Conversion strategy: your marketing is dead without it!
To create a winning conversion strategy, the following essential elements must be put in place;
Establish a direct communication link with potential customers
The very first step in creating a winning conversion strategy is to establish a direct communication link with the potential customer. This simply means capturing their contact details. This can vary depending on the product/service involved. But in most cases, there are generally 3 kinds of contact details you need to establish a direct communication link with the potential customer;
Anyone of these 3 or a combination of any two will do. But I must warn you, such details don’t come by easily. Your potential customers will not part with them until they are given a compelling reason to do so. To get access to their contact details, you have to be willing to give them something valuable in return for free. This is generally known as bait and it can take various forms depending on the product/service and the peculiarities of the target market. For example, when we ran a cybercafé, we gave out 10 minutes worth of browsing ticket for free to every first time customer in exchange for them to become registered members. Of course, the membership registration was also free and also came with more value added perks, but it required them to drop their contact details. The list of what you can give away for free in exchange for the contact details of potential customers is endless, you just need a little bit of creativity and ample knowledge of your target customer’s needs and wants. The bottom-line is to give away something they will value and that is closely related to the products/services you are selling.
Information Products: eBooks, video tutorials, podcasts, online course, newsletter, etc.
Limited Access: free trial subscriptions, free trial downloads, free trial membership, etc.
Sample Products: free air time, make up, training, product testing, etc.
Promo Items: branded souvenirs, etc.
Free Consultations: coaching session, diagnostics, therapy, etc.
value through periodic engagement
Now that you have established a direct communication link with your potential customers, your next step in developing a winning conversion strategy is to demonstrate value by engaging with your potential customers periodically. That you have direct communication link with them is not a license for you to overwhelm them with endless sales letters or promos, no. Remember this is a relationship you are nurturing, so always think win-win and not win-lose. In other words, put the needs of your potential customers first. Your goal here is to engage with them by demonstrating value. I call this strategy educate and influence. Here is where you demonstrate the superior value of your product/service. Rather than making claims, you simply demonstrate what makes your brand special. You demonstrate your thought leadership [expertise] as a brand.
You can do this through the following;
Case Studies: share stories on how your product/service is helping other customers
Articles: offer practical ideas and tips that addresses their major problems
Testimonials: share what your satisfied customers are saying about your product/service
Industry News: keep them abreast with relevant industry trends, issues and events
Market Surveys: engage them with thoughtful questions to help you understand their needs
Product/Service Updates: educate them on how your products/services can solve their problems
All these will keep your brand top on their mind without abusing the privilege of engaging with them. Over time, their perception of your brand will increase as you continuously engage with them by demonstrating value.
Make an irresistible offer
As you nurture a win-win relationship with them through value adding periodic engagements, they would have been ripe for the sale. Most times, even before you make an offer, they would have started contacting you to buy. It’s at this point that you can take the relationship further and create an exclusive irresistible offer about your product/service that will benefit them. This is when you out rightly ask for the sale. The benefit of making an irresistible offer is that it helps many who aren’t ready to buy yet, take advantage of the promo offer. Don’t try to lump all your offers at once, create several offers and introduce it to them periodically.
Every marketing effort starts with the target market and ends with a sale. Your conversion strategy is the journey you take the target customer through from their first contact with your brand till they eventually buy. The process looks like this; Target Market -> Prospect -> Customer -> Repeat Customer. Without a winning conversion strategy, you can lose the potential customer half way before they become customers. This is the reason why most marketing fails, because of the absence of a deliberate conversion strategy to help the target customer through their buying decision making process.