Inbound Marketing Strategy

The Top 3 Reasons Why You’re Not Making Sales Online

Brad Smith
September 17, 2012

“Marketing” isn’t a one-time thing.

Just like anything in life, the key to being successful is by developing good habits.

And marketing is no different. Except in this case, marketing habits are created by systems. You work the system, and profits will take care of themselves.

Online, there are specific areas and functions that have to use systems. That way things happen like clockwork, and you’ll get the best return on investment.

But almost everyone gets them wrong.

It doesn’t matter what type of organization you are, or how big or small. You have to get these three areas right, otherwise you’re bound to fail.

And it all starts with getting traffic to your website…


Reason #1: No Traffic Generation System

Tweeting to get traffic is ineffective, and wasteful.

That’s a huge problem, because most people (and organizations) have finite resources. You only have so much time, energy and money to throw around.

Wasting time on ineffective tactics has a lost opportunity cost, that could be spent on profitable tactics that build your online marketing machine.

So how do you turn traffic generation into a system?

Start by figuring out how much traffic you need in the first place. Most organization’s don’t need 100,000 visits each month (although it would be nice!)

Now reverse-engineer your success. For example, to get 100 sales, converting at 2%, you’ll need 5,000 visits. Not bad, but it’s a start.

Do you have a monthly revenue number in mind that you’d like to hit? Then find your average online selling price, find out how many sales you need, and plug in the conversion rate to see how much traffic you need.

This doesn’t have to be complicated. You’re just trying to get a basic range. And it will make you answer tough questions like, “What is my cost per lead?”, or “How much is each email subscriber worth?”.

Because when you actually find these numbers, you’ll know how much you can afford to invest on advertising, or people to help you reach (or increase) your goals.

Now how are you going to get that traffic?

You could use SEO, advertising, or even social media (if you know what you’re doing). The point is less about the tactics, and more about your overall framework and strategy that’s guiding each decision.

Read this case study on how to generate more traffic.


Reason #2: No “Lead-Capturing” System

Getting a steady stream of high quality traffic to your website is the first step. But if you’re not converting that traffic, then your inefficiency is again wasting time and money.

Investing in conversion rate optimization can increase sales with the same amount of traffic you currently have. It involves the careful design of conversion funnels for each unique type of customer you have.

But you can’t just change a headline or color of your call-to-action. You need to optimize the entire conversion sequence – matching every element to your target customer group.

Start by getting to know your customers better. What makes them tick? What are the underlying triggers that causes them to take action and purchase?

Then you want to create incentives and match your offer to these motivations. Maybe you use a discount to get their interest in trying your products/services. Or you could try to use premium content and exclusive access to entice them. The offer you pick all depends on your customers.

Finally, you want to funnel traffic to landing pages that you can test, measure and optimize. That way you can see what works, and boost conversions quickly.

Here is a case study with more detail about how you can increase conversions.


Reason #3: No Systematic Follow Up

Finally, email marketing is the most under-looked, under-appreciated marketing channel.

Social media is the sexy new tactic. But email marketing still has the highest ROI of any channel. You should use automated emails to nurture leads and get people to purchase more frequently.

Stage #1 – Pre-Sale: The goal is here is to nurture each lead, build trust and get them to the point of sale.
Your business should have a “welcome cycle” where you bring in new customers, and an “abandon” cycle if people start but abandon the purchase process or shopping cart, etc.

Stage #2 – Post-Sale: The goal here is to follow up and transform each one-off customer into a loyal, frequent buyer.

You should have a series of emails sent right after someone purchases for the first time, thanking them, showing them next steps, and even promoting up-sells or cross-sells.

You should also have emails sent to past customers who might not have bought for a certain amount of time, or have switched to your competitors.

And by automating these email sequences, you won’t have to worry about the usual follow-up. The system will do the work for you, over and over.

These three marketing tactics will give you the highest return on your investment, because they directly address getting more traffic, and converting traffic into buyers.

That way, you can get 80% of the results with 20% of the effort.

And you’ll start converting strangers into buyers on a regular basis.

Click here to discover how to fix these three areas.

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