Have you ever felt that no matter how much time or money you dump into your marketing campaigns, things just aren’t working out? If you have, don’t worry: you’re not alone.
The solution to solving your marketing problems isn’t spending more money. Spending more money on something that isn’t working typically leads to losing more money.
So, what is the solution?
I wish I could answer that question in one sentence, but because each business has different marketing problems, it’s just not possible. Luckily for you, I’ve been able to narrow it down to 7 simple fixes. As long as you follow them, your marketing efforts will be much more successful.
Simple Fix #1: Explain your story
Your story doesn’t have to be a long novel. It can be expressed in a few paragraphs or even a few sentences.
The biggest marketing mistake businesses make is that they don’t explain what they do. If your visitors don’t get what you are offering, they won’t buy from you.
You can fix this through explainer videos or a block of text. There isn’t a right or wrong way to do this. You just need to be clear with your messaging.
For example, our Crazy Egg explainer video helps bring in an extra $21,000 in monthly income. And the video is almost three minutes long.
On the other hand, I use long blocks of text to tell my story on Quick Sprout. When I surveyed 119 of my customers, 37 of them said they decided to become customers after reading my story.
The medium in which you tell your story is up to you, but make sure you clearly explain what you do and have to offer. If you don’t, none of your marketing efforts will come to fruition because people won’t understand your story.
If you are struggling to come up with your story, survey a few of your customers and ask them:
How would you describe [insert your company name] to a friend or a business colleague?
That should help give you a few ideas. If you are still struggling, check out this article. It will teach you the three core elements of good story telling.
Simple Fix #2: Give people time to buy
What do you want to do when someone comes to your site? Sell them something, right? As business owners, we all want to sell to our visitors. What is important to learn, however, is when to sell to them.
There are three main groups of people that visit your website:
- Buyers – people who are interested in buying from you.
- Window shoppers – people who are looking and don’t intend to buy.
- Potential customers – people who want to learn more, but who are not ready to make a purchase just yet.
Dealing with the first group is easy because they already have their credit card out. But the majority of your visitors fall into the second and third group.
So, what should you do?
You need to start selling to people over time. The simplest way to do this is to start collecting emails and then get people to come back to your site when they are ready to buy. E-commerce companies do this by offering coupons in exchange for your email. B2B companies, like Hubspot, do this by offering you white papers and kits in exchange for your email.
The possibilities for you to collect emails are endless. Once you have them, you will need to create an email drip sequence through which you send people a series of emails until they convert into customers. If you are unsure how to create a drip sequence, follow the steps in this article.
Tip: Make sure you create at least 7 emails in your sequence because selling someone on your product or service in your very first email typically doesn’t convert as well as first building relationships with your visitors through a few emails and only then selling to them.
In addition to creating a drip email sequence, you should consider leveraging remarketing as it is a simple way to bring people back to your site. Remarketing means that when someone visits your website, you pixel them with a cookie. Then, when they browse the web, they will end up seeing ads of you or your company.
You experience it after visiting Quick Sprout and then seeing ads of me all over Facebook.
Simple Fix #3: Don’t forget your calls to action
Although this is probably one of the simpler elements to a web page, it is something that most website owners mess up on. There are 11 things you need to test with your call-to-action buttons to maximize your conversion rate:
- Button copy – we increased our conversion rate at Crazy Egg by over 20% by switching our button copy to “show me my heatmap”.
- Button colors – SAP increased their conversion rate by over 32% by switching their call-to-action button to the color orange.
- Location – placing your button below the fold may convert better than above. You’ll have to test different locations.
- Design – placing credit card symbols, trust symbols or even your product around your calls to action may help boost conversion rates.
- Time – showing your calls to action right away may distract visitors from reading your story. You’ll have to test when to introduce it within your landing pages.
- Be creative – your calls to action can be anything… they don’t have to be buttons on a page. One of our most effective calls to action at KISSmetrics is a button at the end of a video.
- Use psychology – Ramit Sethi tested an interesting concept: he got people to click on his call to action by telling them “Don’t click”.
- Special effects – we’ve found that making your calls to action scroll with the reader, or even wiggle, can help increase conversions. You can easily do this with Hellobar.
