and you have them go there with you on the phone to subscribe and confirm their email so you make sure they get it.
A lot of success with online marketing, is by doing a lot of offline actions as well, there's simply no EASY WAY to make this work without good ol' fashioned hard work to get it started.
I have run blogs and websites for as long as I remember...
And it's not hard, it's a simple thing to learn with all the courses out there today, and the courses are like a hundred bucks... a HUNDRED BUCKS!
So why do I get so darn frustrated when good smart business people tell me, "they don't have time or the know how to do a simple blog"?
I get frustrated because over the past 15 years every single blog I've created and worked on has only taken me about 1 hour to setup, then a few minutes each day to add a short post about the niche or sub-topic the blog is about.
It takes another 5 to 10 minutes to lookup Google's Keyword tool or Market Samurai (an extremely cheap, but MASSIVELY powerful) piece of software to help get rankings on words in these blog posts.
It's not uncommon for these sites to rank on the first page of Google and other search engines within 3 to 6 months and even for words like "Create a Niche Website" or "Niche Marketing" I was on the first page of Google within a year and that's MASSIVELY competitive.
If Creating a Blog For First Page Results Is This Simple - WHY Don't You Have One?
I'll tell you why...
Because deep down you think "it's a LOT of work" and it's "not going to work" and one things darn for sure, if you don't work at it, it aint gonna work... PERIOD!
You're stupid if you think that you can bung up a blog on Wordpress and add one post every month (which by the way, is still WAY more than others who don't even do that).
The thing is, it does work if you work at it and I've given you in painstaking detail the outline for creating your blog in "Step 2" of my Niche Marketing Process on the homepage of this blog, go look at this and follow it and you'll do well.
Don't sit back and wait for your blog marketing strategy to automatigically take you to first place...
Work at it, do one to two posts per week, spend an hour a couple of days a week making a short 3 to 5 paragraph article with keywords you search for in Google Keyword tool, just type this in and you'll find it, it tells you exactly what to do in the "HELP" section... "READ IT" and get the benefits, this is Mother Google telling you exactly what keywords are easy to rank for.
So go for the lower search terms / month and begin to stack all these lower search terms up in your posts and you'll begin to see traffic that is highly targeted to the subject of your blog.
Once you get traffic that's a start.
Your Follow Up "To-Do's"
1. Go and setup a Wordpress blog (if you can't do this, go to Odesk.com and hire someone to do it for $10s)... DONE!
2. Get familiar with adding a post for Wordpress every couple of days (if you can't do this, hire someone in Odesk.com to write 2 articles per week and post them for you, for $10)
3. Get familar with Google Keyword Tool or Market Samurai (if you can't get familiar with it or don't want to) you guessed it, hire someone from Odesk for $10 to do this for you each time.
Long and short of it is this, there's absolutely "NO EXCUSE" why you can't have a blog up and running within a few days for about $50 if that.
As a person running a business, you are probably already familiar with the numerous benefits of social media. You may run social media campaigns on a number of different platforms, and see good success, too. But with just about every company on the face of earth on social media these days, it can be hard to get your company to stand out among the plethora of social media accounts on the web. If you truly want to use social media to benefit your business, you need to get creative in the way you operate your accounts. If you want to break away from the social media pack, check out these ideas on creative ways to use social media to drive business to your free website from http://www.freewebsite.com.
A brand is a story, so why not use social media to tell your brand’s story? Rather than just tweeting out daily deals or new products, step away from the corporate side and incorporate a human element to your social media accounts. This can be done in a number of ways. You can choose to write success stories about some of your workers, detailing their rise through the company ranks and offering their perspective on working for the company. Or you can post stories about your company’s history and its foundations. You could also write stories about your customers, and the different ways they use your products. Whatever it is, giving your company a human element is key in today’s social world.
Respond to Negative Comments With Creative Social Media Marketing
In today’s social world, a company can’t simply brush negative criticism under the rug. Almost anything that’s posted to social media can be viewed by the entire public, meaning most companies can’t hide from criticism anymore. Many companies still choose to ignore negative comments on social media. Instead, opt to turn negative into positive. Respond to negative comments and fix them (that is, if the problem truly is a problem) and promote that you solved the problem. This is called reputation management. Make it subtle, though; if you’re too overt in the way you’re promoting your problem solving then people will call your bluff. If your customers know that they can easily reach out to you if there’s ever a problem, that’s a huge plus.
Hold Creative Social Media Marketing Contests
Holding contests on social media is becoming an increasingly popular way to grow a brand and gain more followers. People tend to flock towards contests, and you’ll see an increase in followers if you hold them often. Most companies hold contests on Twitter and Facebook that are trivia based, which is a great start. But if you really want to get creative with a social media contest, you should take it to the next level. Hold a Twitter scavenger hunt; post three random things and have your users search around to find those things, and have them snap a picture of the items to win. Award the prize to whoever submits the prize first. Or, have your users get creative and hold contests that require subjective judging. No matter what kind of contest you hold, it will help you grow your social media presence.
Use a Creative Social Media Marketing Company
By allowing a team who is strong in creative social media marketing, you're best to outsource to them and let them do the work for you, you can learn more about this at Social Helpers, they will give you affordable and leveraged help to compliment your business online socially.
I've just been reading an article from Rich Scheferen, who is a renowned online marketer and commonly known as someone who takes your business online or offline and can grow it very rapidly.
He does through through being extremely efficient and effective, but not through being BUSY, and there IS a massive difference.
This report that I've been reading can be downloaded by clicking right here without any opt-in to a list and it's called "The Profit Prophecy".
How To "Future Proof" Your Business!
I've been very focused lately and especially after reading the above report, that starting something that is profitable and effective, plus also mixed with your passion enables you to go at something much longer till you become the recognized expert.
In short, you need to build a business around your strengths and not your weaknesses or what you think is a "HIGHLY Profitable" area but know nothing about or a completely dis-interested in it, for me it's a sure way to an early burn out, and in mid July 2010 I DID burnout, I got Leukaemia and had only 3 weeks to live if untreated.
We can indeed manifest these things in our life if we don't "ENJOY" what it is we do, my dis-ease with what I did and not being "In-Joy" with it, caused the lack of flow (directly associated with blood, as metaphysically it flows through us) to stop and become ill at ease.
Now my life is MUCH more flowing, I only do what I enjoy and as it turns out the money follows in one way, shape or form when you 100% commit to your destiny and passion.
How Can We Be More Effective In Our Businesses?
I've worked out that by "cutting back" significantly in my information intake, my JV's with others, my marketing channels and efforts and just focussing on "Who I Am" at my core, then putting that out there through "outsourced help" which is VERY important, has simply caused me to propel my life and happiness forward and a lot of good has come from it, much faster than I could imagine.
When you're in alignment with your God given gifts and purposes then things flow much easier and naturally, and the gifts of the universe / God, come to you in ways that you never planned nor need to worry about planning for.
It is therefore your purpose in life to LOVE what you do, and take your gift and do it as well as you can.
So this blog is somewhat simple, read the free report I found, then get some outsourced help and "Get The HELL On With What You Do BEST!"...