When Tom Green first founded Writers Per Hour, he knew the business would face a challenge generating qualified leads. The “writers for hire” marketplace is competitive, and guaranteeing quality can be a challenge. Even with demand for writers reaching an unprecedented level, businesses and agencies would naturally be hesitant to hire writers from a new, unproven platform. Writers Per Hour faced three common new business challenges: how to get over the initial lead generation hump, how to accelerate the conversion process, and how to new customers coming back for more.
3 Tips That Will Increase Conversion Rates
Recently, I sat down with Tom, who let me in on three lead generation and conversion secrets that supercharged business. Here’s what you need to know to take your business to the next level and improve your online marketing game in 2017:
Offer Instant Chat for Immediate Help
The Writers Per Hour team noticed that while website traffic was growing steadily, conversion rates were stagnating. Visitors were coming to the site to access free articles and resources, but they weren’t converting. Word-of-mouth referrals were also bringing more leads to the site, but again, these leads weren’t progressing down the sales funnel.
“Once we delivered some great projects, the inflow of leads was increasing continuously, but our conversion rates began to stagnate,” says Green. “In addition to word-of-mouth referrals, many leads stumbled upon our articles and resources seeking for some information. The introduction of instant chat helped drive conversions by keeping visitors engaged and promptly answering their queries.”
Your takeaway: Live chat allows new site visitors to immediately ask questions and seek clarification when accessing thought leadership resources on your website. Just remember that live chat is part of a broader content and conversion strategy. You still need to get visitors to your website in the first place. Which brings us to our next secret.
Segment Facebook PPC Ads Audiences
Initially, the Writers Per Hour team found that their Facebook ads were falling short and producing irrelevant leads. Their problem wasn’t unique: Facebook’s user base is so vast, that without an effective Facebook audience targeting strategy, you’ll end up reaching too many people who will never be qualified leads.
“We have used Facebook PPC ads extensively, but many of our early Facebook leads were not qualified,” said Tom. “However, once began targeting people for a specific set of behaviors and using different landing pages with dynamic content for each audience, conversions jumped.”
Your takeaway: Successfully Facebook PPC ad campaigns hinge on your ability to create a precise audience and align the content of landing pages closely with the target audience.
Increase Customer Retention Rates with Email Marketing
Once your business has a steady stream of leads converting into customers, customer retention is the next marketing challenge. While a great product and stellar customer service will go a long way to reducing churn and burn, your business also needs steady customer communication. I’ve long advised email marketing as a must-do for all businesses, and Mr. Green agrees.
“Email marketing has proved to be the most efficient medium to cross-sell and upsell to existing customers,” said Tom. “Email personalization helps in connecting with the audience on a one to one basis.”
Start by targeting users who are in limbo. These folks had a period of steady engagement with your product or service, but haven’t been active recently. Next, he recommends following a tried-and-true marketing strategy for your email content: identify a problem your user is facing, create a sense of urgency to resolve the problem, and then offer the solution in the form of your product or service. This simple formula can be endlessly customized for successful retention email marketing.
Your takeaway: Set up automated retention emails as part of a drip campaign. Rather than sending the email in response to an activity (e.g., downloading a white paper or signing up for a webinar), send the email in response to a lack of activity. (For more retention email marketing inspiration, check out these examples from Crazy Egg.)
Instant chat, Facebook PPC campaigns, and email marketing are three simple tactics for customer acquisition and retention that can dramatically boost lead generation and conversion. Finally, don’t overlook the importance of good old-fashioned customer service, either. Smart businesses know the key to a forever customer is to earn that customer’s trust.
Take a page out of the Writers Per Hour playbook and track the top questions asked by customers on email, phone, instant chat and social media platforms. Creating content around these issues saves a lot of our time and resources when similar questions are raised by other prospects and customers. This streamlines the conversion process, improves your reputation as a proactive customer service provider, and builds trust– three keys to earning a customer for life.
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