I’ve been an online marketer for over 20 years, my partner an offline marketer for over 40 years.
I’m going to tell you what we’ve learned and know for a fact so you get better results from your advertising NOW.
If you are like most marketers you have a snazzy website that you either spent good money on or you have laboured to build yourself. Now all you have to do is promote it. Right? WRONG! Before you spend one dime to promote your website, read this article. Don’t make the same mistake made by 90% of marketers that costs them thousands and thousand of dollars, lost leads and lost sales.
You do NOT want to promote your website as your primary method of generating leads. Here’s why.
If your website is like 99% of those I have reviewed, it’s copy dense. You’ve got links, video, flash, offers, affiliates, graphics, pages, charts, forms, RSS Feeds, blogs, Twitter feeds, the Daily Weather, and a little or a lot of other organized chaos. The viewer (your potential buyer) doesn’t know here to look, what to click on, it’s information OVERLOAD. (This is all great for key word content for Search Engine Optimization or general promotion but NOT the best way for generating leads). The result is immediate. If they don’t instantly see what they want they click OFF. Say Goodbye to your lead! You might as well add, “Sorry I wasn’t a little more clever about helping you get what you want so I could get what I need.” The SMART marketer understands this and says, I want to meet the needs of my viewers. I want to convert my viewers into leads. That means giving your visitors a positive FAST loading experience with an immediate offer and a call to action. This is a very precise experience with a very specific message and directive. How do you this? By creating what is called a Landing Page strictly for promotional purposes.
What is a Landing page? It’s also known as a Squeeze page because you are squeeeeezing information from the viewer, converting the looker into an actual lead. The concept is simple, pitch an offer, the looker completes a form. They are enticed by the offer, you get a lead. You’ve converted a looker into a LEAD!
Why is the promotion of Landing Page(s) INSTEAD of your website critical? It’s simple. Keep your potential buyers happy and YOU will get better advertising results. Specifically, a fast-loading landing page that includes a headline with an immediate benefit and a call to action. Example: HERE’s what you GET! Followed by punchy benefits of what else they get, concluding with an offer and a lead form.
Now, here is a critical point for all you advertisers who think graphics are the king, that more is better. Take a quick lesson from an experienced marketer (who is also a designer). If you do nothing else to improve your ad copy – get rid of the fancy and weighty images. Often an overabundance of graphics detracts from your marketing message. We have tested boring simple text ads against the exact same ad copy on a rich graphic landing page. Guess what? The simple ugly plain text ads consistently got higher click rates than the graphical ones. We eliminated instant play video, got rid of flash, and used just really good ad copy. Landing pages with no video perform better than those with video. Why is this? Videos can take a while to load and may not add immediate value to what you offer. You often have less than 30 seconds to get your message into the brain of the viewer. Well-chosen key words get in the brain of your potential buyers IMMEDIATELY when time and limited attention is critical. We humans are greedy. This is a fact. We have short attention spans. We want something and we want it now. Smart marketers recognize this and tell people what they can get and how to get it if they act now!
One of the powers of a Landing Page comes from the fact that you can create a specific Landing Page for EVERY product you offer. You can create them quickly and test them. If you create a dud that gets no result, replace it by creating another. Many advertising sources offer an option to pause a campaign which means you can cancel one ad and replace it with another more effective one before your ad dollars are depleted. Compare this to making edits to a web site that can take considerable time for major marketing changes, while a Landing page can be put up and taken down in minutes.
Finally, remember where you are marketing – online. Full page colour graphic ads do well in a full page print ad. My guess is that you don’t have the 10 K + for a fully page glossy ad. You are most likely relying on the tried true tested forms of free an low cost advertising like Traffic Exchanges and Safelists. These are powerful ways to promote your product or service and are ideal for simple Landing Pages. In fact you WANT a fast loading simply ad for Safelists and Traffic Exchanges because you have a very limited (20 sec or less) to get these people attention. Keeping it simple is just as effective now as it always has been. Graphics used effectively can bring your ad alive, but very few other than professionals can master this combination of copy and graphics to solicit response.
Ok, I want to make sure I have made this point clear as it is so very important. Use LANDING PAGES to generate leads for specific products or services. Use your website to promote your company in general. Landing Pages are ALL about the reader and turning them into a lead. If you want to stock your website with page after page about product development, research, your years in business, how wonderful you are and your customers think you are, put all of that on your website. Content about your company, products and services is of course valuable for many reasons, post it to your site but don’t rely on this as you one and only lead generator.
Now, let’s dig a little deeper into your advertising strategy. Look at your ad or your landing page. I mean really look at it.
Do you have a clear benefit headline to get attention. Do you follow this headline up with benefit-laden offers, reason after reason why people have to act now! Do you include an invitation to DO IT NOW offer that will motivate your reader to become a buyer! Or if not a buyer at least to take some action - to respond to your offer, join your newsletter, try a free sample, participate in a free trial. Whatever get them to DO something! You accomplish this with well written offers not with blinking links, and boring videos that take forever to load. Have you included an OPTIN to your company mailing, newsletter, product updates etc? This is a CRITICAL inclusion. A Landing page doubles as a List Building Tool. Do not underestimate this. Landing pages and list building work hand in hand as required marketing tools.
Review your advertising material. Is it about YOU or is it about your potential buyer? If the ad is more about how wonderful you are then about how beneficial your product or service is to the user, you have what is called an EGO ad. Your ad should NOT be about you, or your company, or that you are family owned business, or that you support charities. Your ad has one purpose: to tell people all the benefits of what your product/services offers and why they need to act now to get it! Want a quick lesson in this strategy? Watch late night infomercials. See how these infomercials verbally hit you over the head INSTANTLY with all the BENEFIT OF X product. You are drawn in more and more because they offer you X, then add Y to it. But wait if you buy now you get X, Y and Z too! Watch how they give you the pitch, make the offer, then make a better offer, and than a limited time offer to motivate you into action NOW!! Great marketing offers value and a sense of urgency to get an immediate action.
Are you including on your landing pages OPT-INS for a newsletter of some type? If you aren’t building your email marketing list every time you promote you are missing out on something critical to your long term business success. List owners are successful marketers. The bigger the list, the more potential for sales today, tomorrow and for years to come.
Ok here is your homework. If you don’t have an ad strategy that accomplishes this you have failed your first lesson in online marketing. Go back write it again, take away distraction of video and flash. Whittle your ad down to ONLY what matters to the buyer. Get back to basics. Your goal is always to compel action. Don’t risk making anyone wait to see what you offer. Get to the point instantly. Web surfers are easily bored. Get their attention INSTANTLY or they are gone! You may get a hit on your ad, but you can quickly send people away with a poorly thought out advertising strategy. Advertising that does not generate leads and sales while building your email marketing list, will eat up your hard-earned dollars faster than my dog woofs down his doggie chow.
About the Author
Sandi Hunter is the Director of Website Development at Worldprofit Inc. As a result of the company’s home business bootcamp training and resources devoted to small and home based business, Worldprofit has become known as the Home Business Experts.
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