Your web business probably gets product inquiries from potential customers quite often. These requests on your products or services come via e-mail and your web site. You do our best to try to send information to each hot prospect as fast as you can. You know that you can drastically increase the likelihood of making a sale by satisfying each person’s need for information quickly! After you have delivered that first bit of information to your prospect, did you send them any more information?
If you are like most business owners or marketers, you probably didn’t. Without following up on your first information request, you’ll likely have lost that potential customer! This is a potential customer who may have been very interested in your products or services, but ended up losing your contact information, or was too busy to make a purchase when you first corresponded with them.
Sometimes, a prospect will purposely put off making a purchase, to see if you find them important enough to follow up with later. When they don’t receive a follow up message from you, they will likely take their business somewhere else.
Simply put, consistent follow-ups deliver consistent results. With an automated email follow-up campaign, you accomplish this important task.
First, you’ll need to develop your follow up messages. If you have been marketing on the Internet for any length of time, then you should already have a first informative letter. Your second letter marks the beginning of the follow up process, and should go into more detail than the first letter. Fill this letter with details that you did not have the space to add to the first letter. Be sure to stress the benefits of your products or services!
Your next 2-3 follow up messages should be rather short. Include lists of the benefits and potential uses of your products and services. Write each letter so that your prospects can skim the contents, and still see the full force of your message. Be sure not to overly sell in these follow-ups. You are trying to establish a trust worthy relationship with your potential customer at this point.
The next couple of follow up messages should create a sense of urgency in your potential customer’s mind. Make a special offer, giving him a reason to order NOW instead of waiting any longer. After reading these follow up messages, your prospect should want to order immediately! These messages are where you really go after the sale. You’ve done enough buttering up, not go in for the kill. Phrase each of your final 1 or 2 follow up messages in the form of a question. Ask your prospect why he hasn’t yet placed an order? Try to get him to actually respond. Ask if the price is too high, the product is not the right specs or if they don’t have the right features, or if he is looking for something else entirely.
This should give you a great start on earning some of those lost customers. The importance of choosing the right email direct marketing tool is essential in accomplishing this. If you skimp on features, you’ll make your job exhausting.
Are you one of the millions of Americans who dream of owning your own business? Wake up! Quit dreaming! Many business owner wannabees would rather keep their eyes closed and continue dreaming because they lack:
Could you be part of this group?
How would you like to “test drive” the role of a business owner without worrying about any of these issues?
Direct selling is the vehicle because it eliminates the three reasons why most people hesitate to begin a business.
Let’s discuss the lack of financing:
Most direct selling companies, both party plan (group demonstrations) and network marketing (one-on-one presentations) can be opened for less than $100.00! Opening a business for less than the cost of a week’s groceries; what a value!
This low start up investment covers all the research and development the direct sales company has already invested thousands, and maybe millions of dollars. They normally provide all the sales literature and promotional items so you don’t have any of those expenses or activities.
Because direct sellers work from their home, there is no lease or monthly rental on office space, a huge chunk of change for business owners. And, no outside office space means few, if any employees, especially while you’re taking the business owner test drive.
Direct Sales consultants will normally need a computer and Internet access. Most people have that already, and can quite possibly begin to claim some of its use as a business expense. However, you must consult with a qualified tax professional for advice on this.
Speaking of taxes, you’ll reap many tax benefits from owning your own business and having an office in your home. You can even hire your kids for some tasks. Again, consult with a tax specialist; this suggestion is for information only.
Direct sales companies, in most cases, have applied for state and local tax licenses so you simply collect the taxes from customers, pass that through to your company, and they take care of paying the taxes to the appropriate agency.
You will want to have a separate banking account, although you can open a personal, not a business account so the fees are very low, if any at all. A dedicated credit card just for business expenses is also a near necessity. Most party plan companies are set up so you collect money from customers, put their checks and cash in your account, and pay the company with your credit card. The funds simply pass through your account (careful, don’t spend this money) and you pay your company, who in turn sends you a check, usually monthly.
Other companies are set up so when you purchase product, you are charged the wholesale price. In this case, the difference between what your customers pay you and what you owe when you order product becomes your profit.
Apply for a personal (not business) credit card where you earn points for travel, gifts, or even cash. As a direct sales consultant, you could be using the credit card for thousands of dollars of product every month and the credit card company will reward you accordingly.
Speaking of credit cards,you probably won’t have to apply for a merchant account to accept customers’ credit cards because that’s normally a service most direct sales companies provide. Some pass on the merchant processing fee to you; however, credit card sales are normally higher than cash or check, so you’ll still be ahead.
As you use the vehicle of direct sales to test drive the life of a business owner, you’ll see your personal credit card debt diminished and lots of cash flowing through your business card card account and ultimately in your checkbook.
