“Mom, I can’t wait for spring,” my daughter announced as we put dinner together. Outside snowstorm number 2 was adding another foot to the already 3-foot drifts.
“You know the best thing about the seasons,” continued A., “is that just when I’m getting tired of one another one comes along. And I’m ready to fully enjoy it.”
A. hit the nail on the head. If it was always spring, we’d probably get sick of it.
However, when spring hits – even with mud season and black flies – we’re ready to embrace it. I wouldn’t want to plant seeds and move wheelbarrow loads of compost all year round. But I dive into it with gusto when spring arrives.
And now – well, I’m getting a little tired of the snow (perhaps it’s because I just cleared out my coldframe and have my seeds picked out.)
But come December, I can’t wait for the flakes to start falling. I’m dusting off my skis and welcoming it with open arms.
It’s the same thing with marketing.
I’ve had many a client approach me to work on an online sales page for them.
And inevitably, I pull out a big “Stop” sign. Instead, I recommend they turn this into a multi-step sales funnel, starting with a free sample or free report offer to capture their email address for long-term marketing. The one-stop sales page becomes part of a longer sales process.
Why do I do this?
Because just like the seasons, people change.
Their needs, interests and desires change.
And this directly impacts when they’re ready to buy from you.
Let’s say you sell a supplement for heart health . . .
A good prospect may arrive at your site because he idly Googled “heart health” or caught site of an article with a link to your website.
Right now, when he first learns of your company or product he may be just slightly curious.
He’s still simply ruminating on the idea of extra heart health nutrition for now . . . Just dipping his toes in the water with a little research.
However, say in a couple months from now he gets his annual checkup and the doctor suggests he go on statins . . . or his brother just had a heart attack . . .
Now this prospect is in a whole different frame of mind.
The problem is – they long ago forgot about your website and product.
That Google search or article link that led them to your site has long ago shifted. They can’t remember your URL let alone your specific product.
Even though this prospect is ready to purchase something – perhaps your product – they no longer have you on their radar. They’re just as likely to choose another product.
But what if instead of trying to sell them something right away, you helped them in the research stage? What if you simply offered them a helpful report that tapped into their curiosity and moved them a little bit closer to being open to a sale?
What if by offering them this free report, in exchange you received their email address so you could continue to stay in touch with good information and offers?
And what if you happened to send an email to them about your heart health product soon after they returned from the doctor’s office with the prescription for statins in hand?
In this case, not only would you get them at just the right season for helping them out with your solution . . .
They’d already be pre-sold on your product thanks to your ongoing work building rapport with them and feeding them good information.
Why You Need This Even More Right Now Right Here
Two environments make it even more critical to incorporate followup in your marketing . . .
1. The poor economy
While economists will say all kinds of things about where this economy is going, people on the ground know that money is tight and the future is uncertain.
Consequently, people are more skeptical and conservative with their spending dollars.
Even when they’re close to being ready to purchase something, they’ll often just sit on the idea for a bit, reluctant to make a decision.
They read your email and put it in a folder. Or put your letter in a pile to sort through later.
You can assume that many of the people who see your sales page and don’t buy are just about ready to buy . . .
You just weren’t able to quite tip them over the edge.
But with a longer relationship via follow up marketing by email or mail, you can continue to nudge them closer to your product. You can make sure you’re top of mind when they’re finally ready to turn over some of their hard-earned money for a solution.
When you’re marketing to people online, you need this followup process even more. If someone gets a letter that interests them in the mail, it’s likely to linger on a table top where they’ll rediscover it a week or so later.
Online, once they leave your sales page, they’re gone. Even with email, few people save marketing emails they’re not ready to act on to review later on.
On top of this, it just takes a click to look at another product on another website.
Your job is to stick with them, stay in front of them, continue to be the source they’ll consider for information in making their decision.
Again, follow up marketing is how you do this as well.
The Constant Gardener
So bottom line, don’t bank on a one-shot sales letter.
You’re shooting yourself in the foot.
You may be talking skis when your prospect’s thinking spring. Or visa versa.
Account for the different frames of mind your prospects are in.
And market accordingly.
If you work with this awareness of the seasons – by being a constant – no matter the season.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised with a good harvest.