I’m no marketing genius, but I know that certain products and services require repeat exposure to prospects before they will convert to customers. I’ve heard that the magic number is 6 or 7 points of exposure. Think of how much business you could be losing if you are not following up with interested prospects.
Now, for those running online businesses, imagine having a salesforce who took leads from your website and automatically followed up with them several times, with literature that you know they’d want. If the customer purchased something, this salesforce would know that and would then send them a different message.
You don’t have to spend thousands on this. There’s a tool called an Autoresponder that people have been using for years on the Internet. Here’s the scoop: prospects come to your website and enter their first name and email address. This goes to a mailing list that contains six or seven emails you’ve already written. Usually, these emails are going to be informative – you should create some good content and use this opportunity to help the customer understand their needs.
Then, at a pre-determined interval (i.e. every three days) each of these emails is automatically going to be sent out by your autoresponder system. Of course, at the end of your emails, you include a product reference or two.
Smart autoresponder systems are integrated with your shopping cart, so if the prospect converts to a customer, they might receive a different set of autoresponders a month later to upsell them on another product.
The main benefit is faily clear: you have more opportunities to sell to your prospects than that first website visit. The second benefit is less clear until you’ve been running newsletters for awhile – you can reuse your content again and again. If you’ve been sending out newsletters once a week, imagine how much content is sitting there that new prospects don’t get to see.
Two autoresponders I can recommend:
AWeber: They’ve been around for years and are one of the best known autoresponder companies around.
1ShoppingCart: This is a fully integrated shopping cart that I’ve been using at Charisma Sciences. It is pretty nice and completely turnkey. When prospects convert to customers it will change the content they get.
Go forth and get your message out!