Marketing and sales channels may change, but the underlying factors of acquiring a customer, remain the same, whether you’re doing it door-to-door or online.
He Kept on Pitching
The story of Harland Sanders has been told so many times in entrepreneurial circles that I hesitate to tell it yet again. However, the angle I am going to look at will give the story new value.
Colonel Harland Sanders held a lot of different jobs with varying success—railroad worker, insurance salesman, lawyer and gas station operator among them. He’d also been an entrepreneur, starting up a ferryboat company and, his most famous undertaking, serving his “secret recipe” fried chicken at his restaurant, adjacent to his Shell gas station in the 1930s.
Sanders franchised his recipe to a few restaurant owners in Salt Lake City, but by the time he was 65, he was living off his savings and meager monthly Social Security payment. He realized he needed to franchise it more broadly. He figured he only needed 10 franchisees in order to have enough to live comfortably in his retirement years. So in 1956, he hit the road, driving from restaurant to restaurant with his spices and his pressure fryer, offering to cook his chicken and negotiate franchise rights if they liked it.
It was a very hard way to do it. Most restaurant owners were not interested in his offer. Many who agreed to let him try did not care for the chicken. Often, the Colonel slept in the back seat of his 1946 Ford. He visited and pitched to 1,009 restaurants before he found one that said “yes.” By 1963, there were more than 600 Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants around the world.
The Colonel, like any marketer, couldn’t control the responses of his prospects. The only things he could control were the quality of his offer, the persuasiveness of his pitch, and the will to continue making that pitch and presenting that offer.
That was 35 years before the public internet, but the control factor is the same today with your digital sales funnels: You can’t control how many people will click or opt in, but there are things you can control.
Where Did Your Traffic Go?
When you begin marketing your offer, hopefully you will be doing it with paid advertising. That’s the only kind I’ve ever found to be effective. (Yes, there are “free” traffic methods, but they take a long time to learn and master and require constant maintenance to be effective.)
see also : Online Traffic
However, while potentially quite effective, paid traffic is not guaranteed.
Let’s say that you place 10 solo ads for your offer. Five of them result in opt-ins and conversions. You look at the two or three that performed best and decide to scale those up—you buy ten times more clicks from the same solo ad provider.
Your ads run, yet you don’t get ten times as much response. What happened? There could be several reasons, most of which are out of your control:
1. Worst Case Scenario
The solo ad provider sent your first ad to his list of best, most responsive leads, but sent your subsequent ads to a less responsive list. This saves the provider money and also retains the responsiveness of his “A” list. Perhaps it’s not fair or very nice to do, but it does happen.
2. Beginner’s Luck
I recall one early ad, which cost me $15,000, brought in $80,000 in revenue. I’ve used that same ad provider and others and have never again experienced that kind of return on investment (ROI).
With your first ad to a particular list, the recipients are seeing it for the first time. With repeat ads, the response quickly becomes, “Seen it.” and then they delete. So responses decrease with the same list.
4. Ad Change
What you ran on your scaled up ad was not the same copy as the ad you used the first time. Changes in copy and/or ad layout (such as for pay-per-click ads) can dramatically affect response level.
The fact is, with the exception of #4, you can’t control these factors. The same basic ideas (particularly #2 and #3) apply to banner ads or pay-per-click ads.
Concentrate on What You Can Control
It can be easy to get sucked into trying to figure out why a certain media buy wasn’t profitable. One solution might be to try and find cheaper traffic, but that still doesn’t solve the problem of varying responses. There is a better way to spend your time.
Though you can’t necessarily control how many people see your ad or respond to it, there are many things you can control to get better results. Most of them have to do with the quality of your sales funnel.
MOBE’s funnels have been tested and refined to the point where they are high-converting. What exactly gets tested and refined? It comes down to two things:
The offer: This includes not only the choice of product, but the way that it’s presented. That means the copy, the design of the landing page, the colors, the photos, the call-to-action, the “buy now” bonuses—all of these factors make up the offer and can be tested for maximum response.
The follow-up: The sequence of emails you send to your leads is what will do a large part of your selling. Each of these emails should have a balance of valuable information and a presentation of your offer. By testing and refining, you develop the most effective emails and sequences.
The entire point is to create the most efficient selling machine (your sales funnel) so that when someone makes contact with one of your ads, it pulls them to the landing page and the inevitable conclusion of an opt-in or sale.
When your selling machine is extremely efficient, it has the effect of lowering the cost of your advertising because your ads attract more people and create more paying customers. More paying customers means better ROI and profits. It’s a lower cost to acquire a customer and, all of a sudden, the price of the ad is not so important anymore.
Control the things you can and you may find you will control your niche as well.
Matt Lloyd is CEO and Founder of MOBE (My Online Business Education), an education company with over 750,000 subscribers, 165 staff and over 12,000 active affiliate partners. MOBE’s mission is to be the number 1 training resource in the world for small business owners and entrepreneurs. This is achieved through the company’s products, services, and live training events.
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