Let me tell you a story. It is a sad story, but it is all too common. A man or woman one day decides that they can have more in their life or in their business. They are told there is a “Secret Weapon” for marketing available now to anyone who wants to use it called the Internet.
They get a local internet connection and then venture out into this brave new world for their business. They hire the best web designers they can afford to have a website developed for them so that they can share their products with the world. Then, they wait…and wait some more. Nothing happens.
Then, they are told you have to advertise online. Everyone doesn’t show up just because you have a website online. Yes, that’s right. You are going to have to learn the online advertising methods such as banner advertising, ezine advertising, classifieds, trading links, press releases, etc.
So, like good little internet marketers, they begin their quest for traffic. This sometimes is a hard road to proceed upon, but they finally accomplish their goals of getting hundreds of visits to their site daily. Low and behold though, one further problem presents itself.
Even though they now have a well done website and hundreds of visitors coming daily, they aren’t making any sales. There is NO money coming in. They have spent money on web hosting, web design, advertising, and more. Their income has been next to zero up until this point though.
For most internet marketers, this is the moment of truth for their online business. Will you do what 95% of people who reach this point do…Give Up and Quit? Will you be another person who leaves the internet market declaring “People just don’t buy products online!”
This is when most people bury their internet businesses. I have seen this happen hundreds of times already to friends or associates online. Even though they are in different industries and markets, almost every marketer seems to come to this crossroad in their online business.
There are two paths available to you at this point. Will you be like most and take the path of failure…giving up right before you find your breakthrough? Or will you do what every successful online marketer does and research out the difference between those who make money online and those who don’t?
I have done my research already and I am going to let the cat out of the bag right here and now. The big divider between those who birth a successful online business and those who bury their dreams and quit is very simple actually. The secret is…
If You Want to Be Successful…You Must Collect the Follow-up Information!
Stop and think about that for a moment. This one aspect of your online business is so important I could draw you a line in the sand and divide up who has been successful online and who hasn’t. The successful marketers are constantly developing new ways of Collecting information about their prospects or customers.
Throughout my marketing online, I have found an interesting secret. Web sites do not make sales. Email follow-up makes sales. Ask any marketer online and you will find that their closing rate from just the website is horribly low. Most websites get between a 0.05% and a 1% sales rate from their visitors.
Once you add constant follow-up by email though to the same prospects, you can get those same percentages up to .5% to 10% sales rate. This is an increase of up to 10 times in many cases just because you applied constant follow-up to the equation.
Let’s run through a few quick tips I have for you on collecting information about your prospects and about how to do it.
What Type of Information do You Want to Collect?
1. You absolutely have to get your prospect’s email address. I make that the number one priority of my website. Once you have the email, you can start following up on all of your prospects as often as you want to for FREE. Now, money is no excuse for poor follow-up skills. Email is free.
2. You want to collect their postal address so that you can mail a follow-up sales letter by snail mail. I know that snail mail isn’t as glamorous as email, but IT WILL HELP YOU CLOSE SALES. The response rate on direct mail is still higher than online so if you collect postal mail information, you can follow-up online and still get a hard copy of your materials into their hands.
3. You may want to collect their phone number. This tip is most often true if you are giving away something free. For example, if you give away a free audio tape, MAKE SURE that your prospect has to turn in their phone number before you mail them something with this type of cost. Internet people are often trying to just collect any free thing they find even if they have no intention of doing anything with it. Don’t send out expensive packages unless you get a phone number which shows a higher commitment.
4. You should test your website and ad copy. Take polls on your website. Ask your prospects their opinion of your website in guest books. Get their input. Ask for it. Give away something free if they give it to you. Let your prospects tell you what you need to do to make more sales online.
How do You Collect This Information?
- Start an Ezine
- Have a Guest book
- Give Free Downloads for Filling out a Form
- Offer Low Cost Free Sample by Mail for Visiting
- Take a Poll
- Set Up a Free For All Links Page or Classified Sit
- Use Autoresponders which list the people who hit them
- Run a Contest
See, it may take you a little thinking time to produce the right method for collecting follow-up information on your prospects. Don’t even take my list above as an all inclusive list. Think up your own ways. Those people who are the most successful in any venture are the ones who are innovative.
Whatever you do though in your online marketing, DO NOT FORGET the follow-up. The fortune is in the follow-up. Collect information on your prospects and then get to work developing a simple follow-up system for contacting each of them as many times as possible. Most marketers will tell you that it takes at least 7 contacts with a prospect to make the maximum number of sales. Online, I think this number is much higher.
So get out there and start collecting follow-up information if you want to make money on the web!