Search engine optimisation is all about bringing traffic to your website. But traffic, in itself, is not particularly valuable. You can pay to boost a blog post on Facebook, or attract 100,000 visitors with the promise of free beer, but the traffic will be wasted if you aren’t picking up new clients. And you’ll soon run out of beer.
Inbound marketing is all about encouraging actions: a click, an enquiry, a chat. You need to turn those visitors into leads, and then into paying customers. Sounds simple enough, but it can be an exercise in patience – testing and tweaking to figure out what works. If you don’t capitalise on these actions, you could lose the opportunity to engage.
By tweaking your approach, and rethinking your funnel, you can convert more leads and increase your return on investment (ROI). Often, thinking like your customer can make a big difference.
Once you have someone’s details, you’re in a more powerful position because you can engage with them directly. A lead is someone who wants to keep in touch, but isn’t yet motivated to spend. The fact they’ve shown interest is a good starting point but you still have to convert them.
To sell to these leads, you need to figure out what makes them tick. Or to put it another way, you need to find out what’s stopping them from making that purchase and remedy the situation ASAP. Up to 80 per cent of leads are gone before they make a purchase. That’s a startling percentage to lose.
The key thing is to figure out their pain points and work backwards to remove them. If you lose a lead, you can also develop ways to bring them back.
Your website isn’t just a menu or a catalogue. It needs to push buttons and sell. To convert, you need to find emotional triggers and offer the answers your customer is looking for.
If you’re losing leads, here are three things they might be thinking:
Your website is your virtual storefront, and your prospect needs to have confidence in you. Promoting yourself as an authentic, reliable and experienced professional plays a big part in converting a lead.
If they’ve signed up to your email marketing list, they’re interested. But they may not yet think you are perfect match.
Breaking it down, there are four really good tools you can use to build your credibility:
Remember: All four components help to build confidence. Prove that you are ready to impress them. Prove that they won’t be disappointed.
Imagine that you walk into your local grocery tomorrow. Before you can shop, you need to sign a waiver agreement in case you trip. You need to pre-pay for the items you want. And you need to queue for 15 minutes because there’s only one cashier.
Would you jump through these hoops just to buy a handful of items?
Supermarkets are experts in making shopping pleasurable. If you want people to buy something, you need to make it easy, fast and rewarding.
Tactics to consider:
Remember: Not every lead is poised with their credit card, eager to buy what you’re offering. People who are not ready to buy are checking out the way you work. Make it your mission to be simple, open and quick.
If you’ve given your lead an offer that’s too good to refuse, push them to convert within a time limit.
Try these approaches:
Remember: There will always be something else to spend money on. You need to give your lead a sense of urgency. What’s in it for them? What will they lose if they wait?
There’s nothing worse than losing a lead that’s ready to make a purchase. If you’re consistently losing leads half-way down your funnel, you might be wondering what’s going wrong.
Maybe you need to look at the funnel as a two-way process.
Leads don’t always flow from top to bottom. Sometimes they move back up, or enter the funnel half-way down. Buyers are savvy and socially engaged. People fall out of the process, or come in at the bottom of the funnel and move up as they research. The funnel might be converting people at a lower spend than it previously did, which can be just as damaging to ROI.
You need to track people’s behaviour and make decisions based on visible patterns. The marketing department cannot pass leads to sales and forget them; it must recognise opportunities for leads to flow in both directions. Use your content to appeal to different personas. Segment and target, then repurpose content in new formats. If you don’t flex your approach, you will never find your black hole – the point where leads disappear and are never recovered.
If you fail to convert qualified leads into paying customers, your entire marketing strategy falls flat.
Resolve pain points, target your key personas, and allow yourself to follow leads up, down, in and out of the funnel – not just straight down the line. Create offers that your leads can’t refuse, coupled with authoritative content and credible evidence.
If you don’t, you’ll end up with plenty of leads but a huge amount of wasted effort. Don’t let this happen – and don’t allow your business throw good money after bad.