If your autoresponder was a hammer, then your eZine ads would be a bag of nails. Now, if that doesn’t make any sense at all, please read on.
It’s no secret that only a very small percentage of sales are made on the first contact; some knowledgable experts say as little as 1% to 2%. Those sales are easy, and practically automatic, as within any given market there will always be a few predetermined customers.
In other words, before even seeing your offer, those people have already determined a need or desire for a product or service similar to what you offer. Those people will buy right off the bat.
However, the question that arises here is, “Can your business survive on a 2% sales margin?” Most businesses can’t. That fact in itself defines a need for a more aggressive and protracted approach to marketing, if you want to grab any part of the other 98% that is laying out there waiting for you.
One nationwide sales association* in the United States has put forth these figures as the result of their studies.
– 2 % of sales are made on the 1st contact – 3 % of sales are made on the 2nd contact – 5 % of sales are made on the 3rd contact – 10 % of sales are made on the 4th contact – 80 % of sales are made on the 5th – 12th contact
Then it goes without saying that to be successful, any sales organization in the bricks-n-mortar world would need to have a well-oiled machine set up specifically to extract the highest possible percentage of sales from those figures. Note clearly that this concept does not differ one whit for those of us who do our business on the Internet. The only point that may differ is the sort of machine that we use.
The primary phase of the machine is the lead/prospect generating system. This part is critical, in that it must supply an ongoing list of qualified [targeted] prospects who have a demonstrated and proven interest in the product or service that is being offered.
In the case of Internet marketing, the most cost effective lead/prospect generating method to date is the ‘two-step’ eZine ad. If that brings old Merle Haggard tunes to mind, it’s okay.
However, what it really means is that the eZine ad, generally a small one, is not intended to make the sale up front. It’s only purpose is to pique the reader’s interest and induce her to respond for more information. That action on the reader’s part automatically qualifies her as a ‘targeted’ prospect.
She has demonstrated a predetermined interest in what we have to offer. Yet she likely will not be a two percenter, and may require repeated contact and further information, before she makes a buying decision.
Any successful brick-n-mortar sales executive will spend a lot of time and energy in cultivating her prospect list. She will contact her potential customers on a repetitive basis, making sure their needs are met, new information is distributed, and any possible services and favors are performed.
By doing this, she is effectively narrowing the gap on that other 98% of her prospects who will not buy immediately. Over time, she will extract the maximum number of sales from any given number of prospects.
Again, none of this changes in cyberspace. Yet we Internet business owners must deal with the disadvantage of not being able to pay a personal visit to our prospects in their offices or homes. Telephone contact will certainly suffice in many cases, but may not be cost effective unless our product or service is priced accordingly.
For those of us who market our wares and services on the Internet, repetitive and systematic contact by email has become the accepted and highly effective method of keeping in touch with a targeted prospect list. No doubt, some of this contact can and should be done on a personalized level. But a great deal of this work load can be shouldered by an effective autoresponder based follow-up system.
If you’re not making full use of your hammer (autoresponse systems) to drive home the nails (eZine ads) in your Internet marketing efforts, three things are probably happening.
1. You’re working way too hard.
2. You’re wasting a majority of your ad budget.
3. You’re throwing up to 98% of your sales out the window.
We strongly suggest getting a hammer.
*National Sales Executive Association (2001)
Dan B. Cauthron runs several websites and publishes his 100%
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