If set up well, online marketing can help you generate a consistent passive income. There are many stories of how first-time entrepreneurs have made lots of money selling their products and services through online marketing. But there are hundreds if not thousands of times more stories of how folks failed bad. Investing their money and losing it or recovering little.
In its simplistic model, online marketing has three phases. In phase one, you get traffic to opt-in to your system. In phase two, you convert your opt-in leads into customers. Then in phase three, you retain these customers by getting them to buy from you again.
Yet each of these stages have inherent risks. And if you were to commit just one sin of online marketing, it could kill your entire business.
Here are 7 fatal sins of online marketing. Why you should avoid them. Plus, what you should do instead to be more successful.
Fatal Marketing Sin #1: Sending Traffic to Your Homepage
The money you invest in traffic is a sunk cost. The only way to get a return on your investment is by selling products and services. So if you were to get someone to click on your advertisement, you would want the best opportunity to sell them.
Yet 92 percent of consumers that visit a brand’s website for the first time are NOT there to buy. And only 32 percent of those who visited the site with the intention to buy rarely or never make the purchase. This per a study of 1,112 consumers in the United States by Episerver.
That’s why it’s vital you first get your prospect to opt-in and give you permission to send them email messages. Then you can establish a relationship with them. Plus, nurture them with educational information to establish trust and credibility. All which can lead to sales conversion.
The best place to send traffic is to a landing page solely focused on getting visitors to opt-in. But a homepage is the wrong place to send traffic. That’s because most home pages have a menu and too much information to distract visitors from opting in, even if you include an opt-in form.
Fatal Marketing Sin #2: Sending Cold Traffic to Your Sales Page
Sending cold traffic to your sales page before they opt in can be worse than sending them to your home page. Less than one-third of prospects who otherwise would buy from you, buy on their first visit.
By sending traffic to your sales page, you risk losing them forever by revealing your price, without first establishing a relationship with them. If they leave without buying, you have no way to follow-up. So you waste your advertising investment.
Fatal Marketing Sin #3: Investing in Traffic Before Investing in Your Sales Funnel
Why spend on website traffic you cannot convert into sales. Don’t put the cart before the horse, because you may not get where you want to go.
The key to making sales is to have a good sales funnel. So you can generate sales conversion. A good sales funnel includes a series of email letters with links to content to establish trust and credibility. Plus one or more landing pages with persuasive content and strong offer. And an order page confirming the offer with a fast and easy way for buyers to complete and submit it.
Fatal Marketing Sin #4: Not Knowing Your Target Market
All too often marketers make the sin of having too broad of a target audience. Yet targeting a broad audience will not only cost you more, it will also lead to lower sales conversion.
The best first step before you invest in traffic, is to conduct market research. An in-depth survey to help you find the demographic, psychographic and buying behavior characteristics of your true target market. The results can help you identify the most appropriate marketing messaging.
Fatal Marketing Sin #5: Not Segmenting Your Contacts
The era of one message fits all is dead. The advantage of online marketing is you can segment your contacts and give each a personalized experience.
Two common ways to segment your contacts is through custom fields and tags. Then you can group your contacts according to those who have a certain tag or custom field data. And you can personalize the marketing message based on this criterion. That can lead to both increased sales conversion and greater customer satisfaction.
Fatal Marketing Sin #6: Not Split Testing Your Campaigns
Split testing enables you to compare results between 2 and 4 versions of your landing pages. So you can improve your results. For either higher opt-in rates. Or greater sales conversion.
The key to split testing is to focus on just one variable at a time. This variable can be to compare headlines, pricing, offer, or even design of the landing page. You simply designate the current version as the control and send a certain percent of contacts in your funnel to the “test page(s)”. When one “test page” results beat out the control, then it becomes the new control.
Fatal Marketing Sin #7: Not Investing in a Downsell Campaign
As much as 67% or more may abandon their shopping cart. Yet you can recapture over one-fourth of these lost sales with a downsell campaign.
A downsell campaign involves a series of messages to contacts who abandon the shopping cart. Each message contains a persuasive message with a link to a dedicated landing page with a special offer. What once was sales-lost, now becomes increased sales conversion.
In summary, executing any one of the above online marketing sins can kill your business. But when instead, you execute the strategies suggested, you can help your business grow. To help you achieve higher opt-in rates, increased sales conversion and greater ROI.