When you need to buy car insurance, who do you think of? Geico? Allstate? Your neighborhood agent? The three companies you thought of first own real estate in your head (otherwise known as mind-share) for personal insurance.
How did they get mind-share? Typically, it evolves in one of three ways:
Through media blitz – You have heard and seen them so many times on radio and television that you can’t stop singing their jingle.
Through personal connection – Your brother-in-law is an insurance agent.
By location – Why not support the community business you pass on the street every day?
So what happens if you can’t afford a media blitz, aren’t related to enough people, and have exhausted all of your neighborhood prospects? Think direct marketing, repetition and perseverance. With these three things, you too, can own real estate in your prospects’ minds.
Consider these statistics:
It requires thirteen exposures before the average person can recall your business name.
Ninety percent of prospects buy after the sixth interaction with your business.
The average person is exposed to more than 300 ads every day. It’s no wonder that most ads are instantly forgotten.
Unfortunately, most people don’t make a purchase when they see an advertisement. They buy a service when they need a service. If they think of you when the need arises, BINGO, you’re in business. It’s all about timing.
So how do you make sure you are in front of prospects at the right time? You have to be in front of them ALL THE TIME, not with a sales pitch, but with positive, helpful information, that makes their lives easier. When selling to businesses, the easiest way to stay in front of prospects every month is through direct mail or e-mail. Direct mail is particularly effective when paired with telemarketing to verify decision-makers’ names and to gauge interest levels. E-mail is less expensive, because you don’t incur the cost of postage or printing. E-mail marketing also allows a higher level of response tracking.
Want to bolster new business?
Remember that in marketing, there’s no such thing as a one-hit wonder. Manage your mind-share with solution-oriented direct marketing that ensures you are in front of your prospects at the RIGHT time – the day they need your service.
If you are just starting out in the affiliate marketing business and want to spell success for the long-term there are a few things to remember. You should always avoid the common blunders most people make. Here we list some of the biggest mistakes people make in affiliate marketing, so you can avoid them and shorten your road to financial success immediately!
1. Insufficient product knowledge
This is one of the biggest affiliate marketing mistakes. Not knowing about the products you are promoting can make you lose out on credibility and trust from the customer. Always read up, ask for more product information from the merchant before signing up to promote that product. Get to know the merchant, find out if he/she is a reliable person to do business with.
2. Not having your own site
In order for you to have an identity as an affiliate marketer you should have your own website. You do not need to have an elaborate site. Just a basic 5 page site is more than enough. This will help capitalize on your own customer base or mailing list. It also helps you promote products to them repeatedly once they have signed up. Provide information about a special niche you are promoting for interested people: write articles, discussion topics, make your website a live area for people to meet and discuss a special topic.
3. Not making customer stay on your site
Many affiliate marketers make the mistake of directly leading the customer on to the merchant’s site via direct affiliate link. This is a big no-no. After all the effort that you have put in to getting hold of a customer you should make them stick on your site for sometime. Customers can easily leave the site within a few seconds so this is your chance to engage them. Most affiliate marketers do not create their own landing pages and that’s not the right way to do business. When you create your own landing pages and directing the potential customers right into them, you have an ability to capture their e-mail addresses and build your own mailing list, moreover you are also able to present the promoted product even better than a real merchant itself, so this way you can easily increase the promoted product’s conversions.
4. Taking on too many affiliate programs
At first, you maybe tempted to start earning more and signup for way too many affiliate marketing programs. This is a big mistake. Make sure to stick to 3-4 good quality programs with good products to offer. Always know enough about the product/products before promoting them and you will not go wrong. Concentrate on a 3-4 good ones instead of hundreds and you will definitely make much more money in the long term.
5. Not making use of cloaking tricks
Customers today are clever enough to see through an affiliate marketing link. If they even remotely suspect you are trying to sell them something they will quickly close the site. Therefore make use of link cloaking strategies to ensure your customer cannot suspect you are directing them to the merchant site. Anyway, make sure you use all the safe cloaking methods because bad cloakings could hurt your affiliate commissions.
6. Do not select affiliate programs with high payment threshold
Many merchant programs will have a high threshold which means that until you earn at least a certain amount of money, you cannot receive your payment. While the percentage is usually high in these, you may have to wait long to get there. This can stop you from success. Always pick the medium affiliate programs which offer decent commissions and do not have a high threshold or even better – who have no payment thresholds at all, when you are starting out.
7. Always have an interest in a product yourself
Choosing products that you are not personally interested in can lead to disaster. You need to feel strongly about the products you promote. Only then can you sell them well.
8. Not building a mailing list
You need to have signup forms on your promoted product’s landing pages and ways to build on your personal mailing list. This helps you build your potential customer’s list and you can then continue promoting products to them in future as well.