I think everyone has heard this, but in case you haven’t:
The fortune is in the follow-up.
You have to talk to someone 5 times before they buy.
Of course, this is true from a sales perspective in some form or fashion. You have to follow up in order to get people to take the next step. Very few people will simply call you out of the blue and buy from you if you never follow up with them.
How does this translate into online marketing though? If a person is searching for one of the many things that are available online, 50% of them will buy what they are looking for. These aren’t always ready to go buyers though, because here is the kicker.. They will buy it or a comparable product sometime within the next 18 months. Only 7.5% of people will buy with the next 90 days. On the upside, this means that if you stay in contact for 18 months you can sell 50% of your potential customers. That is a pretty nice win!
This task is daunting, though. It’s hard for many of us to continue to follow up over and over again for 18 months. Maybe we get sick, or have more pressing matters, or maybe just forget them. This is what makes email marketing, social media, and blogging so powerful. You have to continue to be in front of them for as much as 18 months after they find your product before they buy. When you us email marketing, however, you can automate much of the work by automatically sending them an email every so often. You can automatically build ENGAGEMENT!
So… first things first… Make sure you are capturing potential customers data. You have to get the email address before you can continue to market to them. Continue to first ways to further engage them with your brand moving forward (i.e. social media, blogs, small buying experiences). The more engaged they become, the more likely they will decide to buy from YOU!
Make sure that you target your website to both people who will buy now and those that will need to think it over (those that need to build more trust with you). You need to be able to make sales now without pushing away all the other customers who need a little more automated hand holding.
Make sure that you extend your email sequences out over a long period of time. Create enough emails to ensure that you continue to touch (or drip on) them for an extended period of time. The easiest way to do this is to fill in the first few and then continue to build them as you go and add them to your sequence. Or you could send a weekly digest of information they can use! Either way, ensure that you will continue to stay in front of them via email. It’s one of the greatest tools in the marketer’s toolkit.