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How to Get People to Buy Your Products and Services


Step #3: How to Get People to Buy Your Products and Services

What is the “job” of marketing?

Let's answer that with another question. What is the job of sales?

The job of sales is to sell. And it’s easier to sell to higher quality leads than lower ones (obviously).

The job of marketing then, is to deliver high quality leads. These leads are potentially worth the most (in potential revenue) to your organization.

Email marketing has the highest ROI of any online channel (by far). So it’s your best source of high quality leads. According to a recent study by MarketingSherpa (an online market research company),

"Email marketing can be amazingly efficient. B2C marketers report an average 256% ROI from the channel — pulling in $2.56 for every $1 invested."

But when asked if these companies had a way of quantifying the ROI of email marketing, 59% said NO (probably because they were wasting too much time on Facebook…)

And there’s some additional benefits to email:
  • Email has a longer lifespan than individual social networks, which trend in-and-out of popularity.
  • You own all of your email data – while your Fans and Followers belong to Facebook & Twitter.
  • You have more control over that data. So you can see who’s opening emails and clicking through to your website. You can tell exactly who the best leads are.
  • And you can easily quantify email subscribers. So you know who your best customers are, and how much money you’re making.
Social media is sexy. Email marketing is unsexy. So people ignore it.

But it’s profitable. And most organizations don’t have systems for capturing email leads and nurturing those leads over time. So here’s where you should start:
  • Build high-quality, opt-in email lists so you’ll have an engaged audience.
  • Send simple emails, highlighting one main Call-To-Action (CTA) for each.
  • Mix information and education with selling in your emails.
  • Learn some email best practices so you can optimize and improve your results.
  • And set up lifecycle emails to go out automatically based on triggers.
Focus on getting the foundation in place, then you can start to experiment in different social networks.

Create Your Foundation in 5 Minutes

You should sign up for the following free services (if you don't already have similar ones):
Again each service has a free option, and they'll give you more control and flexiblity (which means better results).

You should also make sure the services are set up properly, and integrated together (like Mailchimp with Unbounce for example).

Most people won't buy the first time they visit your site. This is especially true if you have an expensive product/service or it's complex. 

So if these people won't buy, then the next best thing you can get is their email address. Now you can continue to market to them over time and build trust. 

Which begs the question, how do you get people to sign up in the first place? People have a limitless amount of options these days. 

How to Get People to Sign Up

There are two ways to get people to give you their email address:
  1. Provide a lot of value with content and incentives
  2. Prioritize email sign ups through your design and landing pages
Let's take a look at each in more detail:

1. Provide Value

There are two practical ways you can provide value. The first is through exceptional content.  

Not just any content that's already available on thousands of other websites. But insightful, targeted content that supports your company's unique selling proposition, solves your customer's pain points and convinces them that you are the solution to their problems.

Content creation is an art. It can be anything from blog posts, to email newsletters, and even offline presentations. 

The second way to provide value is through offering incentives. These could be traditional, monetary incentives like discounts, free shipping, two-for-ones, etc. You can also give people exclusive content (such as this email series you're reading), or exclusive access to some event or "insider" option. The point is to make people feel special and appreciated. 

What exactly should you offer?  Every business is different - so you'll need to run some tests to find out what people respond to best. Sign in to the Unbounce program you created yesterday, and run different offers against each other.

And it's important to remember that when you're brainstorming incentives to focus on rewarding people, not begging them. 


2. Prioritize Email Signups

The first way you can get more email signups is by prioritizing it over other things. So you want to focus on including an email sign up form where-ever you can (and call attention to it).

Is it on your homepage? How about your footer?  And what about your major pages like your blog sidebar and your "About" page?

If you can't edit your website for one reason or another, then you can use Unbounce to create beautiful pre-built templates by simply dragging and dropping page elements. 

You can also use Unbounce to quickly test your offer and messaging to see what people respond best to. And when people sign up, they'll automatically be put on your email marketing list. 

5 Email Marketing Best Practices

The following information and insight is from a webinar lead by Dan Zarella, the “Social Media Scientist” of HubSpot.

1. Recognize Today’s Challenges

Email marketing is still #1 in terms of your marketing ROI. It has the highest conversion rate of any online marketing channel and it’s the most personal, direct way to reach someone. Even Dan said he’d rather get someone’s email address than a new Twitter follower or Facebook friend.

But email marketing faces some challenges in 2012. Specifically:

  • The volume and amount of clutter everyone gets
  • People are viewing email on their mobile devices
  • 88% of people surveyed use one inbox for both personal and work emails
  • 58% of people said they use a separate “junk” email address that they never check

Your email marketing needs to evolve to be successful. The following tactics should help you overcome these hurdles, so you can get your message across.


2. Create Powerful Subject Lines

If people don’t open your email, then they’ll never read it or click on your offers.

Because everyone gets so much email everyday, we have a problem filtering through everything on a daily basis. So people are scanning their inbox to see what subject lines jump out at them.

Dan and HubSpot analyzed subject lines to identify the best and worst performing emails.

The key takeaway?

Tell the reader what they’ll get from opening your email. It was clear from the data that people want to read or open emails that benefit them.

But that’s not all. There are also words and phrases that you should avoid. Beware of sales-y jargon or high pressure words that are supposed to create urgency. It seems people are sick of them. Subject lines with words like “consultation”, “solution”, etc. usually performed poorly.

Another great tip is to personalize emails wherever possible. You’re going to see better results anytime you can add the person’s name, or their company name in the subject line.


3. Increase Relevance with Segmentation

The first reason people subscribe to email newsletters is “relevance”. The information is something they’re interested in and want to receive more of.

But the term “relevance” is also kind of vague. How do you actually improve it?

You can easily increase relevance through segmentation. You separate your email subscribers into smaller, more targeted groups based on their interest, actions, and other attributes.

For example, the Click-Through-Rate (CTR) was higher for companies who had multiple email lists, instead of only one major list. So by segmenting people and creating smaller, more targeted lists, you’re able to send them users more appropriate – or relevant – emails.


4. Send Email More Frequently

Most businesses are worried about sending “too much” email and annoying their readers. Again, the data might surprise you.

After sending around 4 emails per month, your unsubscribe rate falls dramatically.

That means if you’re already sending one email a week (which you should be), then you could even increase that to one per day (if you wanted to), and your unsubscribe rate wouldn’t go up significantly.

Dan’s assumption is that people get used to seeing your emails and adjust to your frequency quickly. To see for yourself, try experimenting with different sending frequencies and keep an eye on your Click-Through-Rate (CTR) and unsubscribe rate for each email.


5. Experiment with Action Based Buttons & Calls-to-Action

The actual Call-To-Action text you use will impact your conversion rate. So you might need to test different words and phrases to see what works best for you.

One tip is to try using action-based phrases like “Sign Up”, or “Get Started”. This should coincide with what the reader is expecting to do.

Otherwise use something non-committal like “Click Here”, or “Go”, which performed better than “Submit”, “Download”, and “Register”.

The word “Submit” in particular is one of the worst performing phrases you can use (even though it’s the default for most).


The End of the Line

That's all for now. I sincerely thank you for subscribing to my newsletter, and I hope you've received some concrete, actionable tips you can use this week.

You should be receiving the next addition of my newsletter soon.

If you're interested in more "hands-on" help, then let's get in touch.

Otherwise I'd like to thank you again, and feel free to contact me on Twitter @BradleyESmith anytime. 

Brad Smith
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