What your sales back end can tell you about your small business marketing… When considering small business marketing, most owners think about getting exposure and visits/clicks/views, etc.
Great post by Michael Nelson about how and why Small To Medium sized Businesses can create a highly converting online process. Backend is movement of visitors to buyers. Buying can be defined broadly such as joining an email list is a form of "buying".
I love this tip about the Thank You Page:
"The “thank you” page is the location where your prospects who sign up on your squeeze page are taken. This page can be the place they download or print the free offer and can be a page that provides them with another “call to action.” Here is an example of a thank you page.
As you can see, neither page has to be too visually appealing, just have an effective offer and clear message."
The ""neither page has to be too visually appealing" message is so important. I've watched new to web SMBs spend budgets on how things look. The elastic value, what you bank after costs, of "beautiful" and confusing vs. "ugly" and clear is NOTHING. I'm an Internet marketer which means "beautiful" to me is something that converts better than what was there before especially if I didn't have to break the bank to learn how to "beat the control".
Michael Curatti.com post explains how to engage and close "sales" online in great detail. Here is another favorite quote from the Curatti.com piece:
"The “call to action” is the most obvious, but often the most overlooked in small business marketing. Make it clear what you would like the prospects to do. Click here to get this…Act now to get a free coupon… etc."
YES, hidden or lack critical CTAs (calls to action) would be on my "most common landing page mistakes" list of all time. High contrast CTAs, I prefer orange or red but have tested blue to a win once, that jump off the page would be my preference.
A boss told me he thought CTA approach was too "used car salesmen-like". Perhaps, but visitors WANT you to share what they are supposed to do next AND the benefits such an action should generate. The person who saw me as a used car salesmen did at least an equal disservice by keeping his true desires under wraps.
I prefer being clear, honest and immediate. DO THIS and GET THIS and this offer ends ON. We had long discussions about my belief B2B marketing is only different from B2C in one significant way - TIMING.
The more I thought about it the more even TIMING seems similar since B2C only SEEMS like immediate S-R curves (Stimulus-Response). A B2C merchant’s ability to sell today is built on their reputation and relationships too, so there is NO difference between B2B and B2C marketing.
I tried to explain my "invisible hand" theory of Internet marketing. When you visit a site I've architected you are looking for me (me or my team's curation and design hand). You want to "know" the architects of the space you are in. Clicking is a sign of respect and recognition of that desire (to get to know the environmental architects).
Michael's great explanations expose the invisible hand; make it clear what visitors need to do and who benefits. What a concept! A simple concept that can double your online sales.