What would you rather get: an email address or a phone call?
I hope you said phone calls.
According to one “conversion scientist” phone call leads turn into sales about 10-15x more often than email leads.
So one phone call is worth about 10-15 email addresses to your business.
The good news is the number of phone calls you can expect to receive is growing (Source: Bia/Kelsey), mostly due to smart phones and mobile websites… More on that later.
But back to phone calls, phone calls are king and as a small business owner you want to keep your phone ringing non-stop.
However, you need to understand your audience. Some millennials (folks born after 1979) would rather text than talk. Your customers could be afraid of the phone, too busy to dial, or just want to punt their purchase decision into the future.
For those people, we want email addresses for your email marketing campaign.
How do you get email addresses from your website?
This is all about lead generation. There has been A TON of research on the subject the last few years and – excellent news for you! – we now have a better idea of what works and what doesn’t work online.
Whatever you do, don’t tell people to sign up for your “newsletter” or expect them to fill out your “contact us” form.
NOBODY wants a vague newsletter from you.
As I mentioned briefly in this post (How Websites Sell), just like pretty much everything in life – to get, you have to give.
No one is going to volunteer their email address, and risk crowding their already full inbox, unless they’re going to get something they REALLY WANT in return.
So the first step in collecting an email address is: find out what your customers really want.
Now your customers might really want a steak dinner, but we’re talking web marketing here and you can’t really send a t-bone through an internet connection (sadly)… so here are some things that might make more sense for the online world.
- White papers
- Case studies
- Consultations/estimates (not as effective, everybody does this)
The idea is that these are all digital goods you can send out to people that they would want.
Whatever digital good you offer is called your Lead Magnet. It’s the magnet to get you more leads. (Credit: Dan Kennedy, I think…)
Quizzes and games tend to work well for Lead Magnets. People love filling them out and people are willing to enter their email address to get the results of a good quiz!
Lead Magnets can be the subject of an entire post (and probably will be down the road) so lets leave it at that and continue on what happens next.
What do you do with the email address?
The short answer: email marketing.
You might be thinking, “I don’t have time to email everybody who comes to my website”. The good news is that technology handles it all for you.
Websites today are MORE THAN JUST WEBSITES. This is an important point.
One reason why websites are so powerful these days is that you can link your website to software tools that used to cost thousands of dollars.
It’s kind of like how flat screen TVs are suddenly just a few hundred bucks.
A few years ago, they were a few thousand bucks a pop. Now the price has come down and we’re all watching Sunday Night Football in HD.
Same thing with a lot of marketing automation software. Not too long ago, it was only for the big boys. Now, everybody has access to these tools for a fraction of the cost.
Today we all have the power to email blast, set up email campaigns, and generate leads like the most advanced technology companies.
One marketing automation tool that needs to be in every business owner’s tool box is email marketing software. Most email marketing software allow users to set up auto-responders – which I like to call, your super secret virtual salesman.
The idea is that if someone gives you an email address your auto-responder will automatically send that person a series of emails (an email campaign).
Auto-responders are extremely powerful for your business.
You can now have a sales conversation with hundreds of prospects at the same time.
And you can do it while you sleep.
What type of emails should you send out?
Some quick email marketing tips!
Let’s make this as simple as possible.
Set up a basic, 5 email auto-responder.
Why 5, you ask? Because we’re keeping this simple! Some people may want more complex email campaigns with more emails, but lets keep at 5 for now.
What is the goal of your email marketing campaign?
The goal is – in 5 emails, or less – to gently walk someone through your sales process. Some people call it the “buyer’s journey”.
The “buyer’s journey” for your customers really depends on your product. Obviously, HVAC customers make decisions quicker than someone shopping for an addition on their home.
But the basic stages are: awareness, consideration, and decision.
So in your email campaign (auto-responder) – in 5 emails, you want to walk people through that sequence in as straight forward a manner as possible.
Here’s a free email template you can use for your business:
Begin by offering your prospects educational information about how they can solve their problems. (Emails 1 and 2, awareness)
Next, explain why your company might be right for the job. (Emails 3 and 4, consideration)
Finally, make them an offer to take the next step. (Email 5, decision)
Above all, in these emails you must be as helpful as possible so your prospective customer will keep wanting to open your emails.
Offer value and they’ll listen with rapt attention.
* * * * *
Many of your potential customers prefer to communicate through email rather than the phone so it’s important that you are familiar with effective email marketing.
Email marketing does NOT need to be complicated.
The first step is to collect the email by using a Lead Magnet.
Next, you can begin your email campaign with the goal of gently walking people through your sales process (the buyer’s journey).
But the BIG TAKEAWAY, is that technology now allows every business owner (who wants to learn about it) to market their business like the best companies in the world.
Email marketing is not complicated. But it can make your business much more sophisticated.