- Exit calls to action – through software solutions like Bounce Exchange and WP Lead Magnet you can display a call-to-action button upon exit. This boosted conversion rates on NeilPatel.com by 46%.
- White space – although this one might sound dumb, placing more white space around your calls to action will help them stand out and potentially get more clicks.
- No calls to action – by removing all of your call-to-action buttons and telling people that you are sold out can increase the number of people wanting to buy from you. Timothy Sykes tested this out, and he got more potential customers emailing him than when he had a Buy button.
Simple Fix #4: Optimize for lifetime value, not in session ROI
Lifetime value is the dollar amount your customer is worth to your business throughout his/her whole life cycle. For example, if Amazon knows that a customer on average buys from them 30 times over the course of 3 years, they are willing to lose money on the first purchase because they know they will make it up in the future.
If you want to learn how to calculate your lifetime value, check out this infographic.
Marketing channels such as AdWords aren’t cheap, and their cost will continue to rise over time. Instead of optimizing for profitability right away, you should optimize for a profitable lifetime value. This will allow you to spend more on your marketing efforts and compete with the big boys.
It’s ok to lose money as long as you know that you will make it up on the back end.
Simple Fix #5: Optimize for conversions
As I mentioned above, costs will continually keep rising for popular marketing channels like AdWords. Yet marketers keep focusing the majority of their efforts on trying to fine-tune their campaigns and reduce their costs.
Although you should fine-tune your campaigns, it is a losing battle. In the end, ad providers like Google and Bing control the costs, and if they want them to go up, they will… no matter what you do.
So, instead of spending all of your time fine-tuning your marketing campaigns, spend 25% of your time optimizing your conversion rates. An increase in the conversion rate by 50% means that your cost to acquire a customer goes down by 50%. This is how you can combat the constantly increasing prices in ad buys.
If you are interested in conversion optimization, check out the following articles I have written on the subject:
- 7 Simple A/B Tests That Can Increase Conversions by 10% or More
- 7 A/B Testing Blunders That Even Experts Make
- 11 Obvious A/B Tests You Should Try
- 30 Quick Conversion Tips Every Marketer Needs to Know
- 7 Conversion Lessons Learned From Eye Tracking
- What Spending $252,000 On Conversion Rate Optimization Taught Me
Simple Fix #6: Stop looking for a silver bullet
One of the most common questions I get asked is:
What is the number one thing I need to do to grow my sales?
The answer always is, “there is no one thing”. “Why?” you may ask. There is no silver bullet in marketing. You’ll find out that each marketing channel will drive a percentage of your overall sales. That means that without leveraging multiple channels, you won’t get the numbers you are looking for.
If you happen to be one of those lucky people who finds a gold mine, you’d better milk it while you can because it won’t last very long. Sooner or later, other marketers will catch onto your tricks and tactics…it’s just a matter of time.
Focus your efforts on creating a process in which you start up a marketing initiative and then constantly tweak and test it to boost your profitability. You should always be measuring and learning from each of your findings so you can maximize your chance of succeeding.
So, do yourself a favor and stop looking for a silver bullet.
Simple Fix #7: Let your product market itself
Have you heard of the term growth hacking? It’s a new concept and a way to grow your business that entails leveraging your product to generate more customers for you.
It’s the model that companies like Facebook and Dropbox use to grow their user base.
How does it work? Well, you need to figure out the levers in your product that you can pull to encourage more signups.
For example, YouTube generates more views and traffic to its site by encouraging users to embed videos on their sites.
Dropbox gives you more storage space when you invite more people.
Qualaroo grows its user base with its “Powered by Qualaroo” badge all over the web.
All of the above examples are ways in which people modified their products to help them grow their user base. They didn’t spend money on marketing. Instead, they leveraged their product, which only required a front-end engineer.
If you want to learn more about growth hacking, check out this guide.
Don’t get frustrated if you’re unable to grow your user base or revenue. You need to focus on spotting your marketing problems. Chances are you are messing up on at least one, if not a few, of the above tactics. Once you identify your problem areas, start applying the fixes.
So, where do you think marketers are messing up the most?