Submitted by Teo Graca
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Although I have already covered drip marketing and newsletters to some extent, which is generally used to convert prospects to customers, the subject I am covering here is all about the language used and the visual presentation you make to convert website visitors to prospects and prospects to customers. Much of this is Nero linguistics, which simply put, is a way of using words to motivate specific actions – this is your sales copy. Visual presentation of the words with graphics is also very important. A visually appealing layout will get people to read your message and proper use of words will prompt the desired action, or conversion, such as getting website visitors to opt-in to your emailing list, getting email readers to click on a link to your web page and getting people to click on your "buy now" button.
Conversion Processes and Using the PS-FAB Style of Writing with a Long Tail Strategy
One technique for structuring sales copy is something that I call PS-FAB. PS-FAB is an acronym for Problem (or Pain), Solution, Feature, Application and Benefit, which together make up the pitch for your product or service. The key is to point out the problem or pain and then discuss the solution associated with your product or service. After this is established, point out some features, how they are applied and the benefits that will be experienced. This is an approach to writing sales copy that I have found to be very effective. It is important to grab a reader’s attention immediately, and finding a problem or pain that the reader can relate to does that quickly. Following this up immediately with the solution gives the reader a reason to read on. Focusing on the features and how they are applied is a little tricky, but if presented correctly, it will move the reader easily into the benefit, which leads directly to your “call to action” (the conversion). The trick is to focus on just one feature or set of features that leads to the specific benefit that a reader is seeking. Creating multiple pitches is an effective approach to testing and finding the most effective pitch and capturing the prospects and customers that aren’t attracted to the most popular pitch.
The call to action should be simple and direct and offer a reason to sign up now instead of later. It should explain in a short sentence what the offer is and what’s in it for the potential prospect (for lead conversion) or customer (for prospect conversion). Creating a sense of urgency is also very important – you may not get another chance at any given conversion, so every missed opportunity may be a permanent loss. You know it is urgent for you to get them to sign up immediately, but how can you make it urgent for your website visitors?
In a face-to-face situation, I typically offer a discount for anyone that signs up for a one-on-one consultation within a week, but to get people to sign up at the event, I offer something unique and attractive that they can’t get anywhere else. It’s not necessarily something that costs me a lot of money, but it’s always something like a custom report that I put together specifically for the event with some inside information or a free initial consultation that goes with some other product or service that I am selling. Although this is a process for converting prospects to customers, coming up with the irresistible offer is the same process that can be used to convert website visitors (leads) to prospects by getting them to opt-in to your prospect list.
The irresistible offer can be applied to your web offer by providing access to something today that will not be available tomorrow – it’s a matter of creating a sense of urgency. This is logistically complicated because you would have to come up with a new offer and change the web page daily. There are easier ways to create a sense of urgency that are effective and not necessarily changed daily.
A common approach to creating urgency is to limit the availability of the product or service being sold. For example, if there are only 3-5 seats left for an event, and there is evidence that there may be none available within the hour, this creates a great sense of urgency for the visitor to sign up immediately. One of the techniques I use for my events is to set up a different set of tickets per week so that they are limited to 5-10 seats per ticket set and as each set of tickets sells out, the pricing for the tickets is discounted in decreasing amounts for each set until we get to the last set of tickets at full price. It is more difficult to create offers that provide an immediate sense of urgency online because each offer has to be supported with technology, and you may or may not be able to find the technology you need to support it, in which case you have to hire someone to program it for you. You may want to work within the frameworks that you can find available, which work for most people. You can later come up with custom sales processes as you become more successful and can fund your own unique approach to sales.
Conversion is the key to any sales process, and you may already know that it is no small task to create all the conversion processes within your organization. It’s important that you get your initial version of your offers in place and begin collecting statistics that can be used to improve them. Once in place, you can duplicate the offers in different ways and use the statistics from each to determine which ones work, and which ones work best.
Testing is the key to fine-tuning your conversion processes. Instead of creating just one conversion page for your opt-in form or buy-now page, you should create 3-5 conversion pages for each to determine what works and what works best. One way to use the PS-FAB idea is to focus on a different pain, or problem and demonstrate how the solution works for each. You can also focus on a separate feature on each conversion page and focus on how the one feature is applied or different benefits that the feature provides.
When you begin thinking along these lines, the exercise creates copy for every combination of the overall PS-FAB – you might end up with 20-50 versions of the sales copy that you can test. Once the pitches are completed, you can create a separate micro site or article for each and leave them in place forever at very little or no cost. Just two create a sales funnel, but with 20-50, you have a very wide sales funnel, which is necessary on the web, and a best practice. What we have found with this approach is that all of the micro sites and articles attract some visitors and opt-ins, but some attract and convert much better than others. We have also found that the customers that found us through the least popular sales copy would not have found us or converted through the more popular copy. In other words, we have captured customers with sales copy that our other sites have missed. This creates what is called a “long tail” strategy that builds a much higher overall conversion rate.
From Teo's book:
Social Media Marketing and Syndication
The Evolution of Advertising
Edition 1.1 eBook
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